Monday, January 5, 2015

Comfort Counts

Photo by Ray Rowden
Sometimes I think it's ok to throw too much thinking about design out the window and make a quilt for the purpose of comfort, only comfort.

I've been making t-shirt quilts for my girls. Along with their t-shirts,  I discovered a box of appliqued sweatshirts I'd saved. They are sentimental favorites but I knew we wouldn't wear them anymore. My buddy Jan and I made these back in the '80s. Jan drew several of the designs (the iris bouquet and the holiday wreath). We had pipe dreams of having our own business. We learned we liked making stuff more than being businesswomen ... Some sweatshirts were for my little girls. Some were made for my parents, my grandma ... A few are drawings done by the kids and transferred onto sweatshirts.

My goal was to have a blanket long enough to cover my Mom up while she napped. I dug into my stash and found some flannel for backing. Then I took a deep breath and started cutting up those sweatshirts. I squared them up and sewed them together. They fit pretty well onto the flannel - I pinned the sweatshirt top to the flannel back and stitched through both layers.  (I didn't add batting so it would be light.) I bound the edges. The finished blanket includes 15 sweatshirts and measures 40" x 69".

I took it to Mom on Christmas Day. She has dementia so I was not totally sure she recognized all the memories in this when she first saw it. But I like to think she notices little bits every day as it covers her and keeps her warm. And it sure comforts me with the thought that these are OUT of the box and onto her bed.

Happy New Year. Stitch what makes you happy!


  1. She may not remember the shirts but I'm sure she recognizes the love.
    Bless your hearts, dementia is a difficult path to go down.

  2. This blanket is priceless! The last paragraph of this post gave me goosebumps. I hope your mom notices the memories of yesteryears even while you are not around to witness that moment. Three generations and friendship involved in stitched memories in one blanket! I have nothing to do with this and somehow even I feel comforted by reading this story. Thank you!

  3. What a lovely gift for your Mother.

  4. Wonderful use of your precious keepsakes. I would bet your mom loves to touch the applique and maybe it reaches her memories. ;)

  5. Oh Deb, Ms Lou will love that. After all the quilts she made I bet she'll find some memories in there. I remember when the two of you were making flannell quilts and t-shirt quilts years ago. I imagine she will touch each block. There are moments of clarity. You are a special daughter and using your gift for those you love. Thanks for the inspiration.