Blue Ridge Parkway Quilt

For my Dad’s birthday this year I decided to undertake a large quilt project. He has had my first quilt I made on his bed for years and it was made for a twin size bed sitting on his king size bed. So it was time for a change. I haven’t ever made a quilt that size before so I knew it was going to be a challenge, and a challenge it was since the quilt was so large towards the end of the project we had to move the furniture out of the living room to baste the quilt. In the end it turned out great, it has it’s imperfections of course but that’s what I love about quilting you can always go back to it and feel that it can be better. It was a huge learning process for me and took teamwork. I couldn’t have done it without Tommy’s help, this was definitely a project that took more than two hands.

Here’s Tommy in the living room as we baste the quilt. This process involving laying out the quilt backing, batting and the quilt front and pinning or spraying all the pieces together. For this quilt we used pins rather than the spray bast because of its size.

The design is modeled after the Blue Ridge Parkway logo. I added the red plane at the top because my dad fly’s a red cub airplane over the BRP all the time.

Once I decided on the logo design for the quilt the logistics of how the quilt piecing was going to work came into play. We took a small image of the BRP logo and scanned it then in photo shop divided up the logo into grid sections and then printed the app. 20 sections onto large printed sections. From that point we used the print sections as templates for the quilt fabric and followed the design from there. This was the most time consuming part of the project but not the most difficult. Often it seemed I was putting a puzzle together and had to get the pieces to fit just right. After that long process the pieces were all formed and then I had to match them all together and made the quilt front into one piece.

All the material for this project minus the batting was recycled bed sheets and fabric from the thrift store. So overall costs for the project were cut way back and the environmental impact was at a minimum. I would suggest this for all quilting projects in the future unless you need a very specific fabric or are making something for a baby then I would rethink it 🙂

After the quilt front was created which took much longer then I had originally counted on since I was working with a birthday deadline I had to move quickly. Tommy and I removed the furniture from the living room for a few days and got to basting and the start of quilting it together. To baste we used painter’s tape and tapped the quilt bottom to the floor. Then we pinned all the pieces together and then began to sew. The first few rows of quilting consisted of putting the sewing machine on the floor in the middle of the empty living room Tommy pressing the presser foot and me pushing the fabric through. Okay so this worked technically but I wouldn’t recommend it as an official quilting technique. In fact I think most quilter’s would have been confused and shocked at the whole thing.  Technically it worked this way of doing it but it was outright insane.

So I switched it up and moved back to the sewing machine on the table, a classic for a reason 🙂 It was really difficult to move a giant quilt through a small machine but somehow I made it work and got the whole thing quilted. At the end we folded the corners around and sewed the edges and stitched in the ditches and called it a day. We got it done a day before my dad’s birthday and fedexed it there for his big day! A successful quilting project in the end but I think I will stick to smaller quilts in the future!


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