A memory quilt
It’s nearly a month late, but I finally finished Scott’s birthday present. And by “finished” I of course mean half done. I made him a quilt, but not just any quilt. This one is special. It’s a memory quilt. Last spring Scott’s dad L.T. passed away unexpectedly. While we were dealing with everything that happens when a parent dies, this idea somehow showed up in my mind. I gathered up all of L.T’s clothes. All of his pants and button up shirts and suits and anything else I could find. I hid them under the piano and while Scott was at work and Creamie was napping I secretly started cutting them up.
Only, it turns out that cutting squares out of clothing is a much more time consuming process than just cutting out squares. I was picking off pockets, and trying to make the most of the little fabric I had (LT’s not a big clothes guy…). And it seems that I cut out 4.5 inch squares for days. And then after the squares were cut I took the advice of a much wiser quilter than me, my cousin Liz. She suggested I put some lightweight interfacing on the back of those thin cotton shirts. And I’m glad I did. Not only did it make the squares a million times easier to sew together, I think they will hold up a lot better. Of course, that meant after the interfacing was ironed on I had to cut them out again. Sigh. Finally, after cutting out squares for forty days and forty nights (perhaps a slight exaggeration) I realized I’d never finish the whole quilt in time, and it was time to move on to Plan B.
Plan B: Just finish the top. After I had laid out my quilt and started sewing squares together I realized just how big this thing was going to be. And since I am going to quilt it myself I decided that there was no way I was going to be able to get it quilted in our small house without Scott finding out about it. Did I mention that this quilt is huge…. like 90″ square huge? No? Oh. Well it’s big, and I’m a little nervous about fitting it under my machine. Plan B was going great. I did what anyone trying to keep a secret does. I banished Scott to our bedroom with his laptop and his snacks and threatened death if he so much as thought about taking off his noise canceling headphones. I needed to sew in the living room so I could see the whole thing layed out while I worked on it. I told him that if he needed something he should text me from the other side of the wall. Such a great age we live in, right? Plan B was going along nicely, and then life intervened again. Creamie had a few less than awesome (read non existent) naps in a row and then I got called away on an emergency midnight thrifting adventure.
Plan C: Give my dear husband who I love more than anything else in this life a big box of squares and a partially finished quilt for the big 3-0 birthday, with a promise that it will be done soon. And look, only a month later the top is finally finished. Scott loves what this quilt is going to be, and I love that we’ll have a little part of his dad with us always.
I’m adding this to Sew+Tell at Amy’s. I also need to thank a few of my quilty/sewing friends for some serious input in the laying out of this quilt. Scott is usually a great sounding board to bounce ideas off of, but that wasn’t going to work so well in birthday stealth mode. I think it was TraceyJay who inspired me to go with diagonal stripes and I love the way that they turned out. I’m going to spend the morning catching up on some projects while Creamie plays with grandma, and then I’m going to spend some quality time with a needle and thread and see if I can knock out two more Christmas presents. Have a happy weekend!