All Things Andrea

All Things Andrea

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stitching Projects to Keep Loved Ones Close

A dear college friend asked me to stitch some gifts for her family members to help keep her beloved father's memory alive and nearby after his death this year.  With these projects in mind, she saved numerous articles of his clothing shortly after he died.  I can't believe she had the presence of mind to do so; many people would be delighted to do something like this with their loved one's clothing, but it's no longer an option since the items were tossed long ago. 

Linda had great ideas of what she wanted done with the clothing.

She had me stitch 2 quilts (48x66"), one for her mom and one for her, out of her dad's flannel shirts, sport shirts and pants. 

The 6" blocks allowed me to incorporate logos from shirts or jackets,

pants pockets,

shirt plackets,

shirt pockets,

and portions of his clothing that were uniquely his,

Photo credit: Linda P.

making this quilt a comforting reminder of his presence, especially for her mom.

I used the leftover buttons from the shirt and pants and tacked them in the corners of each block.  The button-stitch feature on my Bernina machine works great for this type of application.

Finally, I stitched a tag on the back to commemorate his life and his love for his family.

Linda also had me make an assortment of 12x16" pillows out of her dad's flannel shirts for her nieces and nephews.

I stitched a portion of his monogrammed shirt pocket on one side,

and a pocket on the other side in which Linda could tuck one of her dad's monogrammed handkerchiefs.

She also had me do some pillows for a niece and nephew who had lost both grandfathers this year, using a bathrobe...

... and button-down shirt.  A tie from his favorite men's store became the cording,

and the tag from the tie is stitched onto the pillow to document that special detail of his life.

Finally, she had me stitch some little zippered pouches out of his Linda's father's favorite plaid pants.  What a great idea!

An online tutorial walked me through how to easily make them.

It's hard to put into words how meaningful this project was for me.  It was such a privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility of turning remnants of one man's life into tangible items that would help to keep his legacy alive.  I felt so attached to a man I had never met by the time I was finished....  There's nothing more rewarding than to sew something that connects people, that will comfort and touch another human being for years to come.  And, I keep thinking how fortunate Linda's family is to have a daughter, sister, or aunt who would provide them with such a gift.

Thank you, Linda, for blessing each one of us!

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