When Grandson C was VERY small, he exhibited a real interest in fabric when I would take him shopping with me. He particularly loved the bolts of brightly colored character fabrics. I began to collect yards with his favorites....trains, pigs, cartoon characters, airplanes, and later lizards, ocean animals and dinosaurs. In the beginning I made him several sets of pajamas out of the cute pieces he loved, but many of the pieces I had purchased were saved for later use in making quilts. In fact, he called the yards of fabric "my quilts" and he loved to play with them.
Finally I endeavored to make him an ocean quilt. I designed the entire quilt, and it finished up as between single bed size and double bed size when I was finally done. I chose to make "waves" of the different bright ocean fabrics, and placed a strip of "sand" at either end. Then I hand appliqued various figures on the front. The back was mostly a dark blue so I decided to quilt ocean fish and mammal designs when I started the quilting phase. This can be best seen on the back or dark blue side.
Here is a snorkeler that I appliqued onto the quilt.
Here is a shark applique.
This shows the crab applique, and also the footprints I quilted onto the sand. I had the footprints "walk" across the sand, and here stop to show that the boy is looking at the crab he has found. The footprints are actual outlines of my grandson's footprints.
Here is a sand pail, and some of the other footprints.
The next two pictures show some of the quilting designs I did. I would draw a picture on a piece of paper, and pin the paper to the fabric, then quilt by hand using an "in-and-out" method. Once finished I ripped the paper away. Most people use a rocking motion with their hand quilting, and could not use this paper method with the rocking motion, but because I do the in-and-out, I could. However, it is a very SLOW method of quilting, and the quilt took a long time to complete because of that. I did figures of shells, various fish and whales and dolphins and electric eel, a treasure chest and shipwrecked boat, just to name some of the "pictures" you can find in the quilting. Below is a fish, and an octopus with a mean face.
When his birthday came up last year I sent the quilt to him in Arizona. He had known I was working on it for a long time. The quilt isn't the most finely crafted one that was ever created, but it was made with a LOT of love, and he has been enjoying it all this past year--and I hope will enjoy it for a LONG LONG time!