Wednesday, June 04, 2008

WiP: Memory quilt

Dear Shayne,

As I have mentioned, I am learning to hand quilt. It's going all right and I feel more confident in my stitches every day. I have been asked why on earth I would want to do such a thing, so I thought I'd share the project that will eventually be quilted: It's a "memory quilt" for Bill's mom made out of Bill's dad's old shirts.

It's still a work in progress, but here are a couple of photos. These are some of the original shirts, both whole and in pieces:
WiP: Memory quilt

And this is a not-so-great photo I took while putting everything up on my design wall -- this is just the rectangles, before I sewed anything together:
WiP: Memory quilt

As of today, I have most of the top stitched together. Working with these fabrics has been a huge challenge -- way more than I had anticipated. The different weights makes everything weird. Some fabrics are very thin and distort easily, so the blocks are not coming out entirely square. Whee.

I also included some portions of the shirts that show that they were once shirts (pockets, buttons, yokes) -- I like the effect, but it also threw some of the blocks out of whack.

I am afraid it's going to look a little homely when I am done with the uneven blocks and my less-than-perfect stitching, but this particular quilt is not really about style, so I think it will be okay.



SisterDG said...

Wow, this is really wonderful! I love how the pattern turned out. Would love to see a picture of the finished quilt.

kelly said...

SisterDG -- thanks for the compliment! I'll be sure to post progress along the way. Right now, I'm still finishing the top.

Then there's basting.

Then... I'll be quilting this puppy for the next 25 years. Well, that's an exaggeration. (I hope!)

After that, it's binding. By then, you'll be sick of me talking about it. Stay tuned!

The Housewife said...

Kelly... the quilt is so wonderful. I'm sure Bill's Mom will appreciate being able to wrap herself in the shirts and take in all the love they contain :)

Good luck with the hand stitching. I'll be watching for more posts about it.

Victoria said...

What a wonderful daughter-in-law you are to make such a beautiful, time consuming, love filled gift! I am sure she will treasure it with all of her heart!

ren said...

amazing. and this the kind of thing where i think homely and cozy is better than precise and cold. what a lovely thing to do.

Shayne said...

You are awesome for doing this and the quilt is awesome so far! I can only imagine how much Bill's mom will love it and appreciate the time you've put into it.

amy said...

this looks fabulous! the stripes of the shirts really lend them self to the rail fence design! and i'm so excited that you're leaving some of the "shirt" details in, i love things like that!

Dawn said...

Ditto to everything else that people have said - it looks like it's going to be quite an amazing quilt!

kelly said...

Thank you so much for all of your comments. I'm so touched!

Along with the technical difficulties I've had making this quilt, there have been emotional stumbling blocks. It took me months to get through cutting those shirts up.

I really appreciate everyone's kind words about the work I've done so far -- it helps me so much as I look forward to the remaining work I have to do.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

bettyninja said...

Really- I love this quilt. It has such great depth and character and that is hard to find in a lot of quilts. Too much people buy packs of fabric and follow patterns and their quilts just look the same as everyone else's. This looks meaningful. and I love the way you rolled with the punches.