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

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.

How to make a 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.

How to make a 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.

Make a 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.

How to make a Memory Quilt

How to make a 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.

How to make a Memory Quilt

How to make a Memory Quilt

The tears are welling up …

Here is the front of the Memory Quilt

How to make a Memory Quilt

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

How to make a 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.

How to make a 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!

How to make a 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!

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