T-shirt quilt story: 11 years of lake day memories
MemoryStitch customer Renee Hueftle had a t-shirt quilt made with t-shirts spanning 11 years of friends and family lake traditions.
On July 4, 2001. Hueftle's t-shirt quilt story began with a near tragedy at Johnson Lake in Nebraska.
According to Hueftle, "One of my daughters' friends was jet skiing out on [the lake]. In fact, they had just stopped by our cabin to talk to the girls. They left heading into the sun, and moments later we heard the rescue sirens."
Once they learned that someone on a jet ski had been ran over by a boat, it wasn't long before they found out it was their friend - who was now paralyzed from the waist down. "We could not believe it!" Hueftle said. "She had just been here!"
Hueftle's family regularly spent the fourth of July weekend with their friends, but after 2001, it was difficult to do so. Especially with the worry of their children's safety out on the lake. However, in 2008 the two families reunited for a whiffle ball tournament.
"We showed up in t-shirts that we had made in like two days! From then on it has been game on!" said Hueftle.
For the next 11 years, it was tradition to make a new set of shirts every year for their tournaments. Hueftle's family was the blue team, and their friend's family was the red team. The tournaments expended from just whiffle ball to volleyball as well, with different age groups playing together and nearly 90-100 people participating each year.
The winning team received a trophy to display until the next years JLake games. "We made it 11 years and kept our kids safe," said Hueftle. "This was the first year  we did not get together; our families have grown too much."
The Hueftle family t-shirt quilt is filled with t-shirts from their JLake games over the span of eleven years. It is a keepsake they'll be able to cherish forever and a way to keep those memories close to home.
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