March 1, 2011

Quilting Memories

I have finally gotten back around to working on the quilts that I planned to make from the kids' outgrown clothes.  I've been great about saving the old clothes, but not so great about cutting the pieces and quilting them together.

The futon like couch in out guest living room has storage beneath it and I had so many kids'  clothes packed under there that the seat tilted back a bit.  Not good.  With Joe's job loss and a possible move in our future I figured I had better get to stitching because there is just no way I could justify lugging that many unwearable clothes across the country. 
Haven's complete quilt top spread across the guest room couch

As I sat down to cut out the squares, I looked at what little I had already pieced together of the top and felt a pang of embarrassment at how not professional it looked.  Partly because my quilting friends always show off these perfectly coordinated quilts with cute fabrics and elaborate cuts and my quilt has only basic 8 in squares of completely unmatching fabric.  There's that, which I can overlook as being the nature of the memory quilt, but then there's the fact that I've never quilted a thing in my life and there are little puckers in every corner.  Stitching stretchy fabric cut from t-shirts is a whole lot more sloppy than using the non stretchable cloth from the store.

As I sat there shamefully glancing at the quilt between cutting more shirts, Haven came in to watch.  He screamed as I was about to cut a little puppy out of an old shirt.  He bargained and pleaded, asking if we could just hang the shirt on his wall as decor since it doesn't fit him anymore.  I explained that when we outgrow things we can pass them on to someone else, or recycle them.  We talked about it for a second and then he became excited about the puppy being on a quilt for his bed.

He started rummaging through the pile of his old clothes saying, "This is my Wall-e shirt!  Wall-e can be in my blanket!  And remember when I wore this shirt to the fair?  Blanket!"  Every item had a story.  He was so excited that I quickly realized that all the puckers in the world wouldn't take away from the fact that he was pleased as punch with having all those memories to snuggle up under.

So maybe I won't be showing these off to my quilters league friends, but the kids will for sure be showing them off to their little friends, no doubt telling them stories they don't care a lick about as they points to each square.  "Here's the tie dye shirts we made for our trip to Disney Land and the Mickey Mouse shirt my grandma gave me.  Oh, and I wore these striped footies for 2 years and cried when my toe finally poked through the bottom!"  I can hear it now.  And they're super heavy already, even with no batting or backing, so the kids will be warm as fresh cobbler whenever they wrap up in them.
 
Progress on Hannah Jane's and the clothes still to cut

Haven's top  is done now, after one afternoon of cutting and stitching and rethreading the bobbin about 20 times.  It will be just about twin comforter size once it has been trimmed out.  Hunter's will be next, followed by Hannah Jane's.  They both are a quarter done already, so it won't take long so long as I don't wane in my motivation.  Once all the tops are done, we'll go pick out backing fabric and finish them up!  The original plan was to use the sheets from their bed spreads as the backing fabric, since it would surely take years for them to outgrow enough clothed to make an entire quilt from, but a mere 2 years into the idea, the quilt tops are done and the sheets are still serving their purpose with no signs of wear. 

Progress on Hunter's and clothes still to cut

I cant' wait to share the finished product!  Neither can the kids!  They have each taken what is done of their own quilt up to their beds several times and spread it out with the utmost care and just gazed at it as if there were some magic to be had.  So cute!  So stay tuned.  Hopefully by the end of March they'll be having their spring picnics on new quilts!

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