Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hooray – Preseason Has Started!

Maybe I’m not the normal everyday quilter, but I am a HUGE sports fan, as in football, basketball and hockey.  Baseball, not so much.  In fact, not at all.  So the weeks (Months! Feels like years!) between the NBA Finals and the first football exhibition games are L-O-N-G and boring.  So when I started hearing about the guys heading back to training camp, both pro and college (although I don’t follow college sports nearly as much as the pros), I got excited.

Some quilters have told me, though, that they may not be great pro or college football fans, but they are totally into Friday night high school football where their sons and grandsons are playing and/or daughters and granddaughters are cheering them on.  It’s a whole family event!  Which brings me to the quilting connection:  Football games are held at night.  Even here in perpetually sunny California, by mid-October, it is really cold at night, at least in my high desert.   Could be 60’s, but more likely 50s, maybe 40s.  In any event, that calls for a quilt!

I have very definite football quilt standards:

1)      No white!  Even if it is one of your school colors, try to minimize the white in it if you can’t eliminate it entirely.  Yeah, it looks snazzy in a contrasty, school mascot-y, kind of way, but doesn’t look so great when the people in the stands above you spill their soft drink (or, even worse, beer) and snacks all over you.  It only took one batch of catsup covered fries bobbled by a 5 year old to get that concept through to me.  My high school colors were red, white and black; easy to eliminate the white.  UCLA: light blue and gold; the blue could be a little darker, right?  Remember the catsup!  And mustard is much much worse and doesn’t always come out.

2)      Also remember that it occasionally, if you are not in perpetually sunny Southern California, rains at a football game.  Quilt will get wet and sodden, so I prefer a batting that dries pretty fast, like a cotton/poly blend, rather than 100% cotton that will take longer to dry out.  (More on batting HERE.)  When this happens to me, it goes right into the washing machine and the dryer when I get home.  Reason?  Some fabrics will run forever, even if you’ve prewashed the fabric and washed the quilt a dozen times.  I’m a better safe than sorry person on this issue and Color Catchers are a must!

3)      Football quilts, at least in my house, should be big enough for two!  That way, especially if your team isn’t playing well and you aren’t jumping up and down cheering, you can wrap up and share some warmth!

My favorite football quilt is this one – all autumn colors, no white!  Batting is Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly blend.  Size is 64”x80”, although Dan did say that he thought it could be another foot longer to give us some “wiggle” room – I wonder if he is referring to our middle aged spread?

On the cover of the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited is another great football quilt – lots of brights!  It’s made with ombre fabrics in five rainbow colors plus black ombre from the Shades collection by Kinkame for Clothworks.  The quilt measures 62-1/2”x77-1/2”, rated beginner level and all the directions are in the magazine.  There is a kit available as well if the fabric isn’t easy to find in your area or if you think you’d like something else.  The piecing directions are specifically for the ombre, though, to get the shading just right.  Once I read them through, it made perfect sense why the strips were cut and joined the way they were (all very simple and still definitely beginner level). 

So do you have favorite football traditions?  Favorite quilts?  Dishes for tailgating parties?  It’s only going to be 93 degrees today, a respite from the 100+ we have been getting for much of the summer.  I am so ready for fall!!

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