Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bears, Quilts and Projects In Memory of Children

The final workshop I want to tell you about that I thoroughly enjoyed was the one on making Bears, Quilts and Memory Projects, given by Kathy Rambo and Gail Lafferty.

If you are at all creative, this is a great way to do things in memory of your child while keeping busy. Kathy and Gail do these projects (or at least start them) at their special Compassionate Friends gatherings, so they can all work together and have the companionship and be able to talk about their child as they show their finished projects.

They have made and showed the audience craft projects such as jewelry, angel suncatcher, T-shirt quilt, teddy bears, explosion photo boxes, origami photo books, photo transfers on canvas, photo pillows and more. They had at least 100 examples of both simple projects and more complicated ones.

The T-shirt quilt is one of my favorites they showed using their child’s T-shirts and explaining how to put it all together. Granted, you need certain supplies to do all these projects and this one was no exception: iron-on interfacing, thread, rotary cutter, border material and 15-20 T-shirts, depending on the size of the quilt you want.

Another favorite they showed but way more difficult was the teddy bear. For this you would need a Simplicity or McCalls 15 inch bear pattern, cotton material, 4 covered buttons of ¾ inches (brand name Dritz), 2 eyes size 18 inch (brand name Darice), 1 nose size 21 (brank name Darice), doll needle (5 inch brand name Dritz), dental floss and poly-fill stuffing. All these items can be found at a fabric store or can be ordered online. From there you need to follow the pattern. It is possible to use your child’s clothing to cover the bear or just part of the bear. You can also put a photo of your child on the stomach of the bear.

One of the simplier projects was decorating an Altoid memory tin. After cleaning the inside and out, decide what theme you want to do. If you have a small trinket of your child’s, you could build you theme around that. Some other ideas are: spell your child’s name with letter beads or something related to what  your child enjoyed doing like a sport or hobby or even a holiday they liked. Choose either scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, a magazine picture or any colored paper to decorate the box. You would need to make a pattern to cut out and trim it to fit. Glue to box. Add the embellishments with either tacky glue or a glue gun. You can also add ribbon around the outside or anything else you’d like. Since you are making this tin with love in memory of your child, enjoy the time you spend remembering your beautiful child and create a keepsake to take with you in your purse, keep by your bed or place on a special shelf.

I have personally done a computer photo transfer to a T-shirt of my two books. (Some parents do a photo transfer to a T-shirt of their child’s photo.) I was surprised at how easy it was to do and how nice it came out. For this you need have a copy of the photo on your computer. Then make a laser print copy (printed in reverse or mirror image) of your photo with special photo paper used to transfer the image on to material. Print the picture on the special photo paper, let it dry completely before placing it on the T-shirt and iron it on with a very hot iron. When it cools, remove the photo paper gently and slowly from the T-shirt and it should look great! Let it dry completely. It will not come off when washing, but do wash inside out.

If you need help on any of these projects or have questions, contact Kathy at or Gail at .