Monday, January 7, 2013

NewFO memory quilts

With the NewFO challenge sparking my brain to come up with new quilts to make, my mind has been busy, busy. One series of quilts that I planned to make, but hadn't started on yet, are comfort quilts made up from my father's worn jeans and work shirts. Dad died on April 2, 2012, just a week before his 96th birthday. Here's a pic of me and Dad in 2009 before his final slide. He's wearing one of the shirts that will be included in the quilts.

I had lived with Dad in my childhood home for 7-1/2 years from 2004 to 2012, allowing him to age in place in the home he built himself before I was born. In celebration of his life, I saved his shirts and jeans to make something, but had no idea what that would entail. This week inspiration hit! Late last year I attended a weekend workshop retreat with Pat Speth as our guest teacher. Her Nickel Quilts are amazing! Looking through her newest book, Nickel Quilts & Borders, I found Hickory Hills, a pattern using stripe/check shirting and denim. It's the perfect solution to my quandary.

I've now taken the pile of shirts out of my cedar chest and plan to start stripping them down to the 5" charm size blocks and strips needed to assemble the blocks. I hope to have enough for several throw size quilts and pillows to share with my brothers and their families. The jeans are definitely well worn and I'm thinking about stabilizing the worn spots and including them too. Dad never got rid of a pair of jeans despite the numerous holes, especially where he kept his keys. There is also a pair of his overalls in the closet and several pairs of suspenders, which he always wore, and they will be incorporated in some way into the quilts as well. My daughter suggested adding a pocket to each quilt and putting something of Grampa's into the pocket before gifting the quilts. Great idea, Ali!

This will definitely be a labor of love. Now that I know what I want to make, let the stripping begin!

More snippets from the sewing room soon,

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