Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Memory Quilt

I am so excited - this quilt was featured on Delicious Ambiguity! Yay! :)

I am a packrat - I admit it! I keep so many things because of their sentimental value - cards, some of my children's clothing, etc.) Now, I am not a hoarder - which my husband is VERY thankful for. As my daughter's first birthday approached however, I realized that I had saved an inordinate amount of clothing from her first year. I hadn't done that with my son, but I realized that I had to do something with them or let them go.

Then came my quilt idea. I would sew the items into a little quilt for her! (That's her, being silly in her big girl bed. Ignore the messy room please!)

Since it was from when she was born through her first year, I realized that I wanted the squares of the quilt to be bigger. I cut squares from the clothing items, ranging in size from around 4x4 to 6x6. However, I made these not exactly sqaure - I made them imperfect, because I wanted a more funky look to the quilt. (Plus, I'll be honest - it was my first quilt and I figured if I tried to make it look PERFECT it was just going to blow up in my face, considering I'd just started sewing.)

The center square of the quilt held a pink square with the words, "worth the wait". I had purchased this after our first was born, in anticipation of the second. I just *knew* we would have a girl next. After two miscarriages, we were finally pregnant and past the three month mark - and two months later we found out for sure it was a girl ;)

The other pieces are squares from our favorite outfits on her; holiday shirts; the first outfit I bought when I found out I was pregnant. So many memories ;)

I simply used scrap fabric for the larger squares. Literally scraps! I purchase a lot of scrap fabric of all shapes and sizes at the local fabric store from their discount bin. I use it all the time. Most of the time, I can make my daughter entire outfits out of scraps, and so it costs me about $2.99 ;) - which always makes me happy!

I cut out all the squares. I then sewed the smaller squares of clothing onto the larger fabric squares. I twisted and turned them, made them different angles. Sewed them on in funky ways. There were some mistakes (okay, alot of mistakes), but after getting all the squares put together individually, I....

...took a week long break. I know, not quite the anticipation builder, eh? I was tired - working full time, taking care of a household, and sewing into the wee hours of the morning took its toll (because I have to do things in chunks - I get so excited, I can't just do a few squares a night, lol).

Once I recuperated, the next task was to sew all of the squares together. To do this, I cut lengths of a pink fabric that would go up and down and across between all my squares. After carefully positioning and pinning everything in place, I began sewing. And sewing. And more sewing. And then...

...no, I didn't take a hiatus ;)  Instead, I got too excited and stayed up even later than normal to add the border around it, which was another scrap fabric. A blue and white striped, velvety, soft material to trim the outer edges. More measuring, cutting, pinning, and sewing.

Of course, the next day I was exhausted but once the kids were in bed I couldn't wait to sew some more. I'd picked up a pink fuzzy, plush blanket from the fabric store. A throw, technically. The same material was nearly $12 a yard, and I knew I'd need a couple yards. But the 6 foot by 6 foot blanket was a slightly darker pink, same material - and $9.99. So I bought that, layed it out flat, layed my quilt top on top of it, measured, cut the pink throw, and put my quilt top off to the side. I then layed down the quilt batting on top of the throw, measured and cut.

Once the batting was cut, I attached it to the back of the fuzzy pink blanket material with some fabric glue in a few key spots, and then also attached buttons in five rows down the back which would also hold the batting in place. They ranged in colors and sizes, and added a perfect, whimsical touch. I also sewed onto the back of the quilt a sqare in which I could write a message.

Once that was done, I put the back and the front of the quilt face to face, and sewed that part together (yes, the same night). I know, craziness, right? Once the pieces were together, I wanted to attach them front to back to keep everything held together. More buttons at intersections. Same night. 3 a.m. completion time.

Oh, but I was still not done! I wanted to use the same buttons to add some accents to the piece, along with some 3D fabric flowered items to give it some texture. I did that the next night. When it was done, I stood back and stared.
I'm linking to:

I saw all the imperfections, and all the mistakes. But, I also saw an amazing memory for my daughter - one that will keep her warm and remind her of how much I love her. (I know this is a bad picture - it's from a cell phone. But she is soooo cute!)

9 comments:

  1. Love it! I wish I could sew.. I have tons of baby clothes from the kids. They're just packed away in boxes. I've saved all of the boys' jerseys from all the sports they've played. I'm thinking I'm gonna either have a quilt made or turned into pillows.

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  2. Look on ebay, or even etsy - I've found people in the past who make the t-shirt quilts and it's a fairly good price. I think about $100 is the charge.

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  3. Oh, I totally love this quilt! And I love that "imperfect" look! I was thinking of doing something like this but got thrown by the fact that almost all the clothes are jersey ... and that means stretchy. So I was too scared to try to sew them together to a blanket. But your way of sewing them onto other fabric sounds great! As soon as I have more time I will think about this more ... and make one! This sounds so awesome. (And I would finally know what to do with the boxes of cute clothes in my basement that I simply can not give away!)
    Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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  4. What a fun quilt! Thanks for linking up!!

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  5. Love this one. Sorry I didn't have a chance to stop by and let you know I had featured you until now. Glad to see you grabbed the button. Thanks for linking up to Tot Tuesdays!

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  6. What a TREASURE!!! She is going to love it even more when she gets older! Thanks for the "button" tip!

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  7. Just saw your comment on my blog, so I had to come look at your quilt, and of course it's darling! I love it!

    And a funny thing is that I have that exact same "Worth the Wait" shirt in my baby clothes quilt! How funny is that!

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  8. I love this quilt! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!

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  9. Great idea! I just saw something similar at a show this weekend. I have 2 boys and I think I could make something adorable once we're done using the cute little baby clothes... (The little one just turned 1)... Great way to save and recycle.

    I think you may be interested in Gen X Quilters (http://genxquilters.blogspot.com), stop by if you get the chance!

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