Memorial Pillows…..

Ava pillowI had bins of Elizabeth’s clothes and struggled with what to do with them.  I think this is a common problem for the bereaved.   There is a tendency to hold on to possessions of our children that have died.  Their possessions are the last tangible things we have of them.  Elizabeth’s clothes were in sealed bins and still had the smell of her perfume.  So what to do?  What to do?  How could I incorporate her clothes into something that would honor her, remember her and bring comfort to her family?

I decided on making pillows.  I found some amazing sisters at “Over the top Quilting” studio in Austin, Texas.  I saw on their website that they did memorial quilts.  I contacted them and they asked me to come in to visit with them.  We ended up talking for two hours!  They wanted to know about Elizabeth and the boys.  I showed them pictures and told them stories.  We laughed and cried and I knew they were the right people to complete this request.  It was more than just creating a quilt or pillow it was an act of love and they wanted to know and honor the person they were making a keepsake for in a very real way.  We followed up our initial meeting with scheduling a second visit where I took in the six bins of clothes and while no one else was in their shop we set on the floor and I talked about memories as we took out the clothing.  I then sorted them based on memories of the clothing with the family member I was having it made for.

I asked them to make five memorial pillows.  One for each of Elizabeth’s sisters (Jennifer and Lauren) for her precious niece (Ava) for her Dad and Lisa and I had one made for John.  I selected pieces of clothing that had special meaning to each of them and I also reached out to the lady that made me a pillow from Elizabeth’s handwriting to see if she could do her signature for me to include in the pillows.

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My Mother’s Day card May 2012

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The pillow I had made from her handwriting on my Mother’s Day card

Below are the results!  I love how they turned out.  I also created a memory photo book of Elizabeth wearing the clothing that is in each of their pillows!

I am also having a throw made from her jeans and another small quilt from her clothes.  Can’t wait to see them!

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Elizabeth’s Dad (Jeff) and Lisa’s pillow. The center of this is on a robe they gave her from her last Christmas. It is followed with her clothing from her Alaska vacation and those amazing pictures of that last Easter.

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Back of Jeff and Lisa’s pillow with her signature.

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Jennifer’s pillow…..and their love of Longhorns!

Lauren pillow

Lauren’s pillow with the Tshirt from their Warrior Dash and her Dallas Marathon Tshirt that Lauren would run in memory of her sister in 2013.

Ava's pillow

Ava’s pillow…..her Zizzy was her hero…..Yo Gabba Gabba is a memory of Fischer and how he loved that cartoon.

John pillow front

Elizabeth and John both loved the Astros.

John pillow

Back of John’s pillow with her signature.

I close with a video of Elizabeth wearing the clothing that are now represented in these pillows.  The song is from Simon and Garfunkel, Bookends:

Preserve your memories……

Blessings,

Julie