Let me start off by saying that this is a poignant story. This sort of work, machine pieced patchwork with machine quilting, is not the kind of project that I would typically do. But the story behind the project, and the experience of working on the project, and the two boys who were the final recipients of the project, all made it so worthwhile and well within the parameters of Threads of Meaning. I got a phone call from their aunt last July asking if I would be able to use some her brother's clothes to make two quilts for her nephews. Her brother had unexpectedly died while he was in an isolated cabin in Alaska and she wanted the boys to have something to remember him by. I had her bring the boxes by so we could sort through them and see what we would have to work with. I wanted to involve her in every step of the project that I could because I could tell that she was grieving and I thought it would help.
Starting in September she began to come by in the afternoon and help me with the work. She is not a seamstress herself, but she did the cutting, the ironing, and was involved in choosing the fabric combinations and planning the quilt. One of the things we incorporated was this idea of a Pocket Patch. I made the quilts so that they can hang on the wall or lie across the bed and we thought it would be good to have a pocket on each one to put keepsakes in (jack knives or tape measures) or even Christmas and Birthday gifts. I should also say that his clothes, when they came out of the boxes, when we ironed and sewed them, still smelled like him. This caused some tears, but also made the whole feeling of the project so real. And his sister found, as she worked on this project, that it did make her feel better. It seemed to her as if she were still in touch with him and using his things to pass something meaningful along to his boys.