My husband's cousin lost her mother to a hard battle with breast cancer a few years ago. I love and adore Renee so much, she was such a special person, and I always found her so supportive and smart, and a real pleasure to be around. I miss her, and I thank her for getting to know her (as short a time as I did), as I feel like she really opened my eyes to having an authentic and honest existence, and appreciating the beauty in the world. She is a woman to be admired and loved. So when Angelique approached me about refashioning a memory quilt for her, made from her mother's clothes, I was honoured to be able to take on this project in memory of such a great woman.
Angelique had the original quilt made shortly after her mom passed away, wanting something beautiful that she can snuggle up with and take comfort from. The quilter made a quilt with large squares of stripes, and backed/bound it with a blue sheet.
She hated it. She didn't like the colours and the way they came together, she hated the blue sheet backing, and in hindsight, felt the size was too large. She put it away in a closet and didn't ever use it. And that isn't what you want for a memory quilt representing your mother! So I took it home with me and percolated for a while with it.
She wasn't thrilled with the pinks and floral patterns as part of the main quilt. And she wanted something more modern. I saw that there were lots of blacks and blues and greys and whites, and started thinking of the ocean at nighttime. Then I saw this quilt on Pinterest, and thought "Perfect!" Also, I found this poem to be very inspiring.
My first step was to create a draft to show Angelique for her approval. My concept was to use the black fabrics as the night sky, with the white fabrics as the moon. The blues, greys, and black/white patterns would be the ocean, and below that, the greens, browns, reds, and pinks would be the earth.
She liked the plan, and so began the arduous task of hand ripping stitches to take apart the quilt piece by piece.
|Annyong was "helping"|
|Separated and sorted|
After I had the quilt in pieces, I ironed and sorted them into colour groups, then began trial layouts.
|My bed is my design board|
|The front with no border (yet)|
Great! Time to baste! I laid everything out on my dining room floor to make the quilt sandwich. Originally, we were going to reuse the sheet that had been used for backing as the stuffing, but it was too slippery, and it would have made quilting difficult due to shifting. Instead, I ended up using a thin fleece blanket to keep the weight down. At this point, I sent pictures to Angelique for final approval. She decided that she wasn't feeling having the earth portion on the quilt front, she felt like having just the sky and water was more soothing for her. I'm glad I checked in before basting! I took apart the earth from the sea, replaced the borders, and set to work basting.
|With the earth|
|Without the earth (and basted)|
|Close up of wave quilting|
|This looks terrible!|
Next I tried to machine quilt some modern clouds into the sky, but the thread was too skinny to show up properly. So I hand embroidered over it with a chain stitch and 6 strands of thread to make sure it really popped.
|Clouds and the moon|
|The finished front|
|The finished back|
|Closeup of the moon|
|Wrapped and ready to gift|