Monday, August 27, 2012

Peggy's Quilt

          Before I get into this post, let me just say that if anyone has a tip for keeping my photos rotated, lay it on me.  When I edit my pics, I go through and rotate all the sideways ones.  Opening the album  they look sideways, but when I click on the individual photo it opens in the correct orientation.  So far, so good.  The trouble recurs though when I upload them......back to sideways.  Argh!

Now I will return to a proper post.
Back in April, one of my close friends at work who I have known for close to 30 years, lost her husband suddenly.  We were all in shock.  Wayne was a good guy and they had a lot to look forward to with their three kids.   I hesitantly offered to make her a quilt from his shirts and she took me up on it. 

She gave me a bag of shirts and I stacked them up for inspiration. Blue must have been Wayne's favorite color. I was grateful for the neutrals and the green and yellow. Lemme tell ya though, that green gave me a real run for my money. Wonky, flimsy, and stretchy. But very soft which is always nice in a quilt.


Cutting into the shirts was difficult and I was glad my friend, Peggy, wasn't there.  It was a melancholy task.



 I had this pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew that I wanted to try and I thought it would look good with the shirtings.

Those arrow blocks are a little fiddly to make but I really like them. Not a good choice for Mr. Stretchy Green Plaid though!
Each arrow block produces a bunch of leftover half-square triangle blocks which was a nice bonus. I started playing with them.
Ugh! Please forgive the sideways picture.
In the end I used the half-square blocks to make a center medallion and worked around it. I spent forever trying to decide how to get this together. I didn't want to add any fabric to the front that wasn't from his shirts. I pieced a scrappy border and included a piece with his company logo embroidered on it. You can see it in the upper right hand corner of the picture with the orange embroidery.
I did use some of my fabric on the back. Sorry no picture. I picked something 'shirty looking' and manly. (Hey! Make sure you read that right, I said shirty!)   


 I was a little nervous when I gave Peggy the quilt.  I didn't want to make her any sadder than she already was, but she really liked it.  It was a great project and I am glad I did it, but I think I got depressed working on it.  Between the long work weeks and the crazy stress of our new work environment,  I really fell into a slump this summer.  Thinking of how suddenly Peggy lost her husband and how it could happen to any of us, I spent a lot of time thinking about my life, what makes me happy and what doesn't, what relaxes me and what stresses me.  I'm a natural worrier and some times my 'worry list' is longer than others.  Having two kids in their early twenties who are trying to find their way and 'purpose' in life seems to take up more than a few lines on that worry list.  In addition, my current position at work includes a lot of management responsibilities which is a source of much stress and doesn't make me happy.  Last week I had one shift ( the first in over a month) where I got to be a 'real' nurse.  I need more of that and hope to get it.   I haven't been happy at work and that has spilled over to other parts of my life as well, lousy diet, poor sleep, and too much reclusive time.  I'm working on it though.  My husband is a good listener AND we had a great weekend away in New York City.  We saw a great play off broadway and went to jazz and comedy clubs as well as walked, shopped, and walked some more.  In spite of a spectacular face-plant I performed on a sidewalk resulting in impressive bruises (yes, I was wearing heels), we had a wonderful time.  I also made the decision to cut back my hours at work.   I'm pretty excited about that and I think it lifted my spirits right away.  The fact that I'm blogging again is a good sign.  Sorry if this post is a bit of a downer but life just isn't all puppies and rainbows.  Puppies are cute but I'm more of a cat person, lol.  I'll find something bright and cheerful for next time!  


  1. I'm working on the third one of what I call "comfort quilts" for friends that lost the Daddy/husband. It has been a bit of a struggle, not to mention how the fabrics do not always cooperate due to content, and how I did not plan well and had extra math to figure out.

    All that to tell you, I think you did an outstanding job on yours, including the pattern choice! Really, as my friend the Momma/wife of the trio of quilts said, it's really about the shirts, and who they belonged to. She loved her 2 daughters' quilts. I hope she will love hers, too.
    BTW, my next post will be on her quilt....

  2. First of all, what an amazing job you did with this quilt! I was a nurse manager for two years, which were the most miserable of my career. So I know what you mean about the stress. I I most love those days at the bedside...enjoy your time away with less hours!

  3. Lisa, loved your post and that quilt is amazing. I am glad you are back to blogging. Your posts always make me smile. What program do you use for editing photos?

  4. you did a great job with the shirt quilt. I like how you took a pattern and ran with the idea and incorporated all the shirts. good for you for using even the stretchy one. best wishes as you find balance in your life.

  5. The quilt is lovely. I would not have thought of a quilt made from a loved one's shirts, but I do love the idea and imagine it will be loved and treasured. I was not a nurse for as long as you have been, but I left nursing because it never made me happy, and I became very depressed for doing something I could never feel comfortable doing. I, too, worry way too much and I could never help feeling that I was doing everything wrong. I know how much happier I have been since changing my life, and I hope you find more time to be happy nd do more things that you love to do!

  6. Lisa,
    I was just looking for info on Texas Hill Country and came across a few sites you might like. The first is It is a quilt store, looks super nice, and they also have cats " working" in the shop. Very cute! The other is an event they have in Texas, you may want to go. Website is They basically get on a bus and visit lots of quilt shops! (it may be Quiltsacrosstexas if the previous doesn't work.)