I had a customer contact me in late November whose husband had died in October. She asked if I could make two quilts out of his shirts for his daughters.
As I see the shirts, I feel like I get to know the person. From this wonderful array of shirts, I suspected this man had a love of the sea. I leave it to the customer to share what they want with me and, indeed, he did love fishing and boating.
Sometimes I combine shirts if I have too many or if some are filled with spots. Sometimes the stains are part of the character and history of the shirt.
I found this beautiful fabric at JoAnn that just spoke of the sea and captured the lovely shades of blue and green in the shirts.
Two quilts for two daughters. In the process and busy-ness of preparing the quilts I had forgotten how recently this man had died.
The other day I received a not from one of his daughters. She wrote:
“Our stepmother had you make quilts for my sister and me for Christmas from our father’s t shirts. I am sure she told you that he had passed away October 20th. When I first received the quilt I was really shocked. It was hard seeing his t shirts cut up, really making it real that he would not be wearing them anymore. My husband put up the blanket that night because he could see that it upset me. Well, the next morning, Christmas eve morning, I got up and said “where is my blanket?”. He got the blanket out for me, I wrapped myself in it, rubbed those t shirts and was so happy to feel so near to my Daddy.
I now call it my magic quilt. Having it has really been a turning point for me to accepting my Daddy’s death.
I think you made the quilt on short notice for her and I want to thank you!!!”
I found this note so touching on many levels. First, of course, it’s always nice to receive positive feedback. Secondly, it makes me sensitive to the needs of the customer. I think, perhaps, I lost sight of how recently this wonderful husband and father had passed away. And most importantly, it affirms my belief that this throw can be a comforting reminder of the extraordinary life of an ordinary person. This man was extraordinary to his family and, perhaps, beyond. And picturing someone wrapping themselves up in a blanket filled with tangible memories is comforting to me.
It was a pleasure and an honor to create this quilt for you!