Thursday, February 3, 2011

Memory quilts

I'd like to introduce you to an incredible little girl.  Her name is Haley and you can read more about her story here.  In May of 2009, I made my first memory quilt.  It was for my daughter as a graduation gift.  I posted pics of it on Facebook and was contacted by Haley's mama (who I went to high school with).  She still had all of Haley's clothes and thought it would be cool to have a quilt made from them.

This is just SOME of her clothes.
But before I could make one for her mama, she thought it would be cool if she could give one to Haley's grandfather and aunt (her dad and sister).  So, last Christmas, these are what I made...

Using the same quilt-as-you-go method that I had used to make Kylie's quilt I made these 2 small lap-sized (or wall hanging) quilts. I was still very new to quilting, but these were fun to make and I was looking forward to making another one for Haley's mama.  I thought it didn't seem fair that she wouldn't get to keep these first 2 quilts, so I thought it might be cool for them (mostly for Haley's little sis) to have something they could cuddle with until the 3rd quilt was made.  So, using one of Haley's sweatshirts,

I made these...

This was one of Haley's favorite quotes.
It took her quite a few months to bring me more of Haley's clothes to make this last quilt,
but that was ok because it took me another few months to get it made. This time, I wanted to make it the traditional know, make a top, then layer and quilt it as one big quilt.  We were going for a large lap size to maybe a twin.  I had finally figured out how to install longer rods on my Flynn frame and THOUGHT I wanted to try and quilt it myself.  Here it is all loaded on the frame and ready to go...

I don't know if any of you have ever wondered, but just in case you have, THIS is what "un-quilting" looks like...
And it's NOT fun.
I thought I had practiced enough on other quilts, but apparently not.  It was not good.  It took me about 5 days and I can't tell you how many hours to un-pick all those stitches.  So I called my friend Christie and begged for her help.  She let me bring it over and also let me help her load it onto her long-arm frame so that she could quilt it the way it was meant to be quilted.  And I am SO glad she did!  It turned out beautiful and was finished just in time to be included in their Christmas holiday...a whole year after the first 2.

Displayed on a king-sized bed

That block above the picture of Haley is the shirt she was wearing in the picture.  So many memories in all of these quilts.  And I am so glad her mama trusted me to make these priceless treasures for her and her family.

Follow the link to read about Haley's brave battle and to learn more about Cystic Fibrosis and how you might be able to help find a cure for this terrible disease.


  1. Wow, what a beautiful young lady, and what an amazing story. It touched my heart. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. And the quilts, wow, you out did yourself on each one of them. I am sure they will be treasured and bring comfort to Haley's family. Again, you amaze me.

  2. them and so glad they had someone nice like you to do that for them. Someone asked me to do a memory quilt and I was too terrified. I have some dresses my mama bought me before she died and I keep thinking I will make a memory quilt from those for myself. Scary to cut up those types of fabrics though!