Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My next BIG project

To understand my next project I first need to give you a little back story.

Last year my Father in Law passed away. He was and still is a giant inspiration to his kids and his Grandkids. He was ill for many years and never, ever gave up! Even though he couldn't breathe well, he found a way to mow his own lawn and remove all his own snow until the very end. He always said that if he stopped moving and doing all these things for himself - that he would get worse and he didn't want to live like that.

He loved his grandkids more than any thing in the World. He was sentimental - and we never knew just how sentimental he was until a few weeks ago.  We spent quite a few weekends the last month cleaning out my husbands childhood home. I was in the basement cleaning out a storage room and I found drawers FULL of letters, cards, newspaper clippings from kids and grandkids sporting events, programs from plays at school.. and so much more. He saved it all!

Anyway - see this pictures...

This is a pile of some of his clothes. My Mother in Law saved them for me. The plan is to make a quilt for each grandkid. There are 10 of them.. they range in age from 31 to 6 yrs. The grandkids don't know about the project and we are hoping to give the quilts to them for Christmas from Grandma.

I don't plan on doing anything fancy.. just simple squares, maybe different size squares. Each quilt will be a twin size. Any ideas? I'm open to tips/comments... talk to me quilters!! Do you think I can get them all done by THIS Christmas?? Pin It

24 comments:

Sandy said...

What a terrific idea! If you sew BIG squares , you can probably make all 10 by Christmas.
I'mm currently working on a lap quilt for my step-dad - he'll be 92 Sept 21....we're so lucky to have him, but he does ahve his health problems..

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Check out this blog. http://quiltville.blogspot.com/
She only uses recycled fabrics. I'm sure you will find something there!
Wish I had saved my Dad's clothes.

Kristine said...

I will be watching with interest, I saved some of my mom's clothing with the plan of doing quilts for my 2 kids. Good luck, I'm sure you'll make it happen!

Miss 376 said...

What a lovely project, and a great way to remember their grandfather

Nanci said...

That is so sweet and that story reminds me of the Hallmark ad where they are cleaning out the house and moving their parents across town and the girls find all their old letters, cards etc. that their dad had saved and are truly touched and see their dad differently. I love love the shirt quilt idea but 10 by Christmas sounds daunting, maybe make one for each child for thier next birthday over the next year or perhaps for all the kids on your father in laws birthday.
Can't wait to see what you do.

Needled Mom said...

What a fabulous idea! If he saved all of the letters, etc. perhaps you could incorporate some of them (scanned and printed on fabric) into the various quilts. Maybe done throughout the year instead of all ten at once.

Sunshine and Whimsy said...

I'm actually doing the same thing with my dad's dress shirts. He just passed away in June and my son now has all his short sleeved dress shirts. Since my son is only 10 and the shirts are far too big for him, I decided to make a memory quilt for him. I'm still looking for something to inspire me, too.

Maria said...

What a lovely idea but I do agree with the other ladies and think it would be easier to spread making them out. to get them done by Xmas you will have to do 3 a month. Big ask.

Deanna said...

I have recently completed two quilts that might be workable for this project. One with squares and one with strips. They each were completed tops in basically one day. If you had a plan with a simple, similar pattern and had a cutting marathon, followed by a few pretty serious days and a budget for a machine quilter...yes, it is possible. And, I'll bet you could get people to help with parts of it.

Debbie said...

Last February my brother passed away suddenly and his girlfriend saved me some of his shirts. I made a rag quilt for her from them. I chose to do this kind because I felt it represented him best. A little frayed around the edges and a good centre. If you think about your father-in-law's life you will come up with something that will represent what he meant to everyone. Good Luck.

Jorie said...

I just put together a "recycled" quilt last night using old t-shirts and military uniforms from my hubby. The top was finished in "one naptime" and a couple of hours last night. It's a little smaller than a twin size, but the top is roughly 56x76. The hardest part was working with the stretchiness of the shirts, which it looks like your fabric won't have that problem! I think you should be able to get the tops done quickly once you figure out a rough plan!

Mary-Kay said...

You could make simple quilts with squares of the clothing fabrics and then some sashing around the blocks and as a border. Stitch in the ditch and attach a label and binding and you've got a quilt. I saw one done like this and it looked so soft and cozy. What memories your family will have when they receive a quilt from Grandpa's clothes. You could also take some of the cards and stuff and scan them on to fabric for the background of a quilt label.

Irina said...

Hello!
I just finished a quilt top, my very first quilt! and it is made out of second hand men's shirts. It's a great way to get fabric!it will be such a nice gift for the granchildren.

The only 2 plain blue squares in my quilt are from the shirt of good friend of ours who passed away.
you can have a look here,maybe you can get some inspiration!

http://el-petit-taller.blogspot.com/2010/08/patchwork-iii-never-ending-project.html

Barb said...

You have taken on quite the task but a wonderful one. Good luck and enjoy the process because he will be with you every step of the way with tons of memories and love.

Tiffany said...

WOW, ten grandkids! This is a wonderful undertaking and a treasure for each of them. I look forward to seeing your finished works.

Sandy said...

I just made three quilts this past month and I hand quilted them while sitting in front of the tv.. if you use large squares and dont worry about matching colors.. they will turn out wonderful.. if you like,, get a solid color to mix in also..what a wonderful idea!
Have fun!

CJ said...

Here are a couple I have in my Flickr faves that might give you some inspiration.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12784349@N08/4178200427/in/faves-28063124@N05/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12784349@N08/4177166774/in/set-72157612060213955/

It would be fun to include the pockets or button plackets too.

Maggie said...

I live in the Twin Cities area and have made many of these types of quilts. I love leaving in the pockets and buttoned plackets, so people remember that this was someone's shirts. I also use jean and pant's pockets. If you would like to see some of my pictures, email me at maggie (dot) hagman (at) gmail (dot) com. I also teach making T shirt quilts at Bear Patch Quilting in White Bear Lake.

Maggie said...

Make that email address maggiehagman (at) gmail (dot) com

Poppyprint said...

Wow, that would be amazing. I know I wouldn't be able to pull that off by Christmas because I always SO over commit myself..have you got some help for cutting and piecing? I think large squares would be the way to go, and if you backed them in polar fleece, sewed them up pillowcase-style and tied the 2 layers at the square intersections with floss, you just might get'er done!

WindsomWinds said...

I've seen many of these turn out beautifuly! Good luck! If you incorporate at least one pocket from the shirts into each quilt you can place some of the smaller notes and articles from each child into the pocket. It would be fun for the kids to find the old articles their grandpa saved on Christmas and later it becomes a fun element of the quilt.

vanos said...

Hi Heidi - I just made a quilt using six shirts and a pair of jeans. I got the pattern from the "Life is a Stitch" blog. I have a picture of the one that I made up on my blog, with a link to hers. I completed the quilt top in two weekends! It's a lap quilt 52 x 64. Good Luck!

Micki said...

What a great idea! Squares are easy and quick to do. You should be able to get them done!
Micki

Celine said...

This is a great idea. I planned to do the same for my brother, my Mum and myself with some of my Dad's clothes when he passed away and I never got the energy... Good luck
Celine in UK