During my senior year of high school, I decided to make a memory quilt for each of my friends.
Well, here I am, a junior in college and I finally finished the last one.
What Goes in to Making a Memory Quilt?
First: I go through my journals and decide the scenes that I want to depict on the quit
Yes - I write in a journal. I've written in one since I was eight years old and I have eleven full 8.5x11 journals and ... Yes - I type them once I've filled them so they are very searchable. I usually choose about a dozen scenes and write them in a list.
Second: I draw a rough draft on a scrap paper and then a detailed version on my white fabric.
It usually takes a long time to draw and I get tired of it by the end -- as you can see in the top photo. The quit size was different for every quit I did -- but my people drawing style didn't change because I'm not the fantastic artist my sister is :)
Third: Using twenty-five different thread colors, a hoop and a needle, I back stitch everything.
This step takes the longest. Usually six months at least with me doing a little every day. I hand sew everything except any hills, mountains or rivers because I do those on a machine after it's done to hold the front, batting, and backing together.
Fourth: Sew a border onto the quilt
Fifth: pin the front, batting and back together
Sixth: Machine sew the big things: rivers, mountains, waterfalls, roads, hills etc.
My little brother loves to watch me sew and every time I make a quit he asks to make one too. So I set him up with a hoop and some thread. He's never actually finished an entire picture, but he's sure enjoyed himself.
Seventh: Make and sew on the binding / top loops (if it's a hang-on-the-wall-quilt)
I make my own thick one-sided bias tape and use it bind my quilts. For this last quit, I got to step seven and seam ripped it all the way back to step three. I did that twice. My family is very supportive. Above is a picture of my brother, mother and I seam ripping around the breakfast table.
I eventually decided it was the machine's fault that I wasn't liking the end product ( I had tried my machine and my mother's) so I called up a sister in my ward (a member of my congregation) and asked if I could use her machine. Not only is this sister super creative and creates the most amazing looking projects (go visit her blog to see for yourself)-- but she has the best machine I have ever worked on.
She was kind and helped me and before I knew it I had the binding on my quilt.
Eighth: Hidden stitch the binding along the back
Ninth: Hang it up and take lots of pictures before sending it to your friend
I love making these quilts because I get to relive all the fun things I have done, and I'm constantly thinking about what my friends are going to think when they see them. It makes me happy. Below are some pictures from past quits and this quilt that I loved.
Tubing down the river when it was shallow enough to walk in
White water rafting in the New River in West Virginia and falling out
Hiking up to Lion's Head Rock in West Virginia with my friend who wore terrible boots
Getting lost nearly everywhere we ever drove together
Tenth: Start planning the next quit.
My next one is going to be fore my sister who is on a mission. I'm going to be up at school a lot so I don't think that I'll be able to finish it before she gets home -- but I thought that I'd better get started because it's going to be a big one.