In Loving Memory – A Quilt

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Sadly, earlier this year my husband lost his grandfather – someone who was a big part of his life.

I wanted to do something for his grandmother, but since we live halfway across the country it was difficult to do. I couldn’t do the typical things you would normally do in this situation like bring over meals, help around the house or just physically be there for her.

I felt helpless until I realized that there was something I could do. Everyone has unique skills – mine happens to be sewing. While it’s not always a useful skill in every situation, this time it was – I could sew his clothing into a memory quilt for my husband’s grandmother to keep.

Memory quilt made from clothing

There is always something you can to to help.

You always have something to offer.

Every quilt has a story, and in this quilt that story is in the fabric itself.

Memories of him are in the missing button on his favorite shirt.

Toddler playing with buttons on quilted shirt

They’re in the food stain on his shirt; a reminder of all those family dinners around the table, everyone laughing and smiling, simply enjoying each other’s company.

They’re in the shirt worn so thin and holey, yet he refused to throw it away because it’s too darn comfortable no matter how many times he was asked.

Or in the feel of the soft fabric, a reminder of the warmth from just being near.

Memory quilt label reading "Made from clothes I used to wear. Hold it close, you'll know I'm there."

The details are what make this quilt special and I made sure to keep as much of that intact as I could. The buttons are still on the shirts. The pockets were left open. It took some creative sewing, but I was able to keep label from his favorite pair of jeans.

Memory quilt jeans tag

I quilted each section separately and simply, keeping with the design of each in order to keep the attention on the clothing where it belongs.

Quilted leaf shirt

I don’t think I will ever have another fabric that will make me as nervous to cut as this. The thought of accidentally miscutting was terrifying!

With such a precious material, I couldn’t bear to waste any of it. I had enough large pieces left over that I was able to make a second, slightly smaller, throw quilt.

Memory quilt made from clothing

Then I used the smaller scraps to make two pillows.

Memory quilt pillows

Loss isn’t easy. I hope that these memory quilts will be able to bring about a small amount of comfort during a time of grief.

It wasn’t intentional, but shooting these photos at sunset felt appropriate.

You will be missed.

Memory quilt clothing
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