reinventing the quilt - reinventing the quilt

For almost 3 years, I’ve been working on a quilt.

Not just any quilt.

A quilt made out of pieces of my mom’s old clothing.

Today is the 8th anniversary of her passing.

Today is also the date I set for myself to finish the quilt.

Except . . .

I didn’t really want a quilt.

a breakthrough moment

I think the reason I procrastinated so long with making this quilt is because I knew I didn’t really need it. I already had a blanket that I liked, so I wasn’t sure how much use it would get.

But I’d already cut all the squares and was about half-way done. Shouldn’t I finish what I started?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that my answer to that is a resounding: NO!

So I told myself that if I didn’t do something else with the quilt by today’s date, that I’d have to donate the whole thing.

How’s that for motivation?

the redesign

I started brainstorming what else I could turn the quilt into that I’d actually use.

Then I realized that I kept looking at picnic blankets when I was at the store. Why buy a picnic blanket, when I could turn my mom’s quilt into one?

So the quilt has become a picnic blanket. I’ve even sewn a tablecloth to the bottom to make it water-resistant.

I plan on spending many lazy summer afternoons on it enjoying a book or a picnic lunch.

We used to have a lot of beach picnics when I was a kid, so it’s quite fitting. I think my mom would approve. Funny how these things have a way of working out.

Maybe one day it might go back to being a quilt. Or a pillow. Or something else.

But for right now, it’s going on a picnic!

P.S. I wrote about how I let go of most of my mom’s possessions in this post.

18 thoughts on “reinventing the quilt

  1. huntingforvintage

    Great idea about changing the quilt into a picnic blanket! And appreciated your post on “letting go of the hard stuff.” I’ve been able to let go of some of the things I got after my mom and gram died, but still haven’t parted with my gram’s old teacup collection though I never use them or display them. Thinking I should save my favorite one and find a new home for the rest!

  2. eager urbanist

    When my mom died six years ago, my sister and I inherited most of her jewelry.

    Last year, I sorted through a bunch of jewelry I’d kept since I was a kid, and gave all of the cute pieces I’d long outgrown (both fancy and junk) to my sister’s little girl. Now, I’ve begun the very difficult process of thinning out the jjewelry I inherited from my mother. I like her jewelry a lot, but I rarely wear it (it’s too mature for a twenty-something young woman like me). In fact, I often wear no jewelry! I feel obligated to save my mom’s items for when I “grow up” (heh-heh), but as I’ve become more determined to be minimalist, I’m bothered by keeping items that I don’t use.

  3. living lagom Post author

    I think keeping just your favorite one sounds like a great idea! Maybe once a year on your gram’s birthday or other special date, you can toast to her with a spot of tea in her teacup!

  4. living lagom Post author

    I have a small box of my mom’s jewelry that I go through every now and again to decide if I still want to keep the things in there. You’ll know when you’re ready to let them go.

    I too held onto some things because I thought I might appreciate them more when I was older. But I keep getting older and I’m still not wearing them. I’m okay with keeping a small memento box though of my favorite things.

    My mom had a pearl necklace that I’ve only worn a couple of times. I don’t really wear necklaces that much anymore. I’ve been thinking of converting it into a bracelet since I would wear that more. Maybe you could do something along the same lines.

    Just remember that you get to decide what to let go of – no one else. But like me, you might want to offer them to your sister first so there’s no bad feelings…which it looks like you’re already doing. :)

  5. eager urbanist

    Thanks for the reassurance that I’m not being a packrat by taking things slowly! I peruse the jewelry collection again every couple of months to see whether I feel comfortable letting more of it go. And it turns out that this is the same successful process I’ve followed to thin out all of my belongings! So I guess there’s no reason why I shouldn’t reduce my mom’s jewelry gradually just as I have with my other possessions.

    And yes, I’ve been setting aside the jewelry I no longer want for my sister ;-)

  6. Darlington Delights

    What a lovely way to repurpose your project! Now it’s like your mom can join you on your picnics!

  7. living lagom Post author

    Haha, yes! I’ve already decided that I’ll be the crazy lady at the park who when someone asks me if I was talking to them, I’ll say, “No. I was talking to my mom.” And then I’ll point to the blanket.

  8. just lynne

    Although my husband did not play golf, He loved golf shirts. After he died I kept the 12 he wore the most with the plans to have them turned into a quilt. That was 2 years ago.
    So you are further ahead than I am. I like the idea of a picnic blanket.

  9. living lagom Post author

    Except it took me 5 years to even get the quilt idea. Then another 3 years to make the picnic blanket, which mostly came together in the last couple of months once I decided to reinvent the quilt. I needed to do something with the pieces since I felt guilty every time I looked at them. Either that or I had to let them go.

  10. Bethany @ Journey to Ithaca

    There–I made my way back here! I’ve got a lot of catching up to do…

    I have to admit it made me laugh, when you said that you actually didn’t want a blanket. I think it will make an adorable picnic blanket–at least you figured out that you wouldn’t use it as a regular blanket, before you finished it!

  11. living lagom Post author

    Here’s your quick catch-up: I moved to a dorm room. Again. I started writing a nov…ella. I haven’t been feeding ducks. I did battle with a baby. I got a pedicure (you saw that one). I said no to refrigeration. And, as you’re aware, I reinvented a quilt.

    A quilt is practically the same thing as a picnic blanket, though adding a tablecloth to the bottom is a key touch!

  12. Karen T.

    Great idea to use the quilt as a picnic blanket and to enjoy relaxing with memories of your mom! That is a very cool idea, and I hope you’ll have many happy picnics.
    It’s coming up on the 7th anniversary of my dad’s passing. I don’t have anything of his except some photos — my mother gave his stuff to my brother. But the photos are good, and I don’t really need any physical thing to remember Daddy.
    Take care.

  13. living lagom Post author

    Thanks Karen! All I have of my dad’s is his old wedding ring and photos. For me, photos are the most important.

    Even though my dad was a hoarder and had many things, there wasn’t anything really special. It was just stuff.

    With my mom, there were things I could actually use or had memories of, so it was a lot harder to decide what to keep and what to let go of.

    It’s been a long process, but I’m getting there. 😀

  14. Simple Northern Life

    Wonderful idea, recently I gave my mother-in-law my daughter’s karate tournament shirts and asked her to make something: throw or car quilt never thought of a picnic blanket or another idea comes to mind a beach blanket. Your blog is refreshing I will be following you and looking forward to more of your posts.

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