family guy :: Okan Arts

Family Guy Quilt by Patricia Belyeafamily guy

three generations of clean laundry

For Rod Brooks’ 60th birthday, his wife Cindy commissioned a quilt. To make the gift special, it was agreed that the quilt would be made with the clothing of family members—clothes that has been in photos sent to Rod over the years.

Cindy arrived at my home with an overflowing Ikea shopping bag. The contents included workshirts, hospital scrubs, embroidered clothing, a sheer blouse, t-shirts, a Terrible Towel, a nylon pennant and more.

I chose a non-linear approach—making blocks that featured the ‘fabrics” with no idea how the quilt would come together. Family Guy Quilt by Patricia BelyeaAlmost finished with all the blocks, Cindy contacted me—a new member of the family had just been born. We met in a tea shop in Victoria BC where she handed me the back half of a Baby Gap dress. The front was sent to Colorado, for the baby to wear in a photo for Grandpa.

Family Guy Quilt by Patricia Belyea

Most blocks included curved piecing—made with custom freezer-paper patterns. Family Guy Quilt by Patricia Belyea

Day by day, the quilt progressed.Family Guy Quilt by Patricia Belyea

Once the top was resolved, it was pin basted to a heavy denim backing material. No batting was used because the quilt was already bulked up with lots of interfacing.Family Guy Quilt by Patricia Belyea

The binding fabric featured the logo of Washington State University, Rod’s alma mater. For the label, Cindy wrote: FAMILY GUY The thread that holds us all together. Your incredibly grateful family, The Brooks-y Bunch. Family Guy Quilt by Patricia Belyea

Dozens of color studies and almost one hundred pattern pieces were created to produce the quilt.Family Guy Quilt by Patricia BelyeaThree months after the quilt was commissioned, it was ready for hand-off. Cindy stopped by my home and we shared a cup of tea. Not able to wait a second longer, the quilt was unveiled and Cindy saw it for the first time.
Family Guy Quilt by Patricia Belyea

Ten days later, in Las Vegas, the Brooks family gathered for Rod’s birthday. The gift was an immediate hit with Rod and all of his family.Family Guy Quilt by Patricia BelyeaPostscript Family Guy was entered into Quilt Fest 2013, a judged show hosted by La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum. It won first place in the Original Design, Non-Representational division. The blue ribbon winner was then included in a two-month show, Best of Fest, at the Museum.

GenerationQ Magazine also wrote a five-page feature story about the Brooks family and Family Guy for its Jan/Feb 2014 edition.