Saturday, April 4, 2015

Philadelphia: It's Not Just a City

If you're a parent I'm sure you've worked hard teaching your children to schedule, to plan long-term projects, to break those projects into smaller parts and set intermediate goals. There were times it seemed as if my children would never internalize this skill. Late night runs to any store still open for poster board or special supplies for the diorama... you know, the one assigned four weeks previously.

When my youngest went to college I had a pretty good idea of his graduation date: mid-May 2015. How has the date snuck up on me? He and his two roommates all need quilts in the next six weeks.

Fortunately, the first roommate wants something traditional. These 9"-finished blocks have been stashed a while.

Philadelphia blocks in reproduction fabrics with muslin

According to my reference books, the block was first known as Philadelphia and later as Easy Four Patch. But it's not a four patch block; it's a nine-patch on a six by six grid.

The city of brotherly love, founded by William Penn, was the seat of our Continental Congress and where delegates met to rewrite the Articles of Confederation in 1787. I learned this in school but am reminded by the new book I'm reading: Madison's Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America by David O. Stewart. It discusses relationships James Madison, America's fourth president, built to reform our federal government from a confederation to a republic, to write and ratify our Constitution, and to establish the Bill of Rights.

Originally I'd planned to alternate these blocks with Ohio Stars.

One Ohio Star surrounded by Philadelphia blocks

Many pieces are cut and sorted but this was the only Ohio Star I sewed. Don't you love the double pink of the star itself!

But I'm on a short deadline. So I just used Philadelphia with a wide brown stripe for sashing.

Straight set Philadelphia blocks with 3"
reproduction brown stripe sashing and muslin posts

I rarely sash blocks without extending that sashing to the outside border but this is all of the brown. Something different will be needed to finish the quilt. Currently it's 69" by 82" - a bit larger than the planned lap quilt but these are tall men.

Enjoy the day, Ann


Mystic Quilter said...

What an ideal quilt for a college student, he's going to be very happy with this!
I do like the colours and fabrics you have used, especially that lovely sashing fabric, I doubt you could have picked a better match there.

Ann said...

Thanks, Maureen. I do a lot of second guessing when it's a gift. It always seems too wild or too old-fashioned but never "just right." The sashing was in my stash, probably from when I started these blocks. Isn't if fun to find it all at home?

Cathy said...

Good luck on getting all three finished. Good thing you had a head start with some old blocks. And, I think I actually like your sashing idea better than the Ohio Star. It looks like that particular sashing fabric was meant to be part of this quilt. Yeah for "traditional guy"!

Ann said...

Thanks, Cathy. I'll need it. This must be the "Year of Celebrations." So many happy events for friends and family. My to-do list is growing by the hour. I like the sashing with these blocks, too. There's enough other colors to keep it from going into a brown study and the strips actually has all the block colors in it. Yeah for "traditional guy"!

Kaja said...

This looks spot on to me. I too love the sashing fabric, which really looks at home with your blocks. You've got your work cut out getting 3 quilts finished in six weeks! I laughed at your complaint about children being unable to forward plan - it used to drive me nuts!

Sherry said...

Your quilt is beautiful...I love all the colors. I also like how the sashing creates the secondary grid to make the chains seem to be superimposed across the colored fabrics.

I look forward to seeing your choice for a border.

Helen@Till We Quilt Again said...

Wow you have put allot of thought into the history, design and layout of this quilt. He is one lucky guy. I hope you make the deadline!
Remember not to FRET!

Anonymous said...

I am very impressed! My son is entering college, and I made him a quilt to bring along, but would not have thought that in the future I might be making quilts for all his roommates! You are quite dedicated!

Ann said...

Thanks, Kaja. The top is coming along nicely - always a good thing when using stashed blocks. I think he'll like it. So glad to hear my children weren't the only ones driving me around the bend. But I just hate seeing that same behavior appear in myself. It brings me down several pegs. ;-)

Ann said...

Thanks, Sherry. I was afraid the brown sashing might make the quilt too dull but it seems to offset the blocks nicely. The stripes just happened to be three-inches wide - the same width as the center muslin square. So I used the last of those squares as posts. I think that's how the secondary grid popped out so well. Thanks for noticing.

Ann said...

Haha! I need that reminder. Many activities are already planned which will cut down on quilting time. But there's always the postal service.

Ann said...

Congratulations on sending him off! It's such an experience. You don't see or hear from them daily anymore so the changes are much more pronounced. It's been a joy to watch him develop adult interests and habits. They were 'budding' before but they really became obvious when he was on his own.
I sent him with quilts and was so happy to see them used by all the guys when visiting that I decided they each needed a new one for graduation. Quilt appreciation is an interest I definitely want to encourage!

Lara B. said...

As always Ann - I am so impressed with your quilt! I saw a quilt once somewhat like this and I could not figure out a logical way to piece it. Now that I see your wonderful sashing and corner posts, I see that you have figured out the smart way to create this effect.
I am also very impressed that you are making not only your son a quilt for his graduation, but his roommates too. I love that you grew so fond of them that you want to do that! Encouraging Quilt Appreciation - I love that too!

Ann said...

Thanks, Lara. I've seen quilts with a strong diagonal, too, and this seemed like the way to achieve it. If you think about all the quilts we make for charity, we ought to make some for acquaintances. Any way we can get more people to love and use quilts is good in my book. In fact, let's name an official day to Encourage Quilt Appreciation. :-)

audrey said...

What a sweet idea to make quilts for the roommates too! This quilt looks like it's going together very well for you.:)

Ann said...

Thanks, Audrey. It reminds me a bit of your Vertical Baskets quilt. Aren't we fortunate to have such pretty brown stripes in our stashes? I always like to make quilts for people who like them. These young men have been very interested since Steven showed up with his bunch.