Memory quilts are very special because they hold the memories of a loved one. I received a call from Joanna who wanted three lap size quilts made out of her grandmothers clothes. She brought me a bag of clothes – none were cotton, but she remembered her grandmother wearing these shirts and skirts. You can also make your own memory quilt by following these steps.
Step 1: Cut the clothes apart. I chose 5.5 inch squares and backed them with fusible.
Step 2: I divided the number of blocks by 3 for 3 quilts then placed them in a design and sewed them together.
Step 3: I added the borders. Two with red and one with blue.
Step 4: Backing and Batting. I pieced the backings and I used 100% cotton batting.
Step 5: Quilt as desired. I quilted one with large flowers, one with stars and one with curved design. Binding to match the border fabric.
Step 6: Label. The first two had the labels attached to the back and the third on the front.
Quilter’s are amazing people who are always making quilts for charity organizations. We usually have no idea the impact these quilts have on others. Karen, left in photo, made a quilt for the Quilts of Valor organization. She gave it to the President of QGI (Quilters Guild of Indianapolis) Christine at the November 2015 meeting. Karen wasn’t feeling well and left the meeting early, not knowing Christine was going to present her quilt to a fellow QGI member that same evening. I was presented the quilt at the meeting for my service in the US Air Force.
Karen and I both are also members of the Common Threads quilt guild. I was in charge of the charity project for 2016 and I chose Quilts of Valor to present quilts to veterans in our community. At the February meeting I showed my quilt and explained the project. Karen was at the meeting and she knew she was the maker of my quilt, but didn’t say anything to me. Karen’s health had taken a turn for the worse, so I spearheaded a project to make Karen a quilt from the board members of Common Threads. I requested 6 inch squares of earth tone fabrics and Sindy sewed them together and I quilted it with a butterflies design. I presented the quilt to Karen at the July 2016 meeting. She loved it and was surprised because most quilter’s are used to giving not receiving a quilt.
Karen’s health was continuing down hill and was told nothing else could be done for her condition. Since she was now restricted to her home she was keeping in touch with the guild by Facebook. I called her in October 2016, to request a visit with her and she accepted. I arrived and enjoyed a visit. Her husband called me to the side and said, “Karen made your Quilt of Valor.” She wasn’t going to tell me but I am so thankful that her husband felt I needed to know. The quilt label had first name and now I am able to add the last name. The quilt became even more special to me. Had I not taken the time to go visit I would never had known.
January 2017, Karen was told her condition was failing and her time here was short. I requested another visit and she accepted. I brought my quilt and I requested a picture of us together with both quilts that we each took a part in for each other. I then asked her if I could pray with her and she said yes. I prayed to our Heavenly Father, the great Physician, Healer and Comforter, that it is a great feeling to be wrapped in quilts made with love, but it is going to be so much better to be wrapped in the arms of our Creator. I said Amen and left. One week later, seven days, I received word that Karen had gone on to be with our Loving Father and can now breath on her own and have no more pain and suffering.
I love to go to auctions, flea markets and antique stores looking for quilt blocks, unfinished quilt tops and anything quilt related that I can practice my quilting on. I found this quilt top at a church garage sale for $10. It was hand pieced with a great deal of love, bless this quilt-maker’s heart. The nine patch blocks are pink and blue with orange sashing. Since the name of the maker could be not be located I want to believe the quilt was being made for a new arrival, back before technology revealed the sex of the baby.
I challenge myself to take any quilt top and make it beautiful. I like borders so it became a challenge to bring the three colors together. When I concentrated on the orange there it was – Penguins! I found the penguin fabric at another garage sale because I am always building my fabric stash. I added the border and quilted an overall pattern of circles. It still needed something to make it my own. I was thinking of a penguin in the middle so I went to Good Will and within minutes I found three T-shirt’s with Penguins on them. I used double-sided fusible and fused them on the quilt and machine stitched them down. I gave this quilt to my niece for Christmas. I love taking a basic quilt block pattern and making it new and unique. Have fun adding T-shirt’s and embellishments to your quilts. Who knew that penguins could make it new!
A customer brought me a quilt top and pattern and said she wanted the feathers like the the pattern. When I could not find the designs I called the company and talked with the quilter Lora Zmak. Lora was extremely helpful. She is a free hand artist and quilter. She mailed me the feather designs on paper. The pattern can be purchased at http://www.inbetweenstitches.com/shop/c/p/Double-Arrow-x7908288.htm
The quilting designs include: HQ Square Spiral, HQ Block 17, HQ Flower Twist, Pam Clark Butterfly Wings, Lora Zmak corner feather, double feather, two feathers apart.
Someone attending college and you want to make them a quilt, then check out this website: http://www.creativequiltkits.com
Alisha DeBello designs quilt patterns using the easy log cabin block design. Sharon brought me two quilt tops to be quilted for her granddaughters. Maddie attends Clemson South Carolina and Katelynn attends Miami University of Ohio. The Clemson quilt I quilted paw prints to go with the mascot and layout design. Custom quilting really makes these quilts into beautiful keepsakes. Absolutely gorgeous quilts to inspire school spirit!
I wish I had a Quilter’s Stash. I know a few quilter’s that could open their own fabric store with their stash. Recently, I had a daughter of a quilter that was making a baby quilt for the first grand-daughter. The mother has her daughter pick out fabric from her stash. The soon to be grandmother already had one ready for this day and she is hand-quilting hers. No, the daughter is not a quilter, but we are hoping she gets the bug. The daughter tells of the time her mother was in the hospital and she had to get clothes for her, and in EVERY place she looked, she found fabric. Fabric stashed here, tucked there and hidden over there. And what quilter doesn’t have a story about where she got THAT piece of fabric. With a piece of fabric picked out, and oh too pretty to cut up, she decided to just add a border. She picked a soft fluffy mint green for the backing fabric and wanted it quilted with large flowers. A simple but elegant baby quilt made with love.
The Material Girls in Shelbyville make baby quilts and bags for the pregnancy center. Ruth Dommestrup made the baby quilts, Laura donated the backing fabric and I quilted them. Laura, Sara and I laid out the backing fabric and quilt tops so that I could quilt them back to back. We had a marathon quilting day! (ok, it took more than a day) Sandy and Teresa donated the batting and the members will add the binding. What a great purpose of making and giving quilts. We have 16 baby quilts to give to the center.