26 September 2006

charlie quilt

You know how some kids have security blankets? Well, I had a security sheet. I named him Charlie. I don't remember how old I was when I got him, but I must have been pretty little. I was too young to be able to write, so I somehow convinced my big brother to write "Charlie" on the sheet in big, fat, permanent black marker. Again, the memories of all this are pretty dim, but I don't think that went over very well with my parents.

But Charlie stayed with me throughout all my years growing up. Last year, I pulled him out of the linen closet and decided to make a quilt out of him. I cut out the pieces and began hand-piecing. But before I got very far, I am ashamed to say, I lost interest in the project.

As a kid I always insisted that Charlie didn't like to be folded. He could be washed--he didn't mind that--but he did not like to be folded. So I'm sure Charlie really enjoyed being cut up into over a hundred little squares, then stuffed in a bag on a shelf and forgotten for over a year. I feel considerable guilt over this.

But with the approaching cool weather, I was inspired to pull out the bag of little Charlie-squares and have at it again. I went with machine-piecing this time (not sure why I thought it a good idea to hand-piece it in the first place) and short-cutted the quilting by making it a tie quilt. I know the quilting community is rather divided over the merit of the tie quilt. Tacky? Traditional? Boring? Charming? The product of pure unadulterated laziness? I'm going to go with charming. The Charlie-quilt was built for comfort, not style. I used thick cotton batting and a heavy cotton flannel sheet from LLBean for the backing. Coooooooozy.

Unfortunately, the black marks of the "Charlie" in my brother's little boy handwriting finally succumbed to the washing machine a few years ago. Which makes me wonder that the print is still so bright, and also how much brighter it must have been when Charlie was brand new. I embroidered "Charlie" across the top and tried to make it look as close to the original as I can remember. (which is pretty much the same as my brother's current chicken-scratch handwriting--he he)

There has been much waxing poetic around the blogosphere recently about the splendors of autumn. And, yes, it can be quite nice and all. Crisp and crunchy, etc. But, friends, after fall comes winter. And winter is baaaaaad. Makes Julie very, very cold.

In the past week I have dug out my winter clothes and bought both a new wool coat and a new pair of boots. Now, with my Charlie-quilt, I have assumed my full-on offensive battle position for the New York cold. Come and get me.

Edit: Wow, that top picture will make you physically, violently ill if you look at it for more than about 2 seconds. I do apologize to anyone that lost their breakfast/lunch/dinner. Luckily the Charlie-quilt does not induce nauseau and/or projectile vomiting in real life. This is a good thing.


hannah said...

the charlie quilt is so great julie! although it does make it look like there is a big dip in the middle of your bed. if there really is, it might be time to think about a new mattress. im totally with you, winter is bad bad bad. smarty you to get ready now.

sally said...

Oh, the quilt is sweet. And the embroidered "Charlie" is even sweeter!

BMT said...

I am so jealous you have your charlie...my snoopy (a pillow case that was threadbare and a pillow with little to no stuffing) was lost to a peeing accident my first son had when he was little and my husband washed on the regular cycle...I had that thing for 26 yrs!!! Boy do I miss Snoopy.

African Kelli said...

Such a creative and sweet use for an old item that is much loved. I really appreciate the recycling aspect of this!

sulu-design said...

How wonderful to turn Charlie the sheet into Charlie the quilt - little Charlie grew up! And the first photo doesn't make me nauseated at all. Actually, it reminds me of old school slip-on Vans sneakers, which I'm very fond of... so I'm liking grown up Charlie all the more!