For 2022, I have been sharing some the stories behind of the quilts in my heart and home. This is a quilt that I made in 2018 for my father-in-law. My father-in-law was declining and was moving into Memory Care. Since his marriage, he had slept under quilts his wife made, or selected for him. I hated the idea of him using institutional blankets, but I know that quilts take a beating in many Memory Care and Assisted Living facilities. Sometimes they disappear and the washing machines can take a toll. So sending him with one of his wife’s precious, hand quilted quilts didn’t seem like the best option. The Memory Care facility had a bed coming open in 2 weeks, so I had a limited amount of time to make a quilt. I knew he would have a twin bed, and I knew I needed something quick, attractive, and sturdy.
I decided to adapt the Walkabout Quilt pattern designed by Ann Lauer for Grizzly Gulch Gallery. I chose neutral fabrics that I thought he would like. I started with the print, then added black and cream solids and the dark gray print. Because I knew this would be washed frequently, I made my seam allowances 3/8″ instead of 1/4″.
I used some decorative stitches to quilt and highlight features of the print.
I also used decorative stitches machine sewing the binding, because it created extra stitches that would be more secure.
The quilt is backed with plain muslin, because that was how my mother-in-law backed all of her quilts. In addition to his name on the label, the plain back allowed the facility to write his room number on the back in sharpie, so the quilt was always returned to him.
When my father-in-law was transferred to hospice, the quilt went with him. He used it until the end, and it is precious to us as a result.