Memory quilt from my father-in-law’s clothes

Memory quilt handmade by Carole Cardinal
MEMORIES MADE REAL

When my father-in-law passed, my  spouse couldn’t let go of his father’s clothes, so we decided to bring them to our house.  At first I thought to keep all of the buttons to use them later on for a jewelry or a collage project. Then I had this idea of making a memory quilt. I had never made a quilt. Thanks to the internet, within a few hours a knew how to construct one  :  )

I drew a few ideas, and we chose the design in which the quilt would be constructed around a square of my father in law’s  Scottish clan tartan placed in the center. I ordered their coat of arms embroidered applique from Scotland, and I went about making it.

 

I decided to exclusively use the fabric from his suits, his favorite tweed jacket from Harris tweed, except for the use of his cotton bathing suit (I needed some blue to match the clan tartan). While I was spending long hours sitting on the living floor “pin basting” the quilt (life saver tip; use the short curved safety pins, many, many of them), I had this reflection that all these suit makers were now no longer existing. Like Simpsons and Eaton who were making high quality custom suits some decades ago.

I went back to the fabric left overs and used a seam ripper to remove all the brand labels from the suits and settled to sew them on the quilt over their corresponding fabric…except that in order to do so,  I had to remove some of the pinned safety pins… I was half way done. Too late now,  it was the look I knew I wanted. Unpin, unpin, unpin… Machine sew the labels on, and started over the lengthy  “quilt sandwich” task. For the quilt binding I found a plaid ribbon that was similar to the clan tartan, I just needed to iron/fold the ribbon in two and sew it around the quilt. An then, I had another inspired idea. How about sewing some of the original buttons on the quilt?! Some of the buttons looked so nice. And I did sew buttons on the quilt for the next 7 hours! In all it took me about 50 hours of work, not bad for a first quilt!

My mother-in-law was so happy when I gifted to her, I had made the quilt 50″ by 60″  because I meant for my mother in law to use it has a throw blanket in her living room. She wouldn’t have it,  saying that it needed to be properly displayed, and she placed it on her bed because she wanted to have a better view at it. Good decision, there she can also be with her husband in her dreams. Sixty-seven years of marriage… indeed a lot of happy memories to dream and reminiscent about.

Have you ever sewn a quilt?

It was fun to learn new techniques and new quilt terms like; “stitch in the ditch” and “fussy cut”. I will definitely make another quilt at some point in time, when my sewing to do list will be smaller…. much smaller!

À la prochaine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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