#15 on my 30 by 30 list was to learn how to make one of my grandmother's blankets. These blankets are known through out our family and everyone loves their blanket. When my grandma started getting older and her hands didn't work as well, she didn't make them as often. Katie and Thomas got blankets when they were younger, but then she stopped making them. I remember when Forrest was old enough to comprehend that he didn't get one, my grandma felt bad and bought him a blanket...but it wasn't one of Grandma's blankets. So being the kind big sister that I am, I traded him. I gave him my blanket and took the one grandma had bought for him. After I went to college and Forrest got old, I was sure that my blanket had been thrown away. It was ragged when I gave it to Forrest and I was sure that he finished it off. Imagine my surprise when last year Faith brought my blanket down to my room. After Forrest had out grown it, she put it in a box and kept it for me. Here is a picture of what it looks like.I know this isn't the best picture of it, but you can see where the blanket is completely worn through in some areas. Now what is so special about these blankets? Well they are super soft and everything is hand stitched. Every time I see one of these blankets I can't help but think about all the hours she put into making them. I decided that I wanted to learn how to make them, so that I could start making them for my nieces and nephews, because everyone deserves to have one of Grandma's blankets.
So to start off you go and buy the material. You start off with it blank and then you draw the design you want, right on the fabric. You use removable markers that you can find at any fabric store to trace on your outline. My grandma and her twin sister, have four or five patterns that they have used through the year. One night I went with my grandma over to her sisters house to trace on the design.I know this isn't the best picture, and if you can't tell it is a cat. At first I was going to make this blanket for my niece Kayley. Then I decided that I wanted to keep this one for my first child, since my grandma and I spent so many hours making it. I promise I will go back and make one for Kayley. Then it was fitting that I keep it, since it was a cat and my blanket had a cat on it.
Once the design is drawn on to the blanket, the rest is easy :). Where ever there is marker on the blanket, you hand stitch. Ok, so maybe that isn't the easy part. But it was the funnest. Every Monday night, my grandma and I would go into her basement and quilt. We would talk and laugh, have dinner and quilt. These past few months with my grandma have been very special to me. We have spent some wonderful quality time together and I wouldn't trade that for the world. Well we finally got the blanket complete and I am so happy with how it turned out. In fact, we have already started working on blankets for Katie's baby and Tammy's baby (both due in June). We have changed our quilting nights from Monday night to Sunday afternoon and have even dragged my mom into it. The three of us get together and chat and quilt and spend some wonderful time together. I am so glad that I learned how to make these blankets, but I am even more grateful for the excuse I had to get together with my grandma. I sure love her!