We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Ruth Lloyd. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Ruth below.
Ruth, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. We’d love to hear about a project that you’ve worked on that’s meant a lot to you.
I make memory quilts, bears and pillows out of clothing of a loved one who has passed away. Many people keep clothing from a loved one in bag or box, and stash it in the closet or attic. It is sometimes very painful to think of discarding them. I take those items and make something beautiful and useful. My customers are always overwhelmed with their new memory from their loved one. I feel honored to have made something that helps in the healing process. This is my calling.
Ruth, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
My Mother taught me to sew at the very young age of 8. She taught me the importance of doing quality work. I started sewing by hand making Barbie clothes. I soon began making all my own clothes. I was never a quilter and was not all that interested in learning how quilt. One day one of my good friends told me about a box of clothing she had of her daughter’s. Her daughter had been killed by a drunk driver at the age of 15. She told me it was to painful to look in the box but she would never get rid of it. I quickly learned how to quilt and made her a beautiful quilt with her daughter’s clothing and some photos of her on it. Needless to say she was overwhelmed and now proudly displays it in her home. This started my love for making custom memory items for my clients. I pride myself in the quality of my work. All quilts are machine sewn and fully quilted on a longarm quilting machine.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
Quilting is very time consuming. I ask 4-6 weeks to complete a quilt. This year I was overwhelmed with orders, I had 13 quilts to finish by Christmas in July. I also had about 10 Memory bears and a few pillows to make. I had to cut off my Christmas orders at the end of July. I was able to get all my orders out by mid November and able to take in a few more orders before Christmas. In my 16 years of making Memory items I have never missed a deadline, or had an item returned, or an unhappy client. That’s a pretty good track record..
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
I am able to see the joy on the face of my clients when the see the finished product. They usually bring me a plastic trash bag full of wrinkled up clothing. They have no concept of what the finished product will look like. I also feel that sewing is my calling to help people heal during the grieving process.