Generation Q’s February/March issue is out! And that quilt on the cover…it’s a Melissa P. original called Grandpa’s Toolbox.The pattern to make the quilt is found in the magazine, which you can purchase directly from Generation Q if it is unavailable at your local quilt shop.I thought you might be interested in the story behind this little quilt–where the idea came from, how I chose fabrics, and that sort of thing. It started with a simple thought–using hexagons to do something masculine, something as different from Grandma’s Flower Garden as I could get. I knew I wanted Parson Gray prints to solidify that masculine edge. While I was cutting out the hexies, I realized the gray hexies reminded me of nuts and bolts. That thought led me to memories of my father’s toolboxes.
I was always intrigued by the things my father had in the garage, in his truck and anywhere else he might find a place to stash them. I liked the way toolboxes had trays for the small stuff. It seemed pretty cool that he had little cubbie holes and compartments for different parts. You could open the lid, remove the tray and find all sorts of odd little bits, some of them brightly colored and some not. Naturally, the uses for all these things were not nearly as interesting as the colors and shapes.
And those colors made their way into this quilt. The blue and red of a Craftsman screwdriver set, the yellow of a Stanley tool handle, the bright colors of wire nuts (yellow, red, green, gray and blue)–it’s all there in simple geometry. The addition of some of Amy’s Cameo prints was almost a no-brainer. (Search Google Images for all of those and you’ll see what I mean.) The black strips running through the darker hexies are representative of the handles on the toolbox trays. For me, the quilt is a top down view into a place filled with memories.
By the time I sat down to sew the pieces together by hand, I knew I’d accomplished my goal. There’s nothing Grandmother’s Flower Garden about this piece. (Not that I don’t appreciate the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern. I do. My second attempt at quilting was a failed GFG. But that’s a long story from a long time ago.) The best thing though, it makes me think of my father and grandfather and all the happy memories I have of each of them.