My mother-in-law recently retired from being a nurse. She worked in a nursing home to be exact. After she retired, she sold most of her uniform tops since she no longer needed them. My husband tells me all of the time how crazy his mom was about her tops. She spent hours upon hours shopping for them and had about 10 times as many as the average nurse. She loved the brightly colored ones, often her patients would comment on how bright and lovely they were. I imagine many of her patients didn't have regular family visits and any brightness in their day was therapeutic. Anyway, she brought them to me to sell on Craigslist and my husband had the great idea to "buy" them from her (giving her the money and telling her someone else bought them) and sew them into a quilt. And it worked, because up until yesterday when she opened it, she had no clue that we had them the whole time!
When she opened it, she knew right away where the fabric had come from. And of course Jason had a wonderful "speech" planned that brought her to tears. About how the color represented the color she put into her patients lives, and the dark fabric on the back represented the darker times in her life. I won't get into it, but she has been through a lot, one of which was putting herself through college as a single mom. It also just so happens that the backing fabric is a remnant that use to belong to her mother who is now deceased. Also, I had my mom embroider a saying on the fabric that Jason found to be representative of his mom's life. I believe it was a quote from Dolly Parton, "If you want the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain." So there were many things symbolized in this quilt. I give my husband 100% of the credit for the idea and creating the symbolism. I just did the work :)
So here are some pictures of the final quilt. Remember, I am NOT a professional and am 100% self-taught (thanks to the wonderful internet!) This was my first time piecing together the blocks. There are 12 different uniform top fabrics included (two different ones per square.)
(If anyone can tell me what kind of fabric that backing material is, I'd love to know. Like I said, it's a really old remnant that was found amongst Jason's Grandmother's fabrics. The back of the fabric is slightly shiny. The front is a soft, velvety fabric that feels almost like faux suede. It is not at all stretchy.)
A huge thanks to my mom for helping us make this quilt perfect by adding the quote!