Man Quilt

2:19 PM

Last year I made my mother-in-law a quilt using the shirts of my father-in-law who passed away suddenly 2 years ago this May.
I had a bag of what was left of his shirts, and just couldn't throw them away, so I thought I'd make a smaller quilt for my husband.
It was his birthday recently and I barely finished in time.

here's the "tag" I made for one corner
My husband had a great dad.
He operated a wholesale fossil and mineral business on their property that required hard physical labor every day.
Most of the time he wore light collared western shirts for working in the desert, but they also had button chest pockets to hold his phone. 

This was the last picture I took of him, holding Ellie and her cousin (they were born on the same day).
This yellow shirt he's wearing was used a lot in this quilt.
He was a great grandpa to our kids, and one of the things that was tragic at his death for our little family is the fact none of our kids will have memories of him.
They were just too little.

It's an emotional thing to use clothing from someone you love to make a quilt.  
But it's a beautiful thing I've found too.
As you sew, each shirt reminds me of different times my father in law wore them, which led to thinking of my husband, and how he's a lot like his dad.
Both are noble men who love their families.
I think Rhett learned to value having a wife and kids from his dad.
Early when I first met him and we were just friends I remember Rhett complaining how jealous he was of other friends who were married and having kids already.
For a 22 year old guy this was an unusual complaint--not having a wife or kids yet...and I remember thinking "this guy's a keeper", little did I know at that time I'd get to be the lucky girl to marry him the next year.
But unfortunately I wasn't quite as ready to start popping out babies like he hoped, so he still had to wait four years before that dream came true.

And Rhett's proved to be a great husband and dad.

This was taken right after Isabella was born...who says male brain's can't multi-task--Angry Birds with RJ, horsey ride for Ellie,  while soothing the newborn baby too!

Igloo making with RJ
He tells great bed-time stories. 

I'm lucky to have Rhett for a husband and our kids are blessed with a great dad.
Happy Birthday!

This is the 10th year I've been around to celebrate his birthday with him.
I actually made him a quilt the first time, we were engaged and he was turning 23.
Time has flown!

But back to the quilt:
1. Cut the left over shirt remnants into 3" wide strips.
2. Chain sewed them all together in one huge strip.
3. Began at one end of the huge balled up strip and cut segments 50" wide.
It went quick, just put down 2 pieces of masking tape on my kitchen floor 50" apart to quickly measure and cut the huge strip into many segments.
4. Sewed all the shorter segments together, just grabbing and sewing randomly.
5. Machine quilted using this method:
Quilting was just straight lines across the middle of every other row.
6. Bound with handmade gray bias tape.

Rhett's favorite color is black, so the backing had to be black, which makes the quilt seem more masculine.

It was kind of fun just to see which shirt scraps ended where and the overall effect it gives to the quilt.

So husband's birthday down and on to RJ's!
He's turning five and that blows my mind!

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  1. He will cherish it forever. Awesome thing to do for him.
    Brought tears reading your sweet tribute to both men.
    Wish all men could be a good.

  2. wow - tears of joy and sentiment flowing freely at this beautiful love story and birthday tribute.
    Happy Birthday Rhett.
    AND a really beautiful quilt. Thanks for the directions.I am yet to be able to cut into any of my mother's clothing and partly because my father is not ready either.

  3. Such an amazing birthday gift. I love seeing old clothes made into something to remember the wearer.

  4. Wow, what a special gift. So wonderful - happy birthday, Rhett!!

  5. This was so sweet to read! What an amazing gift.

  6. What an awesome gift. I think I will try to do this with some of my brothers clothing. He died last year, and as hard as it as been, things like this make it easier.
    Your kids will know their grandpa, just because they know their dad. And if you guys reminisce with other family members, record it. That will be a treasure for the kids in years to come.
    Thank you for sharing a fantastic idea!

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  8. I love this quilt! I have a box of shirts to do this same thing with, but haven't decided on a design... I love how this one turned out! Looks amazing!

  9. Love this! Now I know what I can do with my husbands old dress shirts :)


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