Orange is for Nerds


84'' BY 84''

As my son's 4th birthday approached in March I frantically tried to get his special orange quilt done in time to celebrate. For one, he'd been asking for it and was being remarkably patient for a maniac his age. Two, I really wanted to surprise him with this gift, especially because I hadn't made him his own quilt yet. Finally, a quilt is a not a toy to add to the clutter in the house.

Unfortunately, I never got it finished in time for his birthday. However, by not trying to keep it a secret I could pull it out when he was awake and actually get it done. Bonus, he helped me attach the binding to the quilt. Memories built right in.

The quilt started as samples for a Scrapper's Delight class. That is a pattern from Sunday Morning Quilts and was written by Amanda Jean. The same fabric then became a variety of log cabins and was used for more samples for my Improv Log Cabin class. I still have all the other samples, but stuck with the quarter log cabins in this quilt. 

To make this many blocks I cut up a whole bunch of strips in oranges, greens, yellows, and low volume prints with those colours plus blue and black. It was a bit of a hot mess on the days I sewed, with strips and trimmings flying everywhere. I would chain piece, often 7 blocks at a time. It took me 3-4 hours to get all seven blocks done - there is a lot of piecing in there. Each block was squared up at 12.5'' by 12.5''. There are 49 of them in the quilt. If there was a bit at least 1'' wide after squaring up I used those as a strip in another block. It provides great dimension and movement in an already busy quilt.

It's a bit large for my boy's double bed, but that just means there is plenty of overhang and snuggling room. And something tells me that there will come a time in his life where this quilt seems small.

I waited until Carkai from Carolyn Friedlander was released because I wanted the Bones print in this blue for the backing. Nothing else would do. The whole thing is simply quilted with an improvised grid (meaning: I didn't mark) in Aurifil 2235 - pretty much an impossibly perfect orange. The grid was easy with my walking foot. With such a scrappy design there was no point in doing detailed quilting that would only get lost in the fabrics. 

Orange is my son's favourite colour. We think we know why too. My husband has a great orange jacket (so does my daughter, actually). The first couple of times the kids commented on his jacket he always responded with, "Orange is for nerds!". Now it is a family joke. This all started as my boy was learning to speak so he got in on it from the get go. So now it is his favourite colour and the quilt has its name.

Not sure how often he'll be pulling his quilt off the bed for slides at the park, but it sure was fun to do this with a friend for a photo! As soon as we came home he had me spread it out on his bed, ready for nap time.