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    Advice on a memory quilt

    My SIL sent my brother's shirts to me so I could make a memory quilt for her and the kids. Well, she sent a TON of tee shirts and some regular shirts. I decided to work on the regular shirts first.

    All of these shirts are Tommy Bahama washable silk shirts. The solid colors have a tone on tone design.
    shirts.jpg

    1. I have never made a quilt with silk. Do I need to treat it differently than cotton? The silk feels like very good quality, heavy cotton. All the shirts are machine washable and have been washed.
    2. HOW should I piece the top? The lady at the LQS in the States suggested Disappearing 9 Patch. I am sort of leaning this way but would love suggestions.
    3. How do I make this quilt without crying? He was my only sibling and it still hurts. (yeah, I know this is something you guys can't help with and I will be ok but you know what I mean)
    4. Should I use a different thread. I normally use Aurifil.

    Any and all advice is welcome.

    #2
    Re: Advice on a memory quilt

    Vicky,

    I can't help with some of your questions, but as far as the tears I would like to make a couple of suggestions. When you are making the quilts, remember times he wore the shirts and happy times you had with him. And remember that he will always be with you while you are working on the quilts. I hope that while you make quilts for your SIL and the kids, you make one for yourself.

    When my MIL passed away she had almost 100 dresses that she had made for her. They were all different materials, mostly cotton and we didn't know what to do with them. My step-daughter took them and a co-worker of hers made quilts for my wife and her brother and each of the grandchildren. She used different patterns for each. We look at the quilts and remember times she wore the different dresses and smile. I hope making your quilts brings you some comfort.

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      #3
      Re: Advice on a memory quilt

      Go ahead and cry.

      I''m not a big fan D9P. I was thinking of something that didn't cut the fabric up so small as the center block. How about something like a brick pattern or darn I can't remember what that layer cake pattern where you flip it....on of Jenny's tutes and I have to get up from here. If it were me, I think I'd go with something simple.

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        #4
        Re: Advice on a memory quilt

        This is a lovely thing for you to do. Hopefully, the tears you shed will be cathartic.

        I use silk thread for applique. Most quilt shops carry it. It might be your best bet with the silk shirts.

        Bless you for this labor of love.
        Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

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          #5
          Re: Advice on a memory quilt

          I am not sold on the D9P either-just debating what to do. I am tempted to do something with triangles. I could do some half square triangles and blend them together. I don't know if I can really do a design as I am not sure how much usable fabric I actually have. I suppose, the first step is to cut down the shirts into flat fabric pieces.

          I bought some moda fabric that blends with the fabrics very well. It's sort of a cream on cream. But it's cotton. I wonder what will happen if I mix silk with cotton fabric? Since the shirts have been washed and feel like cotton . . . .

          Yeah, this project is going to be a long term back and forth process until I finally finish it.

          I was thinking of making one larger quilt for Sue and the kids. And then two baby quilts for by brother's son and daughter for their first born children (yeppers, I am planning ahead!!)

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            #6
            Re: Advice on a memory quilt

            Bonnie Hunter does a lot with up cycled shirt fabric. Check out her site. I also did a search on Pinterest and found lots of ideas. Maybe try a google search as well.
            Last edited by quiltsRfun; April 12, 2014, 11:15 AM.

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              #7
              Re: Advice on a memory quilt

              Sorry about your brother

              There is a pattern called Piece of cake that would be nice Piece of Cake Quilt - YouTube

              Her videos are long so sometimes I fast forward to get to the point. lol I think you can mix it with cottons. I know that brand pretty well and it feels thick like you said.
              🌺 Lorie

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Advice on a memory quilt

                Sorry to hear about your brother. I'm currently working on a memory quilt for parents who lost their 2 yr old son. They presented to me all his blankets, towels, scarves receiving blankets etc. They did not want a "square block" quilt. They wanted a pattern where they could easily recognize each piece of fabric.

                I'm using a french braid quilt pattern for the quilt and I'm so pleased on how it is turning out. The parents are loving it because each piece is large enough that they know where it came from. So far I've stitched the braids together into three panels and sewing them together. Eventually it will be a king size quilt.

                With this quilt pattern, it is very easy to do and you can make it into any size quilt. If you go to my profile, look under photos and you can see the memory quilt. Hope this helps.

                Kim

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                  #9
                  Re: Advice on a memory quilt

                  I did two memory quilts that were part jersey knits and part silk. That silk will ravel and it moves when you are sewing. If you are not going to anchor it with fusible web, then pin, pin, pin. I'd use fusible web backing if I were doing it again. I did on some of the Jersey knit golf shirts and team shirts, but thought I could handle the silk. I was fine. But, I made BIG blocks or layer cake squares ands then appliqued the logos on other shirt fabrics. If you try to cut that silk up into small anything like a D9p you are going to lose your blocks to raveling. I'd stick with something bigger. And use the web. Good Luck.

                  Memory quilts are hard to do, they are emotional as you walk through every memory you have with that person, you hear them talking to you from past conversations. You smile, you laugh, and you cry. When you are done, your a relieved, and ready to move one. I've done a number of them. That and picture boards for services will wreck you if you aren't ready for them. It took me 2 years to even start the quilt of my Bil shirts. Keep the faith.

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                    #10
                    Re: Advice on a memory quilt

                    I was wondering how the stained glass quilt would work with the silk shirts. Maybe pick out something besides gray and white to anchor it down.

                    My husband has a couple of summer silk shirts and they are kind of a heavy hand, but really a nice feeling silk. If that is what these shirts are, I think they will make a very beautiful quilt with a nice feel to them.

                    I'm forgot to tell you that I am sorry for your loss. I hope these quilts will help you find solace.

                    Sue

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Advice on a memory quilt

                      Originally posted by kensington View Post
                      I did two memory quilts that were part jersey knits and part silk. That silk will ravel and it moves when you are sewing. If you are not going to anchor it with fusible web, then pin, pin, pin. I'd use fusible web backing if I were doing it again. I did on some of the Jersey knit golf shirts and team shirts, but thought I could handle the silk. I was fine. But, I made BIG blocks or layer cake squares ands then appliqued the logos on other shirt fabrics. If you try to cut that silk up into small anything like a D9p you are going to lose your blocks to raveling. I'd stick with something bigger. And use the web. Good Luck.

                      Memory quilts are hard to do, they are emotional as you walk through every memory you have with that person, you hear them talking to you from past conversations. You smile, you laugh, and you cry. When you are done, your a relieved, and ready to move one. I've done a number of them. That and picture boards for services will wreck you if you aren't ready for them. It took me 2 years to even start the quilt of my Bil shirts. Keep the faith.
                      I think you might mean fusible INTERFACING not fusible web. Cut a piece of one of the shirts and manhandle it. If it doesn't fray and acts like a good quality cotton, then you don't need to put an interfacing behind it. Definately check out Quiltville (Bonnie Hunter). She has a pattern called "Seven Shirts" as well as other patterns using shirts.

                      Not all wounds are so obvious. Walk gently in the lives of others - Unknown Author

                      No one has ever become poor by giving - Anne Frank

                      http://www.etsy.com/shop/thequiltedpig

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                        #12
                        Re: Advice on a memory quilt

                        I did two memory quilts last year, one for my mother in memory of my gran and other for my aunt in memory of my uncle who passed 6 months after my gran. I cried every time I worked on those quilts. I took breaks and worked on other quilts in between. As far as the silk I would make a mug rug for you out of them like a thin strip of each one, maybe appliqué something that represents your brother then quilt and bind it and see how it washes. Then you have your answer and a keepsake.

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