Thursday, December 30, 2010

Handmade Holiday 2010 Part Two: Sentimental Repurposed

One of my favorite endeavors this year was to use my grandmother's clothes in a meaningful, but purposeful way. After the beloved matriarch of my family died on April 1st this year, I received some of her most intimate and recognizable articles of clothing, presumably to repurpose: Her favorite house dress, robe, and 2 aprons. I wanted to make something that was comforting on different levels: Emotionally, but physically as well. Anyone close to my grandma would immediately recognize these fabrics and remember the intimate and frequent occasions they were worn.
For my mom, Denise, and Michelle, I made a Lavender Healing Hot Pack and a Cooling Peppermint Eye Pillow. The hot pack is a rice bag with lavender essential oil and lavender flower, while the other is filled with ground flax seed and peppermint oil. Comfort, defined.
Because the material was worn, I was worried about it's durability and I definitely wanted it to last so I made them into removable covers for the rice bags.
(The rice bags themselves.)
I gleaned this little stitching technique from Hannah to keep the rice in place.
For my grandpa, a widower after being married for 66 years to Charlotte, I made a lap quilt.  I loved the thought of him cuddled up at night, in her chair, comforted by the very clothes that she wore as she sat beside him. I thought he naturally deserved the greatest share of these items with her memory burned into them.
There was a bit of fabric left over so I wanted to make something for two more people who loved her and would recognize and appreciate them, Charlotte and Emily. I made them bookmarks, because like me, this would be an item they would see and use each day.
I really used this material well, and there is hardly anything left. I have used a few 1x2" pieces in a doll quilt for Bella and I have the meager rest saved in my scrap basket, waiting for a project that can use such minute pieces.
These were some of the gifts that were my favorite to make as well as give, and I hope the recipients receive the intended comfort from them. And her.



12 comments:

Marie said...

what a great idea!

Susan said...

This may have been my very favorite gift. When I recognize the fabrics and how they would not bring comfort to me, tears welled up and I could not fight them back.

What a thoughtful and tender gift for a daughter who loved her mother beyond anything and misses her daily. I used my rice bag the night that you left and still felt a little tear. Thank you. I love the thought and the effort that you put into my gift. I love that those that I love the most have one too! I feel bound together in the love of our mother and grandmother. A perfect gift.

Susan said...

Oh dee...how they would NOW bring comfort....I really must proof read!

Once again, I love love love this gift. I have told several of my peers about it and each time get teary eyed. I love you.

paws said...

That is a great idea!

michelle said...

This is my favorite gift as well! As soon as I saw the fabrics, I knew what they were and felt comforted already, so to turn them into comforting objects... well, it's just genius.

I was feeling sad that I didn't get any of Grandma's clothes, but I probably wouldn't have known what to do with them. You did!

Jill said...

I think these gifts are absolutely inspired! How wonderful to share those articles of clothing with people who also loved her so much. Brilliant!

Natasha said...

How special!

Charlotte said...

Oh how much I these. I love love love my bookmark. You are so thoughtful, and I'm honored to be included in the list of sentimental gift recipients.

Love you.

Hannah said...

These are amazing Jess. When you told me what you were up to I knew it would be awesome, but dude! You pulled them off and THEN some. Everything down to the bookmarks are perfection!

Tasha said...

GREAT ideas!
You did an awesome job with her clothes and her memory!

Molly Krauss Smith said...

What sweet, sweet gifts. I bet the recipients will cherish them.

Denise said...

This was also one of my favorite gifts--a gift of love on every level. I made the poppy-print lounger for Grandma years ago for Mother's Day. Just having a little piece of this fabric makes me feel closer to her! Thank you so much.

Your talent and thoughtfulness, as always, continue to amaze me!

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