Memory Quilt

Memory Quilt

I was so honored to be asked to create this memory quilt of a former colleague’s friend who lost her Grandpa.

She sent the box of Grandpa’s shirts for me to use and I could’ve sworn I was opening a box of my very own Grampa’s shirts.  The western button/snap up plaid shirts that I’m sure you’ve seen.  Bestill my beating heart.

Make a Memory Quilt Memory Quilt

I looked and looked at them making sure I got the perfect inspiration so I didn’t mess this up.

What did I do?

I cut them in 12.5″ squares.

BUT, the BEST part about some of those squares

I made sure to get the left side of the fronts of the shirts.

I wanted to have the pocket that layed over his heart all over the quilt.

IMG 6178 Memory Quilt

Memory quilts are so emotional to start with, you’re working with clothing that a loved one has WORN.  They have photos of them wearing these clothes.  They attended special parties in them.  They may have hugged you with them on.  These clothes are reminders of such wonderful memories and of the special person that donned them.

IMG 6147 Memory Quilt

I left the pockets of his shirts unstitched.  She can put special momento or a special something of his that she might have in his pockets.  The point is that they are open, there are no stitches going through his left chest pockets.

IMG 6172 Memory Quilt

The ‘main’ piece of clothing that she wanted to have the quilt centered around was her Grandpa’s cardigan.  It being a knit, I wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t be compromised.  I made sure to adhere interfacing to the 2 squares that I had cut from the back of the cardigan.

I was left with the 2 arms.

What to do with them?

I stitched the left arm to the underside of the quilt.  She can cozy her body close to the quilt and put her left arm in the very cardigan worn by her Grandpa.  She can feel close to him while snuggled in tight feeling his warmth.

IMG 6180 Memory Quilt

IMG 6149 Memory Quilt

I hand stitched the cardigan on to the underside of the quilt leaving the entry of the arm open to be able to put her arm in.

IMG 6150 Memory Quilt

IMG 6155 Memory Quilt

The tears are welling up …

Here is the front of the Memory Quilt

IMG 6169 Memory Quilt

I stitched the snap/button openings closed in order to use the front of the shirts.

IMG 6175 Memory Quilt

I included parts of the shirts that I thought were appealing.  Such as this orange tag that was on the side of one of his shirts.  Or the ‘flying bird’ logo on the pocket pictured above or the ‘T’ on the white and black plaid shirt above.  It’s those little touches that I love and I’m sure I’m not alone.

IMG 6173 Memory Quilt

Thank you, Josi, for entrusting me with your Grandpa’s shirts.  Thanks for allowing me to put it together for you.  And thank you to your Grandpa for having the same style as my Grampa and allowing me to think of him while I made your Memory Quilt.  Grandpa’s love is the best!

IMG 6170 Memory Quilt

xo Tara


  1. Amazing! What a thoughtful and amazing job you did. Well done? You are an incredible person! Xo

  2. It’s precious! I’ve been thinking about making one with all of my kids first “whatever” holiday outfits, but I’m not a quilter. Do you do this for other people, if you do, could you email me?

  3. Lace Faerie says:

    found this on Pinterest. Brought tears to my eyes! Wonderful, inspired addition to the back!

  4. Love your quilt what sweet memories you have created. I made one out of my dad shirts but I really like your idea also!
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  5. This is exactly what I want to do with all of my Dad’s old flannel shirts and give to my Mom so she can have something to juggle with. Do you only do quilts for people that you know?

  6. i am getting ready to make one with my mothers favorite blouses, dresses, houses dresses and cobblers aprons and my fathers shirts. I am getting ideas as how to lay the pieces, batting, backing, and where and how to start

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