Memory Quilt Prayer

For the most part, my quilting hobby is fun, especially the t-shirt quilt commissions.  I love the look on someone’s face (usually a sneaky mom who smuggled shirts to me) when they see those shirts made into a quilt their senior will take to college.  But sometimes the quilt commissions can take a more somber tone.  Sometimes I’m tasked with a commission to make a memory quilt from clothes from a loved one that has passed on.  I’ve made memory quilts from clothes of both deceased younger and older folks, and it’s a profound task, preserving memories of someone else’s loved one.

My first t-shirt quilts were from my father’s clothes, and they showed me the healing power of a memory quilt.  My father died unexpectedly, and I had a lot of anger mixed in with my grief.  It was an anger that I didn’t know what to do with, and I felt powerless to confront.  And then my grandmother told me I’d be making four t-shirt quilts for myself, her, and my two other sisters.  And it was in the making of these that I found a degree of peace and finally felt like I could say goodbye. Clothes are probably the hardest part of a loved one to reliquish.  We remember what they looked like in them, which ones they favored, and they even smell like that person for a long time afterwards.

I was nervous when I made a memory quilt for someone outside of my own family.  It was for a young man who had passed away from cancer.  I remember gulping a bit as I finished up the design process and was ready to make those initial cuts into the shirts.  Again, the idea of preserving those memories for someone else is daunting.  So I prayed.  I placed my hand on the bags of clothes and prayed for guidance, peace for the grieving family, and the ability to do that person’s memory justice.  Whenever I have a quilt that has a similar back story, I take the time to pray beforehand, asking for the same guidance.

I thought I would share that prayer with you all in case you find yourself faced with a similar challenge. Feel free to use, adjust, or change as needed.

“Heavenly Father, I pray your guidance as I make this quilt.  Please guide my hands that I may do justice to this person’s memory.  May this quilt bring their family comfort in their grief and remind them of more joyful times.  In your name I pray, amen.”

 

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A memory quilt made from nice business causal clothes. This lady was an artist, so I arranged it by color and placed her own artwork in the middle.
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A memory quilt made from dress shirts. I managed to keep the collars on and featured.
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A memory quilt for a friend using the shirts her father-in-law gave her over the years.
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A memory quilt made from dress shirts and t-shirts. This is the mother holding it after it was gifted to her as a surprise.

Darth Vader quilt

Christmas is here, and I can finally make a post about one quilt in particular.  I couldn’t make a peep about it anywhere on any of my social media outlets because the friend it was for was privy to all of them.

While visiting over the summer, a friend joked after seeing my other Star Wars silhouette quilts that I should make one with Darth Vader in the corridor – the scene in both Rogue One at the end and in Star Wars: A New Hope at the beginning.  A little while later, his sweet bride sent me a picture, asking about getting it made into a twin-sized quilt in the style I’d done with the others.

The original image
The original image

Well I LOVED the idea of all that red fabric, and I liked how it turned out as a background pattern for sure.  The silhouette was very simple, especially compared to the Rey and Kylo Ren quilt I’ve done a couple of times before.  I stuck with my usual style of using crepe back satin for the light saber.  I’ll forever love that fabric.

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The biggest surprise with this quilt was it was my first time using wool batting.  I’d heard of it before, but that was about it.  And let’s face it – I live in Georgia.  We don’t need wool blankets except for on a handful of days at best.  I was surprised at how light it was.  In fact, I halfway wondered if it wasn’t actually polyester.  I did some research and tried out the “burn test” on a small patch.  Sure enough, it burned and singed instead of melted, so it was the real deal.

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I made the quilt and then got really scared at the idea of washing this thing.  I have sinned against wool in the past, and I was nervous about repeating that mistake.  I finally decided I would rather wash it and take my chances with me first before sending it off to my friends.  So I washed it on the coldest, shortest, gentlest cycle my washing machine had to offer, and then I hung it out on my back deck to dry.  I’m proud to say that there were no casualties in the making of this quilt – cotton, wool, or otherwise.

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Related Posts:

Star Wars Quilt

Rey and BB8 Wall Quilt

Luke’s Last Sunset Wall Quilt

 

Tis the season!…for Quilt Scams on Facebook

Over the last few days, I’ve seen a lot, and I mean A LOT, of targeted advertisements for commercial quilts.  It made sense.  I’m a quilter, and I am probably in one of the top ten hits from any targeted ad involving quilts.  No surprise there.

