This is the second of a 2-part blog post about a series of nine memorial quilts I made for a grieving family in Texas. To read about the project background and the first four quilts, visit Part 1. The final five quilts consisted of two children’s quilts for James’ two grandsons, an additional throw that his wife, Lori, wanted to place over James’ favorite chair, and two smaller wall pieces.
I began with the throw for James’ chair, and as is so often the case, the designs of the in-process sections had a beautiful quality all on their own. For instance, each block eventually became an octagon, but went through a moment of being these bold ‘X’s’.
James’ flag patch fit nicely into one of the blocks.
I loved how the red accent of James’ shirt gave the quilt a color spark.
Here is the final quilt. There was enough left of James’ jeans and two other shirts to make the border.
Here is a detail which also shows the geometric quilting pattern.
Next up were the two small wall hangings. Ever since I had cut into a pair of James’ red, white, and blue swim trunks for one of the earlier quilts, I had thought a stars and stripes themed quilt would be a perfect addition to the group. I designed a variation on a log cabin pattern to take care of the “stripes” part, and the stars from the swim trunks took care of the “stars” part.
Here is the final quilt, followed by a detail.
I wanted the two wall hangings to relate to each other aesthetically, so I keep with the Log Cabin theme and created another variation.
I used four different red accents in the final piece that contrasted nicely with the neutral greens.
Last, but certainly not least, came the quilts for James’ grandsons, Luke and Jack. Lori chose my PENNY quilt pattern that works so well for children’s quilts.
The appliquéd circles allow me to isolate certain design elements of the fabrics, so here I highlighted the embroidered polo player from one of James’ shirts.
Working with contrasting solids, plaids, and stripes imbued these quilts with energy and movement.
Here is the final quilt for Luke, complete with a bubbly quilting pattern, and a flannel plaid backing and binding for added softness.
It was very helpful that Lori had made sub-groupings of James’ clothing designated for each family member’s quilt.
I’m sure Jack is a little star in his family, and I had one left over just for his quilt.
Here is Jack’s quilt and a detail. Lori asked, in addition to incorporating James’ embroidered name tags into the boys’ quilts, that I also embroidered the name they called their grandpa – OPPO.
I am sincerely grateful to Lori and the rest of her family for entrusting me with this enormous project and for their patience in waiting for it to be completed. It was truly epic.