In the time since making the first memorial quilt for Shari in honor of her son, Ethan, Shari found some additional clothing for a second quilt. This little white romper was one of the last garments Shari sent to me, and frankly was the most emotionally difficult for me to take out of the box. While Ethan was not an infant when he died, he was only in his teens, and holding this pure white baby garment in my hands brought home for me the tragedy of his early passing.
Shari also included a couple of other plaid rompers into the collection.
Ethan loved to wear jeans.
He also loved to dress up and was very proud of his paisley shirt (his first Goodwill purchase without his mom). His black dress shirt was reserved for match days during wrestling season.
Shari liked the idea of a simple squares quilt structure because it allowed for colors and patterns to radiate out of the center. When I suggested the idea of a compass-like pattern, she immediately connected with the idea. I decided to place the white fabric from the baby romper in the center to give it visual and symbolic importance.
I chose one of the gingerbread men from one of the plaid rompers to place near the center as well.
The black dress shirt became the ground color for the inner center.
The jeans worked as the middle ground, and the paisley dress shirt held everything together at the outside corners.
It was nice to have the blue paisley necktie “in conversation” with the green paisley shirt.
Orienting the denim twills in different directions, along with their differing shades, made for a dynamic field of jeans.
After the quilt was quilted, I attached the binding that I made from the leftover pieces of Ethan’s garments.
Here is the final quilt, followed by some details.
I can’t thank Shari enough for going on this quilt journey with me, which spanned two years. Her courage is an inspiration.