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Thread: How does one make a Quilt from clothing of deceased family member

  1. #1
    Junior Member frecklestweety's Avatar
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    A family member passed away from cancer and the family asked me if I would make a quilt from her clothing as a remembrance. Have not received the clothing but said yes to the challenge. Do not know how many kinds of material in the clothing but there has to be a way to do this. Has anyone out there in the quilting world done this type of quilt. The Daughter of the deceased is taking her death very hard and this would be a wonderful thing to have in her Mom's memory.
    What and where to start. Any suggestions???

  2. #2
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    If it's knit use stabilizer on the back. Other than that I'd wait until I got the clothing and then decide. You could also incorporate pictures or at least one of her somewhere on the quilt. Are you going to do a regular quilt or quilted art (wall hanging)?

    There are some beautiful examples of memory quilts that have been shown on this board, you might try clicking search and just type in Memory

  3. #3
    Senior Member dungeonquilter's Avatar
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    I made 5 quilts plus a wall hanging from my mother's clothing. I tried to pick fabrics that had a cotton feel. Some that I wanted to use, I just backed with a light weight fusible stabilizer. I picked blocks that had meaning in Mom's life and went from there. I also printed photos to fabric in include in the quilt. The sashing & borders were purchased fabric, but the blocks only had a couple of additions. She did not have very many light colours. http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-1935-1.htm

  4. #4
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frecklestweety
    A family member passed away from cancer and the family asked me if I would make a quilt from her clothing as a remembrance. The Daughter of the deceased is taking her death very hard and this would be a wonderful thing to have in her Mom's memory.
    That's great of you to say yes to the request...is the daughter who's having difficulties OK with you cutting apart her mom's clothing? Just thought I'd ask cause that could really upset someone who's upset to start with.

    As far as where to start - I'd say separate the lights from the darks and do a simple block like 9 patch, 4patch, etc. That way you'll have variety and organized scrappy. Depending on how much clothing is given to you, maybe you could make 2 quilts or even small pillows.

    Good luck

  5. #5
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    When my dad died I made quilts for my brother, sisters & myself from his jeans. I made raggedy quilts & added some coordinating fabrics & other denim as needed. With a lot of different fabrics I agree with the suggestion of simple & scrappy.

  6. #6
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    I am in the middle of making one for my BBF. Her mom passed away in July and she is taking it very hard. When I offered to make her a quilt she cried, She said "I didn't know you could make a quilt with clothes?" With BBF not being a quilter or sewer ( I don't think she even owns a needle and thread) the cloths she sent me are really not quiltable fabric. A heavy terrycloth robe and nylon night gowns which slip all over. On top of that she didn't send me nearly enough. I bought a beautiful panel Psalm 23 and I am making pinwheels with the usable fabric as a border. The neck line of the night gowns, th had embroidery so I cut off the embroidery and will applique that on to solid fabric. Included was a knit top with embriodery and a few other knits. I have made those into a pillow for her DD and a blue nightgown with lace into a wedding garter for her DD also.
    I started by cutting off the arms and legs, then opened all the seams. I then measured what would be a nice size sq and cut the fabric into sq. I saved all the scraps just in case, in case of what I don't know. I really didn't want to use a panel but I had no choice and I am sure she will love the quilt.

    Just dive right in it will be beautiful.

  7. #7
    Senior Member vbourck's Avatar
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    My sister has a business doing exactly that. If you would like her website address, please send a pm. You can see examples of her work there.

  8. #8

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    I thought about it with my grandmothers clothes, but all she ever wore were silky lightweight nylon clothes. I might still do it, but it'll be pretty light and hard to handle.

  9. #9
    Super Member starshine's Avatar
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    Just an fyi There was a memory quilt made from the deceased's clothing in last year's Quilt National. The Quilt National 2009 book has all the quilts pictured.

  10. #10
    Junior Member frecklestweety's Avatar
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    thank you to all reply to my memory quilt inquiry. Not sure what materials i will receive but know that i can count on the quilting board for advice when I needed it.

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