Making A Memory Quilt or Cushion

Making a memory quilt can capture remembrance of a time, person or era long passed. They can be made using patchwork or appliqué  techniques, either a basic design or into a picture to add to the reflections.

Many people have clothes packed away in boxes of days gone by, thinking possibly that the fashion will come round again or just cannot throw them out. How often are they looked at?

Turning old material or clothes into a quilt or a cushion could give lots of happy times and could be a point of family remembrance by discussing when and where these garments were worn or just a silent reminder for yourself.

Fashions and fabric designs change so it could also be used to mark these changes.

Fabric for A Memory Quilt or Cushion

Bringing back the swinging 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and into the 2000's by using unwanted fabric from past sewing projects that haven't got finished or clothes that you have decided you wouldn't wear even if the fashion returned or in fact if they would still fit.Taking your favourite bits of clothing over time to give a special recollection of favourite pieces,

Clothes can also be from family members who have passed away, these items could bring happy thoughts of outings enjoyed, parties attended or just the fact they suited an individual or was a colour they particularly liked.

Children, and especially babies, grow out of their clothes so quickly but can wear the ones they have a lot so parents get a lot of memories from particular items. If they are not going to be handed down to the next in line, the memories can be captured by turning the fabric into something the child or parent can cherish.

Many shopping outlets will have wadding, zips or backing fabric to help finish your project.

Designing the Quilt or Cushion

The design of the quilt or cushion could be a simple design in patchwork where a shape or a multiple of shapes are cut out of the fabric and sewn together. Turning the newly sewn fabric into a quilt could be done as if making the quilt for a Quillow with wadding and a backing fabric sewn together.

Another design could be to draw a picture and if using lots of different types of fabric patterns try and choose one that will have a lot of elements to it.

Some ideas could be:

  • flowers ( lots of petals and leaves) in a garden or vase
  • Trees ( lots of leaves on and off the tree)
  • Balloons in the sky
  • Hearts in different sizes
  • Stars in the night sky or from a firecracker or sparkler

This way you can sew different sized pieces in different fabrics to show the picture.

Another design aspect would be to draw a picture of a scene that could represent a particular time or place and use material to turn it into a quilt. A few ideas could be a view of the countryside, a building or a picture of the sea side. It really depends what patterns are on the fabric and this in itself could give inspiration which would turn your memories into a lovely cuddly quilt or cushion.

Return from Memory Quilts to Homemade Quilts

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Please take care with any soft furnishing that it does not come into contact with any heat source. 

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