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Topic: Help me salvage this project - quilt for my mom's 50th birthday  (Read 1677 times)
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« on: May 15, 2010 05:37:11 PM »

I had this brilliant idea to make my mom a quilt for her 50th birthday not only to celebrate her birthday and also to celebrate this new part in her life as her difficult divorce from an abusive husband winds down.

I emailed everyone that I could that she knows (family, old friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc) and asked them to mail me one or more squares.  I planned to do a checkerboard pattern of a fabric that I would pick to tie it all together.  I got lots of responses that it was a great idea.  It ends up that only 5 people sent me squares plus my brother who mailed me a shirt of his that she would recognize to make his square for him. And one aunt that sent me yard each of some fabric that she picked out.

So this project which was supposed to show how many people love and care about her has turned into a pathetic response which states the exact opposite. 

The people who made squares are expecting a project and I'm at a loss.  What do you think I should do with these measly 6 squares that won't turn out looking pathetic. 

It doesn't have to be a traditional quilt. 
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2010 07:51:51 PM »

Yikes! How much time do you have?

If there's time, I would suggest sending everyone a little "block kit" that has a piece of fabric in it that they can sign or write an encouraging/loving/supportive message on. Then include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for them to return it to you. It means more work for you but some people might be intimidated trying to make a quilt block - especially if they've never sewn or quilted before.

Another option would be to make a photo quilt by having all those people email a favorite photo of themselves with your mom or something like that. Then you can print the photos on a special paper backed fabric (available at many craft and sewing stores) and incorporate them into quilt blocks. Again, more work for you but at least you know it will get done.

Hope that helps! Good luck with your project. I'm sure your mom will appreciate anything you create for her.


Come see what I've been up to at
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2010 10:37:27 PM »

Thank you for those recommendations.  Seems so simple but I never thought about it!

I'm a little disgusted that some of my family members haven't responded at all.  I'm trying to remind myself that not everyone can be crafty though!
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2010 02:46:50 PM »

I second the pp suggesting the autograph blocks, but maybe with another twist on it as well.

If she's having a decently sized birthday party, get everyone who comes to sign an autograph block, or - if you want a big quilt - to have people outline their handprint - like hugs from everyone around her.

I think most people don't know how to sew that kind of stuff anymore, and it gets put on the back burner, because they're intimidated and want to do a nice job. It's not that they don't want to do it, more that they don't know how.
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2010 06:18:55 PM »

We live 2500 miles away so I won't be with her.  She'll actually be getting it about a month after her birthday since she's coming to visit. 

Good idea though!
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2010 07:42:32 PM »

The "block kit" idea sounds great and so does the hand tracing one.  What about combining those and having folks trace their hand with a Sharpie on a 10" square of fabric that you send.  I think most folks could do that and you might even be able to request certain colors. 

There was also a project around Christmas that people were using Sharpies on white fabric and then dripping rubbing alcohol on them to blur the lines.  I tried it with a white-on-white print and liked it.

Good luck with it all.
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