Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Memory Quilt



 Sometimes projects (and quilts) come along that really have a powerful effect on me personally. This quilt was one of those quilts, and I would like to tell its story...





 Last fall son number 1 asked if I might be able to make a quilt for a former co-worker. He said her father had passed away and that she had a bag full of fabrics from her father's shirts. She had arranged for someone else to make a quilt, but something had come up and the quilt was never finished.



 It was the holidays, and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed but agreed to take it on. Little did I know then the powerful impact this quilt would have on me.


 Luckily, when I opened the bag of fabrics, the previous quilter had actually cut and sewn many of the 8" squares together. I really didn't have to do that much. I pieced a backing and arranged to have it quilted. The Moda Dottie tiny grey dots was the perfect backing for this "masculine" quilt.



And then there was the miracle of the binding. I had a few rolls of Moda Bella pre-made bias binding that had been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years. One of the colors seemed just perfect and picked up the exact shade of blue in many of the shirt fabrics. So without measuring I started binding. Wouldn't you know...I ran out about 60 inches before the end...

Out came my Moda Bella color card to figure out which color I was using (Admiral Blue). Then I went to my solids bins, hoping I might have some of this color. At the bottom of the final bin was 1/2 yard of Admiral Blue...labeled...and enough yardage to finish up. 

But the real joy in this quilt came while binding. I thought about how happy this woman (whom I've never met) would be to get this quilt that would surely be a treasure and a beautiful reminder of her father. I thought about my own father who passed away when I was just 23...I miss him terribly of course, more and more with each passing year, and wish I had been a quilter when he died so that I might have made a quilt with fabrics from his shirts. But somehow, finishing this quilt for someone else who lost their father brought a little healing to my heart...

Thanks so much for stopping by!



37 comments:

carolann said...

I really enjoyed this post. I understand your sentiments. My father died eight days before my 14th birthday. I am certain that the quilt you lovingly completed will bring comfort and sweet memories to the recipient and her family. Thank you for sharing it.

Sigi G said...

Oh Sherri, how wonderful and sweet of you to finish this memory quilt. Yes, I too wish I was quilting at the time my father past away. I now think, how much my kids would have loved to have such a memory of him.

charlotte said...

Thank you for this sweet post, Sherri. I am always amazed when helping others brings a healing heart to me as well. That's the reward. So happy you received the reward with this.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

how sweet! glad you were able to take on this project

Tracey Holzer said...

This is a wonderful post. The quilt will be a treasure.

WoolenSails said...

What a wonderful story and I too wish that I had known about quilting with my parents and saved things that I could have put into a quilt. My grandmother used to use my grandfathers old wool pants for crazy quilts, no idea what happened to those.

Debbie

Gisela Suski said...

So good of you to finish the quilt and it was such a busy time of the year. My favorite quilts have been with plaids. I feel the men/boy quilts don't get enough credit.

Melissa Corry said...

What a beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing Sherri

Quilt n Queen said...

Sherri...I am inspired...when my MIL passed I saved all her flannel and 100% cotton clothing...they are still packed away and still waiting to be made into 3 quilts. One for my husband and one for my 2 SIL's. I would love to have them finished for the end of July...it will be 10 years. I know they would be thrilled to receive a quilt made with their mom's flannels. She loved flannel. Thanks so much for sharing your story!! Happy stitching, Pauline

Elaine said...

You're a special person!

Needled Mom said...

What a wonderful quilt that will be for her and little did you know when you started how many memories would come back to you.

em's scrapbag said...

Wonderful story. Beautiful quilt. Thanks for taking time to share.

Robbienae said...

A lovely simple quilt made from a father's shirts. I'm sure the sweet young lady will have special memories of her father as she touches each square of this quilt. May it bring her years of joy and comfort. Thank you for sharing this story.

Laura Chaney said...

What a lovely quilt that brought so much joy to the owner. It's also amazing that you found exactly what you needed to finish such an important project. I always chalk this kind of thing up to how the universe works in mysterious ways!

