Monday, May 26, 2014

Monkey Quilt Completed

I finished the last bit of the Monkey Quilt for my son Alex this past week, just in time for his birthday today. This was one of those rare times when all four corners of the binding mitered neatly into place at precise 45 degree angles. This was in spite of the "good fortune" to have the binding seams fall at three of the four corners. Hmm...  perhaps this is why they creased so nicely? Nah! Here is the finished quilt.

Did you notice an inconsistency? My daughter called it a design choice. It was unintentional but in retrospect I think it worked out for the best. I will explain at the end of this post. Here is the obligatory photo of the back. The print is of monkeys and lollipops hanging from tree branches.

For the label I did more than just my usual initial and year. Since my son is an adult in an assisted living home, I wanted the quilt to be labeled with Alex's name. So I added a brief inscription machine embroidered on grosgrain ribbon and attached it in the lower corner of the back. This photo also gives a closer look at the backing and border fabrics and the typical mitered corner. You can see that those are monkeys with orange pants and yellow shirts hanging from tree limbs scattered about on the back. On the front border, the green and yellow squares are printed with bunches of bananas, the yellow rectangles have fish, and the aqua rectangles have lollipops. 

Alex has limited speech but he can say "Mun-kee" and he loves bananas and lollipops. We will also give him this fruit medley patterned rug to go beside his bed. It has the banana theme and the color palette goes with the quilt.

The first thing Alex noticed on the quilt was not the monkey, but the owl. "Whooo," he said and pointed.

Alex enjoyed unwrapping his rug.

And here is Alex trying his quilt on for size.

Now, about that unintentional design decision...? The bottom border is put on in the same orientation as the top border. For a directional patterns I sometimes do this intentionally but this was not one of those times. I did not notice the "non-reversed" border at all until I'd put in place the final stitch of the binding and stood back to admire the fruits of my labors. Aargh! It was too late to change this feature after its having been quilted in place and bound, even for someone stubborn enough to spend 16+ hours picking out brown squiggly quilting in the four corner blocks.  At least I will not anger the quilt gods with perfection. However, there is a serendipitous consequence arising from placing the yellow squares of the piano border up against the inner border instead of down next to the outer border at the quilt's bottom – the non-squareness of the quilt panel is not as noticeable. The yellow banding that tapers to compensate for non-squareness of the center panel scene would have stood out more had it been placed next to the contrasting green squares. So the bottom border orientation just helped me to make lemonade out of lemons. How coincidental that there are lemons on the rug, too! Hakuna matata! No worries. I think from the last picture that Alex likes his quilt and that is what counts.


1 comment:

  1. You can tell from the pictures that Alex loves his quilt! I think it turned out great, and I love the backing and the label... that's the one thing I wish my machine did, was alphabet letters. Also, it cracks me up that Alex's shirt matches the quilt as well.