Friday, February 15, 2013

A Tale of Three Quilts...

Quote for the Day:
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"
~A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

I've been meaning to tell this story for a while now but I've been waiting for the perfect picture to go with it.  I finally got a picture to go with the story last Thanksgiving, so don't ask me why I've waited till now to write the story...I just have.

Back in 1985, one of Andy's sisters gave a crib quilt to Paul that had a train on it.  It quickly became known in our family as the "Choo-choo train blanket", and has remained called that 28 years later.  

It was well used, first by Paul, and then by Erin when she came along.  It was used for sleeping, making forts in the living room, and even as something to sit on when we went to concerts or fireworks in the park.  :)

Over the years it became thread bare and I even had to sew a patch over a hole on the back, however, it always retained a fond place in the hearts of my kids.  Thus, when they got married and started having kids of their own, they both wanted the "choo-choo train blanket" for their child.  However, because it was so worn...and was only ONE quilt...not only would it not last through another child, but just how do you decide who gets custody of it when it has been so loved by both kids?

Enter into the picture a quilting friend in Florida.  I've never done applique and this quilt is appliqued, so I sent my friend the ORIGINAL quilt.  Using a piece of clear plastic table cloth, she laid it over the top of the quilt and drew around the picture of the train.  She used that outline to make a pattern and made TWO more quilt tops almost IDENTICAL to the original one!  :)

She sent the new tops and the original quilt back to me and I turned the tops into a "choo-choo train blanket" for each of the kids to use for the grandkids.  I kept the original for the grandkids to use when they are here.

The quilt in the middle is the original.  You can see that it was tied instead of quilted and has faded quite a bit over the years.  

The one on the right is Sera's and is the first one that I completed, since she was born first.  I gave it to her on her first birthday.  She uses it for sleeping but it is still in pretty good shape.

The one on the left is Andrew's.  He uses it DAY AND NIGHT!   He will not sleep without it and uses it during the day for anything from a "cape" thrown over his shoulders, to a place to hide under for "hide and seek"!  Trinity told me that one time she washed it and it wasn't dry in time for bedtime, so he just stayed awake and cried until she could get it dried for him!  LOL  When he wakes up in the morning, he removes it from his bed and takes it out in the living room with him so it can be near him all day.  Because of all that love, it needs some repairs to the blue calico of the engine and smoke stack.  I will take some fabric down with me the next time we go for a visit, and fix it for him.  I hope he can let it out of his hands long enough for me to repair it!  :)  

A funny aside to this story:  I made the quilt for Sera for her first birthday, so I thought I'd do the same for Andrew.  Trinity knew that I had made one for Sera and that I had one for her first child, too, but was wondering when he was going to get it.  When we were in Georgia for Andrew's first birthday, sometime during the visit but before the party, Trinity asked Erin when did they receive their "choo-choo train blanket" because they hadn't gotten theirs, yet.  Erin said she thought it was sometime around the first birthday, but didn't remember for sure.  Lo and behold...guess what was in the gift bag for Andrew that birthday???  :)
I had originally planned to only make one quilt for each family and let them pass it along through all the kids like we did in our family.  However, I'm seeing now that that won't be an least not in Andrew's case.  He is so attached to that quilt, that I can't think of asking him to pass it along to his new brother or sister that is coming this summer.  I've been in contact with my friend in Florida to see if she still has the pattern pieces that she made for this quilt.  If so, I'd like to have her make a couple more tops for me or else send the pieces to me and let me make the tops. (I've not done applique before, but I think I could learn how for this project!)  I've not heard back from her, yet, as to whether or not she has still has this pattern.

If any of my quilting readers out there happen to have this pattern in their pattern stash, please please please contact me.  I'd love to buy it from you since I can't find it ANYWHERE online.  :(  Like I said...the original is at least 28 years old!  :)



  1. Andrew LOVES his Choo-choo train quilt SO much. One of his best presents ever!

    Another Choo-choo train blanket??? Yay!!!

  2. If it's a girl, you should put a lavender color for the border since Tiffany adores purple so much! ;)

  3. Hi Loretta,
    Just wanted to let you know that I was thrilled to read your blog post, and I can help you with the pattern info. My grandmother made the very same quilt for my brother in 1980, and later passed the pattern on to me. I can't let go of the pattern because it was hers, and I hope to make the quilt again one day - but the name of the company is The Gingham Goose, and you can still order patterns - the Chuggy Choo Choo quilt pattern is still available! Here's the link - and no affiliation, just so glad that I could help you find it!

    1. OMG! I can't believe someone out there actually knew where I could find the pattern! I've googled it so many times and could NEVER find the right train pattern!! Thank you so much!

      I also think it's cool to find someone else out there who knows someone who has this same quilt! :)

      Thanks so much!

    2. I thought it was pretty neat to see that someone else had made the same quilt that my grandmother had! Glad that I could help. :-) And really like your easy street quilt!

    3. Hi,

      I still make lots of the Gingham Goose quilts and have since 1979. They began their business the same year my son was born. I don't know how many grown adults are out there with one of my blankets.
      Gingham Goose charge under $8.00 for their patterns. I got our local quilt store to carry the patterns about 10 years ago and everyone in our small town loved them. Jacky, Ramona, CA

  4. What a great quilt and story! So cool!

  5. Sera loves her quilt too. She actually keeps BOTH the Disney Princess quilt AND the Choo-Choo-Train Blanket on her bed. This past week while she's been sick, she's been home all day with me and has been following me around EVERYWHERE. And she's been bringing the blanket with her and will lay it out on the floor wherever I am and lay on it and color. She's not as attached to it as Andrew is to his, but she definitely loves it!