Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Handmade Hugs

Three years ago, on August 26, my grandmother became an angel. After the service, my sister gave me a plaid shirt my grandmother always wore and said, "will you make me something with it?" I took the shirt and said I would.

I've had the shirt for three years. It was in a bag and when I opened the bag, I was brought to tears by the smell of my "cutie" as I called her. When I would call her, I would say, "Hi Cutie!" She would always reply, "Hi Sweetie!" This was the year I would make something of this shirt for my sister as it is her 40th birthday.


This is what I decided to make. My sister's house is small and she has three children, a husband, and a big dog. She has more wall space than anything else. I thought something in a frame would be nice.


The center of the quilt is the pocket from the shirt. My cutie grammy always had a tissue in her pocket. I kept her tissue there. The label on the shirt read "George." This made me smile as my grandfather's name was George. They loved each other so very much and I decided it needed to go on the pocket. There are stars around the quilt as my cutie was a star to all of us.

The thing I find rather magical is that my grandfather died in 1997. At that time my sister gave me one of his plaid shirts and asked me to make something. I waited three years and then made a quilt to give my sister to bring home her first child from the hospital in 2000. My niece, named after me, Laura Michelle. Then the same thing with cutie's shirt. Three years and then my sister's 40th birthday.

(me and cutie 2 weeks before she became an angel. she was 92)

Both quilts were made at a time when my sister could really use a loving hug from my grandparents. Quilts always seem to do that. They truly are handmade hugs.

xx,
Michelle and the Bunnies

45 comments:

Pokey said...

What a precious share, Michelle! I'm glad you have the talent to make such a beautiful gift. It really is pretty, and the heart with George, ah, what a neat way for that to turn out, being granddad's name ~
:-}pokey

Chris said...

Oh Shell......you certainly know how to give your sister a hug. It warmed my heart to read your post.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Dearest Shell:
I think your creation from your "cutie's" shirt is perfect, and I'm sure your sister will treasure it forever. Such a thoughtful translation and beautiful execution. I bet your grandma (and grandpa) are smiling down on you today.
xoxo
Donna

shez said...

Shell thankyou for sharing your memories as it is through them that your grandparents still live on,so special,big hugs.xx

Sandi said...

What a lovely design to depict a lovely story about yor family. I'm sure you sister will ove it.

paulette said...

I got teary reading this...you are such a wonderful, thoughtful sister...and what a special grandmother!
P

Judy1522 said...

Beautiful story and I love what you did with the shirt.

April said...

The quilt picture is wonderful Michelle! What a way to celebrate your grandmother.. Beautiful picture of you and her.

Jade said...

Lovely story, lovely quilt--and a perfect way to preserve memories of a cherished family member. I'm sure your "cutie" heartily approves of the result!

Sunnybec said...

What a lovely story and what a lovely way to remember your grandmother. x

Quilt Kitty said...

Wonderful Shell, you make the best hugs! tracee xx

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a beautiful quilt and such a lovely thoughtful gift for your sister and a lovely way to remember your gran

Donna Nowicki French said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

Jeanette said...

Thanks for sharing your story. A beautiful gift & a wonderful way to remember your grandmother. Hugs,

Fiona said...

I loved it when I first saw it and even more with the story that goes with it... an awesome quilt gift....
Hugz

Chris said...

How lovely. I know that your sister will treasure this. Your Grandmother sounds wonderful. I love the pic of both of you.

KaHolly said...

What a wonderful gift for your sister!! You are so talented and clever.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

What a lovely post Shell and a sweet mini to gift your sister.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

OK, I need that tissue right now...I am crying here!

Oh what a great way to refer to her now. She has become an angel. YES. YES! THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS! WE WILL BE TRANSFORMED and who she was in this life is now AMPLIFIED in the next. What a gorgeous work of art you have made Michelle, and I REMEMBER dear loved family members as well, carrying around a kleenex in their pocket, for good measure!

Happy day dear bunny lover! Anita

Debbie said...

Your sister is going to love that wall hanging. It is so beautiful and such thought put into it. Thanks for sharing such a lovely story, Shell.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Oh sweetie, that is incredibly lovely. As a lover of my own nana, I can so appreciate what you've done for your sister. xxxx

Missie of Hallbrook Designs said...

