Colorful Shirts

Rene sent a box of her husband’s colorful shirts for use in his bereavement quilt. Often my customers have no pattern in mind, but Rene did. She wanted a large wheel with slices of his beautiful shirts being the “spokes”. It was obvious that her husband had been a clothes horse who owned a number of lovely silk shirts.


Colorful shirts used in wheel bereavement quilt

Colorful shirts used in wheel bereavement quilt

The Wheel

Rene wanted all six plain colored silk shirts used in the wheel.  Her favorite was the cobalt blue, which she also chose for the center. I selected six complementary colored shirts, including the green and blue one featuring frogs. Rene was especially fond of that shirt because she and her husband thought it looked as if one of the frogs was ‘giving the finger’.

Wheel Bereavement Quilt using husband's colorful shirts

Wheel Bereavement Quilt using husband’s colorful shirts


We worked together to achieve the look she wanted, going through several iterations until we were both happy with the result.  Making the wheel called upon my drafting skills (such as they are) because I had no pattern for the twelve spokes.  And since the wheel was so large, it wasn’t feasible to use a prefigured pattern from my EQ7 software.  So I literally went back to the pencil and the string trick to make the initial diameter, something I learned in grammar school. And it worked. I made the spokes using an old tried and true method (keep trying until you get it right.)

To add interest to the border and meaning to the quilt, I used swatches from each of the other shirts to ring the quilt.

Label for Wheel Bereavement Quilt

Label for Wheel Bereavement Quilt


Using words of Rene’s choosing, I embroidered a label which I attached to the back.  However, I also added an adornment to the front corner, using Rene’s nickname for her husband – Snickey. She loved it.

Corner adornment for bereavement quilt

Corner adornment for Bereavement Quilt using “Snickey” – Rene’s pet name for her husband