A year ago, I was asked by my cousin to make a memory quilt for her late mother-in-law. I was lucky enough to meet her a few times over the years, and she was a spirited woman with a heart full of kindness. She will be dearly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.
I was sent a box of her shirts and waited patiently for the perfect pattern to come along. I finally found it in the Moda Love Quilt. The pieces were large enough to show off the motifs on the shirts, while also providing an interesting pattern.
I separated the shirts into color groups — red, orange, pink, blue, and black. I also pulled in polka dot red and black prints for the background. I thought the polka dots added a little fun to the quilt and helped tie all the colors together.
My secret weapon for the quilt was Terial Magic — a stiffening starch. You spray it on fabrics that are difficult to work with like knits and it turns them into a stiff material that’s easy to cut and sew. It acts like a stabilizer and washes out.
I made this black shirt the center star — it’s the biggest and truly describes who she was! (She’s definitely the kind of Grandma I’d want to have a glass of wine with!)
I kept the quilting very simple to allow the shirts to shine. I did echo quilting in the backgrounds and left the shirts unquilted, so as not to worry about sewing though the thicker fabric and sewing through words or designs.
I backed the quilt with fabrics from Amy Sinibaldi’s Charleston fabric. My family is from Charleston, South Carolina, so I really wanted to add this personal touch and bring a sense of home to the quilt.
And a little trick for backing a quilt with directional fabric like that house print — separate the pieces with a strip of non-directional fabric. That means you don’t have to worry about lining things up or purchasing extra fabric. And it adds a little interest.
A preprinted label was the finishing touch. I’m happy I found this one, since it said what I wanted to say so eloquently.
To gift it, I saved the Charleston fabric selvage and wrapped the quilt with it. It’s touches like this that let the recipient know how much you care and how much you took care of their family member clothing.
Thanks for joining me for “happy hour”,