Awww, very sweet! You did a nice job. I have many shirts of my brothers that I will someday make into a star quilt. He had every red and white type of stripe shirt you can imagine. They are ready and waiting for me...maybe your grandma shirt quilt will inspire me! Thanks for sharing...it's lovely!

Shirley said...

Hi Michelle, You always seem to know when that special person needs a hug or a special present from her sister. You just seem to know what to do sometimes I think you read people's mind. I love the wall hanging. Have a great day. Hugs and Prayers from your Missouri friend.

Cathy said...

What a sweet post! Thank you for sharing your Cute Grandma, and your quilt to remember her by is wonderful! I love the idea it is in a frame to be hung up! Love it! ♥♥♥

speedyrabbit said...

Awww thats just beautiful,the best hug ever,We send you hugs and kisses Speedy and Rach

Sharon said...

You are so talented, Shell! I love what you did with the shirt.

Kris said...

Oh, my gosh, Shell - this is more than wonderful!! Your sister is one lucky ducky!! My cute Pop used to have cotton hankies in all of his shirts and suits and pants and when he became an angel I cleaned out everything and found over 30 hankies!! LoL!! Boy, we sure do miss those cuties, don't we!!

Sheila said...

What a precious story and a sweet little memento of your grandmother for your sister , just so special :-)Thanks for sharing .

JCnNC said...

I love that you shared this - so wonderful and your wall quilt is so very perfect. Judy c

StitchinByTheLake said...

I love the quilt and the sentiment Shell - makes me miss my parents and my grandparents even more today than usual. blessings, marlene

Christine M said...

What a special memory hanging Shell. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

QUILTING IS BLISSFUL, DI said...

Oh Shell--how wonderful of you to come up with such a beautiful keepsake--I know that your grandma is smiling down on you today!!!
and it is funny in the fact that a dear friend when she calls me ==calls me cutie, too--
and guess what--my dads name was George toooooo!!!
Hugs, Di and miss gracie

Beth said...

I love the framed shirt. I hung it on the wall, behind the wooden rocker where my grandfather's shirt quilt is draped. I have numerous photos of our grandmother sitting in that rocker, holding my children, all wrapped up in that quilt.
My big sister, Michelle, has a beautiful heart and she has always made my life magical.
I truly hope each of you that read this take time to reflect on someone special in your life and let them know just how much they mean to you. Do it often. Never forget. Even if it is difficult at first. Everyone deserves to know how much they mean to you.
I love you DeeDa.

Fiona said...

Shell that is so beautiful and made me cry - What a wonderful way to remember her. Your sister will love it. Hugs - Fee X

Stephanie said...

Thank you for this wonderful idea! I have had some of my Mom's clothing for 6 years and didn't quite know how to make a keepsake. Thanks so much!

Stephanie

Carrie P. said...

Oh, that is the sweetest gift ever. My grandma used to keep a handkerchief tucked in her sleeve or watch. When she passed my aunt made all the girls in the family a little quilt where the handkerchief is made into a butterfly. I have it hanging in my sewing room. My grandma was a quilter.

Sherry said...

What a lovely story and a beautiful project you made for your sister. I am sure she will treasure it.

bunnits said...

How neat. What a wonderful way to give long-term hugs.

Raewyn said...

What a precious gift for your sister - the framed hanging is just so lovely and I'm sure she will treasure it for years to come. Thank you for sharing your story. (just read your sister's comment -so lovely).

Leesa Gentry said...

The kleenex brought me to tears if you had included the collar with needles and pins in it, it could have been my grandmother's shirt. Thank you for reminding me of one of the most important woman in my life.

Jeri Landers said...

What a lovely granny you had. A meaningfull heirloom for your sister was the perfect thing to honor Cutie and all that she meant to both of you. I never had a granny. I envy those who did..in a good way.

Rebecka said...

What a special gift. It's beautiful. Thanks for sharing!!

Margaret said...

A little imagination goes a long way and when love and compassion enter, a work of art is created. So Lovely

Digby's Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Digby's Mom said...

Isn't it wonderful to be able to make something like that to remember our loved ones? I made quilted items from clothes when my parents went to their next life. And I made a memory quilt for my first baby with paws. It helps keep them with us always. Thanks for sharing with us and including a picture of you and Cutie.