Make A Memory Quilt

Memory quilts can recall the fun you had when you were younger, making one is not difficult. Why not start on one now.

Quilting has moved from a way to keep the family warm on cold winter nights, to a way of keeping treasured memories alive. From Susie's first blanket, to the squares you made from leftover material used for her wedding dress, each square brings back a wonderful memory. In many instances the memories are more vivid than a photo.

If you make a habit of collecting squares of good material each time someone outgrows, or wears out an outfit, you will soon have enough squares to make a small quilt, as your children grow, you can add to it, adding memories as you go.

Perhaps you would like a quilt celebrating a particular year in your family's life. Start in January, collecting clothing that they have outgrown, or worn out. Make sure that you only use the parts that are still in good condition. By December you will more than likely have enough squares to create at least one quilt, what a wonderful Christmas gift to give someone. To give your quilt more meaning, on each square use a fabric paint to identify the family member and what the garment was.

For a memory quilt the best choice of patterns would be one that involves small, 2 or 3 inch, square pieces. You then have several choices about how to piece your quilt together. You could make individual blocks for each member of the family, or combine family members in one block, and repeating until you have enough blocks for the entire quilt. Or perhaps you would like to place it in chronological order. However you decide to create your quilt it is right, since it is helping to hold your memories.

Normally when you make a quilt you will use material that is similar in weight and construction, but with a memory quilt this won't work since you are using clothing which will come in many different weights. You will need to use fusible interfacing on the lighter materials as well as the knits to stabilize them.

You can also applique special items on the surface, perhaps Johnny's first mitten, or his ribbon for a special event. This is your quilt; you are the one to decide what will go on the top to make it special.

When it comes time to put the back and quilt batting on, you will need to be careful not to stretch your quilt top. Since you have many different types of material in your quilt top, you could unintentionally stretch it. Pin the edges and the center securely before trying to move it.

When quilting the top to the back you will need to use the quilting method called tie quilting, which means that you will need to use a synthetic batting rather than a cotton one. Make your ties about 3 inches apart. If you want to create more memories try using old hair ribbons, or lace from a dress to tie things together.

Don't forget that your quilted pieces don't have to be bedspread size, you could also make beautiful pillows, or place mats to show off your memories. Perhaps if you made some individual place mats when you had enough you could then join them all together to make a large table cover, or bedspread.

Memory quilts are wonderful for helping to recall memories, but they can also build memories of their own, as you make them. Make it a family affair and build some delightful memories as you build a memory quilt to keep other memories alive.

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