Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A tribute to my dad.

When I saw this Boy Scout fabric by Robert Kaufman, I knew I would have to make a quilt for my dad.  My dad has been involved as a Boy Scout leader for over 50 years.  In January of 2009, he actually got an award for 50 years in Scouting, but they didn't make much of the presentation.  I think 50 years in service of the betterment of teenage boys deserves some kind of recognition. When I found this kit on sale, I grabbed it! I also learned about the dangers of making quilts from kits!  Some of the fabrics would have benefited greatly from a little fussy cutting, but the kit didn't include enough fabric for such frivolities.  Also, the 2 border fabrics were definitely directional prints, meaning that I couldn't just cut them from the width of fabric and position them around the borders or it would just look silly. So, I really had to plan out how to cut the fabric.  And since there wasn't much extra in the kit, I also had to do some piecing.  The print on the red border piece was pretty subtle, so I didn't worry too much about the design matching up, but the outer border was a much more obvious design and it was a little trickier to match up the print so it didn't look pieced.  If I had just purchased yardage, then I would have gotten a piece long enough to do the borders without having to piece them, but then I would have had lots of extra Boy Scout fabric laying around.  And while I typically don't mind having scraps to add to my every growing collection, I'm not sure you can cut this fabric into small enough usable pieces to make it not look like Boy Scout fabric.

I did have enough scraps to do some fussy cutting for this pieced back.  And I found some yardage from the collection that was perfect for the backing.  I also got more of the avocado Kona cotton that was used in the kit to finish up the pieced back.

I got some light tan Kona cotton and some chemicals that make your fabric printable (and the printing semi permanent).  After lots of testing, I decided this would be a great way to commemorate my dad's scouting service.  This block has all the adult leadership positions he has held. (Putting in these corner blocks also meant I didn't have to try to match up the fabrics in the outer border at the corners!)

This block is for all the Jamborees and Camporees that he was involved with, including a World Jamboree to Norway in 1975 as an Assistant Scoutmaster.  This was especially cool because he had to actually apply for this position, competing with other leaders.  This troop was comprised of scouts from Arizona, and I believe Nevada and maybe California.  Also, my older brother was chosen from a pool of applicants to be one of the scouts in the troop.  And to top that all off, my dad served a mission for our church in Norway about 20 years earlier, so he got to go back and see the country again.  It didn't hurt that he still could speak the language!

This block was for all the adult scouting awards he has received.  The last one in the list was "awarded" by one of my brothers and I believe endorsed by the other 5.  And it is probably the award my dad is most proud of! Yes, all 6 of my brothers earned their Eagle Scout award, something my dad has always regretted that he did not earn.

The last block was a special honor he received.  I thought it deserved its own block.

This quilt was definitely a labor of love. The timing ended up to make this a perfect gift for dad's 75th birthday, but as usual, I cut it right to the very last minute.  There was a party at his house, a couple of hours away from where I live, and Kirsten was riding in the back seat of my truck, stitching down the binding while I drove us and our husbands and Zoey to the party.  We (meaning Kirsten) actually finished the binding after we gave it to him while we were still at my parents house that evening.  (Thanks again, Kirst!!)

I'm so proud of my dad for the selfless service he has given throughout his life and for the example he has been for me.  I love you, Dad!!!!


Jill and Cameron said...

WOW! Not only is it a beautiful quilt, but the story that goes with it is truly beautiful. I'm sure that will become a family heirloom that generations will cherish and love!!

Anonymous said...


Yes I know about caps!! I love you too.

With all the 50 years of scouting, there is one hike that will always stand out as a special occasion. You know about it--there were no scouts there and
I know my sanity could be suspect, but of all the camp-outs the one at Indian Gardens will always be a favorite.

You will always be my favored daughter.


PS--thanks soooooooo very much for the quilt. It stays in the living room and will probably never be on a bed!!

pps--would it be feasible to put a full length zipper in it in case I need a sleeping bag???

Susan Jo Ollerton Fuller said...

Wow! What a great gift.

Melanie said...

Where are those tissues when I need them? Darn those mom-hormones!

This is THE BEST quilt. I am so so impressed and I think this is the very reason people quilt in the first place- to express love! He sounds like he is happy with it!