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.
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.
Cindy chose baby buggies and baby blocks for the early childhood blocks.
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.
As older kids our lives were impacted by time at church camp in the mountains of southern Colorado near Monument Lake.
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.
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.
Some things span more than one decade of life – coffee and tea …
… and Our Favorite Things …
Down in the lower right hand corner the memories conclude with a Tree of Life complete with significant charm ornaments.
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.
Now, I really, really need to make a quilting plan! Any ideas?
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)