Ken is a man with a loving family who worked as an industrial service plumber during his career. Over the years his wife, Karen, mended his jeans and overalls and, about 4 years ago, that pile of mending gave her an idea. She and her daughter Lynn decided it would be fun to make him a quilt from his old clothes (she smiled when she told me that it would be more fun than mending them). So here’s the story:
I met Lynn “virtually” last year when I was recording a Zoom lecture for PBS. Lynn is a video production specialist and I was blessed to work with her. This year PBS recorded my lecture at the Great Wisconsin Quilt Show in Madison last week, and I was able to work with Lynn again.
We got to talking and she told me she was a quilter and had a quilt in the show. Then she told me a bit about her quilt, and her parents, and I could tell this was a blog post story waiting to be shared.
After my class that day I went searching through the quilt exhibit and found Lynn’s quilt.
I emailed Lynn and asked if I could meet up with her and her mom and get the rest of the story. When we got together there was a crowd at the quilt. The viewers were excited to talk to Karen and Lynn and have their questions answered.
Then we sat down and chatted and that’s when Karen told me about the jeans. She and Lynn decided their quilt would be a secret and they got together and went through Ken’s clothes. They told me he is a man who never wastes anything, so they determined he would be happiest if the entire quilt was made from reused fabric. So, once they cut up the parts of his garments that would make the best blocks, they cut strips from his gray work shirts to use for the sashing between the blocks.
Karen gathered all the materials and did most of the cutting and some of the pressing. She also did some hand sewing, such as on the Miller patch. They collaborated on the design and choice of which fabrics went where. Lynn was the sewer who put the blocks together. The story goes that Karen thought it would be nice to use Ken’s t-shirts for the back, but Lynn wasn’t sure a two sided quilt would be something she wanted to attempt. The t-shirt idea eventually won out and Lynn was relieved that it went together as well as it did.
In the end the only part of the quilt that had to be purchased new was the interfacing for the t-shirts.
They presented it to Ken and he loved it (how could he not 😊!)
Thanks to these two dear women for sharing their quilt and it’s story!
And I just have to add a little bit to my previous post about buttons (click here to read that post). I enjoyed reading all the comments. Someone said their grandchildren enjoyed playing and counting her buttons. Why didn’t I think of that? The next time Sommer and Trey are over I may find out exactly how many I have 😁.
My friend Patti sent me a few pictures of her buttons with this comment:
“Like Lorraine, I have loved buttons since I was a child. My husband Ed made this “roof” for me to fit a doll house which a friend had started and abandoned. Another friend drinks Starbucks drinks and she saved the bottles for me. They fit the “floors” of the doll house perfectly.”
She continued with another email:
“Ed made this container for me. It fits exactly six of my button bottles at once so I can take them anywhere. Friends come and select buttons for their projects, I bring buttons to meetings when someone has requested a specific color or type and these are immediately put into a finished project/new home.
Buttons bring things together and make things beautiful.”
Notice the delightful details:
Thanks Patti, for sharing your collection, and the smiles!