Memory Quilt: Toddler Dresses

Just to recap these toddler dresses were given to me to make a pillow. I couldn’t bear to just cut chunks out of the dresses without using up all the material given to me – so I suggested a quilt as well.

I have had this idea of having an actual dress sewn to the middle of a quilt – as if in a picture frame for a while now. This quilt is for a 4 year old girl – the youngest of all the sisters who have worn these dresses.

The back of the blue dress was so pretty with its buttons and wide bow –  I knew that was the dress to use.

I used some petals left over from the memory pillow to create her flowers. The ribbon on her flowers and in her hair are from the dresses. Her shoes are made from the grey wool dress.

I used the remaining pieces from the dresses to create a ‘picture frame’ around the dress.

Mini orange peel is a little bit of a favorite pattern for me at the moment.  You can take orange peel in some many different directions – it is a fabulous pattern to play with.

In the border there are lots of cute little details like lace, the stitched boats on the pink striped dress and the pleats and stitched flowers in the blue satin dress front.

Here is some up close detail of the quilting around the girl.

Therapeutic Mctavishing for the sky.
She is standing on the shore looking out. There are a lot of pebbles and shells beneath her feet.

Some of the pebbles are very small.

Hair has become a small obsession of mine to take further next year. The braid is actually another piece of brown fabric appliqued onto the hair shape and then I quilted on top of the layers in a lighter thread color to highlight the shape of the hairstyle. It turned out really well.

It sits wonderfully on a queen bed.

I’m excited for the little girl to receive it. I’m planning it will get to her in time for Christmas. I really hope they enjoy using it.

 

Memorial Quilt: Men’s Cotton Shirt Quilt

This is a quilt made for a family whom lost their father. Their father loved to wear bright colorful shirts.

I don’t often see patchwork patterns that I immediately want to make but when I saw this pattern called Simply Woven by Jessica Kelly – I knew that it would make an amazing quilt from recycled materials. I made my quilt a little larger (it is probably around a king sized quilt) – I had so many shirts I didn’t want to waste them!

I also added a border to my quilt as the family have more traditional tastes and I think formal borders always make things seem a bit more traditional in style.

I used my mix and match all over technique for the filler pattern. And a simple feather border …

my feather corners are getting better.

The mix and match design blends really well on the front of the quilt …

… it is the back clearly shows all the detail.

I tried to mimic a little bit of the woven element on the back too.

And in case you don’t believe this is made from men’s cotton shirts – there are little bits on the front to remind you.

Memorial Quilt: Coats & Kilts – Quilt #3

This is the 3rd quilt that I made for a family of three sisters and one brother from a box of childhood
coats & kilts that their mother had collected. You can view the first quilt here and the second quilt here.

This is the 3rd quilt I finished – it is another Drunkards Path pattern.

But I hope I have given the traditional pattern a little twist. I quilted this quilt in straight lines using blue, red & white threads – I tried to mimic a sort of tartan pattern in terms of the lines placement & order.

 

I have had several people tell me recently that straight lines are perceived to be simple – but let me assure you – straight lines – in any direction – with any machine – are not at all easy and anyone who can pull off perfect straight lines – line after line after line – gets my award of quilting valor. So while my straight lines might not be 100% perfect – I do think the idea of quilting a tartan quilting design ontop was accomplished.

 

 

 I also sewed all the different the buckles from all the kilts back onto the quilt. 

For me personally – completing this particular quilt was a huge effort and lesson for me in persistence and trusting an idea or vision. I was so pleased with how the top turned out with all the fabrics blending into one another …

 

… but then there was a little hiccup.  Part way through this quilt I had an ‘oh no I think I’m making a horrible mistake moment’ AND the timing on my machine went AND I had my thyroid removed. The afternoon I got back from hospital my lovely handiquilter dealer was there in my bedroom fixing the timing on my machine while I snored off the results of my sleep deprived hospital night and the rather long lasting results of the anesthetic (utterly embarrassing.) And the next morning I was up continuing the straight lines – still unable to speak or drink any liquids. It was a tough couple of days – but I kept on quilting lines – and gradually my initial vision began to come together & now I am really pleased with this result. I really love the buckles on the quilt (I hope the family do too!)  I suspect they might have been discarded otherwise and as this quilt is for the only brother in the family – I like the masculine edge the buckles give the quilt. 

And this quilt has my favorite bit out of ALL the four quilts on this quilt. A large kilt pin in the bottom right corner!!

Memorial Quilt: Kilt & Coat Quilt #1

I have been working on these quilts – four in total – for a long time. I am excited to share the results with you.

The quilts are made from kilts and coats that were in the families mothers attic. There were kilts, coats & traditional Irish dresses from their childhood. The fabrics, textures and colors were bright and beautiful – a mixture of wools, velvets, cotton (and maybe some mystery blends.)

I decided to add some white flannel to all the quilts – flannel because it is soft and snuggly – but also because it compliments and blends into the texture of the wool kilts and coats. All the squares were cut to 2.5″x2.5″ and are 2″x2″ finished.

I was very careful when I took the clothes apart to preserve all the details. I took the ribbon off and reattached it to strips of flannel to use as squares. I didn’t want to waste any ribbon detail so there is a button hole included in one block.

I left some trim and lace on in some places. I love how you discover something new in every square.

The center of this quilt is a panel from a blue cotton summer dress.

I used most of the rest of this blue cotton dress in the diagonals lines of the triple Irish Chain pattern. I added some matching blue flannel so that I had enough of the same color to complete the pattern.

In the center of each chain is a flower ….

… which is surrounded by tiny pebbles. Would you believe me if I told you each flower took me 1hr to complete?

 

The border of the quilts is taken from the blue velvet in this dress ….

… I LOVE quilting velvet. It is gorgeous to work with.

The binding is made from an old school uniform.

And I love the back. (I couldn’t decide which photo I liked the best ….)

 

AND just to remind you of what some of the different materials started as …

 Childhood wool coats

 

13 wool kilts

This is the first of four quilts I completed for the family.

 

For me there are several really exciting moments in a project like this – being given the work is such a tremendous tremendous honor – the moment you load the finished top on the machine is so exciting – then finishing the quilting is even more exciting – and finally when you hand the materials back to the family as a finished quilt – that feeling is just something else.

Memory Quilt: Wedding Memories

Five years ago a loving Sister and Bridesmaid made a plan – she would get each guest at the wedding to decorate a square of cotton with messages of love. These cotton squares would then be made into a Memory Quilt for the Bride and Groom. Five years later the squares had been decorated but the quilt had not been made. Recently her sister unfortunately got the news that she would have to have a double mastectomy – and she wanted to get the quilt completed to provide love and comfort to her sister after the operation. Continue reading

Memorial Quilt: T-shirts

This is not your typical t-shirt quilt.

If you have not had the pleasure with working with t-shirts before – they are much harder to quilt than you would imagine. The material is not conducive to any complex piecing, non bulky seams and free motion quilting. When I was given these t-shirts (from a family whose Grandmother had passed away) I wasn’t sure what I would do with the huge array of colors – the t-shirts also vary in their ‘stretch’, weave/texture, sheen and thickness.

Continue reading