I’ll admit I was taken in by the beauty of these advertisements at first, but as I had no intention of buying them I didn’t look all too closely.  It wasn’t until a sweet person in one of my quilting groups asked about the fabric in one that I learned the truth.  Another person posted the link to a news segment about the scam.  They used the name of a store that was only slightly off, and that poor store had received numerous calls from scam victims asking when their quilt would arrive.  Over and over again, that lady had to break the news to them that they’d been scammed.  I was surprised when I recognized the image of the scam as similar to ones that had been on my news feed pretty constantly.  Some of my other friends had also taken notice, and I believe they tried to buy them.

Here’s what a few minutes of poking around amounted to.   Here’s the original image that probably came across your news feed.  It’ll be this quilt or any variation therein.

Quilt image

 

If you click on the link, you’ll find a legit spot where you can buy it.  It has all sorts of useful information on payments, customer reviews, shipping, etc.

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If you need to contact them, there is either a form, like on this page, or some type of email address. This one was the first I’d seen with a full address.  The others either didn’t have an address or it was partial.  The lack of a phone number, or at least a working one, is a dead giveaway.

contact us

I looked up the address, and this was what I found on the street view. The house to one side is 2030, and the house to the other side is 2060.  There is NO 2055 Hazel Ave at this location or across the street.

street view

Ok, so the next step would be to try to email address.  This isn’t the first one to do this.  Another one I tried had a space in between the front of the email and the “@” symbol.  I closed that gap so it would work correctly, but I never did hear back.  This particular email address bounced back within a minute.

bounced email

So no phone number, no correct address, and no email.  Yeah, this isn’t a legit product at all.  I went back in and looked at the merchandise itself since that was the original draw.  I’m not sure where the images for the quilts/blankets themselves came from, but they are most certainly photo shopped.

In this set, it’s pretty cool how, in the red circle, you can see the quilt is placed in the exact same spot of the display.  I’m good at set ups, but I’m never that good.  It also has the same fold up top.  And in the yellow circle, you can see that the editor got sloppy and didn’t change the red binding color or navy blue backing in that spot – even if the front of the quilt had no such binding or colors.

Photoshop set 1

In the second set, you can see the same issues. The leaves fall gracefully over the quilt in the exact same way.  The same fold can be seen in the blue circle, and even the smaller creases in the yellow circle are duplicated.

Photoshop set 2

So what happens now?  For a good while, I reported as many to Facebook as I could find.  When given the option, I specifically reported it was “misleading or scam”.  I remembered the news segment saying that Facebook was actively trying to take down the scam, but it was going strong on my feed despite the news segment being four days old now.

Here’s what I have received so far in regards to my reports.  Long story short – the advertisement itself is fine and goes with their standards.  I suppose they are washing their hands clean of the fact that they know it’s an active scam.

Facebook feedback

Funny enough, I tried to find a link where I could email them directly and explain why the ads were scam.  However, just like the websites I investigated, I couldn’t find an actual email or message section.  Funny how that works, right?

Long story short – please don’t be taken in by these ads that seem too good to be true.  They are.  Please share and reshare to spread awareness since Facebook seems uninterested in taking them down.

Fox Quilt

**This quilt is currently for sale in my Etsy shop: Fox Quilt listing

This quilt is a remnants bin challenge result.  I found some cute fox fabric in the JoAnn’s remnants bin and used what I had at the house to build a quilt around it – gray, black, and two orange hues.  I was happy with the result, especially since I finally found a use for the orange and black hounds tooth flannel I bought last Black Friday.

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I do wish I’d arranged the colors differently, though.  My original goal was to have a gradient effect.  I’ve grown to like it, though, and I added a few little foxes around the other blocks to create an interesting focal point.

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Related blogs and posts:

Fox Face Quilt Square Pattern

No More Humidicrib Quilts

Forgive my tardiness – fox quilt

 

 

 

 

Bookcase Wall Quilt

A friend from church approached me about making a quilt for the church retreat in October.  When I heard that the theme was “Connecting Through Stories”, I just knew which quilt design I wanted to do.  I’d had my eye on a bookcase quilt for ages and wanted to give it a try, so I used this as an opportunity to finally make one.

I started by cutting my scraps into various strips of width and length.  I did stick to fabrics that I felt someone would be able to write on and be easily visible.  Of course, every once in a while I threw in a darker color for balance.

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Then I sewed those scraps into large pieces of white muslin and trimmed them all to be about 12.5″ long.  From there, I sewed the “books” into blocks of roughly 12.5″ square.

Bookshelf scraps
Scraps for a bookshelf quilt

I also used some of the particularly smaller “books” to make stacks.

