I was in SC visiting my sister, brother-in-law and nephew a few weeks ago. I was helping my sister to go through my nephews baby/toddler clothes and apparatuses that babies/toddlers need. At this point she doesn't think she'll have any more children and wanted to start purging the baby items being stored for the past few years. We started pulling bin after bin and box after box, separating and taking pictures. I showed her how to post things on craigslist and helped her get started.
As we were going through the bins of clothes and bibs, etc... my sister became sullen looking at certain outfits that brought back memories, such as the outfit my nephew was brought home from the hospital in. As we were commenting on certain baby clothes and the memories an idea started forming. I mentioned to her that she should pull out and give me the clothes that remind her most of my nephew at certain stages of his baby-hood/toddler-hood. I shared that I thought I could try to make a memory quilt using the clothes. She actually thought this was a good idea and we went to town picking out the most memorable outfits and talking fondly of my nephew at those ages. My brother-in-law joined in after a while.
My nephew (he's 5 y/o) saw me cutting up the clothes and looked at me with an angry expression saying, "Aunt CiCi why are you cutting up my favorite clothes?" He couldn't quite get the concept. ;)
So here's how I did it. This project was a real challenge due to the elasticity of the clothes and the fact that they were all different sizes from t-shirts, to newborn outfits, to pajama legs, bibs, etc.... Since finishing this project I've heard that you can purchase some type of iron on interface that will help so the material doesn't stretch as much and your sewing machine will like it much better. I cut the clothes into pieces then laid them out on my floor to make the pattern. I then sewed the pieces together using rows as much as I could. I had World War III with my sewing machine doing this part! I then purchased about 4.5 yards of blue fabric from Craft Bits and Pieces for $5 and used an old flannel twin size bed sheet for the interface/middle piece. I used antique wooden stretching boards of my Aunts and with her help we laid the 3 layers together, stretched them out and tied the quilt in random places since there wasn't really a pattern going on. I folded over the edges and hand stitched them while watching a movie one night.
I think it turned out pretty well for the challenge that it was. My parents were the first to see it and we reminisced about how the quilt represents everything that reminds us of my nephew....skeletons, robots, dinosaurs, and bugs bugs bugs! My sister and her family will see it in a few weeks when they come up for a visit.
While making this quilt I found a picture on http://pinterest.com/pin/75435362479022884/ and went to the site; http://www.jellybeanquilts.com/samples.htm. This woman is a professional at making children's quilts. Way better than mine but hey I gave it a whirl and it will serve it's purpose which is to preserve sweet memories!
Pile of quilt squares. Much easier to fit in suitcase for the flight back to NY.
Putting the top portion together. Sewing nightmare!
Finished quilt. And no I haven't ironed it yet! (Probably should have done that first when before pieces are sewn together but I'm always to lazy. A true professional quilter would iron though!)