Here it is, the "secret family project" I've mentioned a few times but haven't really discussed, just in case someone involved may have stumbled upon it before the final reveal. (There are more pictures up on my Flickr site in my quilting set.)
As I mentioned before, I was home in Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago for my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary celebration. My gramma is very crafty and taught me much about sewing and crafting--she taught me how to crochet forever ago. And when we got married, she gave us a quilt she had made; this is something she does for all of her grandchildren, and it's a tradition that we all really treasure. Anyway, for their anniversary I thought it would be nice if we did something similar, giving back to them in a way that echoes all they do for us. I immediately thought of a quilt, but had no idea what shape it might take. Enter my aunt Sandy... Together we came up with the idea of doing a photo quilt.
The plan was for every family in our large group (7 children, 15 grandchildren with 5 spouses, 6 great-grandchildren) to submit their own photo, then to fill the rest of the blocks with historical photos of my grandparents and the family as it grew.
We kept the work localized to keep it simpler and to make sure it all was done on time! I pre-washed and pressed and cut the fabrics, while my aunt did all of the photo printing and setting. She then pieced the top, and the whole thing came back to me for borders, quilting, and binding. My aunt also spearheaded a movement to have everyone sign the label, which was then scanned, printed on the photo fabric, and stitched to the back by me. The result is what we all hope will be a family heirloom for years to come.
Here's a (not-so-great) photo of me with my aunt in front of the finished quilt. I was lucky enough to present the finished gift to my grandparents. My gramma cried, only a little, and told me the next day that when she saw what it was I could've knocked her over with a feather. I suppose that's what we were going for.