I finally finished two memorial quilts – one each for my brother and sister (with one still left to make). I was able to deliver them last weekend when I was in Ohio for my niece’s graduation party. The first one was made for Lish.
Mom passed away in 2010 from cancer (cancer sucks). Dad died suddenly a few years before mom from a brain aneurysm. I’m still kicking myself for not thinking of keeping his clothes when he passed away.
The squares in Lish’s quilt are made from mom’s clothes. The flowers are from the one article of dad’s clothing that was available – a sweatshirt jacket that dad had left at Lish’s house several years ago, and she had (gratefully!) held on to. It broke my heart to take that jacket from her – she wore it all the time. But, after asking, she offered it up and I carefully took it apart to be able to use every single inch I could for the quilts, seeing as how I needed to make 4 of them! I quilted this quilt with hearts. Let me tell you, dad’s sweatshirt was a bitch to quilt. Incredibly thick.
The pattern is from Abbey Lane Quilts (the pattern name is Glad All Over), because as soon as I saw it, it reminded me of my niece, Carly, who still gets teary-eyed when she talks about her grandparents. I know she’ll love cuddling under it. If she can get it away from her mom, that is. I had some sizing issues while constructing the quilt – it came out smaller than the stated size – and I had to add an extra border to the top and bottom to make it the size I wanted (I used mom’s jeans for these rectangles). I had checked the website for any pattern corrections before I started (lesson learned long ago!), but didn’t see anything there. After I made it and found the size difference, I contacted the company. They responded very quickly, stating that, yes, there was a size discrepancy, and offered to send me out another pattern. What great customer service!
This is Bill’s quilt:
His quilt is a simpler pattern, just squares with cornerstone sashing. No pattern necessary. I incorporated the sweatshirt into the center blocks of the quilt (the grey and grey/stripe blocks). I did simple, wavy lines for the quilting on this one. Perfect for a guy – not feminine at all. No flowers or hearts for my brother – lordy, he’d have never used it with frilly stuff on it LOL!
My youngest sister, Valerie (who lives in Texas), made the labels for me. Gawd love her, she got them done in under a week. She took our favorite picture of mom and dad, along with my poem, digitized them and embroidered them on one of dad’s t-shirts she had taken when dad passed (yay -another piece of clothing!). To make even it more special, she used mom’s sewing/embroidery machine, which she had inherited from her. Mom would be so proud with how they turned out! Each label took 6 hours to do. Whew! That machine got a workout with these
The poem reads:
When you’re sad and feeling blue
And you are missing me,
Wrap up in this cuddle quilt
And I’ll be close, you see.
For I am with you always,
Every minute of the day.
I may be up in heaven now,
But in your heart I’ll stay.
It took me two-and-a-half years to complete these. It wasn’t easy making them, I’ll admit. Pull out the squares. Stare at them awhile. Put them back. That went on for months. And months. I’ve still got one to go for Val, which I’m still looking for the “right” pattern to use. Mine can wait – I can make mine any time. Making these quilts is a true labor of love.