Patrick's mother had died shortly before he contacted Eileen for this project. He commissioned two quilted blankets (above) honoring his mother's memory as gifts for his two sisters. He collected his mother's favorite sundresses, skirts, and housecoats. Some of them were garments she had worn for years and he was confident his sisters would easily recognize them as hers... which they did! Dimensions: 60" X 60"
At first glance this lap blanket (above) looks like any other traditional Rail Fence Quilt... until you learn the back story: Lynn called to say she wanted a very special Memorial Quilt using a select group of her mother's many tailored shirts - the blue ones, and the white ones. Many design plans were considered before finally selecting this design for the quilt. Each of the 5" quilt blocks included five one-inch strips of cloth from the collection of blue and white shirts. The strips of fabric were joined together in a dark-light-dark-light-dark sequence. The 81 blocks utilize fabric from more than a dozen shirts and pajama sets. Her mother's white matelasse bedspread was used to create a generous border around the perimeter of the quilt. Dimensions: 60" X 60".
The scalloped edges of the matelasse bedspread (also used on the front side of this lap quilt) were used as the focus fabric on the quilt back. They straddle pieced panels of a luxurious blue and white cashmere sweater... one of Lynn's mother's favorite garments. Combined they make the perfect back for this cozy quilted lap blanket. Dimensions: 60” X 60”
Amy wanted a quilt made from her mother's favorite after-work clothing: jeans, overalls, a denim jacket, and comfy pajama bottoms. She brought two bags full of these clothes to Eileen's studio and decided on this simple striped design. The clothing was cut into 3" strips that were joined at a 45 degree angle to create this quilted lap blanket (above). Amy can now wrap herself in this cozy quilt and feel comforted by the many memories of her mother. Dimensions: 44" X 54"
Close-up view: The ruffled insert had been the trim on her mother's denim jacket. The "Tim Asssistant Manager" label came from a jacket Amy's brother wore to work.
Vicki and her husband purchased BOXER SHORTS to remember each of their many family vacations. Over the years they had accumulated dozens of them. Following her husband's death Vicki decided that a Quilted Lap Blanket made from his boxers would be the perfect tribute to his memory. Vicki arrived at Eileen's studio with a box overflowing with boxer shorts. The cloth was cut into 5" pieces which in turn became 4 1/2" quilt blocks. Vicki's favorite Phillies T-Shirt, accented with one of her husband's signature bow ties, held pride of place on the quilt top. Two Burberry collared shirts, each with a plaid placket are positioned above the Phillies 2008 National League Champion T-Shirt. Vicki now had a functional memento and she could wrap herself in her memories. Dimensions: 50" X 60"
With her mother’s 70th birthday quickly approaching Michelle contacted ei of the needle to design a quilt to celebrate the event. The themes that drove the design process: Multiple Generations and Family Connections. Eileen suggested a Family Tree. Michelle embraced the idea and the work began. The challenge: How to represent the Family (a sturdy tree trunk)… Family units (leaves of the same color group)… Blood relatives (larger leaves)… Spouses and Children (smaller leaves). The names of each family member were hand embroidered onto individual leaves. Dimensions: 50" X 70".
Janice arrived at Eileen's studio with two suitcases filled with her late husband's silk neckties: several hundred elegant, colorful, distinctive neckties. She had saved the neckties and decided that a quilted wall hanging using her husband's favorites would be a fitting tribute to celebrate his memory. They had enjoyed shopping for them and he had worn them with pride. The neckties were divided into two groups and arranged onto a background of red suede that had been divided into two tiers . The black neckties were hand stitched onto the top tier. The blue neckties were sewn onto the lower tier. A strip of black suede divided the two tiers while a binding of black suede was sewn around the perimeter of the wall hanging. The finished piece was hung on a decorative rod threaded through tabs made from neckties on the top tier. This shows only a small section of the quilted wall hanging. Finished dimensions: 53" X 32".
Julia and her sisters commissioned a gift quilt for their mother. It would be made from a collection of their sister’s clothing, saved following her death. The decision was made to include the design details of the clothing and feature them on the quilt top. Shoulder straps, pockets, buttons, lace trim, and rawhide laces can be easily identified in the 6” square and 6” X 12” quilt blocks. Quilt Dimensions: 60” X 60”
From cradle to PhD: As I prepared for the birth of my first child I collected blue and white Dutch Wax animal batiks and used them to decorate the nursery. My daughter grew up and the batiks were put away. Several years ago, to celebrate the completion of her PhD I remembered them and decided to incorporate every saved inch of this wonderful fabric into a lap quilt and gift it to my daughter. Needing additional fabric I stitched randomly pieced strips of colorful batik into 20 blocks and placed them in the center of the quilt front. A continuous line of long legged birds, that for years had marched across the window valances in the nursery became the quilt’s inner border. The flock of batik birds that, years before, had been crib bumpers became the outer border of the quilt. This quilt is a mix of old and new. The memories living in the Dutch Wax batiks add an extra layer of warmth to this colorful quilted lap blanket. Quilt dimensions: 63” X 55”.
PhD quilt design details: * Pink batik flange adds color between the quilt border and the quilt binding. * Batik strips added to the quilt corners unite the center design with the border.
April saved her daughter’s outgrown clothing and after several years decided to bring the pile of favorites to eileen’s studio for a quilt planning conversation. The plan: Save the design elements of each item.