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The hard part came when I knew I needed to make about four books that leaned.  I did this by attaching white fabric all the way around and then using my grid to skew the cut, making sure to leave .25″ of white at the corners so that my book didn’t look like it was sinking into the shelf.

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From there I made my “shelf”.

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I did find a nice wood grain fabric at JoAnn’s, and I used it for the shelf.  The wood grain fabric was pretty pricey, though, so I went with a more cost-effective brown fabric for the back since it would be in a wall anyway.

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I decided to only quilt on the wood grain fabric since the shelves and books needed to be open for signatures, but I do think I’ll go back and quilt those sections at least a little before all is said and done.

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I did have one large brown block in the center of the shelves.  This actually isn’t a book but rather a frame.  My idea was to take a group picture of everyone at the retreat, print it on fabric, and then make it look like a photograph on the shelf.

The last step was to add a hanging sleeve. I can’t wait for everyone to see it at the retreat!

Related blogs and posts:

The Making of the Bookshelf Quilt: Planning Stage

Bookshelf Quilt

 

 

 

The Flash Baby Quilt

My sister is very good at getting me out of my comfort zone when it comes to quilt designs.  She’s not a quilter herself, but she has a great eye for detail and can think up some really fun ideas.  So when she asked me to make a baby quilt for a friend that was Flash-themed, I knew it was going to be fun.

I looked around online and found a few ideas.  Some of them were gorgeous, but I didn’t have the time to devote to them.  And then I found this minimalist poster from Andres RomeroHe’s done a bunch of them, and the simplicity was promising.

We decided that this image was perfect, and we would add in some type of full-bodied image at the bottom, maybe with the running motion.

The actual face was easy because I just appliqued the shapes on.

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After that, I did the same for the running figure.  We played around with the idea of having gray gradient figures spaced out behind him, but time constraints prevented that.  So I decided that I would use a quilting design echoing behind him to get the same effect.  I like how it turned out.

I quilted over the whole thing with an homage to the lightening shown behind Flash in comics while he’s running. It does look a bit like a heartbeat, though.  Oh well.

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My sister picked out a Super Friends themed fabric for the backing.

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With so many angles, I decided to soften it a bit by curving the edges.  I like the overall effect!

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Related blogs and posts:

Superhero Triangle Quilt

 

Guitar Quilt

This quilt was given today.  I’ve been sitting on it since earlier this month, and I couldn’t make a peep about it since it was for a friend who was also connected with me via social media.  She’s a youth minister, and I was asked to make a quilt in celebration of her 15 years of service at our church.

I thought about several options concerning the design, but we all knew it would be for signing in the end.  So this meant it would need a lot of light colors or at least a good sized section.

I remembered I had a picture in my Pinterest quilt section that I’d been wanting to try.  It wouldn’t take anything to do a different instrument!  And what does every self-respecting youth minster play?  The guitar, of course!  I loved the blog entry that went along with it.

The original inspiration. 

I also had a rainbow jelly roll I’d purchased while on vacation with friends in Mississippi.  I’d been waiting on just the right project to come along, and this one seemed perfect!

The urge is to think that you can simply cut out the fabric and flip it, but that would have the wrong side of the fabric and the seams sticking out.  I had to make two identical columns of rainbows and cut out a guitar shape from each.  The cool part is that in doing this I automatically had two quilt tops prepped!

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I couldn’t get to my projector at work, so I got creative and taped a bunch of card stock together, traced half of my own guitar, folded the paper in half, and cut out a full sized guitar! I did it this way to ensure symmetry. I am keeping the template as it looks neat and will, no doubt, come in useful for later projects.

The side with the white half of the guitar is made using reverse applique, and the other side is using traditional applique.

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The quilting inside the guitar needed to be extra special.  There’s a song that is sung at a lot of the youth events, and it was stuck in my head almost the entire time I was making the top.  So it seemed a no-brainer that the first verse of that song would be quilted into the white part of the guitar.  The song is “The Servant Song”, and I quilted the following in cursive, “won’t you let me be your servant. Let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.”  And although I’m a literature teacher, I had to forego the punctuation.  It hurt a little.

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For the rainbow side where no one would sign, I really wanted to do some type of vine or tendril look.  I did a faint tendril on the white side as well because it needed some type of quilting to ensure it was sturdy.

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After that, I did my usual wrap around binding technique and used rainbow thread.  The final step was to add a hanging sleeve.

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We presented it to her this morning and hung it up at the reception for everyone to sign.

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Related blogs and posts:

The original blog post for my inspiration

A Quilted Palette Cleanser 

The Year of the Quilt, 2013. April’s Guitars