I want to share a quilt that I completed about a year ago for a close friend. His wife passed away from ovarian cancer in 2007. Our families have been friends for over 20 years. While he was going through her things, he offered me any of her clothes that I would like. I took them with the intention of making a memory quilt from them to present to him. It took me 4 1/2 years to complete the quilt, mainly because I didn't start it until 4 years after she had died. It was just too difficult to go through her clothing and start cutting them up. There were many pieces that I could remember her wearing and it seemed overly personal for me to be going through her clothes. I also wanted a quilt pattern that fit her personality. I finally settled on Grandma's Fan, not because she was a grandmother, but because it was a feminine, genteel pattern that I feel fits her and honors her memory.
I do not have pictures of the process I went through in constructing it; I just used a traditional Grandma's Fan pattern. I did try to keep the "handle" of the fans all one color, namely red as this was her favorite color. Many fabrics were backed with iron-on interfacing for weight and durability. The edges of the fans were trimmed with lace, mainly because I liked the way it looked on the square. I stitched all of the fans to a white-on-white background piece and then finished them traditionally with corner squares also made from her clothing and sashing. I did not quilt the quilt, so to speak, but tied the layers together by stitching bows by machine through all three layers. The quilt was finished using binding I had made from the sashing fabric.
Although it was difficult to make, it was even more difficult to give to our friend. I told him he couldn't open it until he got home. The phone call that followed was very emotional. I'm grateful for the friendship of both of them and hope that this quilt was a small way of saying so. Just wanted to share.