Observant types may have picked up on a secret project going on in these parts... It was meant to be the ultimate Christmas present - a Memory Quilt, commissioned by a Mother for her Daughter, made using her dear, late Father's shirts.
Much to my regret, I didn't finish it in time... And things like that cannot be rushed.
So with what I had, I put together what I could: a written explanation illustrated with photos to be printed off and given on the Day, a promise of the quilt to come. While work on the quilt still continues, slowly but surely, now that the cat is out of the bag for the people who matter, I get to share with you the piece I wrote ~
Wrapped In His Memory
Two months ago I received a very moving message from your Mum asking my advice on having a quilt made for you, using all of your Father’s shirts. We met, discussed, designed (and had to sneak around a bit!), and eventually I found myself in my studio, rotary cutter in hand, a neat pile of your Dad’s shirts on my table, terrified. Not only is this the most challenging quilt design I have ever worked on, but easily, and so terrifyingly, the most emotionally valuable project I have ever embarked upon. I think I spent two days just staring before I could bring myself to cut the first piece.
After sewing the first ‘flower’ with my heart in my mouth, I saw how truly beautiful this quilt could become. So I kept going… cutting and sewing, arranging stripes, colours and textures, finding the special details to take pride of place as the flowers’ epicentres and keeping aside labels and buttons to incorporate later…
As expected with a project such as this, things never turn out exactly as planned. There have been hurdles, changes to the design and minor set-backs. But despite the extra time, these hurdles have only added to the beauty of this quilt – like the addition of white shirting ‘pathways’ to accentuate the flowers, the decision to hand-tie the quilt with individual threads rather than quilting by machine, realising I had miscalculated the width and therefore having to make more strips to bulk it out!
This should have been under the tree for you today, but being the work of Love that this is - from the love you shared with your Father, to the love from which your Mother conceived the idea for this Quilt, and the silent, humbling love I feel as I cut and stitch each piece – this is something that could not be rushed or hurried. And so, disappointed as I am that it is still a work of love in progress, I only hope that this is enough, for now.