Hildy said...

Love the quilt and the story behind it!

Cathy said...

I'm so thankful I follow your blog! What a blessing you have made for this grieving daughter.
When my husband died I saved all his shirts and last year I made a quilt for each of our daughters from them. And I have mine almost finished. It's been very healing working with the shirt fabrics and remembering when and where he wore them. Next I plan to make each of us a photo book with him wearing them.

Sarah said...

Great post.

Lisa said...

Beautiful. The quilt and the story both - what a lovely thing to do for another.

Teresa Silva said...

What a lovely story Sherri! What an awesome quilt to finish...and I'm sure it will bring great joy to the recipient. Nice job!

Karen said...

This kind of quilt is at the top of my favorites list! You can't go wrong with mixing up plaids, and the sweet story to accompany the quilt is the icing on the cake (or the binding on the quilt?).

Carol Stearns said...

That is a wonderful story and what an easy quilt to make. I have a friend who lost her husband and has a lot of shirts from her husband who passed. I might end up doing some for her and this would be easy. Thanks for the idea!

Linda Cates said...

You are awesome. Wow, just wow. Wish I knew you. I went to see my father's gravesite just this morning as I don't get to this city often. Your post couldn't be more timely. Well said, Sherri. You touched my heart just now. Thanks for this post and all you do to inspire others.

Angela Smith said...

What a beautiful story, thanks for sharing Sherri!

Natalia from Piece N Quilt said...

Love it! These are the quilts that make me happy!

Liz said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Missing my dad also and wish I had this kind of keepsake. You have really blessed the recipient.

Lynn Wakeham said...

I have a long standing UFO quilt using my father's neckties made into Dresden Plates, started in 2001, I haven't done any quilting on it for a few years (it is nearly halfway quilted) but this story gave me some inspiration, my dad is still alive, in his 80's but I shouldn't wait for him to die to finish it!!

Becki said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing with us. My sister made a quilt from her husband's shirts and gave it to his sister. The usually stiff sister kept rubbing her hand over the quilt, saying "You couldn't have given me a better gift." I think a quilt made with fabrics from another's clothing is the BEST way of remembering. Thanks again.

Becki said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing with us. My sister made a quilt from her husband's shirts and gave it to his sister. The usually stiff sister kept rubbing her hand over the quilt, saying "You couldn't have given me a better gift." I think a quilt made with fabrics from another's clothing is the BEST way of remembering. Thanks again.

kshackabq said...

Thank you, Sherri, for sharing this quilt as well as your feelings about it and how it impacted you personally. It's a wonderful "completion" story and a wonderful quilt!

Corrie Tollett said...

Beautiful.

Beverly said...

What a wonderful story. The recipient will be so happy with this special quilt! A true gift of kindness. I love how you found the matching fabric at the very bottom of the last bin. :-). God bless you, Sherri.

Laurelle said...

The quilt looks lovely. I wanted to make a quilt since my 20's but had five little kids so didn't get around to quilting until a couple of years ago. When my father in-law died I so wanted to make a quilt out of his shirts because they were distinctively his. He had a variety of Red and blue checks worn with the same pair of jean slacks of which he had several pairs! At the time I wasn't quilting and like you am very sad about it now as I know my only son would have loved it as he was very close to his Grandpa. I often think about searching second hand stores for shirts like his but it wouldn't be the same . :-)

Patchwork Reflections said...

love this quilt and story, you are a dear to take on this project, I am sure she loves it

Katie said...

You are a very very nice person!!

mascanlon said...

Such a lovely story all around. Kindness matters and what a special gift you all got in this quilt.

Michele said...

Thank you for sharing such a special story. I'm sure she will treasure that quilt always.

Rose Hoag said...

Thank you for sharing. My husband passed away 1 1/2 years ago. This Christmas I made each of my 5 grown children a rag edge quilt using my husbands shirts and jeans and I used flannel for the backing. I cant tell you how happy they were to receive these memory quilts. It is something they will treasure forever.

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