Saturday, May 31, 2008

Memory Quilt from Shirts

I was asked by an extended family member to make several quilts from the shirts of a deceased loved one. The husband/father died two years ago in his mid-fifties of sepsis. He was a "good-old boy" in the best sense of the phase. Always had time for his family and friends. Loved cars -- watching NASCAR, restoring old cars, etc.
So with a few specifications (I would piece them. I would even quilt them if they were no larger than 50 in X 70 in. I would not agree to a deadline. I would keep receipts for the batting, thread, and backing used. I would not be paid for anything other than supplies.) I agreed to do the quilts. I was given a large container of shirts -- 42 of them. Here is a picture prior to cutting them up.

It took me a couple of weeks working in the evenings to cut off collars and cuffs, press the shirts, and then cut them into pieces. I decided to for the most part use 5 in squares (5.5 in prior to sewing) so that the shirt patterns wouldn't be lost. Of course, I had to make sure the pockets were used in at least one quilt -- this one.

I also cut some 2.5 in X 10.5 in strips from the yokes so the tags could be used.

Here is the first one. I used the pockets in this one. They all still are functioning pockets too. The quilt is 50 in X 70 in, machine pieced and quilted. The pockets are "tied" from the back so they can still be used.

He was also a ball cap wearer, usually a John Deere one. I cut the patch off of one and added it to the quilt.

One of the shirts had paint stains on it. I decided to make sure they were included. I am glad I did, as I found out recently that it represents the "car that didn't get finished". The paint stains are from working on a car restoration.


Ian Furst said...

Our 8 year old son's class is doing a quilt for pioneer days. Home from work an on to iron 30 (could have been 100 - it was a long night with very little alcohol) squares for the next day with my wife. got to love class projects.

Dreaming again said...

Oh Ramona! It is truly beautiful!!

mark's tails said...


rlbates said...

Thank you all.

Silverthimble said...

What a wonderful gift you have given the surviving family members! The quilt looks fabulous! You were wise to use the stained fabric--important to capture ALL the history!

rlbates said...

Thank you Silver Thimble.

StitchinByTheLake said...

When my brother-in-law died (at age 47) I made quilts similar to these for my sister and her 3 children. I cannot tell you how much they cherish them. My sister, 14 years later, still covers up with her during her early morning Bible time. Each of the children (all adults, really) have them in places of honor in their homes. You did a good thing. Blessings, marlene