Memories on Fabric

Memories on Fabric
A favorite family recipe transferred to a tea towel, a rose-like pin made from a loved one’s favorite necktie, an ornament to hang on the holiday tree made out of a shirt or sweater or even a pillow or cuddly bear can be an endearing tangible keepsake to have and to hold.

Consider the following as easy to sew ideas for keepsake items:

Favorite family recipe on a tea towel. Plain white tea towels, sewn out of linen or cotton, are like a blank painter’s canvas ready for inspiration. Cut plain white linen or cotton fabric 19-inches by 26-inches hemming all sides. Add a traditional fabric loop on one corner for hanging. Use any type fabric transfer sheet to print out a family favorite recipe using any word processing program. Be sure to reverse or mirror the text before printing as the fabric transfer sheet will be placed face down on the tea towel and ironed onto the fabric. If the favorite recipe is hand written, scan the recipe, save as a document or .pdf file, reverse or mirror the image, then print out onto the transfer fabric. Iron onto the tea towel for lasting good food memories. Tea towels have a lot of left-over white space that can be embellished by stamping a few designs around the printed images.

Rose pin from a dear family member’s favorite necktie. Men will usually acquire several neckties as gifts from family and friends over the years and often will have had a favorite. Many neckties are made of quality fabrics such as silk or wool or microfibers that mimic silk. A memory rose-like pin is easy to sew out of a few circles of necktie fabric. Cut out five circles of fabric for each flower approximately four-inches in diameter. Fold each fabric circle in half wrong sides touching and fold again into fourths. Use a long hand or machine stitch along the cut edges of each stringing each folded circle one after another. Pull the stitches to gather all into a circular flattened shape. Secure stitches. Glue a small circle of felt to the back and attach a pin back clasp. Make a covered button with left-over necktie fabric to attached or glue to the center. An antique pin can be used instead for embellishment as well.

Remembering ornament. From a loved one’s favorite shirt, sweater or necktie, cut out two heart shapes. Place right sides together and stitch around the edges leaving an opening for turning. Clip rounded edges and into the “v” of the heart shape just to the stitching. Turn, press, stuff with polyfill and hand stitch opening closed. Add a ribbon or gold cord loop for hanging. Several heart shapes can be made from one shirt or sweater or necktie to give to family members as ornaments.

Keepsake memory pillow or bear - With a special phrase fabric transferred onto a loved one's favorite shirt or sweater, for example, "Once a shirt (or sweater), now a pillow (or bear), hold me close and remember me, for I am there." Many endearing and heartfelt message can be found online to personalize the keepsake memory item. Cut the shirt or sweater and necktie so that the flattest and largest fabric pieces can be obtained. Pillow cover patterns and easy directions can be found online at numerous sewing sites.

Simple bears can be sewn. Create a template of a simple bear shape that includes ears, head, and all paws in one whole shape. Cut two of the fabric to be used out of the simple bear shape. Place fabric pieces right-sides facing, stitch around the edges leaving an opening for stuffing. Clip curves, turn, press. Print a personalized saying onto a fabric transfer sheet, cut out the printed saying and iron onto the bear's tummy. Finally, lightly stuff the bear and hand sew opening closed. Embellish with a fabric type ribbon bow.

Memories mark the chapters of our lives. A keepsake pillow or bear, an ornament, a rose pin or a simple tea towel with a treasured recipe can bring comfort and a smile - for those who are remembered with love that does not go away, still missed and always in our hearts and minds.

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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