When I picked up this big pile of tshirts from Lisa, I was a little nervous. So worried that I would make a mistake and stuff it up. These tshirts are extra special. I couldn't just go out and buy some more if I did something wrong. They belonged to her dear husband, Aaron, who passed away last month.
So, off I went with a bag full of tshirts and I knew straight away what I was going to do with them. You can probably tell from the shirts that Aaron had two big passions - sport and music. All of the shirts had big prints of them so I kept the quilt really simple and cut out big squares from each one, making sure that I kept the focus on the tshirts and not on the design of the quilt.
The tshirt blocks ended up being 16" square - finished quilt 80" square. I used a lovely brown linen for the sashing. Before sewing everything together, I ironed on a light-weight interfacing to the back of each square. It made a massive difference in the way the knit fabric behaved and made it much easier to work with.
Lisa had seen a few sneek pics of the quilt along the way and I wanted to do something a little extra to surprise her. When I'd finished piecing the top, I showed Jaron and he made the comment that the tshirt squares looked like old record album covers (which seemed very fitting as Aaron had a big collection of old records!) it made me think about musicians and signatures and I thought it would be really cool if I could get a copy of Aaron's signature and embroider it onto the front of the quilt somewhere. Detective Simone paid a visit to the office of the school where Aaron worked and got hold of a letter he had written and signed. I enlarged it on the photocopier then drew it onto the quilt and embroidered it with chain stitch. The whole time I was nervous that it was a "dodgy" signature but luckily Lisa recognised it as soon as she saw it - phew!!
Sarah Fraser from Patchwork Plus did an awesome job with the quilting. We decided to go with a straight-line square design for the quilting as it complimented the squares in the quilt. Sarah's work is impeccable and she got the whole thing finished in 2 days!!! This is the first time I have ever had a quilt professionally quilted and was thrilled with the results. If you're looking for a good professional quilter - get in contact with her!
I worked on binding the quilt and embroidering the signature last week and yesterday was able to give it to Lisa...
I don't know how she has been able to bear the last month of her life with her head held high and accepting all of the change that has taken place. She truly is an amazing woman, and has taught me so much in this short space of time.
When I picked up the tshirts from Lisa, we got each of her boys to choose their favourite shirt to be made into something special also.
Jalen choose to have his made into a cushion - I love how it turned out...perfect for an almost teenager:
I like the way that the original shape of the shirts has been retained so that hopefully they can more easily picture their Dad wearing them.
I know that nothing can "fix" the hurt that these guys are feeling now. But I'm hoping that these keepsakes can help give them something to cuddle and snuggle under and remind them of all the special times they were blessed to spend with their husband and father.
Love you guys so much and I know that Aaron and Noah will always be by your side, until you meet again. xxx