Sunday, June 21, 2009


Jayden was born with an obsession for two things: dogs and trains. His infatuation with one is just as intense as the other. For his 2nd birthday we had a Blue's Clue's style party and the two big hits were the cardboard house we made and let all the kids scribble and color all over the inside of it, and the huge bags of dogs. Seriously huge bags! We bought every dog we found over a several months and for his birthday we had two huge trash bags full. We opened them up and dumped the dogs on top of him. He spent weeks carrying them around (or as many as he could at one time) and still complains that we haven't brought them all to Tasmania yet.

His train obsession is no less. We use to live in a town where there was a few old trains hooked up and the kids could go inside and look around. They could view the model train set up inside the museum, or they could simply play on one of the old trains that was always "open". He would spend hours begging us to take him there, and then spend hours playing on the trains. When we'd return home he'd dig out all his tracks (and there were a lot, especially when you're in a small two bedroom apartment!) and play for hours.

His train obsession was so big that for his 3rd birthday we had a fun Thomas Train party. We spent weeks painting boxes to look like Cranky, James, Toby, troublesome trucks, and others. We set up a small course for the kids to go through and play games at each train. This birthday is still remembered to this day by Jayden. He use to spend hours pouring over the scrapbook we made from it (he'd still do it, but that's in America right now..), and each year his birthday comes around he asks for another, "really cool Thomas party!"

A year or more ago these materials were on sale at our local craft store. Jayden fell in love with all the tracks and trains and I bought a piece of each. I had recently made a quilt using this same pattern for Mom (hi Mom!) with different material. So began the process of cutting out all the pieces. Then I sewed lots of rectangles to lots of squares and I ironed all the seams. Then, due to moving I packed the project away, much to the disappointment of a train loving little boy.

Six months later I dug it out on a wet day and found myself too swamped with a headache to deal with the frustration of trimming the blocks I'd made. So I tucked it away again and there it stayed for another six months (or more) until yesterday when I pulled it out. Much to the delight of my mother-in-law I took it with me while visiting and with some serious moral support threw all the pieces on the floor in various patterns until we landed on one I liked the best.

I managed to sew up the rows last night, and this afternoon I sewed all my rows together. I'm not as impressed with it as I'd like to be. I feel the rails are going all higglety pigglety, and I don't think my seam allowance was as wide as it should have been, so not all my train pieces look as neat and square as they should. Maybe that's what happens when you take 2 years to work on a simple project. (The first one took me two weeks, and most of the work was done in a day.. seriously!)

However, the best thing about train loving boys who've waited 2 years for train quilts.. they don't care if the rails aren't straight or if train squares don't appear to be perfectly square. The point is, he's just grateful for the blanket. You think I can get a back and binding on it before another 2 years pass by? It's probably a good thing the trains aren't too whimsical, at this rate it might become his graduation present! (No, he doesn't normally suck his thumb, he thought he'd pretend to be his big brother, thus the big grin on his face..)

You can download the same pattern for free here. As for the material.. I bought both the material on the pattern, and the material in the pictures from Spotlight. Both of which were considered American Quilting Range Material..


Tracey said...

It is a nice quilt. You did a great job on it.

Kendra said...

Thanks Tracey, it's a bit extra wonky looking in the photos, because it turns out I had a book under the thing! lol Oopsie..