Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy 40th birthday Travis

The older of our two brothers is, shall we say, somewhat of a "party pooper".  Its a known fact in the family, but we love him anyway.  So we weren't exactly sure how it would all pan out when we decided we'd  surprise him for his birthday and just show up at his home in Nebraska. (and none of us live remotely close to him by the way)  Even his wife wasn't sure how he'd take it.  Too bad, we decided. We're coming anyway.

And then the craziness began as we put together a hiking/camping theme quilt for him, consulted with siblings and tweaked ideas and plans.  And tried to coordinate the day and arrival at his home--which ended up being Father's Day Sunday. 

Round #1
Our parents (NE), Renae (MN) and family, and Shauna (NE) and family 
show up and wake him up from his nice nap.

Round #2 about an hour later
Emily (UT) and family and Nathan (WY) and family show up.
More surprise!

Including Travis' family we ended up with 30 people at his home.
Leslie and her family were the only ones who didn't come.
But she is very pregnant and feeling pretty yuck.

So here is the front of the quilt we made for him.  3 large bandanna topography maps of a couple parks that he's hiked were the main focus.  And then we just used mostly solids that picked up the colors from those maps to add a little design. 

The back of his quilt is a bit Piet Mondrian.  Basically that translates into "I just winged it" as I was putting strips together and then cutting and turning them to make a different design.  I consulted with my kids and they told me what they liked and didn't like until we came up with the finished backing. The tan areas he can use to document where he's hiked if he wants.

One of the coolest things about this quilt is the actual quilting.  We love Lynn, and we love that she takes our requests and makes the magic happen.  On each end, in order to get the quilt a little longer for his 6'5" body I added a wide border in the green solid--6 or 8" inches.  I can't remember as we were doing this so quickly.

On one end she quilted the saying, "I'd rather be lost in the woods than found in the city."  And the other end reads, "Pavement is overrated, I'd rather be hiking."  Travis loved that part.  And he showed us all on the maps the places where he's been.

We had a fun time and we totally surprised him.
His family did a great job of keeping the secret.
He told his wife, "You got me good."

Happy Birthday Travis!

Cut 7" squares and did a disappearing 9 patch design.
Bias tape from the stash to frame in the bandannas.
Ordered the bandanna maps from HERE.

Machine quilted by Lynn Peterson
Linking up to Fabric Tuesday
Finished size:  HUGE (we forgot to measure, but it completely covers his 6'5" frame. And you can see above it takes up almost the entire floor of his living room.)


  1. Wow! That is just super! Our family is spread way out too and it would be fun to surprise any one of them!

    Very nice quilt too!

  2. Thats so awesome! What a beautiful quilt and a great theme for what sounds like a great guy! You got him good!
    I also traveled from Sacramento to my sisters in Arizona for a surprise 60th bday party for her, we got her good too and her request a while back was a US Flag quilt which I surprised her with...good times! So fun!



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