Last time I showed you the shirt piles I was deconstructing for memory quilts that are my absolute "must finish" projects of the first six months of this year (or sooner if I can manage it). After de-sleeving, removing seams, cuffs, collars and button bands of 15/16 shirts this basket is the pile of fabric I have to work from.
Suddenly, unexpectedly and tragically in October my husband's brother died at the age of 42. As you can imagine the immediate family are still reeling from this event which seems almost unbelievable most days. Most sadly of all, my brother-in-law leaves behind three young children whom he loved very much and for whom these memory quilts are being made.
This project is quite an emotional one. I have been staring at the bags of my brother-in-law's shirts for several weeks now feeling the weight and sadness of the fact that these are even available for such quilts when it just doesn't seem right that he is not here to wear them himself. I have been worried about starting to cut into them, not really knowing what to make that will do justice to them for his two daughters and son. But I have stared long enough and figured that I am never going to know how much fabric there is in these shirts until I start making cuts, and I am going to try to think less sadly of these quilts as I make them focusing on the gifts of comfort they will hopefully be for the children.
|Making a start on cutting 4.5" squares from shirts.|
So, will the shirts stretch to three decent sized quilts? Honestly, I don't think that I will get three complete quilts from these shirts without supplementing them with fabric from my stash and that's the assumption I made when I tried to settle on designs for the quilts. Needing to share the fabric around to cover three quilts, I've also decided that the best way is not to work with complicated cutting and piecing and to simply base the quilts on one square cut. That way, I can cut all of the squares, see how many there are and check that there will be enough for the quilts I'd like to make.
Assuming I can achieve enough 4.5" squares for all 3 quilts, I'd like to make two pixel heart quilts for our nieces similar to this one I made in Judith's class.
The heart shape would be pieced from the shirt fabrics (mostly blues, whites, navy mixes) and I would make the background pixels a bright colour from my stash, perhaps a different colour for each of the girls.
For our nephew, I was thinking that I would use more of the shirt fabrics as a mixed background with brightly coloured wonky stars randomly spaced across it. It would be similar to this baby quilt idea
but more random and with a more mixed background rather than it looking like defined blocks.
I probably haven't explained all of this very well, but I hope maybe it makes some sort of sense. To be honest, my head kinda hurts from thinking it over and over and trying to be sure it'll be ok. I think maybe it's just time to stop thinking and just get on with it. So, I'm off to cut more than 700 4.5" charm squares from shirts and stash - wish me happy counting!!