The quilt story I am sharing is of my most recent quilt and the first one I have ever designed myself. About a year ago my second oldest brother told me he was entering his 50th year and wanted me to make him a quilt for his 50th birthday. He told me to keep in mind that they have a king sized bed. Funny guy. I told him there was no way that was happening I would make him a good sized throw. I asked him all the usual questions about colors and themes. He's a traditional guy so I chose a traditional block, a bowtie. I played around with the idea, combining it with another block, wanting a bit of a modern look to the layout. I looked at lots of photos of bowtie quilts online, and saw none that really grabbed my attention. So out came the pencil and graph paper.
My design included fifty 6" finished bowtie blocks alternated with double four-patch blocks and solid squares in what turned out to be an asymmetrical layout. I love a scrappy look so each bowtie was to be a different fabric, mostly from stash and scraps.
The plan for the background originally was to have it all the same. But it was boring!
Some cream and white jazzed it up. The quilt was officially a WIP and began to age as a lot of other projects jumped to the front of the line over the next few months...
...but by August I was finished with all the cutting and began to piece in earnest.
50 bowties ready for assembly into the top.
The completed top was 60" square. Too short for a couch quilt, plus I'm not that fond of square quilts so it was back to the drawing board for what to do to make it longer.
A whole lotta 2" squares later, I had top and bottom borders.
Originally I wanted a plaid flannel for the backing but settled on this unique Tom and Huck cotton fabric with phrases from Mark Twain's book.
Hours of straight line machine quilting followed in grid fashion.
I completed the quilt by the deadline of October 23, 2010, sewing the label on in the car on the way to the party. He had requested no gifts but of course knew his quilt was coming.
All four corners somehow ended up with red binding. I liked it!
My brother liked it too. Happy 50th Birthday, Tyler!