Making of a Memory

This weekend, I finally got started on the Memorial quilt for my father-in-law, who recently passed.  Here’s the pile:

I come from a very small family.  My husband comes from a mind-bendingly large family.  I have always leaned toward the slightly introverted, large-groups-scare-me, sort of mentality.  He, naturally, given his background, thrives in large group situations- and being one of 8 brothers & 1 sister, the more raucous, the better.  Talk about my yin to his yang (yeah, I know, I said “his yang” <giggle>). 

So, especially during this time of crisis, and with SO many helping hands involved, I had been struggling to figure out what could little ol’ me possibly do that would help? I’m not a “jump in there & take charge” kind of gal, but more of the “deer caught in headlights, mouth slightly agape” variety.  But I had been thinking about my own dad, and everything my mom was going through: all the paperwork, sorting through his things, throwing away a lot, donating a lot.  I thought how sad to just get rid of his clothing, the stuff that kept him warm, touched his skin, the stuff that was unmistakeably, totally identifiably, his.  And so the idea for a memorial quilt was born.

I know I’m not the first person to come up with this idea, and I know our families don’t need quilts to keep the memories of our dads alive.  But it is, albeit somewhat selfish, my way of contributing, and it helps me to feel like I am doing something, at a time when you feel so helpless.  I am just so ecstatic, honored, and lucky to work on these quilts, and I know that would make both our dads happy.

I’ll be posting the progress of the quilt(s) in the future…


11 Responses

  1. That’s a very cool idea… One of Hubby’s aunts had his Grandma’s shirts made into teddy bears for some of the great-grandchildren… I like the quilt idea a bit better I think. No one ever outgrows a quilt. 🙂

  2. Quilts are incredible. Every time you snuggle under it, you’ll remember your father in law. When you’re sick, and crawl under it, he’ll be hugging you.

  3. This is a lovely idea. In my closet is a growing bag of fabric — blankies, mostly T-shirts, from schools, vacation places — that I plan to quilt for my daughter when she goes to college. Like a snuggly scrapbook. Looking forward to seeing your progress. (Oh, and I’m with you on the “crowds freak me out” thing. You and William do balance nicely . 🙂 )

  4. I think this is a wonderful memorial.

  5. I love that idea of making this as a memorial quilt. I’m (eternally) working on a quilt out of my t-shirts from high school (sports, camps, etc.). I’m sure this will mean so much to everyone in the family.

  6. A very beautiful thought, Lauren.

  7. I think that is such a great idea and can’t help but think of how much warmer that quilt will feel… like a hug from your father-in-law … as it is wrapped around you and anyone snuggling in to it.

    I’m also a deer-in-the-headlights, crowds-freak-me-out kind of girl.

    I love your work!

  8. I have to agree with Susie Q about the crowd thing. We introverts hate crowds.

    I love the fact that you’re doing this. Before my grandmother passed away she had made quilts for all her grandchildren. She passed before she could make mine but I would have LOVED something from her like that. I would have kept that thing if it was in rags just for the memories.

  9. What a fabulous idea Lauren, you will have to make one of your dads as well – it must be a hard time for both you, your husband and little boys to have lost 2 special people in such a short space of time.
    We are thinking of you in this time and whilst you put together this special memory.
    I have no doubt that your husband will cherish it forever.

  10. That is an awesome idea. I will have to do some thing like this for my dad.

  11. That’s a really great idea! Something like that can be passed down among generations, along with the stories of that person.

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