Hope this finds everyone well and enjoying their summer. I have been traveling a lot visiting family and friends and it has been great. I have also spent time designing quilts for my family that I can’t wait to get started on. A few are in the works but since they are gifts I will share them at a later date.
What I would like to share are a group of quilts that I recently did for a client that used a variety of techniques that I teach in my classes and book. Some of you may have seen some of them before in my or other quilts but I think it is good to see lots of examples of the flexibility these quilts have as far as what you can put in them and how you can add a personal touch to any quilt with just a little extra thought and work.
I did three quilts from this clients husbands t-shirts. Each quilt had different shirts for the most part but several things were requested to be in all three quilts.
They are big Redskins fans and he had several shirts but only one pair of pajama bottoms. I took the pajama bottoms and framed out the shirts in different ways and since I had only 2 shirts used the logo on the sleeve from one shirt for the third quilt. You can see in the photos below the different ways I used the fabric from the pajamas.
These photos also show several different ways I combined shirts to make blocks. In photos 1 and 3 you can see that I combined two shirts. Photo 3 also shows how I combined 4 of his polo shirts to make a block. Each of the quilts has one of these blocks in it. Photo 2 shows how I took a white shirt and framed it in black so it would pop and not get lost in the sashing. This photo also shows how I appliqued two logos from other shirts onto a whole block to include them in the quilt.
The daughter had a baby blanket that she wanted included in the quilt. I put it in the four corners of the border.
Does it match perfectly? No it doesn’t but that is ok these are memory quilts not works of art. Of course you want to do the best you can to make a nice looking quilt but you are not always given things that match and necessarily go together perfectly. Sometimes a quilters perfectionism about matching and blending of colors and fabrics has to be thrown out the window for the more important idea that the memory of a loved one, time or place must take priority. I sometimes cringe at what I need to do or am asked to do to make a quilt but when I see the look on the clients face and hear they cried when they got it I know throwing my perfectionism out the window was the right thing to do for the sake of the memories.
Each of the quilts had a quote embroidered and placed on them as well. Below is an example of one of them. I am not comfortable embroidering directly onto a clients shirt so I usually use other fabric, in this case the extra fabric from the back of the shirt, and do the embroidery on that. This way if anything happens during the embroidery process it does not damage or ruin the memory item. I simply applique the embroidery onto the shirt. You can barely notice the applique since I used matching thread.
The last thing I wanted to show you was how I did one of the backs. One of the quilts had too many shirts so I took five of them and place them on the back of the quilt. It helped to utilize all the shirts she gave me and at the same time added a nice design element to the back of the quilt.
I hope these examples of different techniques gets you blood flowing with different ideas for your own quilts. Don’t forget to think outside the box and when you have to make a choice be truer to the memories you are saving than to the aesthetic of the quilt. This is very difficult for quilters, we are artists at heart which is why making these kinds of quilts is not for everyone.
I would love to see and share some of the memory quilts you have got going out there or did for graduations. Drop me an email with some photos that I can share. Also, don’t forget to contact me should you come across something you don’t quite know what to do with I will be happy to troubleshoot it with you.
Keep enjoying the summer and hope you are getting in some fun time with family and friends.
Happy Memories, Trish