a special birthday quilt

For Graham's birthday I made him a letter quilt, similar to the one I made for Sela a few years back. It's still a little weird for me to talk about quilting here, as I've always considered it to be such an old lady hobby. But maybe the time has come to finally embrace my inner granny and confess that one of my best friends is 85 years old, I get positively giddy over licorice allsorts, I'm in bed by 9:30 pm, and I spend most of my day wearing some variation of a muumuu and talking to old dudes about composting.

Hot, right?

Don't worry, I also know all of the words to Nicki Minaj's Super Bass and have spent an obscene amount of time following all the Laguna peeps from The Hills to The City, but so far I've managed to dodge the Audrina bullet. Don't even get me started on the whole (highly emotional) summer I dedicated to watching Teen Mom, or that I sometimes say hella cool - but only in my head. Promise.

I think I may have just realized why it's so difficult to find friends in my age bracket. Ugh.

This is really getting away from me, isn't it?

Quilting?  Right. I love it. I love the whole process of sorting through fabric scraps, piecing, and the hours of handwork. I think my favorite parts of Graham's quilt are the sweet prints I used from my grandma's stash, the extra pieces I added on the inside to make the quilt a bit wider (I didn't do this with Sela's and it is just a bit too narrow now that she's older), and that I paid my neighbor to machine quilt it for me. I love the look of hand quilting, but the thought of sitting under a quilt for 30+ hours in July just seemed insane. Quilting is more a wintertime activity for me, I think.

Graham loves it, and spends a lot of time making little boy forts and hiding out from dinosaurs and pirates. He likes having Sela point out his name and all of the G's, and it has proved to be an excellent road for all of his cars.

Here is the back of the quilt, including the letter:

You can see Sela's quilt here, and it has all of the info for ordering through Spoonflower. Also, I originally found the idea for the letter quilt on Sarah's blog, The Small Object.


The Rowlands said...

I love the quilts you have made! I'm kind of your blog stalker! How did you get the letter on the back like that?? I'm in the middle of making a quilt for my daughter and would love to know how much it cost and how you did it!

Rachel Swan said...

Hey, Ari! I used Spoonflower, which is a company that prints custom fabric. You can find all of the instructions on their site for designing, uploading, and ordering. I've always used Photoshop get the correct dimensions and the to design (which is just typing in a big font).

It costs $18/yd for the quilting weight. I had to add a bit on the back of Graham's quilt to make it wider, as the fabric is only 42 inches wide.

I hope that answered some of your questions, if not you can always shoot me an email and we can talk more!

Anonymous said...

first, this post made me laugh and cry! laugh from your descriptions of your personality- so funny! and what a sweet sentimental gift to cherish. Those are the best gifts! Happy Birthday Graham.

Emily said...

So sweet and thoughtful, the kind of thing they will keep throughout their lives. Teach me how to make one for me.

*rOcKiN rIcHiNs* said...

I love this quilt too! Once again my friend, I am blown away by your sincere talent!

Tree Peeps said...

Rachel, I love how this quilt turned out. (I also love the yellow and red one you made a while back).
I totally identify with your grandma personality :)

Jessica said...

Hi Rachel, you probably don't know me, but I grew up with Brian and Lauren. I fell in love with this idea for a personalized quilt even before I became a mom and I was determined to do this for my kids! I just finished my very basic quilt(because I'm not a quilter by any means)for my son and I'm in love with it because it is so personal thanks to the letter on the back. Thank you for your post! It was inspiring!