Friday, August 11, 2017

Designed by Brady

Oh, to tap the uninhibited creativity of a child! Earlier this summer I was privileged to witness this marvel. Oh to have an ample stash in which to shop! I do, and I was happily able to turn that creative design into a useable item. The designer was no less a marvel than my own sweet grandson, Brady. This was definitely a DrEAMi! Drop Everything (including an e-zine project, yikes) And Make It!

When I was staying with Brianne and Brady for a few weeks back in June/July, Brady was looking through my Photos app on my MacBook. He came across the house block I'd designed for project #1 for the RSC2017.  I showed him my drawing in my graph book. He was absolutely fascinated that something I drew in the graph book, I then made in fabric, into a useable item.

So another day, when I was sketching/doodling, he wanted to as well. He wanted to put a border around one of my 'fooling around' sketches, so I said sure.  I'd been playing again with HRTs. I started another design on the bottom half of the page while he worked on the top half.  This is what he designed:
All the purple numbers and letters and figurings are mine, as well as the 'star' at the bottom; the three odd random black lines are shadows of blades of grass!
For his birthday, I had the idea to turn his design into an actual little quilt. He often munches his breakfast or lunch on the weekend, or his snack, sitting on the couch, watching TV. Crumbs find their way everywhere...think almost 9-year-old boy at the time when I witnessed this, and Grandpa MacGyver and I helped clean up... Enter lap placemat idea using his drawing.

He obviously liked my HRTs (half-rectangle triangles) because he drew several more at random. However, he covered up most of the sort of star I'd been playing with.

Me:  So why did you do a big scribble in that spot?
Brady: Scribble? That's not a scribble, Nana, that's a big diamond!
Me: Oh.  Of course.

His current favourite colour is blue. Up until recently it was always red. For a little while it was purple.  But now it is blue.  Interesting (red+blue=purple😉)
Flimsy is done

Even though I was twitching tempted to change a couple of the HRTs (the ones under the diamond), I followed his sketch exactly. And I'm so glad I did; it makes me SMILE to realize my eye roves continually all over the quilt. I decided on 2" squares as the grid. I used a navy blue Moda to make the triangles he'd shaded with pencil, and then a piece of shimmery white for the background to tie in with his shimmery gel pens.   He used his those gel pens to colour that checkerboard border, with no advice from Nana; totally his own colour choices too!

I wanted some stellar quilting in that big diamond. Feathers were a little too girlie, and didn't go with the masculine angles.  Angles! Spirograph design! Yesss!
Angela Walters says, and I loosely am paraphrasing her, "It depends how much you love the person as to how much quilting you put on the quilt..."(wink wink), and because I love Brady so VERY MUCH, I took the time to put this easy-but-time-consuming design in his big diamond.

Here is a shot of his sketch beside the finished quilt. The sun showed off the quilting and the YLI  purple and navy variegated thread I used.

I kept the quilting in the background to a minimum, just some echoes around the diamond with Sulky metallic, and stitch in the ditch for the HRTs. I did two straight lines through the checkerboard frame.

and the label:

I used a flannel from my stash for the backing, nice and cosy on a little lap, and a scrap of Warm 'n Natural for the batting. The binding is more of the purple batik. It's now been taken by Grandpa MacGyver to the designer himself, who was pretty tickled to open it.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  designed by Brady
Size:  22.5 X 18.5"
Fabric:  scraps and stash
Batting: Warm n Natural
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with YLI 40 wt variegated in plum, Aurifil white 50 wt, and Sulky metallic

Linking up
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Busy Hands Quilts


  1. Hi Sandra,
    This just makes me smile and smile. Come on Nana, how did you not know that was a star?! Scribble. I love how you turned this into a placemat especially for him. I quilting is really cool too - I'll bet he just loves seeing his work come to life. ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. That is very awesome. How fun to get to design and collaborate with Brady. I am sure hoping this isn't the last of his designs. :)

  3. This turned out AMAZING!!!! That face says it all, Nana, you are the coolest! We need to get him together with David, so he can have another male quilting buddy :)

  4. You have quite the little quilt designer on your hands. :-) Nice job, both of you!

  5. This is wonderful, from the design, pattern, to finished.He has a great eye for what should go where, and if his quilt needs a name, " Fractured Pieces" as in your lives, but a fracture can be mended, and put together again, and start over. And to see his photo, a huge bonus for us out here.

  6. Yes, I'm smiling over here in NZ too! A great idea, from drawing-to-reality! I'm sure it's just the beginning for designer Brady!

  7. YES! This is fantastic! What a great confidence builder.

  8. Way to go, Brady. It's an awesome design.

  9. That's a fantastic design. My first glance at it, I almost saw a crab in the shapes. That's a sign of a beautiful piece of art...being able to see things in the design. We may all see different things in the design, but it allows us to think and ponder. Have a great weekend! Andrea

  10. How sweet of you to take his drawing and finish it out as a quilt. What a great Nana you are!

  11. What a wonderful idea to work in collaboration with your talented grandson...I am sure this will give him lots of confidence as he moves forward in life...he now knows that everything is possible...ideas, drawings can turn into something magical..just lovely ...from your friend across the water xxx

  12. How awesome that you turned a joint design into a quilt for Brady. Outstanding Nana!!!!

  13. What am awesome thing to do for Brady. You started with a great design from your grandson and turned it into a quilt he loves. ❤️❤️ the quilting.

  14. Fabulous, all the way through the process.

  15. What a wonderful gift, Nana! He will treasure this little quilt, and the memories you made together, for a very long time. I remember the special things my Grandmother sewed for me when I was just a little younger than Brady, and the few that survived are very special treasures.

  16. What a special story. One to be treasured for sure. I smiled the whole time I was reading it. And I'm sure Brady will never forget! Your quilting is gorgeous, and good for you not changing his design, Nana!

  17. That is so great of you to turn his design into a wonderful personal place mat. What a treasure!!


  18. That was a special, awesome idea to turn his design into a real quilt. I am sure he was surprised and tickled pink. All the more reason not to have changed up his design at all.

  19. Beautiful Sandra! I love Brady's design and I'm glad you didn't mess with it. It's very Modern! It's good to see the smile on his face.

  20. That is so cool. You make a great team!

  21. What a great team effort! Very fun (and cool)!

  22. What a cutie with an eye for design. I love the diamond Spirograph.

  23. I love the artistic freedom that children have and am so glad you didn't change anything in Brady's design. I see more of these in your future. I loved that quilting design when I saw just a peek of it when you were working on it. It is so sophisticated, and works wonderfully on the navy fabric. I bet this quilt gets used every day!

  24. This looks like so much fun! I love involving children in the creative process, they just have a different thought process than most adults. I have a little niece that loves to come in my craft room a plunder around. She always finds new projects for me! :) This little quilt is fun to look at!

  25. Oh, how much fun was that?? And a wonderful memory too!!


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