The Southern Glamper: Making a Memory Quilt

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Making a Memory Quilt

Monday, October 20, 2014

As we prepared for and anticipated the birth of King Diaper, there was always a part of me that was sad that our child would not know my father.  He was a huge part of my life, and I still think about him daily.  Early on, we decided that we would name our child after my dad if the baby was a boy.  And, as fate would have it, we had a boy with my father's namesake.

Daddy was a very practical person that took pride in hard work.  He was a strong man and instilled his work ethic and faith in both of his daughters.  Many of my childhood memories involve fishing, playing kickball and family vacations out west.  We were involved in church activities as he was a pastor of a church.  And this was the center of our lives.

His favorite color was blue.  And even though he was a minister and often wore a suit or dress pants and button down shirts, Daddy preferred his work clothes.  He called his jeans dungarees.  When I think about daddy now, I picture him in his dungarees and soft faded work shirts.

I saved a few of Daddy's shirts.  This collection included a few of work shirts and a Sunday button down.  And, yes, surprisingly (or maybe not so much) they were all blue or some variation.  I never really knew what I would do with them at the time that I stashed them away.  King Diaper was not even a thought at that time.

But, when I started to prepare for our new arrival, I decided that I would like to use those shirts for a quilt.  I think Daddy would have liked that.  He was practical that way.

My mom has been helping me with this project.  I cut up the shirts into squares.  She has made the quilt top by piecing them together and placing a little Dutch boy square in the middle.  We are going to have someone to do the quilting on a machine to finish the project.

King Diaper will have a quilt with a little piece of his grandfather.  It has been both a hard and happy project.  But, I'm glad we have taken on this task.  It seemed wasteful and against everything Daddy was about to just have those shirts hanging in a closet or stuffed in a drawer.

And as a child of the Depression where nothing was wasted, I think this quilt is everything he was.  With daddy's favorite color and mixture of work shirts and dress shirts, this quilt is a happy memory of the things that I remember best and most about him.  And what better way to remember and honor the man that we loved in our life.

I would like to think that if we still had daddy, he would marvel at the miracle King Diaper is.  He would enjoy taking him fishing, telling him stories and taking him on walks outside in the yard and talking to him about the pine cones.  (King Diaper's favorite thing at this point!)  This quilt has forced me to think about these things that make me both smile and cry at the same time.  But, its a good thing.

Use some of the things that you have from childhood, a loved one or special time in your life to make a memory quilt, shadow box or other memento that will allow you to keep your memories alive.  You will be glad you did - even if there are a few tears along the way.  Tears are the seasoning of life.  Things would be flat without them.  Celebrate life big and often.  Its how I like to live best!  Have a great week!

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