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12 Memory Quilt Ideas

Interested in how to make a memory quilt? Read on for our top twelve memory quilt ideas

Published: July 21, 2022 at 8:49 am
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Memory quilts are a beautiful tradition, allowing you to commemorate a loved one by stitching their clothes into a cosy quilted keepsake. Perhaps you have a little one who has recently outgrown their baby clothes (which are so small you can't quite believe they could ever fit anyone other than a doll). Rather than throw these garments away, why not piece them into a memory quilt which will act as a sweet, nostalgic reminder of those early months or years of your child's life?

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Memory quilts can also serve to commemorate the life of a loved one that has passed away. Reworking old clothes into an everyday item that can be used again and again allows our loved ones to live on in our lives, and serves as a constant reminder of a person we never want to forget. Many people also pull together memory quilts to celebrate momentous life events of those around them: you could, for example, use cut-up t-shirts from a recent graduate's University to celebrate all they've achieved, and gift them with a lasting memento to remind them of their years in academia.

Whether you're piecing a memory quilt for yourself or intending to gift it to a loved one in your life, there are endless possibilities for how you could go about it. Lucky for you, we've rounded up 12 of the best, most beautiful memory quilt ideas out there right now. So, if you're after some inspiration to make a mighty memorable memory quilt, read on!

12 Memory Quilt Ideas

1. From Wears to Bears Baby Clothes Memory Quilt

It can be hard to part with the clothes your little ones wore when they were at their absolute littlest. Instead of saying goodbye, you can take inspiration from this memory quilt by Anne of From Wears To Bears and piece a quilt from their old, outgrown baby clothes. Simple squares make this quilt quick and easy to assemble, plus the familiar fabrics will make it a fast favourite if you gift it back to the child.

2. Little Stitch Shoppe's Sunshine Blocks Memory Quilt

You don't have to feel limited to traditional square blocks for your memory quilt – let the light in with sunshine blocks, as Emily of Little Stitch Shoppe did with her Sunshine memory quilt. Each ray of sunshine uses a different clothing fabric, creating a colourful quilt with a playful, scrappy feel! This quilt was made as a modified version of the Good Morning Sunshine pattern by Heidi Pridemore for Windham Fabrics, which can be found for free here.

3. Sweet on Stitches' Forever Stellar Sawtooth Star Memory Quilt

If you're more of a night owl, perhaps you'll feel more inspired by this Sawtooth Star memory quilt. The Forever Stellar memory quilt by Sherie of Sweet on Stitches features easy-piece Half-square Triangles that come together to form a stunning central star block. Using a mixture of patterned clothing and a bright white or low volume contrast quilting fabric as Sherie has done will allow your loved one's clothing to really shine.

4. Suzanne Paquette's Improv Piecing Memory Quilt

If you're after a memory quilt with a truly unique feel, why not try your hand at an improvisationally pieced modern memory quilt, inspired by Suzanne Paquette? Whether you're a total newbie, or you're well-versed in the non-traditional improv piecing technique, you're sure to love the way it allows you to be truly spontaneous and quilt from the heart. For more memory quilt inspiration, look no further than Suzanne Paquette's handy book, Modern Memory Quilts: A Handbook for Capturing Meaningful Moments.

5. Raff and Ella's Appliqué Name Memory Quilt

A quilt made using a person's old baby clothes will forever be unmistakably unique to them, and undoubtedly a sentimental item. Why not go one step further in personalising a gifted memory quilt and hand appliqué the recipient's name onto the quilt, as Sarah-Jayne of Raff and Ella has done with this personalised memorial baby quilt? They're sure to treasure the item for years to come.

6. With Love by Gram Tam's Pinwheel Block Memory Quilt

Our heads are in a spin looking at the stunning Pinwheel blocks on this memory quilt by Tammy of With Love by Gram Tam. Colourful cornerstones like those seen on this quilt will tie the composition together, allowing you to use clothing scraps in a variety of different colours while still maintaining a feeling of cohesion across your quilt.

7. Whiskey Girl Quilts' Appliqué Tree Memory Quilt

If you'd like to make a memory quilt without cutting out big chunks from your loved one's garments, you can piece small scraps of clothing fabric into leaves and create a stunning wall hanging like this Memory Tree by Denise of Whiskey Girl Quilts. This unique design would look great in a frame, and is a beautiful way of memorialising a lover of nature.

8. Thread Paper Studio's Simple Squares Memory Quilt

We just love the look of this memory quilt by Hazel of Thread Paper Studio. Simple, understated squares of flannel pyjamas and cotton tees, along with a fuzzy fleece backing fabric, make this memory quilt look super soft and cosy – a perfect winter warmer.

9. Rae Sew Creative's Hearts Memory Quilt

We've fallen head over heels for this You Are My Heart Memory Quilt by Rae of Rae Sew Creative (@raesewcreative on Instagram). Rae pieced smart dress shirts into this heart-shaped cluster of even more hearts to create a memory quilt that is truly infused with love. If you're swooning over this idea too, why not take inspiration and fussy cut your favourite graphics and patterns from your loved one's clothing items into fun shapes with bias tape outlines?

10. Suzy Quilt's Squared quilt and Memory Quilt Tips

If you're after some helpful tips and tricks on how to piece a memory quilt, Suzy Quilts is here to help with her blog post on the 3 Easy Steps to Making A Memory Quilt. She recommends her free Squared pattern if you're keen to make your own memory quilt. The squares-within-squares design allows you to showcase multiple different clothing fabrics at once, while still keeping the piecing superbly straightforward.

11. Massey Makes Shop Flying Geese Memory Quilt

If you're a fan of funky Flying Geese blocks, why not fill your memory quilt with them like Sarah of Massey Makes has done with this Flying Geese memory quilt? This one uses formal shirts in coordinating blues and purples to create a quilt with a sleek, sophisticated look.

12. Granny's Comfort Quilts' Intricate Memory Quilt

We feel seriously inspired by this intricate memory quilt by Cynthia of Granny's Comfort Quilts, made in honour of her sister, as a gift for her nephew. Cynthia's custom quilts incorporate clothing fabrics of all types, including cotton, flannel, jersey and linen, bringing them together in an eye-catching design.

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We hope you enjoyed these memory quilt ideas and will sew some yourself! For more fun quilting ideas check out our easy quilt blocks that look difficult and our under the sea quilt tote bag pattern.

Authors

Sophia CanoProduction Editor, Love Patchwork & Quilting

Keen crafter and editing aficionado Sophia loves to keep tabs on the latest trends in modern quilting and work with leading quilt designers worldwide to produce top quality content for Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. Sophia feels at home in the crafting community, having successfully run an indie biz on Instagram (@sewphiacano) selling hand-embroidered hoops, t-shirts and tote bags alongside studying for her degree from UCL in History of Art & Philosophy and running her university magazine as editor-in-chief. When she’s not busy editing, she’s probably embroidering at home, snuggled up in a jumper knitted by her abuela, or a blanket crocheted by her mum (evidence of her lineage from a long line of amazing crafty women).

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