Monday, February 11, 2013

a new work in progress




I started a new project this weekend that has been something I've wanted to do for a long time. My grandmother passed away over a year ago, and shortly before she did, I got the idea of making a quilt out of her clothing.




But I couldn't even think about making something with it until recently. I've had it stored in a closet, but  last week, I pulled it all out and washed everything. When I chose her clothing, I tried to pick things that I remembered her wearing or things that I knew she loved. There are all sorts of substrates, from wool suits to cotton shirts.




I decided to prewash everything in hopes that any shrinkage would occur in the laundry, as opposed to after the quilt is constructed. I don't have any pattern that I'm following for this project. I'm just making some improvisational log cabin blocks that I'll eventually piece together into a nice sized, usable quilt. 

I'm pretty sure I'll cry a lot during this process too. I cried when I pulled the clothing out last week to wash it, and I cried a bit while I was piecing some fabric together last night. But I think it will be really cathartic to work on, and a great way to remember my grandma.

11 comments:

Mary P said...

I'm sure it will be beautiful. I assume you have heard of Passage Quilting? It's a particular bereavement process that Sherri leads people through. Obviously you don't need to learn how to make quilts but you might be interested to see her process.
http://daintytime.net/2011/03/28/keepsake-mini-quilt-passage-quilting%E2%84%A2-tutorial-part-1/

Laura said...

What a great project! I wish I had saved some of my grandfather's flannel shirts to make something similar with.

Bridget said...

Thank you for posting this. My dad died almost three years ago and I have his flannel shirts...told my brother I'd make a quilt out of them. I, too, couldn't bear to cut them, but you have given me some encouragement to get going. Thanks again.

Love your log cabin idea.

Trudie said...

I have a quilt that my grandmother made for me from her clothes and an old bedsheet. It was my high school graduation gift. It's what all her grandkids got. It's one of my most cherished items. Enjoy the process of making your quilt.

wmistamp said...

Wonderful! Check out Living Threads Ministry in Holland, MI - they do this for people for a small price, using volunteers to sew, and then support children in Africa with the proceeds. I am blessed to be taking a machine applique class with them and hope I will be able to sew their projects in the future.

Flying Blind... said...

What a beautiful idea xxx

Tamie said...

This looks like such an exciting project. I wish now that I had saved some of my mother's and my sister's clothes. Your quilt will make a wonderful memory keeper.

Hitch & Thread said...

My mother-in-law suggested to do this after my Mum died a few years ago. At first it was really sad going through her clothes and cutting up perfectly good clothes seemed so wrong. I would cry every time we worked on it and had to put it away for a while. But, now I have a lovely quilt that I can look at and remember her. The clothes she wore, the occasions she wore them to. Like my wedding and the baptism of my first child. I also added fabric from clothes she made me as a little girl. We also made one for my sister adding fabric from her childhood clothes and the clothes mum had made for her children. I hope you will enjoy yours no matter how hard the process.

Mariel said...

Heather, I too will soon be starting a project that is sure to unearth a lot of emotions, clothing involved. Overwhelmingly scared to cut into them.Thinking about you and thank you for sharing your process. Danielle

AngieSue said...

Just this weekend I cut yet another strip out of my favorite aunt's red and white checked blouse. This is the second quilt her shirt will be incorporated into and I know she would have loved it! You will love that quilt in years to come and it will make you smile.

cinzia said...

What a worthwhile project! You will be wrapped in memories of your grandmother. The blocks look like a great start

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