Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kate's Birthday Quilt

Kate and I in 2004

Kate is another very close friend of mine I've known since college. I met her my sophomore year (2002-03) and she was a freshman in college the next year while I was a junior. Her real name is Katie, but I've always called her Kate, or, more frequently, we both call each other bunny- yet another nickname/term of endearment to add to the never ending list our group employs. She works at a nursery and is master certified in horticulture, putting in sometimes 80 hour weeks doing back breaking work. She has a thick Texas accent, and she drinks her coffee out of a Mason jar, ya'll. She is most frequently found in plaid, and in fact, last year for her birthday her party was themed "Dress Like Kate", and we filled a house with tens of friends wearing plaid and sporting old cowboy hats, decked out in accessories like rainbow suspenders and boots. Katie also has a deep and abiding love for her native state. Please see this picture for evidence:
That's right, when she came to visit me, we went camping and she actually had a Texas doormat on hand. Just, you know, hanging out in her truck (which also happens to have a bumper sticker that says "Don't Mess with Texas...Women" on it) in case she happened to need it.

Katie and I briefly dated a million years ago, aka 2004 (which seriously feels like it was a million years ago) but most of us in the group have dated one another at one time or another, and like everyone else we remained good friends after and she is still, to this day, one of my best friends in this world. She is loyal and protective and absolutely hilarious. There are running jokes about how terrible she is at telling stories, but she is also a fabulous dancer and we are often found improving some kind of partner dance to a variety of Michael Jackson songs at get togethers. Or, if we're at a bar, we will inevitably two-step- she leads, naturally. Katie shares my affinity for simple and frugal living, and we both have a deep and abiding love for to do lists. Regarding to-do lists, Katie introduced me to the term rat killin' as a euphemism for running errands. This is one of many reasons I think she's adorable.
Kate and I at my going away to Colorado party

This last Sunday was her 25th birthday, and I made her a quilt- all hand stitched!- that I designed. It is meant to be a bit folksy, but if you knew Kate you would say to yourself "that is Kate in quilt form". Here are some pictures of the project, which also happens to be another goal on my 2011 goals list. Shamefully, I purchased these materials to make this quilt for Katie's 24th birthday, but never got around to it between wrapping up grad school and starting my new job. But now it's done, and there is photographic proof.
I found bandannas in Kate's signature colors/style to use for the quilt top. The design was pretty simple, but I'm still pretty proud of it because while I have quilted before, I have never made a quilt- other quilted pieces became pillows. This is the quilt top in its first step.
I started kind of making up the design as I went, and decided there had to be a Texas in there somewhere. Bobby donated some old work pants to the cause, and I knew Kate would love that detail. Bobby found a template online for me that was the perfect size. Here it is, waiting to be embroidered onto the quilt.
As I had never made a quilt I decided to go the easy way and tie it. But I wanted it to be cute, so I got beige and orange buttons to decorate where I tied it together.
More button detailing...
Close up of the center...
Size comparison (before ironing, don't judge me too harshly!)

And the back, also before ironing. I totally took the lazy way out and purchased a fleece blanket for the back piece. But, while it was lazy, it was smart in two ways. One, I didn't have to piece together two lengths and then sew it to the top- and saving sewing is always good when you're doing it by hand! And two, this fleece blanket was about half the price of buying fleece by the yard. Frugality for the win.

The most important thing is that Kate *loved* it. And I'm so glad she did!


  1. I love the little Texas in the middle!

  2. Me too, I'm glad I decided to embroider it on!