|A close up the baby quilt!|
|A baby quilt using Out to Sea fabric|
|The signature quilt for the bride-to-be.|
Now, I also have the pleasure of knowing that there is bride out their with a signature quilt that shows all of the wonderful and crazy comments from 70+ of her family and friends about their happiness for her on her upcoming wedding. I felt lucky to be part of the process for a sister-in-law who thought up the project and hired my to help "make it happen." I made the blocks in advance of the bridal shower. The bride's sister-in-law had everyone at the shower sign the blocks. Then I received the blocks back and made the quilt. I like how it looks almost like a garden trellace...and the border fabric is ironically called "bouquet," which I thought was very fitting for a wedding quilt.
|Three quilts made for three children who lost their dad to cancer.|
In the end, I used simple patterns for the quilts because I wanted the clothes to be the main showcase and not some elaborate quilt pattern. For the boys, I paid attention to the details in the dad's clothes. I noticed that he liked a particular brand of button down shirt, so I kept the labels and used those in the quilts. I made sure that each quilt had a pocket from dad's button-down shirt; the boys would be able to keep special mementos or letters in the pockets. I incorporated one significant t-shirt the boys would identify with on the front of each quilt. I used fabric from their dad's pants that was especially soft. I used fabric from one of their dad's robes. It was a honeycomb fabric that is very textured. It added another dimension of something the boys could not only look at but feel and be connected to their dad.
|The rag quilt I made for the little girl, using her dad's clothes.|
As I worked on these quilts over a two-month period, I would often walk into my craft room and smell the dad's cologne still present on his clothes. I often felt like he was right there with me helping me make the right decision about what to do for each of his kids. I also found it a bit humorous that maybe he was looking down on me from heaven, being the "clothes horse" I knew he was, saying, "oh, don't cut up my favorite shirt" or "those were expensive pants you're cutting up." But I know he would be happy with the end result: quilts that would help his children recover from the pain of losing their dad and feeling closer to him with the presence of the quilts in their home.
As I said, all handmade quilts have special meaning. They are put together by someone who has put thought into every aspect: the recipient, the color, the fabric, the pattern, the thread, the batting, the quilting, the binding, the signature block. All of that comes into consideration when making a quilt. These five quilts that I made simultaneously and happened to finish within 10 days of each other, have become a special group of quilts for me and I'm sure for the people who are giving them as gifts and for the people receiving them as gifts. This week has reaffirmed for me why I am a quilter, and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity.
|A bright and cheery quilt for a happy occasion.|
And it appears the trend continues...next week I will make a quilt for a young mom who's had a rough life and recently had a stroke that has left her paralyzed and in hospice. I've already started thinking about the fabric I will use on her quilt and how this quilt will hopefully give her strength at a time when she feels like she has none.