"My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn


 
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. 
 
Very Sincerely, 
 
Keep Smiling-Keep Shining!
Darrelyn


Comments

Helen Bell wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Sunday, 29 August 2010, 8:29 PM

Awesome story Darrelyn....you should be so proud of yourself for creating such great memories and quilts...thaks for sharing this with us

chocake2 wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Sunday, 29 August 2010, 9:01 PM

Oh My!What a beautiful thing! I'm all teary-eyed reading about it!

When my Dad was alive I teased him that I was gonna take all of his old shirts and turn them into a drunkards path quilt when he died. He never showed much enthusiasm for the idea -probably on account of my choice of block. I doubt he understood that the block name ahd little to do with my choice. He's been gone a long time now and i still have his shirts, uncut and awaiting the moment when I make them into a new memory. I envy you getting to share the treasured memory with you Dad while he was alive! You have been blessed!

Barbara wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Sunday, 29 August 2010, 9:30 PM

Darrelyn,What a amazing story,and wonderful quilts.your parents must be so honored and to let them make the choices as to which family member get one is truly a gift of love...Barbara

gini wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Sunday, 29 August 2010, 9:57 PM

darrelyn what a touching story and how proud your parents must be of you.   gini

Pat wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Monday, 30 August 2010, 7:30 AM

What a wonderful story.  You should be very proud of your accomplishments.  Thanks for sharing your story and beautiful quilts.

Pat

Patti wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Monday, 30 August 2010, 9:35 AM

wonderful quilts, and a heart warming story.  Thanks for sharing.

Nana wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Monday, 30 August 2010, 10:02 AM

Darrelyn this is a heartwarming story.  How very special all of those quilts will be.  You have done an amazing thing and your quilts are beautiful.   Thanks for sharing.

Rebecca wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Monday, 30 August 2010, 10:37 AM

So glad your father is loving life and so glad your projects were completed so that he could enjoy how special they are to everyone.  I am inspired to approach my mother for my dad's shirts.  She's been so tender since his death and hopefully she's ready to think about a project.  Thanks for such a sweet idea.  Rebecca

Candi Gordon wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Monday, 30 August 2010, 1:17 PM

What wonderful treasures you have given to your family.  My mother-in-law just turned 103 on August 23rd and I am planning to make quilts out of her house dresses to give to my husband and my sister-in-law.  Even though I know you enjoyed their sharing their moment without you, I sure wish that you could have been there to see all the love that was shared.  What warm fuzzy feelings for your family and for me too.  I can tell that you loved working on each and everyone of them.  I loved the idea of the picture and information shared with on the card for each family member.

Hannatine wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Monday, 30 August 2010, 6:32 PM

Darrelyn - Beautiful story and a lovely picture.  Your picture reflects all the work and creativity you did, I love the way you displayed them.  Hannatine

Dawn wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Tuesday, 31 August 2010, 6:58 PM

How wonderful to be able to share memories like those quilts!  Awesome!!!

Michelle wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Tuesday, 31 August 2010, 8:43 PM

That is a great story and such a gift of love.

Barb wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Wednesday, 1 September 2010, 7:37 PM

What an awesome labor of love.  The quilts look wonderful, and the memories behind each one with last on and on...  Thank-you for sharing your story, what an inspiration!

Barb Monson wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Thursday, 2 September 2010, 8:35 AM

That was a wondful store. I am doing the same thing for my huband's aunt. His uncle John recived a heart tranplant in September of 2005 and pass away in Januray of 2006. He aways wore plade shrit with pockets.I got some of his shrit and have made his wife and two kids quilts and they all love them. It was a fun thing to do because I remenber him wearing all most all of thies shirts. We have found lots of pictures with him in them.It has help us all to love him all the more.

Eileen wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Thursday, 2 September 2010, 10:53 AM

Darrely, what a wonderful story and a precious gift for your family. So nice that your dad was able to write a little card & choose a spefici quilt for each person. I'm sure he was just as touched as everyone else!

Judy wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Thursday, 2 September 2010, 12:44 PM

That's so wonderful.  I wish I had some of my Dad's old shirts.  I do have part of his school uniform which dates back to 1915 or so, maybe I could use that somehow.  Lovely post!

Diane Morgan wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Thursday, 2 September 2010, 2:06 PM

What a beautiful thing to share with your father and family. They will treasure these quilts and the note forever. This will mean a lot to them. Glad to hear that your father is doing well.

Kris wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Friday, 3 September 2010, 6:37 AM

Darrelyn, your story is amazing. What a wonderful way to share your dad with the family. God bless you.

marygramz wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Friday, 3 September 2010, 8:46 PM

How heartwarming!!!  My own dad has been gone a long time, and I'm sure all of his shirts too, but I do have two pairs of satin pjs that we kids gave our mother shortly before her death from lung ca.  I have been meaning to make a quilt or something for my three siblings, but now I HAVE to get them done!  God gave your family a precious gift when you were born Darrelyn.  God bless you.

Applekrisp wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Saturday, 4 September 2010, 8:32 AM

OMGosh, I'm balling my eyes out!  Your quilts are beautiful and the thought behind them.  I'm sure your family were delighted and touched.  What a keepsake!  I lived in Lake County for a couple years before moving to Redwood Valley...love the area and know it well after 20 years.  We moved away a couple years ago, but our kids are still in Ukiah so we frequent the area to see our grandbaby.  I lost my mother to cancer about 5 years ago now, I remember the comfort that my quilting gave me, it's almost a Zen like focus, giving you time to absorb the enormity of what is happening.  It doesn't matter how old you are, losing your parent is very BIG.  I hope you are taking care of yourself and that you have continued quilting.  I agree with Mdecker...God did give your family a precious gift when you were born! Take care and know that you and your are in our prayers.

Debbie wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Monday, 6 September 2010, 1:24 PM

What a sweet story and what a wonderful thing to do for your dad and mom.

Lucinda wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Monday, 6 September 2010, 6:10 PM

What a wonderful way to honor your father and pass on his memories.  Gives me food for thought!

Adele wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Tuesday, 7 September 2010, 10:35 AM

wow what a great way to share all the memories of your father with all your family.

Emma wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Wednesday, 8 September 2010, 9:53 PM

What a beautiful project! The quilts are all lovely; your workmanship looks very neat and clean...and oh the heartfelt thoughts that went into the project! I love that you did this while your dad is still living and that he was able to join in "the giving" by sharing his personal memories with each one of his loved ones. I know they'll cherish their gifts forever and they'll mean even more because your dad had a hand in it. I wish you could've been there when they were distributed, but I know your heart still overflowed hearing about the reactions when they were received. God bless you for your labor of love and a special thank you to your wonderful husband for his heart of love also. The world is a better place because of people like you!

Beth wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Thursday, 9 September 2010, 1:47 PM

All I can say is WOW, and you are SO AWESOME! What a wonderful wonderful way to share love to your entire family. GREAT JOB!

Jan Turner wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Thursday, 14 October 2010, 11:14 PM

What a great story.  You are a wonderful daughter and I know your father loves you dearly.  Please say that you made yourself one of the quilts.   I want you to feel your daddy's love as you enjoy your labor of love.

Joellyn Quinn wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Friday, 22 October 2010, 12:44 PM

Loved your story.  What a huge undertaking.  Keep quilting!

midgep wrote re: "My Dad's Work Shirts" 18 Quilts by Darrelyn
on Friday, 5 August 2011, 8:34 PM

What a great gift both to your Dad and to your family. You must be a very loving daughter, and hats off to that man of yours for helping with the pinning. I have one of those too.

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