Ugly Sweater Tribute Blocks

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Ugly Sweater Tribute Blocks

Have you started your project for our Ugly Sweater Contest yet? We hope so! If not, there is still plenty of time to join in the fun and win some awesome prizes! Entries are starting to come in now, but you have until March 31st to submit your project. Read all the details here to enter. Today we wanted to share a different approach to the block. Connie and I each made a tribute sweater block using old and reclaimed fabric from people we love. Whether you have a few pieces of clothing or a full on fabric stash, a sweater block is a fun way to pay tribute to someone you love or to remember someone that you've lost. Here's Connie's story.... For my Ugly Sweater tribute block I chose bold red, white, and blue pieces I saved from my mother’s basement. The plaid is from a sleeve of an unfinished shirt and the floral was a pant leg from one of my older sister’s handmade trousers. The background is my dad’s jeans and the tiny turtle neck is his work shirt. I decided to put it in this frame and not quilt it because those thick denim seams might be a bit hard to quilt. My mother’s basement is where I learned how to sew. It was a damp spot long abandoned and full of old treasures. My mother didn’t seem to mind me using it at will. I could let my curiosity run wild down there. I didn’t make anything of use because I had no idea what I was doing, but that didn’t matter. I would dig through the boxes of fabrics and sew things together. Almost all of the fabrics and threads were from the 60’s & 70’s. That’s when my mother was making clothing for herself and my older siblings. I don’t think she made anything for me because by the time I came around her sewing days were over. But I don’t mind, she still made me lots of pie. Two and a half years ago my dad passed away and about a year after that my mom sold the home they built together in 1956. I was able to make a trip home before she moved. I went through my mother’s basement sewing area and pulled out fabrics that I remembered and ones that I loved. My mother also sent me some of my dad’s shirts and jeans after he died. Clothing that I vividly remember him wearing. I miss my dad deeply. It was so hard to say goodbye to him and to my childhood home. But sewing with those special fabrics helps me work through the loss. It gives me something tangible to hold on to and a place to put my sadness. I started this project when I first received my dad’s clothes (Aerial Grove Quilt from Carolyn Friedlander's book Savor Each Stitch). It’s a hand applique piece. It’s perfect because it’s slow hand work and I don’t feel any pressure. It’s the sort of project that I can let it evolve as I go. Just what I need it to be. If you are struggling with a loss in your life, can I recommend sewing therapy? I truly believe that sewing mends the soul. Roxanne's story... My block is made from fabric my grandma Virginia gave me from her stash. I'm sure I've had it for over 5 years. She passed away about a year and a half ago, which makes all those pieces she passed down extra special. She was an extremely important person in my life and I miss her everyday. She was a calm, even-keeled woman with a humble confidence that was all her own. She was always active in charity work and taking care of family and friends, but I admire how much she took time to be creative. To paint or sew or garden. She was the queen of creating unique little vignettes of knick knacks and plants or books around her house. Each little corner or shelf had so much thought and care put into it. She sewed several dresses for me as a kid. I specifically remember a flowered dress made from flannel that I absolutely loved. When she sewed, this giant glass ash tray was always around with pins and other bits and bobs in it. The plaid fabric in my block is from her stash, the rest are from mine, but reminded me of a classic outfit she would have put together, complete with gold broach of course! We hope you enjoyed our tribute blocks and that it gives you some new ideas on using the Ugly Sweater Quilt Block pattern. Connie & Roxanne

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