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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Daddy's Shirts : A Memory Quilt

This is my dad. He passed away 2 years ago from ALS ( Lou Gehrig's Disease.) Though he is gone now, this is how I'll always remember him - full of laughter and joy, love for his family and a penchant for button down Oxford shirts in stripes and plaids.  

It took a long time for my mother to decide what to do my my father's things after he had made the journey to heaven.  She wanted to keep a few things that helped spur memories, but also needed to move on. A closet full of Daddy's clothes usually made her feel worse, instead of better, so gradually she gave away his things.


She seemed to hold onto a particularly large bag of Daddy's shirts for a long time.  One day I asked her what her plans were.  
"Maybe there is a use for them?" she said.
"Of course there is, " I replied.



I volunteered to take these 30 shirts with me and find a "good use" for them.  
It didn't take me long to figure out a plan.
 I took my rotary cutter to each shirt and cut enough "tumbler" blocks to make 4 quilts - one for my mother, one for me and one for each of my 2 sisters.  


I tried to cut the pieces to incorporate button bands, buttons, and pockets so that the quilts were recognizably made from shirts. 

I think this is the perfect way to make these shirts "useful" again.

Now that the quilts are sewn, once again, we can wrap the warmth of our husband/father around us.


He can keep us cozy on cold winter nights.


We can study each pattern and remember the events to which he wore each shirt and how he filled those get-togethers with singing, joke-telling and laughter.

We can think about how his favourite colour was purple, but he never really strayed from the straight and narrow shade of  "blue"  when he shopped.  


We can remember fondly a man who put his family first and was a joy to spend time with right until the end.  

We miss you, Daddy.  

Luckily, we have so many sweet reminders of you that you are never far from our minds.

XOXOXO


To finish this post, something a bit lighter.

This is Camden.  
He likes watermelon.
By the looks of these pictures, this must be the yummiest watermelon, EVER!!


Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs to you and yours!!

Bronwyn




30 comments:

  1. Your quilt is fantastic. What a wonderful, loving tribute to your dad.

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  2. What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. So beautiful!

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  3. What a wonderful way to remember him. I used a few of my Dad's shirts in a small wall hanging for my Mum a few years ago. xx

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  4. Oh Bronwyn what an absolutely wonderful tribute. I'm sure those memories will be passed on with the quilts x Jane

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  5. This is an amazing way to keep his things close to your heart! You've done such an amazing job. How did your mum react? I bet she loved it.

    Gemma xXx

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  6. I love this quilt and this story!! That is the best use of those shirts I could ever think of. I have a quilt my Mom made me from my Dad's old jeans. I love that quilt so much!! He is still with me, but I will have that quilt even after he is gone. Thanks for sharing! I would love to invite you over to share at my Weekend Beautiful Blog Party!!
    Shawna

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  7. Bronwyn, i love this idea and i love the pattern you chose--it is perfect for the shirts! What a wonderful visual memory!

    Shannon@SewSweetCottage

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  8. Bronwyn the tears are rolling down my cheeks! What a wonderful post and such a fantastic idea to remember your Dad by. On those cold evenings he can envelope you with his memories and love. xx

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  9. What a beautiful quilt and I can imagine that the memories are just endless when you look at it. It's absolutely gorgeous!

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  10. This is such a sweet and loving way to continue your family's love for your father. The quilt is beautiful.

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  11. I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. What an awesome idea to remember him by! When my father passed away two years ago we too wondered what to do with all his shirts. I wanted to keep something, maybe make a pillow from one of his them, but we never did. I love this idea, and although I don't quilt, I would have loved to have found someone who did and had this done. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story.

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  12. What a sweet way for your family to really feel your father near to you.

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  13. Very cool idea...I have a bag of ties that belonged to my dad...maybe....

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  14. What an awesome keepsake for all of you. I am sure your mom is really happy to keep his shirts around like this rather than as a closet for of memories. This is a great way to keep someone around that you have lost without having to deal with the sadness of not being able to move their belongings.

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  15. What a beautiful idea! It is so special to have something to remember and share with children and grandchildren. Thank you for sharing!

    I’d love for you to check out our Pattern Party! Those with free patterns and templates to share are invited to link up! Starts on the 1st of each month.

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  16. What a beautiful quilt & wonderful memorial! :D Thank you for sharing!

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  17. This story brought tears to my eyes. I love how Camden is wearing a blue plaid shirt too.

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  18. What a great way to keep the memory of your father and to keep it around for generations to come. I love that everytime you look at it you think of a great memory from when he was here.

    Thank you for sharing this on Much Ado About Monday, you are my feature this week!

    Karla
    www.huckleberrylove.com

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  19. A lovely reminder of a loved one! I have both parents ill right now, things are pretty tough, but something like this quilt will be a nice thing to do when the time comes! S.T

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  20. I'm so sorry for your loss. I think you have made such beautiful, useful quilts and he will be looking down on you, full of pride. Inspirational!

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  21. What a cute little one you have. They balance out the tough stuff. I lost my dad about five years ago to Alzheimer's, another hideous disease that robs someone slowly. I wish I had thought to keep some of my dad's sweaters and such to do the same thing. Loved what you did here and how you presented it. Featured your beautiful quilt today on BeColorful
    p

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  22. What a wonderful, beautiful idea for preserving the memories of someone you love. Thanks for linking up at Whatever Goes Wednesday. This was the most viewed link at last week's party, so we'll be featuring it at tomorrow's party. We hope you'll stop by and check out the party again!

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  23. Oh Bronwyn! This is just gorgeous. I love it. Just wonderful. Thank you so much for linking up this project to the Thriving on Thursday party last week. I'm featuring it at tomorrow's party.

    Anne xx

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  24. What a wonderful way to preserve the memories of your Dad!!!

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  25. I saw this featured over at The Crafty Blog Stalker. I too have a quilt made out of my dad's clothes, I know how special they are. My sister made all 6 of us siblings along with my mom and grandparents, quilts out of my dads clothes. I love the design that you made using the tumbler blocks. They turned out wonderful. I'm sure that your sisters and mom will treasure them forever as well. :)

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  26. Love this! I have one that my aunt made for me, my brother, and my cousins (each our own quilt) out of my grandfathers shirts after he passed. I love it and have been sure to use it in important photos like my engagement photos, maternity pics, and this coming weekend 6 month baby photos!

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  27. I had the same idea for my Daddy's shirts... He was killed and lost at sea 7 years ago while boarding a ship. His job was a ship's pilots. I held onto his shirts forever thinking I would get someone to make a quilt out of them. Unfortunately, I stored them in my basement and it flooded during some really heavy rains a couple of Springs ago. His shirts were ruined and I was heartsick. So glad to see that someone had the same idea and it came to fruition. Such a treasure to have and to pass on as a family heirloom, along with wonderful stories about the great man your Dad was.

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  28. What a lovely, creative way to commemorate your father. It's wonderful.

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  29. This actually brought a tear to my eye. What an amazing and lovely idea. I would never have thought of doing something like this. And as you say with this you can still wrap them around you in times of need :) x x x x x

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  30. I love this its a wonderful ideal i would like to have one made for each of my children where do i find someone that could make them for me ? Thank you so much .

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