A "Symbolic" Memory Quilt
A Quilt and a Pillowcase = Memories for a lifetime
When my grand daughter, Ashleigh was 2-4 years old, I did her day care. So to have some "down" time or to get ready for nap, I'd tell her stories about her favorite book and security items. She loved the bear in the Corduroy books. Especially this story
as in the book there is a night watchman that is dressed in police blues and her daddy is a police officer..so she thought that was her daddy!
Her favorite little softie thing she carried. she called "Silkey Bear" (her favorite item). It was a bear head with a little blanket around it, trimmed in silk binding. She she named it Silkey Bear. I'd tell her stories about Princess Ashleigh (that started as she was all "into" the Disney princesses at that age) and the stuffed animals she had. I did it kind of like the Raggedy Ann Stories where the animals are all still while the child is in the room or playing with them but when the child leaves, the animals come to life. You younger readers might liken it to current-day Disney's "Toy Story" Princess Ashleigh was always going off to school and when the dolls/animals heard the school bus drive away, they knew they could get up and go on an adventure, making sure they were back in their beds before Princess Ashleigh came home from school!
Long story short...I wanted to make her a quilt about this favorite time of ours so she would always have the memory. I drew design after design. I had visions of steps, gardens, fences..everything in the story! I even bought fabric to create areas of the story. But sadly, I couldn't pull it together. Well, out of no where one day, I had the brain storm! Instead of making a quilt depicting the story, I went with a different connotation. Symbolism! I decided to make a Symbolic Memory Quilt! The quilt is small enough for her to play with her dolls on!
This is the finished quilt....>>>>>>>>>>>>
The story I told always started out with Cordoroy and Silkie Bear waking up when they heard Princess Ashleigh running out of her bedroom and down the stairs. When they heard the school bus drive away taking Princess Ashleigh to school, they knew it was okay for them to get up and start their day! They would scurry out of the house, down the back porch steps, follow the fence along the back yard to the far back corner where they would crawl under the locked gate to the strawberry garden. Once in the garden, they would scurry around looking for Sunny Bunny (her daddy/my son had a pet rabbit named that when he was a kid), who lived in the garden and he always had a delima that the bears would help solve. But they had to be back in their beds before the school bus rambled up the street with Princess Ashleigh.
I decided to depict the story with colors as symbols instead of the actual impressions. I have a hard time taking pictures that are perfect in the colors, so the colors didn't come out right. Next to the green binding is a purple boarder, then the diamonds are brown with white dots. The dark pinwheel is really purple, not brown and the other pinwheel is red, not orange!
The area to the left with the two little friends, represents Ashleigh's bedroom. The fabric has bedroom things on it. The border of brown diamonds represents the backyard picket fence the bears would follow to the garden. The pinwheels signify the "characters" in the story....green for Cordoroy because of his green overalls, Pink for Silkie Bear as he is pink, Red for Sunny Bunny as his mouth would get red when he ate strawberries (this really happened with the real Sunny Bunny when we fed him strawberries!) and the pinwheel that looks brown in the photo is really purple...Ashleigh's favorite color, which symbolizes Princess Ashleigh in the story. So..the two little bears start in Princess Ashleigh's bedroom (where they are snapped to stay in place when not being played with), they go out along the diamond border (back yard fence) and any of the brown sashings represent the gate to the garden and then the little bears can just wander the garden as she tells the story.
I cut out one of the Cordoroy bears from the fabric and made it an actual stuffed bear and then designed my own Silkie Bear from some pink fleece (both are about 4" tall), sewed snaps on their backs and on the quilt in the area of fabric that symbolized Princess Ashleigh's bedroom. This way Ashleigh can un-snap the little bears to take them on the "walk" to the strawberry patch!
This is a close up of the characters and the fabric I found to make the Cordoroy bear. Silkie Bear is a small piece of fleece from my scrap basket!
Want another "Memory Quilt" idea? How about a T-shirt Memory Quilt..to be loved by ALL ages! check it out here: How To Make A T-Shirt Quilt