The Tommy Quilt Project – RoseMary’s Challenge

1. Learning as you go. The idea was conceived before I knew anything about quilting. Over the years, the more I learned, the more I could incorporate into the quilts.

Solution: Lots of classes and time spent at the Button Box with Catherine Gentile and her extraordinary staff and my fellow quilters/friends.

2. Making 20 lap quilts!!!!

Solution: Time and patience and more time.

3. Using a limited and varied amount of diverse fabric, including tee shirts, cotton, twill, polyester/cotton blends, wool, flannel, Portuguese flannel, fleece and nylon.

Solutions:
a) The only way to complete the Mariner’s Compass blocks was to use the white, yellow and light blue Out of the Darkness Overnight tee shirt fabric from our work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
b) The quilt backing and binding would be made from 16 yards of 108” wide cotton and various yards of focus fabric–all purchased fabric.
c) 25 yards of Quilters Dream Cotton 100% pure cotton batting was used to sandwich the quilts.
d) Countless yards of stabilizing cloth were used in the embroidery process and to back the tee shirts.
e) Miles of thread.

4. Making something interesting with monochromatic, dark fabric and khaki pants.

Solutions:
a) Rely on my own memories, those of friends and family and some of Tommy’s own memories.
b) Incorporate embroideries to add color and tell stories. During the last six months of the Project, as I worked to individualize each quilt, embroideries became my focus. A very special thanks to Winnie for her patience and her willingness to share her expertise with me.

5. Meeting the self-imposed deadline.

Solutions:
a) Prepared foods from Whole Foods and Roche Brothers.
b) The aid of my Quilting Divas, who helped prepare the backs, and sandwich, quilt, label and bind the quilts.

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