Sweet Memories

FL Sister id tag

Memory is priceless. Never is that more clear than when a loved one begins to loose hold of the memories that weave your lives together. This last month when we got to be together to celebrate my sister’s landmark birthday we made some new memories and we “rememberated” together about other landmark days. I know that isn’t a real word but I like to think I invent things.

So when I got back home and started to work on a workshop I’m hosting on embellishing quilts, I pulled out the Memories quilt top that we did together long before we were officially Sisters at Heart, Miles Apart.

When we started this shared project, we reviewed life by decades, recaptured milestone moments and divided them between us. We used the high-tech method to accomplish this: writing on little squares of paper and taking turns drawing them out of a bag.

planning sm

For unknown reasons the mailing paperwork is still in the folders with all the graph paper plans and fabric swatches. I may be a bit over sentimental.

After graphing the layout to plan the size of each block and setting the design parameters (I’ll put those down later in the post in case you want to try this project with someone else.) we specified which blocks would be pieced and which would be appliqued. And we planned to put a row of Friendship Stars across the pillow fold – for obvious reasons.

Both of us began life in Colorado so we put the Colorado block in the upper left hand corner.

colrado sm

We added some mountains to the right and some farmland at the bottom of the Colorado block.

 

Cindy chose baby buggies and baby blocks for the early childhood blocks.

baby buggy sm

She embellished with buttons on the baby buggies.

Childhood fun for us included tobogganing and snowmen, Fourth of July picnics, reading, cooking and Christmas celebrations including church Nativity programs and a dilapidated wind-up Santa that rang a little bell even though he only had one surviving arm.

little memories sm

Favorite book titles are included: Five Little Peppers, Green Leaf in Drought Time, Pilgrims Progress, Nancy Drew, Dr Suess …

As older kids our lives were impacted by time at church camp in the mountains of southern Colorado near Monument Lake.

camp

Pine cone fights, the pillow pole and Bible sword drills will forever bring smiles to our faces. And the homemade noodles and bread. Oh, my, the home cooking!

Later there were weddings for both of us. Cindy in her hooded cape with a blown glass bouquet and I in our mother’s wedding dress.

wedding

We stitched this long before we introduced our Wedding Wishes line of patterns.

 

wedding ring sm

And the pieced block to commemorate that significant life event was, of course, a double wedding ring.

In the middle part of life we both invested much to teach our children at home. We shared ideas and curriculum and encouragement and accumulated many sweet memories along the way. Hence the schoolhouse block. The other building with “Fire Sale” in the window reminds us of an unforgettable time when we found treasures because the store next door to a fabric shop had experienced a fire. All the fabric needed was a thorough washing to bring it back to life.

school and fire sale sm

Did we go back 3 or 4 times to get fabric? My memory is not good on that point.

Some things span more than one decade of life – coffee and tea …

sister love

Constant Comment has been a life-long favorite. Maybe there is a deep significance in that even!

… and Our Favorite Things …

favorite things sm

One sister collected Noah’s Ark and one collected chickens. We both loved baskets and fat quarters – and the telephone!

Down in the lower right hand corner the memories conclude with a Tree of Life complete with significant charm ornaments.

tree of life sm

You might be familiar with other blocks called Tree of Life. This was our version.

 

tol close up2 sm

a diaper pen, music notes, tea-pot and cup, an old car ….

 

tol close up sm

sewing shears, a pencil & an apple for the teacher, a diploma, wedding rings …

WELCOME HOME at the top of the tree reminds us of what is important here and, also, that at the end of life we will get to go HOME in the best sense of the word.

welcome home

p.s. HOME is my favorite word of all

Now, I really, really need to make a quilting plan! Any ideas?

memory quilt sm

can you find: church window, hopscotch, checker board, sisters choice, windmill …

The fabric of shared history is irreplaceable.

 

Here is our design plan which kept us on the same page. (Our choices are in parentheses.) Maybe you will want to make your own memory quilt to preserve seasons and moments that have made life good.

  • color parameters (no primary colors, pastels or white-white)
  • range of tone for backgrounds (light to medium)
  • setting plan (no sashing between blocks, set block to block)
  • main color (use green in all blocks)
  • trading plan (send a 6 1/2″ block of fabric with each completed block for use in future blocks)
  • journaling option (journal throughout the project)
  • solo work (each do our own letter blocks)
  • scheduling (finish 2 blocks per month, 1 month for bottom row, 1 month for letter blocks)
  • embellishing parameters (dimensional is good and embellish at will)
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