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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Colette's HS Graduation Memory Blanket and Body Pillow

Here is Colette with her body pillow and memory blanket. Her mom, Krista, had seen another blanket I had made...almost 4 years ago! She started saving t-shirts with the intention to have a blanket made for Colette's graduation. She had over 40 t-shirts, chef shirts from her grandfather, visits to different countries and handmade shirts Colette had made over the years.Usually, I lay out the design myself, but Krista wanted to be involved. One afternoon, we spent hours...cutting and laying out the blanket...talking about how Krista met her French chef husband, Philippe, what a joy Colette has been, and how excited that they are that she will start university this fall. One of the squares says "50% French, 50% U.S., 100% me!" Collette plans to study film and script-writing...developing quirky, interesting characters, and bringing British-style humor and sensibility to her writing. Sometimes shy, her blanket will be a conversation-starter as she spreads her blanket on her bed...brings it to picnics and games...and shares her pillow watching movies with friends.
Sherlock Holmes, Beatles, Chicago Aquarium are things she loves.
Wrapping herself in memories.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nathan Almost 10 Years Old

My niece, Kelly, lives in San Antonio, Texas and asked me to make a blanket for her son, Nathan, when he was approaching his 10th birthday! She sent me 30 shirts from family travels, day care and elementary school, movie themes and amusement parks. They provide a record of his varied interests and tell the story that he was always a child who embraced life. Adored by his dad, Joey, and his Mom, two special T-shirts record "World's Greatest Dad!" and "I Heart Mom." He is 10 now, but he won't be for long.  

When kids are in their teens, struggling to break away and define themselves, determined that they aren't loved enough or understood at all, it is good to have something concrete to remind them that these feelings are momentary. A blanket that recounts the early years takes them back to a time before now.  A time when someone had bought them their first rainbow cotton candy, had screamed with them on their first roller coaster ride, had read them bedtime stories and left the light on, even when there was no reason to be scared.  It's a reminder of the parents who have been their biggest fans since the beginning. Those memories get cloudy when you are 16, but the blanket helps them remember. They loved you once a lot. They still do.

Surprise Christmas Gift

This blanket was fun to make. I received a call early December with a special request. "Do you think you can make a blanket for my husband in time for Christmas?" It was going to be a surprise, and her husband had played football, coached basketball, even designed a couple of the logos for the shirts. "He kept everything," she explained, as we pulled out the  neatly folded shirts, athletic shorts and sweatshirts from a huge plastic bin.  She had retrieved the bin which usually stayed near where they store their Christmas decorations, and she was hoping he wouldn't notice it was missing! He had so many shirts, we had to make a king size blanket to use them all.

One of the things that is great about gathering these memories all in one place is that it gives a way for parents to show their children and grandchildren they weren't always as they are today. It tells the story that they were kids once, college stars once, coaches once. They had shared their talents with their communities, performed in front of cheering crowds, helped other kids find their way. A blanket like this is made to be passed along to the next generation. It helps tell the story that playing, competing, teaching are in the fabric of who we are.

Taylor's College Volleyball Blanket

Taylor was graduating from high school, getting ready to go to West Virginia on a volleyball scholarship. She was always the athlete...playing basketball with her Dad, hitting golf balls, playing soccer and volleyball. When our family sent away on vacation, she was the one we asked to check in on our Great Pyrenees, Muelin, and feed the cats. When I offered to make her a tcover to take to college as a graduation gift, her Mom was thrilled...gathering over 20 T-shirts, memories of growing up in a little town north of Cincinnati in Loveland, OH, and playing competitive sports all over the state. Volleyball was the key, but nursing is her calling. Drive, constancy, being a team player are values she will carry with her always.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Google Buzz

Sending my blogs to Facebook and Google Buzz! Enjoy!!

Urban League Benefit Gala

How pretty is Cincinnati Urban League Monica Magette's daughter, posing with the tcover blanket I made for her to take to college! I made this as a gift...and a sample blanket to display at the Urban League Gala in Cincinnati, offering a custom blanket as one of the raffle prizes. One of the reasons for creating tcovers is a statistic former UC President Nancy Zimpher cited about the high drop-out rate at Ohio colleges and universities. At the time, she indicated about 3 in 10 college freshmen drop out in their first quarter! I found his astounding, yet I do remember starting at Michigan State, so far from friends and family in Long Island, and realizing that I was suddenly a very small little fish in a very big pond. I had been Editor of my high school newspaper, active in my church and community, yet no one knew me at M.S.U. So many young people can't find comfortable ways to communicate who they are to roommates, new acquaintances, professors. Having a blanket that reminds them of their many talents, achievements and leadership roles is a great conversation starter. More importantly, it is something to wrap yourself up in when struggling to find your bearings, study for exams, take to a football game, share special memories with new friends.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mallory Bat Mitzvah Gift

It was Mallory's big day...her Bat mitzvah...and I wanted to give her a special gift. I had worked with her in the Loveland Stage Company where her acting has been a joy to watch over the years. Ever enthusiastic, ready to take on a challenge, she always appears unafraid. She has the capacity for much giving, growing, and loving. When I gave her this Mallory T-cover, she was amazed. This is the story of my life, she marveled as she spread it over her living room floor. She proceeded to tell the story of each square. I saved her thank you note..."Thank you so much for the all-about-me quilt. You gave me one of the neatest gifts I have ever seen! Every time I lay down to go to sleep under my cozy quilt, I think of you!" [P.S., I'm trying to increase the number of blankets I make each mention Mallory before February 15 with your blanket order, and I'll include a T-cover travel pillow for free!]  Now, I am working with Mallory's Mom, Bari Kraus, to organize the Got Talent-2 talent show for Loveland Intermediate School 7th & 8th graders which will be on February 26th. Come see Mallory on-stage!  I love that so many kids her age fill their lives with creativity, sports, connecting to others, learning, and contributing. Making a blanket that celebrates this is an honor for me. Go Mallory!