Nellie"s Needles

Monday, October 23, 2006

Celebration Memorial Quilts

We had a grand Durand family reunion at the beginning of the summer. It was held to honor our matriarch, Dorothy Lee Durand, on what would have been her 100th birthday. She was a much loved and adored mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and a favorite aunt. All of us called her "Dottie". And we were all in the place she loved most ... the cottage had been purchased by her father when she was 12 years old.
My personal way to honor the love my mother-in-law had for her grandchildren and for fabric was to make quilts from her fabrics for each of her nine grandchildren.
Here are the fronts and backs of the six I had presented at the reunion.






The fabrics are selected for the other three quilts designated for my two sons and the nephew I see quite often. I plan to complete them before what will have been Dottie's 101st birthday.






I used cloth from Dottie's clothes, as well as fabrics from her shop, The Torii. She was the proprietor and buyer right up until she died at the age of 89 1/2. She imported silks, cottons, wools, linens, plus gift items from all over the world. She designed and made her dresses from these fabulous fabrics. Here are photos of just a few. I'll post more when I write about the other three quilts in the future.






























Her grandchildren grew up knowing the Torii for its gifts, not really taking notice of the fabrics. On each visit to Knoxville they got to choose a gift for themselves from the wonderful array of exotic objects from around the world. As adults, I wanted to give them each a token of what the Torii was really all about for their grandmother ... the fabrics. The quilting in the plain blocks between the letters of her name is of a torii, the Japanese gate.

These quilts were created and presented with much love.

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6 comments:

Ali Honey said...

Oh what a lovely generous idea. I am sure she would have loved what you have made with the fabrics and her clothes. Very well done!

Sharon said...

How beautiful and how beautiful a person Dottee must have been for you all to commemorate her life this way!

Kay said...

These are wonderful, a perfect use for those fabric treasures. A book about Japanese quilts I have mentions that the Japanese consider quilts a symbol of immortality because the fabrics continue to live after their first life. I liked the thought, (although who knows if its true), and it applies perfectly in this case.

Karen said...

what a wonderful tribute to Dottie. How special to share who she was with those who came later. My family is so widely scattered..Alot of them I have never met or talked to. I cant imagine what it is like to have so much family in one place! That must have been fun!

sharon b said...

Oh, what a wonderful family blessing in quilts..wonderful to remember her gifts and talents.

Tonya R said...

Those are such great quilts. Lucky recipients, that's for sure.