Sewing through tears can be a difficult task. This project took me longer than what a normal project would take me but emotionally, I could only do a little at a time. I knew that I didn’t really have to get this done right away but I really wanted to get it done before Baby Caff gets here. I achieved that goal with the help of a Blizzard and an extra snow day.
Every time I would sit down to work on this project I was flooded with tears or memories, sometimes both. Back in December, I posted about losing both of my grandparents in a short period of time. That week we worked on cleaning out their apartment, right before Christmas. My job along with my cousin and her girls was to clean out their closet. As we were going through all of these clothes, we started talking about remembering them wearing certain shirts to certain places or things we did with them. All of a sudden, I decided that I would try to make a quilt remembering the two of them together in one place. I let everyone choose what they wanted, a wall hanging or a full size lap quilt. The final order was 5 wall hangings and 4 quilts. At 27 weeks pregnant, apparently I thought I could do anything.
Every single one of them turned out completely different. All I could think about was that each of us has different memories with Grandma and Grandpa and that it was completely appropriate for them to be different. I also tried to include shirts that were specific to that person or something that they shared with one of the two of them. There is one thing that was consistent on all of the quilts and that is each one has a shirt and tie of Grandpa’s on it. The tie is overlaid on the shirt like it would have been worn.
The wall hangings were the first part of this project and they turned out pretty much how I was thinking that they would come out. I wasn’t exactly sure how big they would be though and they didn’t really turn out to be a traditional size but I think they turned out to be just right.
First up is the one for my aunt. She was the oldest of the two girls and something that she shared with my grandparents was working at the Salvation Army. Ultimately, their involvement at the Salvation Army has now led to the whole family being involved, especially at Christmas. I found a t-shirt that belonged to one of them in a drawer and knew that it was to go on my aunt’s wall hanging.
My mom’s was up next. Her wall hanging ended up getting a couple of different pieces on it. She ended up with a New Albany Bulldog towel from a basketball game and one of grandpa’s Kiwanis shirts. I’m not sure why she got the Kiwanis shirt, it just worked out that way but the Bulldog was where she went to school and her love for basketball just like my grandparents.
My one and only cousin was the next one I worked on. I knew exactly what I was going to try for her. We found Grandpa’s IU hat that he wore all the time. Since my brothers and I all went to Purdue and she was the only one that shared their love of IU (besides my mom and aunt), it was only appropriate. Luckily I was able to get it cut off of the hat and it worked, even though I doubted my abilities.
My brothers are probably the two that are the closest when it comes to looks. The blocks are in all different order but the only difference is that the color of the Lackawanna shirts are different. I knew as soon as we found them that the boys were the ones to get these. The first one below has extra pieces of Grandpa’s shirts worked into the corners as well. One of the boys has already mentioned that he is going to try to put a couple of Grandma’s broaches in the corners that don’t have a shirt. I think it is going to look really nice if he decides to do that.
Next up were four regular sized quilts. At first, I thought I was going to be able to make the whole quilt out of blocks of their clothing. Then I started sewing all of the fabrics together and quickly realized that it was going to be super hard to make that happen. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t going to make up the whole blanket but all of the different fabrics were making it very difficult to sew and quilting the small ones was hard enough. Instead I decided to make them the center piece of the blanket with a thick border. Since it wasn’t working out the way I decided to go ahead and make the back of the blanket more personalized with fabric that fit the kids’ personalities. I was also able to get fleece for the backs as well making them much warmer. The last one pictured is my quilt.
Mine has a jacket from Grandpa’s school and a t-shirt from Grandma’s days in the Administration building. I was the only one to follow in their footsteps into education so it was a neat to include those on mine.
Hopefully everyone likes them. I am glad to have them all wrapped up before Baby Caff gets here.