A couple of years ago, our Forever Friends, Norm and Carolyn informed us that they were moving to Arizona.
*Insert sound of a bombing dropping and exploding here*
Oh, I knew that the move was imminent, but this was sooner than I had expected.
Carolyn and I met at a baby shower. (Remind me to tell you some time.) We attended the same church and Small Group Bible study. Norm took us on a tour at NASA. Carolyn taught me how to knit and cautioned me against ever shopping on The Yarn Aisle. (Remind me to tell you some time.) We starting hanging out over Paella and pizza from a wood-fired pizza oven. (Remind me to tell you some time.) We helped out together at a community garden which supplied food for a local food pantry. We took countless trips to The Cutest Little Starbucks Ever. Carolyn and I went out again and again with The Texas Girlfriends for Italian food. And pedicures. Norm and Carolyn became my kids' Xtra-Grandparents. In a relatively short time, they became some of our very Nearest and Dearest ever. And now they were moving.
Our church wanted to give Norm and Carolyn a proper big ol' Texas send-off, complete with lots of food, lots of drink, and lots of big hugs. I was asked to come up with an idea for a "Surprise Going Away" gift from the entire church. I was honored. And then I spent days and days trying to think of the perfect gift, but kept coming up empty.
Then one day out of the blue, I had an idea. I know I wasn't supposed to, but I called Carolyn to discuss it.
Me: "Okay. Now hear me out. You told me that you're going to have a Texas-themed guest room in your home in Arizona, right? Right. So imagine this: A quilt for your guest bed. Made to look like the Texas flag. Signed on the back with permanent fabric pens by everyone at church. Something to remember us Texas folk by."
Her: "Yes. And I already have a pattern and all the fabric."
Me: "Wait. What???"
Yes, Carolyn did indeed have a pattern with four different Texas-themed wallhanging designs, as well as a nice, big stack of fat quarters in reds, whites (tans), and blues that she had picked up one year at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.
She had gone with a relative and browsed and walked for HOURS and HOURS. (If you've ever been to the International Quilt Festival, you totally understand.) Nothing had caught her eye the entire day, however, just before they were about to leave to go home, Carolyn saw a wallhanging in a booth that she absolutely loved. She purchased the pattern, and then she and her relative spent the next two hours scouring the Quilt Festival for western-style fabric fat quarters. Nine years and ten months later, a Forever Friend (Me!) was offering to make her a Texas quilt.
So, we looked at the different wallhanging designs from her pattern together. She showed me what she liked and didn't like about each one, and the design for the quilt you see above was born. Then came measuring and figuring to make it the right size. Two weeks (and many late nights of Doctor Who episodes and Coca-Cola to keep me awake) later, I handed Carolyn her finished quilt. They left the next day. And now there is a Texas Flag quilt on the guest bed of their guest room, "The Tejas Room", as they lovingly call it.
I have had some inquiries about the quilts' dimensions and pieces, so I have put together some facts and figures, in case you'd like to add some good ol' Texas flare to your own abode.
Note: I apologize for the quality of the pics. The pics in this post were taken on my cellphone. Please be kind. ;)
*The quilt pictured in this post is big. It measures 80 x 108". This makes it long enough to use to fold over pillows or to hang to the ground at the foot of a queen-sized bed, but the real reason for its extra length is to keep it the correct proportions of the Texas flag. Norm and Carolyn have this quilt on a queen-sized bed. The bed pictured in this post is a king-sized bed. The quilt is plenty long for a king-sized bed, but not wide enough for overhang on a king-sized bed.
Because of its large size, I decided to do the math and am adding the facts and figures for a lap-sized quilt, a baby quilt, and a wallhanging, as well as the queen-sized quilt, below.
*The flag portion of the quilt is made entirely of cut 5" squares in various reds, whites (tans), and blues. It is pieced the same way a simple patchwork quilt is pieced.
*The Lone Star is also made up of cut 5" squares sewn together. I sewed together a large square of the white squares, then made a star-shaped template on the computer to get the star you see below. There is no pattern piece.
*The four corner stars were also cut from a template to the approximate width of the corner squares. The four corner stars and the large Lone Star were appliqued onto the finished quilt top.
*I chose a light fabric for the backing and very simple straight-line quilting to accomodate individual personal notes and signatures. I also appliqued ten stars on the backing piece: one for every year that Norm and Carolyn lived in Texas.
5" Cut Patchwork Squares:
Queen: 112 blue squares, 84 red squares, 84 white (tan) squares plus squares for the Lone Star.
Lap: 60 blue squares, 45 red squares, 45 white (tan) squares plus squares for the Lone Star.
Baby: 24 blue squares, 18 red squares, 18 white (tan) squares plus squares for the Lone Star.
Wallhanging: Same count as for the baby quilt.
Colored Square Count:
Queen: 8 blue squares and 12 red or white squares in each row.
14 blue squares OR 7 red and 7 white squares in each column.
Lap: 6 blue squares and 9 red or white squares in each row.
10 blue squares OR 5 red and 5 white squares in each column.
Baby: 4 blue squares and 6 red or white squares in each row.
6 blue squares OR 3 red and 3 white squares in each column.
Wallhanging: Same count as for baby quilt.
Width of Border #1 (small white border around the Texas flag):
Queen: 2 inches
Lap: 2 inches
Baby: 1 1/2 inches
Wallhanging: 1 inch
Width of Border #2 (the larger red border):
Queen: 6 inches
Lap: 4 inches
Baby: 3 inches
Wallhanging: 2 inches
Measure of Corner Squares:
Queen: 6 inches
Lap: 4 inches
Baby: 3 inches
Wallhanging: 2 inches
Approximate Size of Finished Quilt:
Queen: 80 x 108 inches
Lap: 52 1/2 x 79 1/2 inches
Baby: 36 x 54 inches
Wallhanging: 33 x 51 inches
If you have any questions, please leave them for me in the Comments, and I will try my best to answer them. This really is a fun quilt to make!
Special thanks to everyone who inquired about the quilt, especially a new Pinterest friend Irene. Irene, if you are reading this, thank you for bearing with me while I worked all of this out!
Many special thanks to Norm for taking lots and lots of measurements of this quilt, because I didn't make any notes while sewing it together. (Sorry you had to make the guest bed twice after taking those measurements, because you put the quilt on upside-down the first time, Norm.)
And now, I will absolutely have to make myself a lap-sized Texas Flag Quilt. Absolutely. And one day a baby quilt made of fabrics with spurs and horseshoes and lassos and stars and cowboys on them for a Little Buckaroo. And one made of fabrics with bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush and daisies and hearts for a Little Cowgirl Ballerina.
From where did I hear the term "Cowgirl Ballerina"? Remind me to tell you some time.