For months my house has been taken over by bits and pieces of men's shirts.
My cousin died in March, and at his funeral, his wife asked us to make a quilt from his dress shirts.
Turns out she found 55 coloured shirts, so the project grew from one quilt to at least four.
I volunteered to take the blue shirts, as well as a few orange ones,
to make quilts for his two sons, one still a teenager, and the other in his early twenties.
This project grew even further when we realized how much fabric is really in an XL size shirt.
My mother made two quilts from the aqua and black shirts in that closet,
my aunt figured out how to make two from the grey and lilac shirts,
and my cousin made a quilt from the pink and grey shirts, and gave me her scraps.
So that got us up to seven quilts, enough to give to the extended family.
Here's a couple of shots of them laid out on a table.
I made the blue and orange one.
I still had lots of scraps, but I'm finding this project emotionally exhausting,
so I handed a pile of cut squares to my mom and she finished another top.
That's eight now.
A photo of the quilted in label in the two blue quilts I made.
Since Sunday, I've been sewing sleeve plackets and yokes with labels and shirt hems
into a string quilt. I'm about 10 long seams from being completed.
This last project seems even more personal, since I'm using bits and pieces from the inside yoke
or the shirt tails that are usually tucked in.
Yesterday I found myself thinking of losing my own loved ones,
and how hard it would be to lose my husband in mid-life
and I had to stop sewing.
There's no moral here,
except I think fabric from clothing carries more weight than yardage off the bolt.
These shirt parts have been speaking to me in a personal way.
We plan to take beauty shots of all of the quilts before we present them.
They are all very different, and all very beautiful.