Monday, June 11, 2012
I did it. I finished my mom's 60th birthday quilt. I was contemplating if I should go with hand quilting or machine quilting, but I really don't have time to do hand quilting and finish it by her birthday right now. (Seriously... red is such a difficult color to take a picture of!)
So I decided to do machine quilting.
I have been saying "Red quilt" whenever I shared the fabrics or a block for this quilt, but I names this one "60x2Red"quilt. Why? I will tell you the story behind this quilt and how I came up with the design and the name.
According to the Chinese Zodiac system, it takes 60 years for a person to finish a cycle on this earth. Traditionally, People have a big celebration with their family and friends on their 60th birthday (kanreki). Since the completion of the 60 year cycle means the rebirth of a person, we give a red vest and hood as a birthday present. The color red represents a baby, since it is a celebration of rebirth.
I was talking on the phone with my mom several months ago, and we were talking about her 60th birthday. Then she said, "I don't want a red vest." Of course I asked her why. Her response was this;
"Well, first of all, I feel old to even think that I am turning 60. Second of all, I never like that silly red vest. I don't wanna wear it. That reminds me of a performing monkey at a circus."
SLAM! There goes an ancient Japanese tradition. That's my mom. Yeah, there are some monkeys that wear a red vest when they perform in front of people.
After I hung up the phone with my mom, I thought, "fine, we are not going to give you a red vest and a hat, but what can I give her that still has some meaning and represents her 60th birthday...."
When I ask her what she wants for her birthday, she always says her grandchildren’s pictures, letters, or a quilt I made. So, I decided to make her a red quilt. Yeah, she will like that better than a red vest!
At first, I was going to have 60 blocks. Although, to make the quilt a decent size with only 60 blocks, each block needs to be really big, and I didn't want to do that. So, I decided to do 60 x 2 which is 120 blocks. With the wish that she will live another 60 years. That's how I came up with this quilt.
Her next big birthday celebration is her 70th birthday, and the theme color for that is purple. If she lives to be 70, I will gladly make a 70x2purple quilt 10 years from now. :)
She has absolutely no clue that I was making this quilt for her. When I talked to her a couple days ago, I told her that my family’s photo book I just made came in the mail, and that is her birthday present. She was really excited to see it. Hehehe....
I am sending her the photo book along with the 60x2red quilt today. I hope she likes it.
Posted by Sachiko Aldous at 5:00 AM