When Rivalries Were Real

Sadly, I’ve reached the point in my life when I can look back on “good ol’ days”.

It really hit me last year when my alma mater won another regular season men’s basketball title – in the Big 12 Conference. Not that I wasn’t proud (10 straight! Rock Chalk Jayhawks!) but the hoopla really drove home the fact that I could remember, and remember fondly, when our conference was the Big 8 – you know, back in the “good ol’ days”…

  • Back when I road-tripped to Lincoln to root for the Jayhawks even though it was a lost cause
  • Back when KU v. MU game days were another battleground in the War Between the States
  • Back before my sister divided our family by attending that other Kansas college (and then my brother followed her there, the traitor!)

Back when rivalries were real.

Fortunately, as a quilter, I can not only remember the good ol’ days in my mind, I can recreate the feel of those times in fabric.

Big 8 Quilt

Each school in the former Big 8 is represented by their logo. Mostly I used logos from the 80s, but Iowa State’s original cyclone design was a bit too detailed, so theirs is more modern.

The remaining blocks are SQUARE IN A SQUARE blocks in each team’s colors – crimson and blue for Kansas, light and dark orange for OSU, etc – laid out in the shape of an “8”. I even cut the corners and sides of the actual quilt to further enhance the “8” design. (Lesson learned – binding inside corners is NOT easy!)

Big 8 Quilt BackingI found a wonderful text fabric for the backing on this quilt that featured lots of sports related words. However, it was black and white and looked a little stark next to the rich, warm colors on the quilt top. So I dyed it match the grey letters spelling out “BIG”.

Now when I’m watching the Jayhawks on TV and start to feel a little nostalgic, I have the perfect quilt to curl up in. Bring on March Madness 2015 – I’m ready to create some good new days!


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