Does it count as a souvenir if you don't bring it back from actually going to the Rose Bowl? Probably not. Anyhow, to celebrate Michigan State's upcoming Rose Bowl appearance (the first in two and a half decades, or something like that), I made two of my favorite Spartans (my sister-in-law, Stephanie, and her husband, Don) a nice fleecy blanket to cuddle up in while watching the game.
The green and white chevron fleece caught my eye as I was shopping at Jo-Ann's a couple of weeks ago, and I knew I had to get a couple of yards of it to use for something for someone in Corey's Michigan State-obsessed family. I showed it to Corey, and while I was brainstorming out loud about making it into a blanket with some sort of appliqué, he had a flash of inspiration and suggested sewing on this year's Rose Bowl logo.
He pulled up the image on the computer and I immediately fell in love with it. Then I counted -- there are 19 different pieces making up that damn thing. We debated how large to make it, and how to even blow it up to a decent size. Corey figured out how to print the image over a bunch of 11" x 17"pages and then I taped it together. Then, I traced it on to Wonder Under, being careful to label each one with a number so I could keep them straight. After that, I fused the Wonder Under shapes to the appropriate color fabric (I used some Kona cotton from Jo-Ann's), cut them out, and got them laid out onto the blanket. I was afraid of how the iron would affect the fleece, but I kept the temperature low and the pieces fused onto the fleece with no problems.
Appliquéing all those pieces onto the blanket was awkward, but ultimately easier than I thought. It took a few hours to get it done, and I had to re-fuse several of the pieces that kept wanting to peel off after getting munched up and manhandled as I worked on stitching adjacent pieces. Wonder Under doesn't typically fail like that, but I wasn't able to use the high heat necessary to get a good fuse, plus the fibrous nature of the polyester fleece didn't provide a very good adhering surface. It all worked out in the end, though!
I bound the fleece in some store-bought quilting binding. I actually hadn't bought enough and Corey volunteered to pick some up for me while he was out Christmas shopping. I had very low expectations of him finding anything close to the right thing, but I sent him a cell phone picture of the package and crossed my fingers. Amazingly enough, he was able to come home with the exact right binding! He was so proud of himself. Good boy!
The only problem is this is definitely one of those projects that is killing me to give away. Corey started whining for one of his own and I told him to simmer down and give me time to recover from this first blanket. It was definitely my most ambitious appliqué project yet! Here's hoping that Steph and Don love it, and that Michigan State does well enough in the game that the Rose Bowl logo won't evoke horrible memories after the game.