It is one year today since our friend Graeme passed away. We certainly miss his company, his friendship, and his pithy sense of humour. His partner Kathryn misses him greatly too, of course. To help Kathryn get through this day, the three of us went out to lunch to my favourite local cafe, Figtree. The weather was wet and miserable outside, but inside the cafe was buzzing, as group after group arrived to settle down for a leisurely lunch. It was just as well we arrived early to grab ourselves a table. We two ladies enjoyed corn fritters and bacon, and Robin decided on a bacon and egg croissant, all washed down with tea and coffee. There was plenty of reminiscing as we ate our very tasty lunches. Kathryn then came back home with us for another cuppa and yet more chat. I then presented Kathryn with a gift bag. “Oh, I know what’s in that”, she said.
Inside was a memory quilt, made from pieces of Graeme’s shirts and ties. I had offered to make Kathryn a memory quilt soon after Graeme had passed away, and received a big bag of tee shirts, ties, even a light jacket and a couple of woolly hats. Now, where shall I start?
I needed something extra to tie it all together, and settled on a white print I had in my stash, scattered with small designs in blue and rust. After a quick look through my ever so handy book, “Around the Block”, by Judy Hopkins, I decided on Sawtooth Star blocks.
The quilt took several months to construct, as I decided how best to use the available items of clothing. Using the logos on the front of polo shirts, I cut off pieces and backed the knit fabric with non stretch interfacing to make the centre of the stars. Graeme’s light navy poplin jacket with the Motorcross emblem became the centre of another star, and further pieces of this jacket was used for the points of several lighter hued stars. Ties were also backed with interfacing before I cut the pieces out to size. His pale blue dress shirt was cut up and used for the sashing, and I added a peach cotton from my stash as the corner squares.
The memory quilt was machine quilted and the binding was navy cotton. Extra labels were added to a panel on the back, including a piece of a black jumper featuring an English Football club logo, a gift from his son Adrian who lives in London. Also used was the logo from Graeme’s red woolly “Holden” hat. There are two distinct types of Kiwi blokes in New Zealand, those who love Holden cars, and those who favour the Ford brand. The pros and cons of both brands have been discussed long and hard at many a caravan rally. Graeme was a Holden man, through and through!
I was honoured to make this memory quilt for Kathryn, and especially pleased to be able to give it to her today. I named the quilt “Remembering Graeme”, and hope she will enjoy cuddling under it on the couch during these chilly winter evenings.