Cre­at­ing mem­o­ries One stitch at a time

North Penn Life - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Binga­man bbinga­man@21st-cen­tu­ry­

“We as Amer­i­cans have a love af­fair with T-shirts,” said Towa­mencin res­i­dent Molly Fisher. It’s when those T-shirts that have sen­ti­men­tal value be­come too small, faded or worn that peo­ple turn them over to her to cut up and stitch into quilts. Fisher is the founder of Mem­ory Quilts by Molly, a home busi­ness she started al­most two years ago thanks to post­ing pho­tos of mem­ory quilts she made for her sons on Face­book in 2009.

“I got 25 com­ments in a half-hour: ‘How can I do that?’ ‘Where can I get one made?’” she said.

She has since cre­ated and sold 122 per­son­al­ized quilts made from sports team shirts, con­cert shirts, Har­ley-David­son T-shirts, Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts and for one of her friends who spends a lot of time in New Or­leans, a quilt com­pris­ing 65 pub shirts.

“If that quilt could only talk,” Fisher said of the lat­ter.

Fisher, who has two col­legeage sons and a daugh­ter in mid­dle school, had been a stayat-home mom and had tried a few part-time jobs be­fore start­ing Mem­ory Quilts by Molly. “I’ve sewed all my life. Back in the day, my mom was a long­time quil­ter. She did it as a hobby, and she did it by hand,” she said.

Un­like her mother, Fisher uses a pow­er­ful sewing ma­chine that can punch 1,500 stitches a minute.

“The sewing ma­chines to­day, they’re com­put­ers, man,” she said.

)LVKHU FDQ fiQLVK D VPDOO TuLOW in eight to 10 hours. Queen or king size quilts take 25 to 30 hours.

“What they’re get­ting is a pre­mium prod­uct,” she said, not­ing that she sends pic­tures to the cus­tomer to each step of the quilt-mak­ing process for their ap­proval, and uses cot­ton back­ing, bat­ting, thread and fab­rics.

Grad­u­a­tion quilts are all the rage right now. A prime ex­am­ple is a gift Fisher made for a grad­u­at­ing LaSalle Univer­sity se­nior. Al­though you may not know him per­son­ally, the T-shirts in the quilt say a lot about his life: Read­ing Olympics, North Penn Squires, Wal­ton Farm CODVV RI ’07, 3HQQ­fiHOG Wind En­sem­ble ’07-’08, St. Maria Goretti Christ­mas In­vi­ta­tional bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment 2008, North Penn High School Lacrosse ...

“If any­one is in­ter­ested in a grad­u­a­tion quilt, it will be GLI­fiFuOW WR gHW LW GRQH Ey -uQH, but I can have it done in time for them to go off to col­lege in Au­gust,” said Fisher.

Quilts can also be a trib­ute to a de­parted loved one’s mem­ory. A “Car­los” me­mo­rial quilt, com­mis­sioned to Fisher in honor of an Ar­gen­tinian med­i­cal doc­tor, com­prises fab­ric swatches from his jack­ets, ties and sweaters.

“It helps them through the griev­ing process,” Fisher said.

Other items that Fisher can quilt in­clude long-sleeve and short-sleeve knit shirts, golf shirts, men’s bathing suits [not Speedos], but­ton-down shirts, sweat­shirts, flDQQHO SDQWV, flHHFH SDQWV, EDEy FORWKing, hand­ker­chiefs, cot­ton bed sheets, high school var­sity let­ters, jack­ets, sweaters, sus­penders, aprons, Scout badges and base­ball patches.

“The wed­ding mar­ket is a bud­ding mar­ket for me,” said Fisher, men­tion­ing a quilt she made for the ChupSDK LQ D -HwLVK wHGGLQg FHUHPRQy com­pris­ing swatches sub­mit­ted by rel­a­tives of the bride.

Mem­ory quilts can be cre­ated in four dif­fer­ent styles — tra­di­tional friend­ship star sash­ing, tra­di­tional block sash­ing, mod­ern or block quilt.

“My hus­band jokes that I’m bring­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing back to the [United] States,” said Fisher, who has 20 quilts that are ei­ther queued up or in pro­duc­tion.

“I do­nate one lap quilt a year to a wRUWKy QRQSUR­fiW [WR DuFWLRQ RII@. 7KLV year I have sev­eral to choose from. It’s nice to give back,” Fisher said.

See more at www.mem­o­ryquilts­by­ or www.face­­o­ryQuilts­by­Molly.

Left, Molly Fisher folds and bags one of her quilts at her home in Towa­mencin.

Be­low, Fisher is seen through an old re­fur­bished Singer sewing ma­chine that be­longed to her mother as she works on one of her quilts.

Bot­tom, Fisher stitches a new quilt.

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