Updated: Jun 4
I began making memory quilts about 6 or 7 years ago. The first one I ever made was for a neighbor whose mother passed away. I had never made anything like this before. I had done some quilting here and there, but nothing with someone's clothing, let alone someone's clothing who has passed away. I remember feeling a little overwhelmed when seeing all of the clothing.
I often wondered what it was that made each shirt or item special to their loved one. Was it that this person bought them that shirt? Was it their favorite shirt to see that person wear? Did it have their scent on it? It was fascinating really. In movies, when you see a widow or widower grieving, you always see the part where they are getting rid of the late spouse's clothing. It's highly emotional and it usually takes some time. It's that last tangible piece of that person.
All of these thoughts brought on some great pressure when making these quilts. This quilt would possibly be used every single day, maybe brought out once a year in memory of the person, or was sporadically taken out whenever it's owner missed their loved one. I wanted to make them as special as possible and make sure I included every piece of the item that was important such as a pocket, a button, or a logo. Whatever special touch I could add to help this person smile when they took this quilt out, I wanted to do.
Are you curious what the entire process looks like to make a memory quilt? The video below takes you through the main steps in my process!
Below I highlight somee of the quilts I have made so that others looking for a memory quilt will have a guide as to what they'd like to do with theirs. Below you can see some different layouts. One with large squares, one with large and small, and one with small squares and a border.
Some quilts I have made represent a time in someone's life or their achievements. One of my favorite quilts I made was my husband's Navy quilt after his military service was over. I used just about everything I could get my hands on except for his nicer blue and white uniform. I'm pretty sure those aren't supposed to be altered like that, but his basic everyday uniforms gave me a lot to work with.
The quilt below, in the middle, was a mixture of baby clothing and adult clothing that represented a time period in the family's life. This one was fun as I wanted to add in some additional shapes and elements. I didn't have a lot of clothing to work with so I supplemented with other quilting material.
The quilt below on the right side was a whole new challenge for me. I was approached by a co-worker to create a quilt using marathon ribbons! This was new, but I had a lot of fun putting the colors together and highlighting her achievements.
These are just a few of the quilts I have created over the last 7 years. I am always open to new ideas or challenges. The one thing I love about quilting, or crafting in general, is there really aren't any set rules. (Some people may disagree) Part of the experience, for me, is coming up with new ways to do something and making it my own style.
I hope this helps you generate some ideas for your quilt. These not only become a special memory for the owner, but a memory for myself as I bring these beauties to life!
If you are interested on having a quilt made, please contact me through Instagram, Facebook, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org