Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Made with Love for Bella

Last week I posted about a memory quilt I had made for the family of a little boy named Ryan, who passed away last year when he was only 8 years old.  That was actually the second memory quilt I had made.  Today I wanted to share the first one I made, back in June 2011.

Jon was one of my sister's best friends.  He was only 24 when he was killed in an automobile accident in August 2009.  His funeral was on my sister's birthday.

His younger sister had a baby girl (Bella) the following year, who would never have the chance to know her Uncle Jon.  Bella's mom asked if I could make a small quilt for Bella, using some of Jon's clothes.  

I started with 2 t-shirts and a pair of blue jeans.

Bella's mom also asked me to include this terrycloth sleeper, which belonged to a cousin of Bella's who passed away when he was still a young baby.

Here's what I put together.  I don't recall the exact measurement,
but I'd guess it to be about 35 x 50 or so.

I didn't have a clear plan in mind when I started making this quilt.  I found some fabric in my stash that matched the colors in the clothes but might help "girl them up" a bit.  I basically just made blocks from the clothes, then fit them together like a puzzle, filling in with strips of fabric.

One of Jon's t-shirts.

The hearts are made from the sleeves of a t-shirt.  The green letters are made from another shirt and are appliqued on to a piece of blue jeans.

I've mentioned before how important ladybugs are in my family and as a result, to many of our close friends.  This quilt wasn't going to be complete without one!  The red and green are from Jon's t-shirts, and they are appliqued to a piece of his denim.

Another t-shirt.

I made this appliqued teddy bear out of the terrycloth sleeper.  I started with one big shape and used satin stitching to define the features, arms, feet, etc.  Those blue hearts are appliqued to a piece of Jon's gray t-shirt.

This might be my favorite block.  Those flowers are 3-dimensional.  I made them from the arm bands of the t-shirts.  The green stems are from the waist band of the other t-shirt.

The flowers are in a "pot" made from the pocket of Jon's jeans.

Of course, ladybugs for the back.

I think the Beautiful Ms. Bella likes it!

Have you ever made a memory quilt, or a quilt using t-shirts or other clothing?  If so, please leave me a comment or a link, I'd love to see what you've done!  I've got one other one in progress... a GIANT t-shirt quilt for a friend of mine.  I've dubbed it "The Forever Project" because "forever" is about how long it might take me to finish it.  I am a little bit stuck on how to proceed with it, so any and all ideas are helpful!

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~


  1. I have never made a memory quilt. Not yet.
    This quilt is awesome. You are so creative. Thank you for sharing.

  2. wow, I don't think I could make a memory quilt so well done to you. I think I'd feel too emotionally involved - I don't know how you settled on a design without feeling the pressure of what it means.

    1. Kim, I think I started at the clothes for at least 6 weeks before I could bring myself to cut anything, and I cried when I made the first cut. I waited until I had the inspiration for one block before I cut anything... then I made that one and waited for inspiration to hit again. The teddy bear was the last one I made. I had NO idea what to do with that sleeper and one night as I was falling asleep, the idea popped into my head. I'd say it took 3+ months (start to finish) to make that quilt, but I'm very proud of how it turned out.


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