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Thread: Memory Quilts that You've Made

  1. #1
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    As quilters most of us end up making a memory quilt for someone in our travels. I thought this might be a nice thread for everyone to tell others about your memory quilts and the stories behind them. I was inspired to write this post after reading about a fellow quilter on this board who is making quilts for her family from her newly-deceased Dad's ties.

    About 5 years ago a friend lost her Dad. Her Dad was 95 and her Mom 93 and they had been together since they were 15!!! Her Mom was deeply depressed after her beloved husband passed away. My friend asked if I would be able to make a small memory quilt from her Dad's shirts for her Mom to help lift her Mom's spirits (it was about 60" x 70" if I remember correctly.) I was honored to. This was the first quilt anyone asked me to make for them and I wanted it to bring her joy somehow and help ease her grief.

    It was a quilt as you go quilt and I like how it turned out. I brought it to her Mom during a Christmas party and the whole family had flown in from all over the country - a big family. You would have thought I gave her the gift of gifts the way everyone treated me and was so excited for their Mom to receive this gift (she didn't know it was finished yet or that I'd be bringing it to the party.) Her Mom was teary eyed with happines. It touched my heart to watch the Mom, her children, and grandchildren all looking at the pieces of fabric and talking about his shirts and the beautiful memories the fabrics brought to them.

    I think of all the quilts I've made this one was appreciated most of all. It was pretty but not a raving beauty.

  2. #2
    Senior Member quiltingaz's Avatar
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    I have only made one memory quilt so far. It was for my parents 60th anniversary. My brother and I spent a lot of time putting photos of all their family on fabric. We were both new to this and botched a few pages but quickly got the hang of it. They were really surprised when they arrived at the reception and saw the quilt hanging there.
    I plan to make more for others.

  3. #3
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I made two on commission several years ago. At the time I had some decorative painted pieces and wall hangings in a type of artist consignment/custom furniture shop. As it turned out there was a very short lived quilt shop that had been right next door. The quilt shop closed so the furniture shop took over the space. A woman stopped in looking for someone to make her a memory quilt out of her deceased mom's clothes. The owner of the shop gave her my name and number. It was a very different quilting experience for me and I swore I would never do another. The clothes were everything from lightweight cottons, to slippery knits to sweatshirts. I made one for her and one for her sister. The fabrics were rather nightmarish to work with but the lady was happy with the results. A few years later she contacted me because she had a friend who wanted one, I declined as I really did not enjoy the process of making the first two.

  4. #4
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    When I first got my sewing machine, in 2009, my young cousing got into an snowmobile accident and broke his back. He was a stunt rider, but at the time of the accident he wasn't doing stunts, just playing around. My family asked me if I would make a blanket to keep him warm during the months he would be on his back in bed. I gathered a bunch of pictures of him on his snowmobile doing jumps and stunts...and made them into applique blocks for his quilt. It was pretty much my first quilting project, and I had no idea what I was doing, but the local quilt shop gave me alot of great tips and showed me how to use a satin stitch and so forth. He treasures that quilt! And was just in awe when it was presented to him. That was the only memoriy quilt I made so far.

    the quilt block I made from the photo above
    Name:  Attachment-163619.jpe
Views: 205
Size:  98.6 KB
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  5. #5
    Senior Member nycbgirl's Avatar
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    I made a memory quilt for my in laws 40th anniversary, they were very surprised. I am in the process of making a quilt for my friend whose husband died last year. I'm using his Hawiian shirts. I found a paper pieced shirt pattern that I am using and I hope it turns out well.

  6. #6
    Super Member MrsM's Avatar
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    I made one for a friends mother, who was going through some difficult times. Marg sent me photos which I printed and appliqued to the center of stars, (Lucky Stars pattern). I bordered them in pinks, mauves and blues. I left the outer border stars blank, so later photos could be added to it. The four corner stars held photos. Marg paid me for it. Her mother cried so when she got it.

  7. #7
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    My dad died in 07 & I took his jeans & made rag quilts for my brother, sisters & myself. It took me forever to just open the box & another forever to start cutting into them, but when I got started on it I found it to be a very theraputic project. It was nice sewing with his jeans & thinking happy thoughts of him. I saved all of the pockets & put them on a purse for my mom so she takes him with her where she goes. (She is not a quilt person- her personal thermostat changed in menopause & she hasn't been cold since!)

  8. #8
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    Here is a quilt I quilted . My friend made it for a customer. She made 4 or 5 quilts from shirts for a family. Each quilt had the same fabric, but different patterns. I LOVE this one. I think it as the look of a Gee's Bend quilt. Truely a functional quilt, but I could see it being hung in a modern art gallery!

    This is a link for a t-shirt quilt. The lady also brought me 2 plaid shirts: one flannel and one VERY thin. I used those along with a 3rd plaid for the middle border. I interfaced the very thin fabric with a very light weight fusible interfacing. I love how this turned out. I had been wanting to use this shadow techinque and was allowed to do whatever I wanted. (the pictures are about in the middle of the page.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-91292-1.htm

    I hope this gives you two more options.
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  9. #9
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    I enjoyed reading everyone's comments about their quilts. It's nice to know the recipients of these quilts were happy to get them. I loved seeing the pics and the sweet stories behind them. Thanks for sharing.

    Maggiemay, my Dad passed away in 07 too (next month will be 4 years and it doesn't seem that long.) I have some of his shirts that will become a quilt. :-D

    I am cutting the fabric for a denim quilt and have 2 pairs of his denim shorts that will be part of this quilt :-D

  10. #10
    Super Member ginnie6's Avatar
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    I made two this past year for the dd's of a friend whose son was killed in a wreck. They were made in part from some of his clothes. I got the sweetest card from the mom and she said the whole family just feels good every time they see those quilts. Both were the same pattern just a little different.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...h_DSC_9623.jpg

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