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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Western Kaleidoscope

I finished the first of the memory quilts made from my grandfather's western shirts this afternoon.   This quilt will go to my Dad, and I could not be happier with the way it turned out.  When my mom first mentioned that my grandmother wanted me to make quilts out of western shirts, my immediate thought was "how am I going to make it cute??"  Although I'm not a typical girly-girl, western plaids are certainly not fabrics I've ever attempted.  That being said, I knew it was important to her, and that my Dad and uncles would really appreciate these mementos of their father.

Like I said, I am so pleased with the way it turned out, that I couldn't resist a little bit of cheesiness in the photos, and pulled out my extremely old cowboy boots for the photo-op.  They look right at home next to this quilt, and I'm totally embracing the cheese.




I backed the quilt with Kona Coal and put a wide stripe of chambray through the middle.  I stippled the quilt with tan thread to blend with the sashing (Kona Parchment) on the front, but gave a nice contrast on the back.  I have to say that this wasn't the easiest to quilt.  Although these look like all flannels, they aren't.  They are men's dress shirt fabric.  Some of these shirts were very soft and thin, so it made it tougher to quilt (and now that we're on the subject, a real pain to piece too).  I chose Kona Rich Red for the binding, and I think it just sets the whole thing off.

*by the way, I opted not to use any of the shirt pockets on this quilt.  When I laid them out, it just took too much away from the kaleidoscope illusion.


It was difficult to find the right wording for the label of this quilt, and I'm still not sure I succeeded.  It was tricky because even though I made the quilt, it is a gift to my Dad from my grandmother, and made from his Daddy's shirts.  That's three people on one quilt label!  Here's what I came up with-


For Wes-
a gift from your Mother
handmade with love from
your Daddy's shirts
by your daughter, Kelly
June 2013
(when I made the label, I didn't think I'd get it finished before June.  May 30th is close enough, ha!)

Frankly, it's all stitched down and quilted through, so at this point, it is what it is.  I played around with lots of different ways to word it, and I honestly don't think there is a less wordy way to get all of that on there.

I love that I've had the opportunity to make this quilt for my Dad (and by proxy, my grandmother), and I hope he really loves the manliness of it.  I know he'll appreciate the memento of his father for years to come.  And, although I won't pretend that my grandfather was the greatest communicator, I'd like to think that if he were himself, he would approve of what I've done and be proud.

I'm calling this quilt Western Kaleidoscope.




I'm entering this in Quilting Gallery's weekly Quilter's Show and Tell.  The theme this week is Memory Quilts, so I thought it would fit right in!  Starting tomorrow (5/31), swing by and vote for my quilt.  At the time I entered the quilt, I had not yet decided on a name, so it is titled "PaPa's Western Shirts" in the Show and Tell.

Here's the link-  Quilter's Show and Tell.  My quilt is titled "PaPa's Western Shirts" there, since I hadn't decided on the name yet.  :)

                                                   Quilters’ Show and Tell

33 comments:

  1. Love it! boots and all!! :)

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  2. Kelly - Your quilt turned our amazing! I showed my new quilt to Kim Hall today. She loved it and was very impressed!

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  3. Wow! What a very special gift of love. I am sure your father with treasure it.

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  4. You did a fantastic job with all those shirts using the kaleidoscope pattern. My hat is off to you! I feel your pain when you speak of the piecing on this quilt as I am working on the 4th quilt using baby clothes. Jersey knit is not my friend by any means:( The result is wonderful though!

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  5. It is fantastic!! How cute!! Love the idea, what a treasure!! I will head on over and vote for it ;)

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  6. What a wonderful quilt and I know your dad will love it. What a precious label too!

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  7. Lovely! The kaleidoscope design was a great choice. I can't wait to see what you do for the remaining quilts. Have you thought about using a light iron on stabilizer to help some of the thinner shirts? I know it makes a huge difference when working with jersey knits and doesn't really add much weight.

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  8. I was going to suggest the same as Kat- a light weight stabilizer.
    I LOVE how it turned out and I'll head over and vote for it ASAP.
    I've ordered the Kona Raisin from my local quilt shop for my coin quilt. I have no idea how long it will take but we're in Canada and our mail service is s-l-o-w..... So I will get busy with my churn dash quilt in the meantime.
    Do you ever work on more than one project at a time?

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  9. I am making a baby clothes quilt for a friend with the same pattern, right down to the white accent diamonds! I have 11 squares out of the 36 I need so it will be a while before I get there... But thanks for the inspiration to finish it up. I REALLY love the look of yours!

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  10. It is beautiful. Your dad--and your grandma--will love it!

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  11. What a nice quilt with a nice memory attached. I think I too would have been nervous on what to do with a bunch of western shirts but your quilt looks just perfect - not too cheesy but still respectful of the shirts and aesthetic. Really nice finish!

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  12. What a beautiful quilt, Kelly! You did an awesome job - I know memory quilts are hard to do! The stabilizer idea is a good one, and will help with the rest of the quilts you need to make! Whoop whoop for a great finish!!

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  13. Wonderful memory quilt. I am sure your grandfather is smiling ... :) Pat

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  14. I think it is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. I am always looking for ideas for memory quilts. Janita

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  15. Fantastic finish! The label is perfect and I love the plaids. Thanks for linking up to TGIFF!

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  16. What a wonderful gift! And a beautiful quilt!

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  17. You have been a super busy girl this month. All of them are beautiful. visiting from A Stitch in Time linky party.

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  18. It's absolutely wonderful : the quilt, the post, and the love :)

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  19. Your quilt is sew adorable and special! Love your photo shoot too! Visiting from Let's get Acquainted linky party!
    jan@sewandsowfarmblogspot

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  20. visiting from sew many ways. Definitely western, love the photos and the quilt

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  21. You're right - it has a completely different feel to the bricks and mortar and the cowboy boots work very well :) It's a gorgeous finish!

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  22. What a great quilt made of shirts and memories!!

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  23. This is just wonderful! I love everything about it.

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  24. Wow! You did a really beautiful job! That is a very special quilt that I'm sure will be treasured for many, many years. Congrats on a wonderful finish and thank you for linking up!

    xo -E

    P.S. I always tend to underestimate on my quilt labels and they are outdated by a month or two by the time I get my quilts finished (lol).

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  25. great quilt Plaids and memories and love the boots!!

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  26. I am a new visitor to your blog, and you really have a great one going here. Your first memory quilt turned out great. I am currently in the process of making some for my sister's husband's family. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  27. Beautiful. And thanks so much for all the details about this quilt. I created a memory quilt this past winter and they can be quite a lot of work. Well done.

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    1. Jennifer, I'm responding here since you are a no-reply blogger. :) Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it. They are a lot of work, but well worth the effort.

      :) Kelly

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  28. What a fabulous memory quilt! I love the wording of the label too...the many people involved just makes it that much more special.

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  29. I think it is wonderful! I love memory quilts, and am actually trying to figure out how to make one of my own. I love the pattern you chose, I think it works with all the plaids.

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  30. What a fabulous finish, Kelly, the Kaleidoscope pattern works amazingly well with the plaids. You have done a great, good thing here. Your Dad will be so ... whatever that emotion is that Dads get but seldom show !~!

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Thanks so much for your comment and for visiting! If you don't hear back from me, you should check to see if you're a no-reply blogger!

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