Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kisses for Cade

Warning! This is a LONG post but WORTH IT if you stick to the end of it...Thanks!

This is a picture of Cade. He's the first horse that my youngest daughter McKenna fell in love with and she learned to ride horses on Cade. He's the sweetest horse around. Her first teacher, Tracy, owned and loved Cade. He was everyone's favorite! He had a special marking on his behind just below his tail. On each side of his bottom was half a heart and together they made a whole heart. Tracy would smile and giggle whenever she would show you his heart. Kade had a big heart. Cade also met an untimely death due to a quick onset of Colic. It took him down way too fast and the Vet couldn't save him. We were all saddened by this news and Kenna cried for days over the news of Cade's death. She kept saying she didn't get to say good-bye or give him a hug. She had just seen him at her riding lesson which was just a few days before he died. Here's a picture of Kenna with Choco, another one of her favorite horses. I thought you might like to see a picture of her.

Anyway, my point of this post is a QUILT that I wanted to make for Tracy to thank her for being an Angel in our lives and to help give her some comfort since Cade's passing. Also, I wanted it to be a special tribute to Cade. Sob! Sob! Sometimes, it takes me a long time to figure out what I want to do. Infact, I had the strips cut out for months and then recently I decided to change the pattern while I was on the Quilt Shop Hop in June. My friend Diana had told me about a split nine-patch that someone had shown her using the popular "Charm Packs." What you do is you take the number of squares in a charm pack and divide it by nine and that will give you how many blocks you'll get out of a charm pack.

For example, "It's Snowing" Charm Pack comes with 37 squares, so, take that number and divide it by 9 (that's how many squares you need for each 9-patch). You will get a total of Four Split Nine-Patch Blocks out of each charm pack (see the picture below). So to make a quilt with Twelve Split Nine-Patch Blocks you would need to buy three Charm Packs. You'll understand more as I give you the instructions below. If you have any questions you can email me or leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Well, I decided that I would make a split nine-patch quilt for Cade from the 3 1/4" strips I already had cut and since he's black and white with a heart on his buttocks I thought I would throw in a touch of red for love and kisses. Hence, Kisses for Cade is the name of this quilt.

Kisses for Cade
Designed by Kimberly Walus

Please note: I would have used an even number like 3" if I hadn't already had the fabric cut to 3 1/4" but I was lazy and didn't want to cut down every single strip. You can make your squares 2, 3, 4, or 5 inches but, I wouldn't go bigger than 5 inches. The 5" charm packs make a 13 1/2" block, unfinished.

Here's what I had previously cut for the quilt I was making before I changed my mind:
  • Twenty 3 1/4" strips of a variety of black on white fabrics.
  • Twenty 3 1/4" strips of a variety of white on black fabrics
In addition to the above strips I cut:
  • Five 3 1/4" strips of a variety of red fabrics. These are the centers of my nine-patch blocks.
  • Then I took each strip and sub-cut twelve 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares from each of the 45 strips of Black, White, and Red fabrics.
  • Then I arranged them into groups of 4 blacks, 4 whites, and a red center (see the nine-patch photo below).
This is the picture of the Nine-patch block before you split (cut) it into four squares. Measure 1/2 way and cut down the middle horizontally and vertically. See below.

This is a picture of the split nine-patch that will be turned into a four-patch.

After you cut apart the nine patch block, keep two red squares kissing in the middle and the other two red squares are turned out toward the outside corners. See picture above.

Sew the four squares together as pictured above.

Here are four of the five piles of blocks I've made so far. Each pile has 12 blocks so when I'm done I'll have 60 blocks. I'm not sure how big I'll make the quilt but I'm going to divide up the 60 blocks and make 2-3 quilts. One for her teacher Tracy, one for Kenna, and one for my grand daughter, Kora Belle. Anything Black, White, and Red provides great visual stimulation for babies so I thought I'll make her one too while I'm at it. Anyway, I'm thinking the quilt with be 4 blocks across by 5 rows down which would be 20 blocks per quilt. I've included pictures of the two possible block patterns. When I sew them all together and add borders I will post more pictures of the finished quilt. I will also post pictures of the Christmas split nine-patch blocks when I make them into a quilt too. I hope you enjoy this fun and easy block.

Once you have the blocks done you can lay them out in two ways.

The first way is with the red squares and the black squares meeting in a group of four. This pattern creates more of a X and O pattern or hugs and kisses.

Here is another way of putting the blocks together.

Each block is placed in the same direction with the outer red corners touching a black square and then repeated the same way each time. This creates more of a random feel and all of the red squares kiss each other rather than creating a four-patch of red as in the layout above.

My problem is: "I can't decide which block layout I like better!!!!" Help! Which layout do you like better? Also, If you decide to make this block into a quilt I'd love to see pictures!!!


Lily Boot said...

What a lovely quilt - and a lovely story - poor old Cade! I like the second layout better where the points of the little red squares meet.

Nanette Merrill said...

Well arent' you smart Kim! I'd never have thought to do that with a 9 patch. Its all lovely no matter how it finishes up. I really like it.

Thimbleanna said...

I like the second layout better -- the one that makes more kisses that run the opposite direction. Very, very cute!

Karen said...

Cade was such a darling horse.
I am so sorry that he passed away.
The quilt idea is lovely. I really like your black and white idea with a touch of red. I love the layout of the second quilt where the red meets at the corners.
It's such a beautiful way to honor Cade.
Thank you for sharing your story and ideas with us.

TaraB said...

I love this quilt! I have made several quilts this way and love how fast it goes together!

Busy Little Quilter said...

This is such a sweet and sad story.

I love the quilt(I'm not sure which way I like it best, either)! Thanks for sharing. Thanks, too, for doing the math for us!