Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Puff Quilt, circa 1991

Always trust a quilter. She knows her way around the block. –Quilter's Proverb

When I was a junior in High School, the mom of one of the girls I was in FHA with brought in the puff quilt she had made for her daughter, my FHA friend. It was awesome, so I asked for the instructions and started work on my own quilt. I was working at House of Fabrics part-time, so I got my fabrics there with my employee discount. I worked on it off and on for about a year-and-a-half, doing a marathon week of sewing at the end to get it done.

It is bedspread size. It hangs down an equal amount on both sides of the bed and at the bottom. And it is heavy; it weighs about 13½ pounds. In order to wash it, you have to take it to the laundromat and use the 50 lb. washer. Nobody except for me likes to sleep under it. I loved how heavy and warm it is. I let my sister borrow it and she didn't use it very long. I also put it on LadyBug's bed {where I photographed it} for a while, but she didn't like it either.

You use two squares of fabric of different sizes for each block. The top square is your print fabric and is bigger than the bottom square, which is muslin. I can't remember for sure, but I think the squares are 5½" and 5". The instructions said to take a tuck in the middle of each side as you sew the top block to the bottom one. But I didn't like how odd that made the puff, so I took three tiny tucks on each side of each block.

To put the blocks together, you sew a bigger block to a smaller one on three sides, taking tucks as you go to make the bigger square fit. When you have enough blocks to make a row, you sew them together, making sure to have the open sides of each block all on the same side of your row. Then you stuff them with, you know, stuffing and sew the open side of the row shut. Then you sew an unstuffed row to the first stuffed row, stuff it, sew the side shut and add another unstuffed row.

Because the quilt is so heavy, there isn't any batting between the muslin backs of the blocks and the batting. And because of all the stuffing {I admit, mine might be a little overstuffed}, the top doesn't lay flat or true to size, so the backing hangs loose. I tied my quilt with little satin ribbons {I am categorically against tying any quilt with yarn; it just looks so nappy} to secure the back in place. I was constantly retying them because they'd slide loose. A few of them have been lost.

Back in the day I made a matching bed skirt {or dust ruffle, whichever you prefer}, pillowcase, puff curtains and throw pillow. My room was the epitome of coordination. Nowadays, this quilt hangs out in a black garbage sack in the top of LadyBug's closet. I'm not exactly sure what to do with it. It has a few stains on it, that even a trip through the 50 lb. washer couldn't get out. Factor in the weight and the colors, which scream late 80's and I'm not sure that it is good for much more. Still, I'm kind of attached to it and don't think I'll be sending it to Goodwill any time soon.


Barb said...

I remember these quilts...always wanted one.....yours just looks wonderful.

Jill said...

I know one of those stains. I accidentally left a pen without the lid on the bed, and it leaked. Typical. You leave a pen on a desk uncapped, and it will NEVER leak. But leave it on something precious, and it stains every time. I am still sorry about that.

You let this sister borrow it, and I slept under it for a year and a half, while you were in Brazil. I gave it back when you got married and moved away because I thought you wanted it back. It wasn't mine to keep.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED sleeping under that quilt. Now, 15 years later, I put two extra blankets on my side of the bed in the winter to be as warm and as heavy as that quilt. It doesn't work as well, because the extras slide around when I roll over, and as you said, that one hung all the way down on both sides, leaving it easily in one place. If I could, I'd take it away and sleep under it now--but my husband would sweat to death.

You need to hang onto it. When Ladybug grows up and moves away, you can put it back on her gorgeous white bed (I think it looks nicer there than on the daybed.) for a lovely guest room. I'll sleep there everytime I come to visit. (of course, you'll probably have to take it off for people to actually sleep there, but it'd be lovely all the same.

Wanda said...

I know what you mean when you have an attachment for something like your puff quilt which is no longer the updated thing but still perfectly usable...just not quite the look of the tastes we have acquired. Keep in the closet...can't give away those memories yet! I have a something similar. Years ago friends who weren't quilters made me a going away quilt. It has a puff all it's own. The blocks are all different which remind me of the individuals who made them and then the fill in blocks are fabrics which also scream 80's, but are completely faded. Not sure what to do, but I have an attachment for it because of friends, so there it is draped across a quilt rack in my bedroom all puffy so that nothing else can hang there. I know I would be sorry if I got rid of it and you would too if you couldn't just grab that puff quilt down whenever you wanted!