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Thread: Have You Made a Memorial Quilt?

  1. #1
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Have You Made a Memorial Quilt?

    Although I've been quilting for many years, I've never done a quilt from someone's clothing (except a couple of bluejeans quilts). I just offered to make two for my niece and nephew who are in their 20s. Their mom (my former SIL) passed away at age 58 - so sad. So I'm looking for any advice from those who have done this kind of project before.

    They live 1500 miles away and will have to ship the clothing to me, so I need to give them some guidelines on what will or won't work. I know anything really bulky or very thin/sheer would not be the best. And I know I'll have to stabilize some of the fabrics with some sort of interfacing - any suggestions on which kind?

    My niece mentioned that her mom had quite a collection of scarves (not the knit winter kind but the fashion type that you wear with a suit or dress). Any ideas on how I could use these? She said these would really remind her of her mom so I'd like to do something special with them. I've seen the quilts where you take the old hankies and make them into butterflies, has anyone seen anything like this done with scarves?

    If anyone has pictures or websites to share, I'd appreciate that as well.
    Andi R
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    Proud owner of "Smart Alec" (A-1 with IntelliQuilter) and "Maggie" (the Prodigy)

  2. #2
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    you could do a foundation pieced crazy-quilt style block from the clothes. This would serve to stabilize all the various fabrics. I have done this and used old clothing, including knits of various weights and other wovens.

  3. #3
    Junior Member 40MPHK9's Avatar
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    The only thing I've made similar to what you describe is a t-shirt quilt for my daughter. She was in the band in high school, and I used all of her t-shirts. I did denim for the sashing (leftover jeans!) and instead of batting and backing, I used fleece for the back (no batting needed). It was only a tied quilt, not a real quilted quilt.
    As you can imagine, it was VERY heavy, from the jeans, but she really loved it.
    She died right before she graduated from college. The quilt is in a box in my basement.

  4. #4
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    Foundation crazy quilt sounds like a good idea. Just my opinion: it would be difficult to combine denim with light weight fabrics.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
    I choose to give my life away for things that last forever

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    Make the "Less Than Traditional" ; Quilters Haven, Alta Loma,CA. I used this pattern for a friend, the center square was the fabric from dresses, shirts, etc. It came out beautiful and the center fabric did not have any quilting because it was so frail. Same idea is the "Little Nine in the Window", good luck.
    Pat

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    I have made memory quilts several times. I have successfully used woven shirts to single knit pajamas and night gowns. I use traditional patterns most times. Here is one example (if I do this right). This one I used light weight iron on pellon to stablize the fabric before cutting.
    Attached Images Attached Images Click to view large image 

  7. #7
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    The memorial quilt I have made was made from denim and flannel shirts. I also added photos to the quilt, appliqueing them onto blocks. The quilt was from my husband's clothes, and made it for one of my sons. He was also 58 when he passed away.
    I am not sure how I would use scarfs in a quilt, except they probably would have to be backed with something to make them not too stretchy. I think I would use a light weight non-woven interfacing, but maybe someone else would be able to give a definite recommendation.
    However you make the quilt, it will mean a lot for the person you are making it for.

  8. #8
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    I just finished (today) 3 memory quilts for my grandchildren that lost therir father 1 year ago. I will be taking them to Tx on the 29th to give to them. I'll try to post pics. I used his clothing and set pics in 8" blocks.
    Attached Images Attached Images Click to view large image  Click to view large image  Click to view large image 

  9. #9
    Senior Member Handcraftsbyjen's Avatar
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    Yes, you can use scarves. I have done it before but can't find a picture. I was given pictures of the person as well, many of which she was wearing the scarves. I used stabilizer and surrounded some of the pictures with the corresponding scarves. For my label, I did not put my name. Instead, I put "When this you see, remember me." then the person's name, birthday, and date of death. Or just simply 'Mom' after the phrase on the label.

    As a side note, if any of you have loved ones who have dimentia or Alzheimer's, I have placed that person's hand on a permanent ink pad while they were still around then made handprints on both pretty card stock and also muslin. Using the same phrase from my label, as mentioned above, made handprint Christmas cards from the card stock handprints, and then once they are gone, I incorporate the muslin prints into memory quilts and everyone loves them both.
    Last edited by Handcraftsbyjen; 02-24-2012 at 02:22 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DMotyl's Avatar
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    What great ideas Hancraftsbyjen. I also have made memory 2 quilts from my father-in-law's clothes. Mine was a trial and error thing. I wish I had know that I should use stablizer (I had only been quilting a few months when he passed away. I began quilting when he was 98.) I have since read about many more ideas. I love the idea of using the scarves. However you decide to do the quilts, they will be loved. I know my gifts are in spite of their many flaws....LOL
    If you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love. :-)
    Donna

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