In any case, I finally made a design and got it printed. (I went back and checked, and I ordered it juuuuust over two years ago.) I gave it to him two weeks ago and got as good a reaction as I could have hoped: he was very happy, gave me (and it) and big hug, said he loved it, and wanted to have it on his bed to sleep with.
Since I was so late getting this blanket together, I was able to incorporate things Bruce actually likes (well, skewed towards the stuff he liked when he was two and three):
- He was obsessed with the ABCs for quite some time, hence the alphabet song along the border
- He loved the meerkats at the zoo so there's a row of those (not the first time I've used meerkats for him)
- The Dalmatians are a tribute to his favorite Paw Patrol character, Marshall the fire pup. (The background of that section may slightly resemble Marshall's pup tag logo...)
- The elephant is for his favorite snuggle blanket (one of those gauze Aiden + Anais ones), which has an elephant pattern.
- The background behind the elephant uses the designs of the hubcaps of some of the cars we've owned. He used to love looking at the hubcaps when we let him walk around the front yard.
- The rows of vehicles include some of his favorites - helicopter, dumptruck, excavator, bulldozer, caboose, garbage truck.
I had one stomach-dropping moment: as I was quilting it I suddenly realized I should have included a cement mixer in with the rows of vehicles. He was fixated on those for awhile too. But, I've had to make my peace with that.
The front is poplin and the backing is sateen. For the backing, I got one of my Spoonflower acquaintances to make this tartan in the colors I wanted (the red was originally more magenta). Why that tartan? Because one of its names is "Clan Bruce!" I couldn't resist.
The binding I got from Etsy, as I've done for several before. Making bias binding myself is one of those fiddly things I really dislike somehow. And, Bruce usually sleeps hot so the batting is a very thin cotton.
I was originally only going to do a little bit of quilting - just enough to separate out the different panels. Once I got going, though, I kept thinking it would look nice with just a little more: outlining the animals and vehicles, then going over all the musical lines, then adding some fills, etc, etc... I got mentally stuck again on how to quilt the elephant but made it over that hurdle as well. Just powered through and filled it in. Whew! I'm glad I did all that because it has that nice crinkly look.
I had been very confident that I would have it done in November last year, so I dated the tag 2017...whoops. (That darn elephant!)
I am very very happy to have it completed and in the hands of its rightful owner.