Play Ball!

Monday, June 25, 2018

This year was the first year both of my sons played t-ball. My youngest is three, and it became apparent within just a couple practices that his coach was more than the usual parent volunteer.

His coach is a parent volunteer, but she is coaching all three of her son's t-ball and baseball teams! She has a full-time job, then gave up all of her weeknights to coach teams of little people. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude was contagious. Her patience, kindness, and encouragement to the players (and the parents!) was remarkable. I haven't been a baseball mom for long, but it doesn't take an expert to know when you meet someone exceptional.

I wanted to say thank you in a way that would capture my gratitude and appreciation for all that she did for the team(s). And the only way I know how to thank someone to this level is to make a quilt.


Baseball throw quilt that was a gift for my son's t-ball coach


A quick Pinterest search for "baseball quilt" resulted in several striking quilts. I fell in love with the ones with a solid white background and large red baseball stitches. There is a pattern on Craftsy for a baseball quilt using raw edge applique that I strongly considered. However, I decided raw edge applique wasn't what I wanted for this quilt. So I set out on my own.

I decided to make a throw quilt and use the width of the fabric (about 42") as the width of the quilt and about 1 1/2 yards for the length (54"). I planned to use some of the solid white Moda Bella 98 fabric that I keep on hand by the bolt, then picked up some Kona Chinese Red and a baseball print called "Hit, Run, Score" by Blank Quilting from the MO Star Quilt Co. when I visited earlier this month.


Fabric from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

I started by cutting two 2" wide bias strips from the red fabric. Then I pressed them into 1" bias tape using a bias tape maker.

Next I cut about forty 2 1/2" x 5" strips of red for the laces. I first sewed them into tubes, then centered the seam, finger pressed the seam open, and stitched the end closed.


Making a baseball quilt
Making a baseball quilt

After pressing each "lace," I turned the tubes right side out then pressed them again. This was a great activity to do during swimming lessons!


Making a baseball quilt

To place the laces onto the white background fabric, I put strips of Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 onto the backs of each piece. I love this fusible because it's sticky before pressing, so I can move and rearrange pieces on my design wall until I'm satisfied with the whole layout.


Making a baseball quilt

I first guessed at the spacing, but decided quickly I couldn't be consistent enough for my liking. I cut a template from paper so that the spacing and angle of each lace would be more precise (with just a small bit of adjusting depending on whether the lace was on the inside curve or outside curve).


Making a baseball quilt

I placed each lace under the main bias tape strip, hiding the one end with raw edges.


Making a baseball quilt using solid fabrics

Once I was happy with the layout, I pressed the laces to secure them to the quilt top. I pin basted the quilt sandwich on my dining room table using the baseball print fabric for the backing and Warm & Natural batting.


Making a baseball quilt

I used my walking foot and 50wt Aurifil Red #2250 to stitch just inside the edge of each piece.


Making a baseball quilt
Making a baseball quilt

Once the laces were stitched down, I switched to 50wt Aurifil White #2024 and my free motion foot. I quilted a small meander design over all of the white space.


Baseball throw quilt that was a gift for my son's t-ball coach

The binding is machine stitched on using the same Kona Chinese Red.


Baseball throw quilt that was a gift for my son's t-ball coach

I wondered if the red fabric would bleed any onto the white, so decided it was better I find out than the recipient. I tossed it in the washing machine with two Color Catchers, and there wasn't any bleeding! I tumble dried the quilt and it came out with the loveliest crinkle!


Baseball throw quilt that was a gift for my son's t-ball coach

I added a label that read, "A great coach is hard to find, difficult to part with, and impossible to forget!" (I also included the team name, year, my name, and my website.)


Baseball throw quilt that was a gift for my son's t-ball coach
Baseball throw quilt that was a gift for my son's t-ball coach
Baseball throw quilt that was a gift for my son's t-ball coach
Baseball throw quilt that was a gift for my son's t-ball coach

Monday night was the last t-ball game, so we gifted the quilt after the game.


Baseball throw quilt that was a gift for my son's t-ball coach

She was surprised and very appreciative! I'm sure the quilt will get lots of use with her three baseball-loving boys!


Baseball throw quilt that was a gift for my son's t-ball coach

Thank you, Coach! You will truly be impossible to forget!



Linking up with Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts, Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt, Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter, Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication, Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF at Musings of a Menopausal Melon, and Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting.

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29 comments:

  1. Truly fantastic story, and a gorgeous quilt!

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  2. This is such an awesome gift to give to a baseball coach. I love your creativity.

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  3. This is so wonderful! It is so awesome that you had such a great coach! :D

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  4. That was so sweet of you, I am sure she appreciated it. Truly a fun quilt.

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  5. Hi Laura! I just adore this quilt!! So very, very cool and the backing is just beyond perfect. I am 100% sure she will enjoy this for years to come and think of you and your thoughtfulness. Boy, I don't know how she has time for everything she gets done!!
    Happy Tuesday! ~smile~ Roseanne

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  6. LOVE the quilt!! and like the backing so much that I clicked on the link and ordered 10 yds to use as backing for a couple of my husband's t-shirt quilts that I will be making for our grandkids.

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  7. What a fabulous thank you gift! It's a fun design and I would imagine she will love snuggling under it for years to come. Every coach is going to want to have your kids on their team, lol :)

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  8. What an awesome quilt and gift to give to an extraordinary person. Once again, you knocked this one out of the park!! **hee hee**

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  9. That's amazing. It sounds like you really lucked out with a one-of-a-kind coach.

    I love the quilt you made for her! Making all of those tubs probably took a lot longer than raw edge, but the quilt will hold up so well when all of her boys are dragging it around. That was super clever to tuck the raw ends of the tubs under the bias tape. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. What a gorgeous quilt and for a great lady clearly :)

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  11. Great design, Laura! What a blessing your children's coach has been. Best gift I know to give, too!

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  12. This is a great quilt! I want one for when I go to the home openers in chilly April each year!

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  13. Beautiful quilt for a truly remarkable coach!!!

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  14. A great idea and a beautiful quilt!

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  15. Gorgeous quilt. Wonderful gesture. Super cool.

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  16. This is the best! You hit a home run with the design and your ingenuity!

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  17. What a wonderful way to show appreciation . Beautiful quilt,

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  18. Lovely, striking design! Your photos show exactly how to make one if someone wanted to. I'm so glad it didn't bleed. Coach looks so happy to have received it and I'm sure it will get a lot of use! Thank you for sharing this on Wednesday Wait Loss, it's lovely!

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  19. Perfect quilt for a perfect coach. Great story. Great quilt design. You've outdone yourself...again!

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  20. That is the perfect thank you quilt for her!! And great backing too!

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  21. Wow, this is absolutely amazing! Seriously, one of my most favorite things I've seen, ever. I totally want to make this now. I don't have words.

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  22. You had an awesome coach and she had an awesome, appreciative parent. WTG!

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  23. Wow -- on so many levels! How kind and super creative of you to gift this quilt to your super coach. She'll treasure it for years... You did a great job coming up with your own pattern. Brilliant.... etc. etc. Kudos to you!

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  24. Delightful quilt! Great volunteers are wonderful!

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  25. An incredibly clever idea....lucky gal who gets this

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  26. Incredibly thoughtful gift.....and gorgeous! LOVE IT!!!

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  27. What a fun quilt Laura and so creative! Thanks for sharing!

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