29 October, 2010

Doug's Frog Shirt Quilt


Doug's Frog Shirt Quilt
Approximately Twin Sized
August 2004
Stack and Slash, Fusible Applique - Original Design

Considering that I shared my Dad's quilt (Roots) during the last Blogger's Quilt Festival it only seemed appropriate that I share my Father-in-Law's quilt this time around. Sadly, my Father-in-law, Doug, never actually saw this quilt. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 6 weeks later passed away.

As soon as he was diagnosed I pulled the fabric. It was all inspired by t-shirt he had. This pretty ugly batik t-shirt, known as the Frog Shirt. That t-shirt was, as far as I know, the only source of tension between he and I. My teasing was a bit much, but we got past it quickly. So, in homage to that shirt and him I took it as my inspiration.

The top was pieced with the Stack and Slash concept in rectangular blocks. I picked the black sashing for a few reasons. Number 1, the frog shirt was black. Number 2, it went well with the rest of the fabrics, setting them off nicely. And Number 3, it was kind of symbolic. Cancer can be a sentence - as it was for him - so it is rather like bars holding in the chaos of cancer in the blocks.

The frogs, of course, needed to be on there. Each frog represents his wife, my amazing Mother-in-Law, and their three kids. Even the grandkids, of which there were only two at the time, are given their place on the backs of the frogs.

The quilting was an all-over stipple with random fern and plant motifs added in. I used a Sulky variegated on my old 1960s Brother machine.

Sadly, I never got the chance to finish the quilt before he passed. Then the overwhelming world of grief took away my quilting desires. But in time for what would have been his birthday that year I finished the quilt and presented it to the family. Initially I'd hoped it could roam the family and provide some comfort where necessary, but it has always stayed with my Mother-in-Law. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Doug has been gone for over 6 years now and I still miss him terribly. He would have adored his new granddaughters and been proud of his son. He still lives on in his family and in the memories. Those never go away. Neither will the quilt, which I pet every time I visit my Mother-in-Law.

  • Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

27 comments:

Becky said...

aww. What a wonderful quilt. I love the little frogs on it. And such a touching story. The quilt is a nice way to remember him.

Kris said...

What a beautiful quilt and a beautiful story behind it. What a great way to keep his memory alive.

Janet said...

Your story is so touching...and the quilt is lovely.

badlandsquilts said...

Great quilt & story!

Jody said...

Cheryl,
Thanks for sharing the story behind this quilt. I love the details you included in making it...from the frogs, to the black sashing representing cancer...I have no doubt your mother in law draws comfort from it!

Lisa said...

Cheryl,
I have been folowing your blog for a while and I just love it. Your stories are great. I have recently started my own blog and have linked your blog to mine. I hope you'll take a peak.

Allie said...

I'm so sorry your inspiration for this quilt was so sad - it's an amazing quilt, rich in symbolism. It's a wonderful tribute. I'm sure your mother-in-law gets great comfort from it.

Leila said...

what a wonderful story :-) Thanks for sharing!

elle said...

This is a wonderful quilt, Cheryl. Very appropriatly done.

Lisa said...

Tears to my eyes ... as a cancer survivor and know everyday I am blessed, as a quilter, I love what you have done with both the quilt and it's inspiration ... well done.

Suzanne said...

You have a spectacular way of embracing those you love with fabric.

Trudi said...

what a beautiful story, and by the sounds of it, he would have just loved the quilt for the same reason you made it for him! Its a beautiful quilt, I can understand your need to pet it each time, to reconnect with your memories :) Thanks for sharing it with us :)

Zonnah said...

Very cute!

AnnieO said...

The inspiration for this quilt and it's journey to completion are so emotional and true. My sympathies on the loss of your FIL. Thank you for sharing your quilt's story--and all the wonderful pictures.

Marit said...

Thank you for sharing a very special quilt! Love all the symbolism and the story that comes with the quilt. So sorry you never got to give it to your FIL. I am sure it is a comfort to your MIL, a warm embrace...

Colleen said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I teared up and it brought back memories of my own cancer trials. I celebrate my 5th year of my last chemo on Nov 5th. I try to live my life by my following dreams especially in memory for all of those who didnt make it. 8months after I finsihed treatment my grandmother who helped me through that time, she was my best friend, was diagnosed and passed quickly from cancer. Just live!insa

KatieQ said...

Thank you for sharing the story of this wonderful quilt.

Quiltbenaco said...

La storia di questa trapunta รจ commovente....
Ciao ciao
Domenica

Mary said...

Thank you for sharing the quilt and story. The quilt is lovely.

amandajean said...

what a great quilt and story to go with it. i love that you can visit your quilt when you visit your MIL, too. i like visiting my past quilts whenever i can.

live a colorful life said...

I love the story behind the quilt. There are so many memories sewn into quilts.

Sunshine said...

This quilt is beautiful Cheryl - I love how full of meaning it is!

Victoria said...

What a lovely post. In essence, your kids get to be wrapped up in their grandfather's loving memory every time they snuggle under your wonderful quilt... what a fabulous gift to them, and to your MIL, and especially to your FIL, who I am sure watches over it all with great love.

health quotes said...

I love the little frogs on it.I love the story,the dress is amazing.

Julie Fukuda said...

Darling quilt. Great story. I'm glad you were able to finish it up in the end.

Chris said...

Wonderful story. What a nice memory of a lost loved one :)

Samelia's Mum said...

Thanks for sharing you quilt and the story behind it. Very beautiful.