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Remembering OUR Dads

by Laura Guerin-Hunt
(Belvidere, IL)

I had a lady call me just a couple of months after I started my Longarm Quilting and Custom Quilt design business.

She said she didn't know anything about quilts, but had a bunch of flannel shirts of her deceased father. She wanted to know if there was "something you can do with them", to make a wall hanging or a lap quilt.

She said she didn't know which she really wanted, just something that would make her feel close to her father. I had her bring over the shirts, mostly blue and green plaid flannels.

We talked about her father, what she remembered about him, and loved the most. He was a farmer, and loved the land, and growing things.

So I suggested making a tree quilt using the shirts for the leaves. I asked her about her décor/color in her house, and suggested we make a quilt large enough that she could cuddle up in it when she wanted, or hang it on a large wall in her living room if she cared to.

I started sketching and came up with a couple of ideas. Then I sent her the sketches and settled on a large maple tree design – 5 ft. wide by 6 ft. high.

It took me about 1 1/2 months to do the applique tree, leaves, acorns, and one cardinal which she requested specially.

It is completely quilted including clouds in the sky, the water, grass, tree bark and veins in the leaves.

All during the time I worked on it, I thought about my own father, who died 8 years ago. I had not started quilting before he died, but I knew he would have liked it, and the fact that my quilt studio is his former workshop where we spent many, very happy times together working on projects.

That gave me the idea to quilt the words "Remembering My Dad" into the background of the quilt at the base of the tree. It was really a labor of love, in memory of both our fathers. My customer cried when I showed the finished quilt to her, and so did I.

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