DeVon D.’s email read,
“I am a runner. I would really like some type of tote made from [all these race shirts and race bibs that are just sitting around.] Any thoughts? Feel like tackling this?”
13 years of custom quilting and I’d never made a quilted tote bag! But, hey, I love a challenge, so I said, “Sure!”
While waiting for her marathon shirts to arrive, I decided to do a trial bag. That’s how I ended up with this ENORMOUS beach tote. I mean, it’s big. REALLY big. Like “hide the pregnant actress’ belly because it’ll ruin her character’s storyline” big.
With a few adjustments, though, I felt ready to take on DeVon’s projects. She sent me enough shirts that I ended up quilting her both a beach tote and a book tote.
And, I threw in a quilted backpack, just for the fun of it.
These were definitely a fun little digression from regular quilting. I liked having to figure out the math as I went along to get to a normal size on the bags and the instant gratification of finishing a small project is always nice.
And DeVon seems pretty happy with them, too. She posted yesterday on the Whimzie Quiltz Facebook page,
“I knew you were the right person to hand that project over to. The totes are all great and I just adore the fun Jingle Bell Run back pack. Such creativity!”
Most people use a quilt to curl up with while reading or watching TV, to keep warm in bed or to brighten their décor. Occasionally, you’ll see a quilted item that’s a little less traditional –a picnic blanket, a beach bag or a padded toaster cozy. But there are some interesting, creative and, let’s face it, just weird uses for quilts out there!
Wrapping small, extra puffy quilted squares around a suitcase handle makes your luggage more comfortable to carry, easier to pick out at baggage claim and is the #3 strangest use for a quilt. Protecting citrus crops comes in at #2. When the temperatures dip in Florida, you’ll often see orange trees wrapped in blankets to keep them from freezing. (Hey, it works when you’re cold, right?) But the #1 weirdest use for a quilt? Pee-Pee Tee-Pees! Pee-pee tee-pees are little round quilts folded into a cone which you place over, well, a ‘wee-wee’ during a baby boy’s diaper change to prevent accidents. What mother-to-be wouldn’t love custom Whimzie Quiltz create pee-pee tee-pees – an weird, but practical, idea that will be the hit of the baby shower!
Moseying through the countryside, you may come upon another weird use for quilts – tourist trap! Hundreds of barns, homes and buildings throughout Appalachia and the Midwest now feature 8’ x 8’ wooden panels with quilt block designs painted on them. Started as a reminder of rural cultural heritage, driving the “quilt barn trails” has become a huge sightseeing draw.
The colors, textures and patterns of nature prove pretty convincingly that the earth itself is the largest patchwork quilt ever created. Wrap yourself in the mountains, meadows, beaches and woods that the great outdoors has stitched together and take a few essential quilted pieces on your adventures – Mother Nature would approve.
Love hiking or biking trails? A quilted backpack transports your water and power bars in style (also great for carrying binoculars if you are an ardent bird-watcher or your telescope if you gaze at the stars.) Or maybe your thing is lounging on the beach – a custom beach bag can be made big enough to hold your towel, your sunscreen and even that giant floppy hat you love so much! If you plan to snack while outdoors, pick your favorite fabrics and have Whimzie Quiltz create the perfect picnic blanket. You’ll enjoy al fresco dining even more when you have a tasty quilt to spread out on the ground.
Cyanotype, or light-sensitive, fabrics make stunning nature quilts, especially if you love a blue/white color scheme. Leaves and flowers placed on these specially treated fabrics are exposed to the sun which produces a permanent photographic imprint like a blueprint; the finished blocks can be sewn together into stunning blue and white botanical quilts.