Saturday, May 30, 2015

Crown Royal Clemson Quilt

     Over a year and a half ago my Friend Cindy Powell passed away.  She died during her second battle with Cancer.  She was a remarkable person that everyone loved.  She overcame all of the challenges placed in front of her with a smile on her face.  I miss my dear friend. 

     Before she died we had talked and planned about a pile of Crown Royal bags that her brother spent years collecting.  She was going to make the bags into a quilt for her brother.   She had started to cut them and we had planned on going away for a weekend to sew. Not long later she was my patient at work and passed away soon after. 

     And if you know me,  you know I am going to finish someone's wishes.  For the last year and a half I cut bags, ironed, cut squares and finally sewed up a quilt..

    This would have been Cindy's first quilt she wanted something basic.  Something that she could accomplish. She wanted it to be patchwork looking and to be a total Clemson quilt.  The reason behind the Orange and purple!

     This was one of the hardest quilts I have ever made.  It was an emotional roller coaster from the beginning.   There was the thought of Cindy, and then the constant smell of cigarette smoke from the bags.  Her brother collected them from bars for years.  Cindy smoked and once told me that she thought it was the cause of her Cancer.  I wonder if this was her way of telling me to never smoke.  

     The bags were all different sizes.  We cut the Crown Royal embroidered section into 4, 4.5 and 5 inch squares depending on the size of the bag.  We then cut the side sections into 2, 2.5 and 3 inch strips.  We later cut some of theses strips down to 10 inch lengths. 

     I started with the larger 5 inch squares  down the center rotated with plain orange squares.  On either side I placed a 2.5 inch strip of Clemson fabric.   I then took the longer 10 inch strips of the plain purple Crown Royal bags and rotated them with plain orange strips. B I rotated the 5 inch squares for 2 more rows with the Clemson strips and the plain strips.  I then continued the pattern with the 4.5 inch strips. 

     I learned a big lesson sewing the quilt sections of this quilt together.   To keep the quilt straight and not crooked, you must sew from a different direction each time when you are sewing, then cutting the strip to be the same length.  Meaning to rotate from the top to the bottom each time you sew a strip. 

     To border out the quilt I ran the remaining Crown Royal Squares across the top and the bottom.  I then placed the long strips running down each side to make a purple border. 

     I used the Clemson fabric to bind it and machine stitched it down. 

     To quilt it,  I did stitched about a 1/2 out from all the long seams. I then stitched in the ditch across the quilt in the other direction to give the quilt more stability.  

     For the backing I used a tiger print pattern to go with the Clemson Tiger Theme. 

     The quilt is approx 65x75 inches

     I look back and wish I might have done a more detailed quilt but I can't have regrets only dreams of the future!!  I have try to pass on a smile and make another Joy for someone else! That's what Cindy would want. 

     Her brother Gene loved Clemson and Cindy was a Gamecock fan!  Total opposites!  But she had great love for her family and always wanted more for them then herself!   And to see the smile on his face when I delivered it was beyond worth it! She does have such a wonderful family! 

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