Saturday, April 25, 2015

~Memory Blanket....made from clothes~

For me, what makes hand made 
gifts so special is the love 
and emotion that goes into it.
I'm thinking of the person I make it for 
throughout the entire process. 

This next thing I'm going to share with you
is one of the most emotional projects
I've ever worked on.

Eight and a half years ago, a very dear friend
of mine passed away suddenly, leaving two 
little boys and a husband behind. 
Her husband kept her clothes in the exact
place she'd left them in her closet and drawers
for six years. About two and a half years
ago, he asked me to go thru her clothes with him.
He wanted me to keep some of them to 
make blankets for the boys. 
Going thru her closet....that was rough.
tears. missing. laughter. memories.

I brought the clothes home that I'd set aside for the blankets
and had to wait another year and a half before
I had it in me to start working on the blankets.

I had a good excuse and a deadline....
her oldest son was getting married. 

I started it a couple months in advance. I'd
never made a blanket out of T-shirts before and I
had no idea how I was going to pull it off. 

This wasn't a project I went balls to the walls
and completed in a couple days...I could have...
but there were times I just had to put it aside
and step away. Man...I miss her.

There were also times it was like she was
sitting right next to me as I was working
on it. I swear I could have reached out and
touched her....I can't describe it. 
She was here...with me, making this for her son...and it's
like it was a gift from her too. 

I wanted to make sure the clothes I was choosing
held memories for her son as well.
The panels are from T-shirts, pajama pants, 
sweatshirts, her work shirt, swim shorts, etc.
I sewed the panels together, put a layer of batting 
in between and backed it with a flat sheet.

A couple of the panels had pockets on them.
I printed up pictures of her on fabric paper,
backed them with fabric from more of her clothes,
and hid them in the pockets. 
 This one is a pic of her and her oldest boy,
when he was about 5 or 6 years old...we were sledding.
I got the saying I printed on the pic from a 
children's book....I can't remember the name of the book.
I thought the words were PERFECT.

I was pleased with the finished product.
It gave me a great sense of accomplishment...
Her son loved it, he cried when he got it.

The ceremony was beautiful and heart wrenching all
at the same time. It hurt my heart that it was such
a big day for her son and she didn't live to see it.
This mourning business is so complex.
Lots of hidden cracks and crevices.
Just when you think you've moved on and 
accepted it....BAM! 
She may not have lived to see it but she
was there that day....and she was happy...
and she was proud of her boy. 
And so am I.

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