Two years ago my dad was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and my world dropped out from under me. I presently live in McAlester, Oklahoma and my mom and dad live in Lakeport, California. After a visit home, I was comforted by the doctor's guidance and the proper medications my dad was given.
I had just taken up quilting and was very enthusiastic about my new craft. During my visit home, I confiscated some of my dad's work shirts that my mom was giving to goodwill. I returned home and went to my Kiamichi Quilt Guild Annual Retreat and did not have any projects planned. I had taken my dad's work shirts with me hoping to get some guidance. Well, as it turned out, I came up with the idea to make each shirt into a quilt (with the pocket in the center of each quilt and complimentary fabrics) for each of my sisters and all of my nieces and nephews. I made one for my mom with a block from each of the other quilts with a pocket in the center of each block.
As it turned out, I made a total of eighteen (almost twin size) quilts between 20 August and 1 November 2009. As it evolved, I never felt rushed or under pressure. I worked during the day and when I came home in the evening, my sweet husband cooked and cleaned and let me quilt. After the tops were completed, he helped me pin the batting and backing together so I could "stitch in the ditch" quilt each one.
On the day I finished, my husband and I rolled them each up and placed them back in the batting plastic. We boxed them all up and mailed them to my mom and dad so they could give them as Christmas Gifts. When they received them, it was like Christmas for my mom and dad and they relived the memories of each of the shirts my dad had worn in his 45 years as a Truck Driver. My dad picked out which quilt he would give to which family member; then he wrote about a special memory he had with that person on a 3X5 card. My mom put a picture of my dad on the back of the card and laminated each card and they placed them in the pocket on each quilt and wrapped them all up for Christmas Day with my family. Unfortunately, I was unable to be there, but I was told that there was not a dry eye in the house and that everyone in the family loved their quilts. It was the most rewarding project and the most fun I have ever had. It truly was a labor of love for my father. He is still doing well and loving life.
Keep Smiling-Keep Shining!