Friday, August 6, 2010


I am getting ready to make a memory quilt for my daughter.  Just before she left the country for four months I took her to the quilt shop.  I asked her to show me some fabrics she liked.  She knew immediately that she was picking out the fabric for her quilt.  She is the youngest so she knows the routine.  She started to pull the things that caught her eye.  She just kept saying, "but I don't want it to be bright"  This is what I have to work with!  Now I am left with how to make the quilt timeless and not bright.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


In the year 2008 out youngest child graduated from high school and we became empty nesters.   A friend from our local quilt group had made a wall hanging for her husband to celebrate the landmark in their lives.  So I decided to try to make a quilt doing the same for my husband for Christmas.  I knew I wanted something masculine and I picked up a book that had birds in it that I liked.  I am not an artist by any means so I started by tracing or photocopying the birds from the book and cutting them up to make a pattern.

This is our son's family with his new little nest.  People asked what are you going to do when they have more children?  That was not the intent of my quilt, to keep a running family history, although I do think that would make a great quilt.    My quilt was a representation of our live in the year 2008.


I have always wanted to make a quilt for each of my children for the holidays.  One for Christmas, Easter, Halloween and one for Valentines Day.  I have four children, thats 16 quilts!  I started a few years ago with a Valentine Quilt.  I had appliqued some harts for another project and had some left over.  That was the beginning.  Then I wanted to include some of the cute little notes my children had written each other over the years.  We have a tradition of putting a valentine box on the kitchen table the first week of February.  That gives everyone a reminder that the day is fast approaching and you had better start thinking about something to do for your loved ones!  I find that some people in my house need a little more reminding than others.  Then on Valentines Day we have a formal dinner that includes heart shaped meat loaf and red mashed potatoes! After dinner open the box.  So I have quite a collection of cards from over the years.  It was difficult to pick my favorite.  This is the end result!


What do you do with it?  That cub scout shirt with those cute arrows on the pocket, or the T shirt from your child’s first swim meet, or the baseball uniform with your last name ironed on the back?  Add to that the turtleneck that was worn for the second grade school photo, the high school band uniform, years and years of memories just getting wrinkled in a box in the basement, and ranging in size from toddler to teenager - what do you do with it?  Well, when my son married, I thought it was time to do something with the box or just throw its contents away. I opted to do something.  One day I just started to cut pieces apart, to iron stabilizer to the back and start adding fabric to the small pieces that represented his life so far.  I didn’t have a plan.  I wasn’t sure how big the quilt would be when it was finished.  I couldn’t imagine how I could have the cute navy cub scout shirt and the bright 1970’s fluorescent state swim meet shirt near each other - they certainly clashed in the box!  I really had no idea if they could work together on a quilt top. But I just kept sewing and after a few days and a lot of cut-up shirts and boxers (boxers are made of fun prints and great cottons), it came together.  As a bonus, it ended up being the perfect size for a twin bed. 
    That was the first of many “memory quilts”  I have made for family members.  I have enjoyed helping friends, as well.