Stitching Times serves up stories, examples and tutorials about needlework related crafts, especially quilting and crochet. Almost all of the projects shown have been designed by Kay Stephenson

Monday, January 21, 2013

Memory Quilts

I've been thinking about the idea of memory quilts lately. A friend told me a story about a quilt the kids in her family used when one of them was sick and grandma watched them. There were stories about all the different pieces of fabric in the quilt. I imagined stories about a dress made to wear to a special dance, and new curtains for the kitchen of a house the family doesn't live in anymore.

As I skip around the internet and look at other memory quilts, I find many with photographs printed onto fabric. Others are made of Grandma’s dresses, Dad’s ties, or hubby’s old band t-shirt collection. In one example a Mom took all of the baby clothes, blankets, etc. that were too precious (or stained) to pass on. She cut four inch squares out of these and stitched them together to make the sweetest memory quilt of her first child’s first year. What a treasure.

For my memory quilt I decided to sort my scraps into nine colors (black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) and to further sort them into dark, bright, and light (just like Mom taught me to sort laundry). That makes for one bright quilt top. I’m about half way through the brights.

Sadly, I’m taking an enforced hiatus from this project since the tendon in my shoulder is acting up and aggravated by hand stitching, but I hope to get back to it in a couple of months. It has little bits and pieces of almost all of the sewing and quilting projects I've attempted in the past ten years. That’s how long it has been since I picked up needle and thread again after a decades long break.

Since then I've made table linens and bags for family and friends as well as quilts for all their babies. The quilts for the little ones have been used from the nursery to the floor as play mats, and I have tried to make them big and sturdy enough to fit as the coverlet on a toddler bed to get a few more years use. I like to imagine that one day these same children will visit Aunt Kay and seeing my quilt with over 2,000 tiny hexagrams exclaim, “I have a quilt with that material!” Then I can tell some stories. 

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