Revolving star quilt with family shirts

What is a Memory Quilt? A way to keep memories with you


A Memory Quilt is a quilt that contains bits of fabric that have emotional significance to either the maker or the receiver of the quilt. They’re meant to spark happy memories each time you use or even look at the quilt.


Rianne of kick-ass quilts looking at her first quilt made with donated scrap fabrics and old clothes

Quilts and blankets are wonderful comfort objects. They provide warmth and coziness in any situation, no matter if they function as blankets or wall decorations. 

A Quilt can be wrapped around your person, or they’re displayed on a wall and keep the room warm, both emotionally with their lovely colour schemes and physically by adding an extra layer of insulation to the room.

But what if you wanted to take it one step further? How do you add that extra layer of comfort to your quilts? You make them into memory quilts!


A Memory Quilt is a quilt that contains bits of fabric that have emotional significance to either the maker or the receiver of the quilt. They’re meant to spark happy memories each time you use or even look at the quilt. A memory quilt is meant to keep memories alive

Memory quilts are hugs in blanket form. They can offer just a bit of extra comfort and can help combat homesickness, grief, and offer happy reminiscing moments.

They can be difficult to make, and some professional quilters won’t work on them as their materials are too precious. They also tend to require extra supplies, depending on what type of memory quilt is being made and the fabrics being used.


How do you add that extra layer of comfort to your quilts? You make them into memory quilts!


There are a few different types of memory quilts that are currently popular among quilters.

A memory quilt to remember a lost loved one

Made from clothes, blankets, or any other object the deceased loved one used that is made of fabric. These quilts are meant to bring comfort in a time of grief to those who have been left behind by the deceased and offer them happy memories to help them heal in a healthy manner.

Overview Memory Quilt FloorMemory Quilt made by Floor with her sister's clothing

Memory Quilt from Baby Clothes 

Memory quilts made from baby clothes have been the talk of many baby showers.

 These quilts are made of significant pieces of a child’s wardrobe, usually when the child is all grown up for nostalgic purposes, and gifted to the adult child once they have their own children. Most of these quilts are functional, but sometimes they’re not, as they’ve included buttons and other small pieces that could be considered a choking hazard for little ones.


Memory quilts are hugs in blanket form.


Memory quilt with T-Shirt 

T-shirt's memory quilts are quilts that are made out of pieces of significant t-shirts.

 These are really popular as graduation gifts. Significant t-shirts include shirts collected throughout high school, sports themed shirts, shirts from a specific trip or multiple trips, and so on. These can also double as a Memory Quilt for a Lost Loved One. if you make it out of someone’s favourite shirts in life.

Autograph Memory Quilts to remember special occasions

Autograph memory quilts have been all the rage at parties like bridal or baby showers or even weddings and graduation parties to replace the traditional guestbook or act as a yearbook type of souvenir. 

Each guest is given the chance to sign their name, draw a picture, or add their handprint to the fabric using a marker or paint. These quilts aren’t usually used as blankets, but hung up on the wall as decoration due to the fragility of the autographs themselves.


Memory quilts offer just a bit of extra comfort and can help combat homesickness, grief, and offer happy reminiscing moments.


Tips on techniques to make a memory quilt

Depending on the type of t-shirts and other materials being used, you may find that you need to use stabilizer to make sure that the design on the shirt doesn’t end up warped. Knit fabrics are known to stretch and warp as you cut, sew, and quilt. By using a stabilizer, you’re just giving the fabric a little bit of an extra thickness to keep it from stretching while you work.

Memory quilts are truly a treasure to behold. They offer an added emotional connection to a handmade item. They make amazing projects for yourself as well as gifts for others whom you cherish. You’ll love being able to turn memories into something tangible and cozy!

Questions:

  • Do you have a memory quilt? If yes, where did you get it.
  • Do you have clothes you'd like to turn into a lasting memory?

Let me know in the comments so we can get to know each other!

Ps. If you want to share a story about your memory quilt, email me. I'll feature you in a blogpost and use your photo as an example. 

Sources:

https://community.themodernquiltguild.com/resources/tracing-roots-and-history-modern-memory-quilt-making

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Have you always wanted to give a new life to the clothes you can't wear any more? For example, to make a keepsake of the old shirts of your grandfather or from the summer dresses of your mother?


The 'Quilting Out of Your Home' e-book is the first step to learn how to do so! 


In the e-book, I give tips and tricks how to upcycle old clothes and fabrics into useful quilts. Also, I show you how little you need to start quilting. There is no need to buy any fabric or tools to quilt!


The e-book is a gift when you subscribe to my newsletter. No spam, only the occasional tips and inspiration to become a sustainable quilter.

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