What’s not to love about a firefighter? Since I do love firefighters and like to do things for them, I volunteered to make a quilt for them to auction or raffle or do what they wanted to with and asked for some of their t-shirts with logos on them. Bless their hearts, they sent me a bag full!
But wait, there were eleven shirts. Eleven? What in the world could I do with eleven shirts? I arranged, re-arranged and placed them here and then there and finally decided to use the logos from the chest patch to “make” another block so I would have twelve, a much easier to work with number. But wait! I cut out all the logos from the upper left chest and there were 8. How to make a more or less symmetrical block with 8 logos? I “made” another little logo – – – sort of, by putting an embroidered dragon on a piece I cut from one of the black t-shirts and using it to fill in the center of the block I created. Firefighters are dragon slayers, you know.
The Pipe and Drum Firefighters wear kilts and I wanted to use the colors of their tartan, if possible, so I asked them for a sample and they generously provided a couple of strips. Hum, now how to incorporate that? I found the perfect gold to match that in the tartan, and the navy was fairly easy to find and of course the tiny bit of white was easily put into the quilt, but I’ve got to tell you that neither Hancock Fabric nor Hobby Lobby fabric department has fabric to match the burnt-orange-red in the tartan. Wait, I take that back. Hancock had one piece that had a background that was identical, the problem was it was printed with flowers. Now, I know these guys wear skirts, but still, I didn’t think they wanted flowers on their quilt! I wound up using a very patriotic print of navy with stars and another that was red with stars because no one is more patriotic than firefighters. The gold has vehicles of all sorts on it and says, “Life’s a trip!” Firefighters know that, too.
I cut and then used a stabilizer on the back of each t-shirt so they wouldn’t stretch too much while being quilted. Then I sewed gold all around each block, because each firefighter is pure gold, as far as I’m concerned. Then they had to be set together and I chose to do that with stars and stripes and echo the center nine-patch by using a nine patch as a cornerstone where the stars and stripes met. All the firefighters I know are patriotic and appreciate the stars and stripes.
When I had the quilt top completed, my son, Kevin, who is a dragon slayer himself, took it to my brother’s quilt shop and quilted it with red and orange flames. They did a good job!
Then I sewed the tartan on for a binding because the Pipe and Drum Firefighters are held together by their clan tartan, just as it holds all these symbols of the firefighters together in this quilt.
This t-shirt made me smile every time I looked at it. Keep back 200 feet – frequent high winds – kilted firefighter, isn’t that a hoot!
The back also has a t-shirt in the center with firefighters on it and they are surrounded by these flames Kevin quilted.
I hope the firefighters feel the quilt is worth the sacrifice of their beloved shirts. It wasn’t an easy quilt to make and it could certainly be used in a quilting class as an example of how NOT to do some things, but I love the guys I made it for and I hope they like the quilt.
I think they have changed their minds about taking it to the state convention and raffling it. They may auction it off among themselves so they can keep it in their unit. Whatever they do is fine as it now belongs to them because Kevin took me to meet them last night and we gave them the quilt. All I asked in return was for them to play their pipes and drums at my funeral. I’m hoping that won’t be for a good long while yet! But they promised they would be there. God bless these good men.