Friday, November 30, 2018

Two Memory Quilts - Simple and Special

I've been on a bit of a sewing break, focusing more on time with my family and taking care of my health. But when this project came my way, I was ready to get back to it. Many months ago, a coworker had asked if I would be willing to make a quilt from her brother's shirts. I told her I would be happy to, but had pretty much forgotten until she showed up with shirts in October.

Eight shirts, four cool color, four warm color, all in excellent condition. We looked at quilts on Pinterest and she determined quickly what she did and did not want. She wanted simple throw quilts. Two, similar but different. She really liked meandering for the quilting. I like all those squiggly lines is how she put it.

I made this one first. Thirty simple blocks that are 6 1/2" x 10 1/2" shirt squares with a 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" strip of background fabric stitched on each long side. The resulting 10 1/2" block is rotated in the layout of 30 blocks. It took a little bit of finagling to get a layout where the color and pattern was nicely distributed, and I love the result. There is a 2 1/2" border of background to frame out the quilt.

For the second quilt, the blocks are the same style but smaller. Three borders, all cut 2", finish this version. I love the checkerboard border.

This picture makes it easier to see the difference in block size between the two quilts.

Here's a closer look at the meander quilting before the quilts were washed. This free motion quilting design goes super fast.

Sometimes a little too fast. Can you see the light colored thread poking through the back? That is what happens when I go too fast. I had to really pay attention to my speed to limit this result. Slow and steady wins the race, right? The good news is that this picture is before washing. After washing there is just enough crinkle going on to hide the light thread on the back.

The backing fabric is the same for both quilts, a navy flannel. I prewashed the flannel since I knew it was likely to shrink more than the other fabrics. The labels are two pictures. She did not want any words. I used binding scraps to frame out each one. They are hand stitched in place, although in this picture they are just pinned in place.

The binding is scrappy, and includes all of the shirts.

These quilts are being delivered today. One of my favorite parts is seeing the reaction of the quilt owners when they get a first look at the quilts. Some want to see progress photos all along but others, like this customer, want to see the quilts for the first time in person when they were completely finished.

One of the quilts will be gifted to the mother and the other will go to the wife of the man who wore these shirts. There are so many reasons to love quilting, but bringing joy and comfort to others is right up there at the top.
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