Posted by Cathy Cooper

Memory Quilt

 

All quilts are beautiful, artistic masterpieces that add a unique warmth to your life, but memory quilts are some of the most personal, cherishable quilts you can make. By stitching together personal memories in the form of event t-shirts and sports jerseys, you can create an incredibly nostalgic and heartfelt piece. Memory quilts make excellent gifts at many stages of life, and they are a great way to upcycled old pieces. 


Too many people hold back from creating a memory quilt because they don’t think they can do it. That couldn’t be further from the truth! With just a sewing machine, patience, and direction following, you can create a stunning memory quilt for yourself or your loved one. 


Sewing Supplies for Making a Memory Quilt 


  • Memory fabric (the old t-shirts, jerseys, sweatshirts, and more)
  • A basic sewing machine
  • A thread that matches the lightest fabric in your quilt 
  • Low-loft batting 
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Rotary cutter
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Straight pins 

Collect Your Memory Fabric 

The first step to making your memory quilt is to gather up the memories. Some memory quilts will have a cohesive theme and colour pattern, like a college quilt that uses mostly university paraphernalia. On the other hand, some memory quilts may draw on a lifetime of memories starting at birth. 


The easiest fabric to use is 100% cotton, but you can use all sorts of materials. While jersey material is a little tricky, it can be worked with. Just start by gathering up all potential memory pieces, and then you can always eliminate options from there. 

Fabric Preparation 

Of course, you must prepare the fabric for quilting. Typically, this step isn’t the most fun, but it is essential and not too complicated. Just prepare yourself for a whole lot of ironing. Here are the steps to preparing your memory fabric:

  • Wash and dry all of the memory fabric. Freshen them up, so they are clean and ready for quilting!
  • Use interfacing. For jersey t-shirts and other thinner materials, you will need to use interfacing. Steam iron it to the back of your t-shirts to give the fabric a little more sturdiness. 
  • Pay attention to your iron setting. If you are sewing with synthetic fabrics, change your iron off of the cotton setting. Synthetic materials like silk, nylon, acrylic, and polyester need much less heat than cotton. Using too high of heat can ruin the item. 

Cutting and Piecing 

The next step is cutting and piecing the fabric. This is where you cut down the items to size and figure out how you want them to fit together. Of course, you are making a memory quilt for, well, the memories. Cut pieces from the most relevant parts of the cloth, trying to capture the logos or images. Consider that you could use multiple pieces from the same memory fabric. 


This isn’t an auction show quilt; it’s a memory quilt. The memories are far more important than the quilt “matching”. While there are many different memory quilt patterns and ideas, a simple square quilt design works very well for beginners and is often a good option for a memory quilt. If you choose to stick with a square quilt, then you will cut your memory fabric into squares that are all the same size. 

Start Quilting 

Once all of your fabric is ready to go, you must start the quilting process for your memory quilt. As a beginner, this may seem a bit overwhelming. You don’t have to go at it alone! We’ve made this simple, yet detailed quilting guide just for you!


Our Ultimate Guide to Quilting for Beginners breaks down the entire process for you so that you can make an amazing memory quilt all on your own. This guide breaks down:

  • The tools and materials you need to quilt
  • How to size our quilt
  • Everything you need to know about quilt batting
  • And more!

Learn how to quilt so that you can put together an amazing, personal memory quilt all on your own. Make a memory by crafting your very own memory quilt today.  Download The Ultimate Guide to Quilting for Beginners today HERE.