Friday, May 6, 2011

Handmade with Heart

My sweet cousin Ali surprised me with this beautiful quilt stitched together from squares of our beloved Grandfather's favorite t-shirts. It was an early Birthday gift that was handmade with lots of love. I love her thoughtfulness and couldn't be more excited about my new quilt!

I asked her to share a little bit about her idea for the quilt, the process and the sentiment behind it. This was what she gave to me to share...

"When Grandpa passed away it was a hard time for the entire family. There was a sad sort of devastation that swept through us. He was a man that I thought would live forever. Grandpa could fix anything, build anything. He was stoic and strong. Nothing could hurt him. But cancer swept through his body and within days he was taken from us.

As Grandma began the early stages of clearing out the cottage (their home) she handed me a stack of Grandpa's white t-shirts. The t-shirts he wore day in and day out under his plaid button up shirts. I carried them home and carefully packed them away not knowing what I would do with them but not wanting to throw them away.

Months went by and one day as I puttered on the computer I came across a tutorial on Kojodesigns. She had made a knotted quilt almost identical to the anthropologie bedding that I had known my dear Jeni would love. A crazy exciting idea went through my head.... I was going to make that quilt, and Grandpa's t-shirts would be the perfect material!

The reason I say this is crazy is because although I like to think of myself as crafty, I've never sewed much more than a quick hem or tightened up a loose button. With some encouragement from my aunt and my girlfriend I brought out the t-shirts and began the process.

Many mistakes were made and the blanket is far from flawless, but it was made with love and I know what it means to my cousin to have pieces of something treasured stitched together for her."


Thank you SO much Ali and for sharing the story with us. The girls and I have already shared moments snuggling under the new quilt together. One particular Sunday morning stands out in my mind when my little girl looked up at me and said, "It's like getting a big hug from Papa... *happy tears*". Our grandfather was a special man who touched the lives of so many. He will be forever in our hearts and missed always...

Below are some pics of the quilt from the tutorial Ali got the instructions from at kojodesigns. Absolutely gorgeous...

Will be doing a 'handmade with heart' post every Friday. If you have a beautiful handmade project with a great story behind it, we would love to hear about it. Please send all submissions to



Ali C said...

Awww, Jen... I am so happy that you're enjoying the quilt. Made and given with lve:) I know we both miss him so very much. I'm grateful that we have such a close family and I have the most amazing friend and cousin in you. Your blog is beautiful!

Anna said...

This is SOO pretty! I'm looking this design up ASAP. There are so many of my kids' clothes that would make a fun hodgepodge version of this out of smaller squares. The story makes this so much more special between the two of you. Thank you for sharing.

Just beautiful things... said...

That's a great idea Anna! Hmmm... I'm thinking now I might have to look into making two miniature versions like that for my girls beds. So many crafty ideas and not enough time. And thank you for the kinds words with the story. xoxo, Jen


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