Friday, February 10, 2012

Grab a Kleenex and Let's Talk about Memory Quilts

Recently, I ran across an article in Southern Living Magazine about the devastating tornadoes in Alabama last year, and then I discovered this video clip about the story of a special memory quilt on their web site.  If you've got a Kleenex with you, go here and watch the clip "Lost and Found: Memory Quilt". 

  Are you back yet? Reading that story inspired me to share a few of the memory quilts I've made with my kids. This quilt was about summer memories.  I asked both of my boys to paint some things they enjoyed doing that summer.  The fabric paint started flying and this quilt was created. I think I got the pattern from McCall's Quilting Magazine one year. On the back of the quilt I made a label with a few sentences about each painting in the boys' own words. I'm really glad I wrote that down, because right now I'm wondering about the guy in the middle of the quilt!  But since I took the time to make that label, I can just check the back!  They also wrote their names on the back in their own handwriting.  If you haven't guessed, I'm really big into labeling quilts!!  I just don't think it's done until it has a label. The boys' handwriting just isn't as cute now! I'm so glad that we did this summer project.  This is a quilt I will treasure forever.    

The next quilt is one we made from the book Handprint Quilts by Marcia L. Layton.  I wanted to capture some of their handprints in a fun way before they got too big and not interested in making crafts with Mom anymore!  They picked their colors got to work!  I think I drew on the scales and the faces with more fabric paint.  There are white sequins hand sewn on for bubbles, and waves machine quilted with variegated blue thread.  One of my first ventures into free motion quilting! I remember not wanting to put the waves on, being worried about messing up the quilt with my lack of free motion skills, but I went ahead and did it anyway.  Those waves sure aren't perfect, but I'm so glad I went for it!  It adds to the quilt and it shows where we all were at the time the quilt was made! Memories!

I'd love to know if you have any special memory quilts.  I'd like to do some more, but with 12 and 16 year old boys, I really don't have any ideas. What kind of memory quilts have you done? Maybe you can help me.  Drawing more pictures or making more handprint fish wouldn't go over well right now!  The boys have done a few quilts for school projects over the years.   In fact, one is hanging up in the lobby of the elementary school and the other is on display in the school library. I don't have any pictures of them right now, so that will have be another post.

Right now, I'm working on another bag to swap with my friend Mary Pat.  This bag swap thing is really fun!  Zippers are all over the place around here! So are kids. Ugh! Cold and flu season has gotten the best of us and both boys have been sick this week.  Luckily, I think everyone is on the mend now and the sickness is behind us.  Thank goodness!  Have a healthy, safe, and fun weekend!


PunkiePie (Jen) said...

What SWEET quilts, Michele! I think I will make one with Amelia. I love the fabric paint with the pictures that the boys drew.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I've done the colored set block quilts with after=school programs and they were donated to the Ronald McDonald House. Not only a memory quilt, but kids learning about giving. I love the fish hands and a fun summer project with the grands - it can be my NaNa quilt for the rocker.

Cheryl said...

Both you Memories Quilts are wonderful. I have a tribute to my parents quilt, but it is a Baltimore Album style quilt. I am going to remember your ideas though for my soon to arrive first grandchild!

MulticoloredPieces said...

Hi, Michele. I must confess I haven't done any memory quilts, but I find that quilts contain so many memories and stories anyway. Both your quilts are really cool, and I especially like the one with your kids' drawings. I just love kids drawings--so much joy and energy and fun. So many possibilities!
best, nadia

AnnieO said...

What a marvelous thing you created with your boys! I was not quilting when my kids were little--though I made them plenty of clothes and costumes. Love that you wrote what each painting meant. What a great mom!