How Do I Make A Memory Quilt

How do I make a memory quilt? Making a quilt filled with family memories isn't a hard thing to do! Here are some ideas of making a very special heirloom.

Many of us associate quilt-making with the "old fashioned" way of life. Our grandmothers and those before them might have spent many hours quilting. Often for them, it was one little stitch after another, and countless hours spent hand-quilting.

It is a lovely thought that much love went into each of those tiny stitches, but how many of us can put that amount of dedication into a project? We can carry on the tradition with making quilts that won't take so much time out of today's very hectic lifestyles.

So how do we start? First of all, if you want to make a memory quilt, the ideas and possibilities are numerous. The easiest way is to cut your squares from old clothing and ask family members to do the same, but that might not be the best idea. Clothes are often recycled now, and resold at yard sales, so cutting them up doesn't seem very practical. Besides, who wants to cut up the baby's christening gown just to make a quilt square?

There are many alternatives. One of the most fun will involve some embroidery work. Buy enough light colored material and cut into squares the size of your choosing. Start building your memories on them by embroidering names, dates, special happenings, etc. Another great idea for this concept is to have the children draw a pencil drawing onto the material. Embroider in what they've drawn, date it, and you have a treasured quilt square.

Fabric paints might work for some of the squares so that you won't have to embroider more than is necessary. If you ask family members for quilt squares, find a way to put their name onto the square. If you find good fabric paint that you're certain will stand the test of time and use, a child's poetry might be copied onto one of the squares.

Do you want one of your squares to represent a marriage? Draw (or have a child draw) a church or double rings on one of those light-colored squares, and embroider the picture, the names and date. The same holds true for births, first days of school, college, grandchildren. You can find a way to represent every important day in a family's history.

One of the most special squares to many people is to trace a child's hand print onto a square and then embroider and date it. A hair ribbon from a special occasion can be sewn into one of the squares. A baby bootie no longer used is another option. When making a memory quilt, you are only limited by your imagination. The most important thing to remember is not to use anything or create a square that won't stand up to the test of time.

When you have enough squares, put the quilt top together. Sewing machine work will be just fine for your memory quilt. Decide what you want to use for the middle layer (an old blanket works very well) and then whatever material you want for the backing.

When all the layers are prepared to be put together, quilt it by sewing machine in the pattern you want, and decide on the edging you want to use. It's that simple, and you will have a lifetime of memories at your fingertips and a family heirloom has been created.

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