Way back when (it seems like years, it seems like yesterday), my sisters and I went through my Mother's clothing making sure that we kept the things we didn't want to go to goodwill, or consignment, or just random strangers. Mom had some beautiful pieces, and some colorful pieces, and some signature pieces that just had HER written all over them. There are two or three items I kept that I can actually wear: a fake fur black car coat that has been very useful this winter so far, a knee-length black sweater that's kind of dressy and feels great, a red satin bathrobe. There is also a wonderful collection of scarves.
There were some things that were just too hard to part with even if we knew we could never wear them. I brought home a beautiful brown ornamented jacket that Mom wore to someone's wedding but wouldn't fit me even if I was the same size as I was at age 12. Mom was tiny . . . . She also had many colorful blouses and a collection of fleece pullovers. She was not impressed by labels or designers, but liked to look nice and be comfortable. She had impeccable taste.
Sometime around April or May, I decided that since I would never be able to wear most of these things, I would have something made with them. I have a friend who lost her Mom a year before I did, and she mentioned a possibility to me that took root and grew into something amazing. I ended up sending about six to eight pieces of my Mom's clothing off to a lady in Wisconsin who makes quilts. She asked for some details about Mom and I took a while to think about that, and eventually sent her a long letter including some details of my Mom's life and death, and offering some ideas about what to do with this fabric that had been a part of my Mom's life.
It was not a fast process. But artists need time to work their wonders, and I am so thankful I entrusted my Mom's stuff to this particular artist. I told her I wanted a tree. Three blackbirds to represent my mother and her two sisters, and me and my two sisters. I also asked her to include a fleur-de-lis. My Mom had French heritage and was quietly proud of that despite us trumping up the Irish parts all the time.
The quilt arrived today. I love it.