I have had the honor of making a number of very special quilts over the past few months and wanted to share some more of those stories with you! You can see more of my custom quilts in this post and find out how to order your own here.
In Loving Memory Quilt Set
“I am so glad that I commissioned Janice to make this memory quilt for me from pieces of my late mother’s clothing. Words cannot express how grateful I am to Janice for the exquisite work she did. The quilt is not only beautifully made, but it also captures my mother’s spirit and allows me to go on feeling her hugs.”
- Shannon A.
First is a set of two quilts that I made for my friend whose mother passed away recently. When I was first starting my business this friend reached out to ask if I knew anyone who could make a quilt out of her mother’s clothing and I told her that I was starting a business to do just that. Life has a funny way of bringing things and people together at the right time doesn't it?
We consulted on a number of different potential designs and ultimately she asked for squares that were large enough that she could easily identify the fabrics and a layout that had some diagonal movement. The resulting quilt is made from approximately 50 pieces of clothing, including blouses, t-shirts, dresses, slacks, and pajamas.
The first quilt was a multipurpose sized, so that my friend could cuddle up under it on the couch. As some of the fabrics were more fragile, like the blouses, we added a blue cotton border that would help stabilize the stretchy pieces and ensure the quilt will last.
My friend was so pleased with the first quilt that she asked me to make a second king sized quilt out of some of the remaining clothing items. For this piece, she and her husband looked through the first quilt and picked their favorite fabrics and combinations of colors and provided me with a smaller number of clothing items and a tighter color theme to work with. They also requested a red border and we were able to find a cotton that matched the red in one of the shirts perfectly. We used the same blue fabric from the border of the first quilt on the back of this one to help tie them together as well. You can see the backing fabric where it wraps around to the front as the binding.
This second quilt was finished just before my friend moved away for a new job opportunity and she said it was like getting a house warming gift from her mother.
New Life for a Well-Loved Quilt
“I asked Janice to re-quilt a beloved blanket of my son's. She did an absolutely wonderful job on it and both my son and I are so happy with it. It looks better than it ever has!”
- Jennifer W.
This next quilt has a really fun story. It’s made from two sheets and was originally tie quilted for the customer’s son by his great-grandmother. Over the years he had used it and loved it and it had been washed many times, causing the ties to pull out and the batting to pull apart. The customer asked if I would be able to give it fresh batting and machine quilt it and since the fabric itself was still in good condition I was able to do just that.
The fabric had such a fun design on it and I really enjoyed quilting it.
The original had been bound by rolling the backing over to the front and over the years the fold line had become threadbare. So we opted to put fresh binding on it as well. The customer selected a bright coral that matched the colors of the rocket ships and which give the quilt a fun bright pop around the edges.
The quilt also now has a label that tells its story and, most importantly, it’s out of storage and back in use, covering the son’s bed at college!
Grade School Memories
“Thank you to Janice at Tangible Culture for making me this beautiful t-shirt quilt from my many HS and JR high school shirts! She is truly amazing and does expert work, the detailing is impeccable. Check her out for all of your memory quilt needs!”
- Michelle M.
This t-shirt quilt is made from the customer’s grade school shirts. She had a number of bins of t-shirts from various activities and stages of her life and was looking to clear out those bins and get those memories on display! We started the process with a nice chat about the shirts to help her think through which ones she wanted in which quilt. This is something I do with every custom quilt, talk through it with you to make sure that I know exactly what you are looking for and to help you think through any questions or concerns you might have.
Creating the layout of this quilt was a fun challenge as I worked to ensure that her athletic numbers and volleyball jerseys were evenly distributed around the quilt.
Each quilt also offers great opportunities to add unique design elements and quilting details. Here are close ups of some my favorite blocks in this piece:
I love including pockets in quilts. I get the same thrill putting a pocket in a quilt as I do when I buy a nice dress with pockets! I always make sure to quilt around them so that they are usable. It’s a good place to keep the remote handy when you are snuggled under the quilt watching TV!
This shirt had a misprint on it and was missing the letter "O" in the name of the character from the play Meet Me in St. Louis, so I added the missing letter back with the quilting.
There are always unique designs to trace in t-shirt quilts. For example, in this quilt I outlined Tigger and a Mardi Gras mask and you can easily see them on the back of the quilt as well as on the front.
Mom's Nautical Quilt
The last quilt in this post is a gift that I made my Mom for her birthday. My mom’s sister (my aunt) lost her battle with cancer a year ago and my Mom and I were there to support my aunt’s family during her last few days. My aunt had wanted to make a t-shirt quilt for my cousin and she and I had started it before she passed away. I needed batting for that quilt and my aunt and uncle live close to a great quilt store. So my Mom, my cousin, and I took a quick trip to the quilt store to pick up batting. We also took a few minutes to browse the fabrics in the shop and we came across a sample quilt made from the Dear Stella “Pier Pressure” line. On my Mom’s side of the family my great grandfather was a ship builder in Nova Scotia, Canada so sea related things always hold a lot of meaning for us. Mom loved the quilt and we bought the fabric to make it that day, less than 24 hours before my aunt passed.
I latter added a couple other fabrics to our collection in order to get the balance of lights and darks that we needed for the design. Then I put it together for my Mom’s birthday. It’s quilted with some anchors connected by a meandering design and bound with the binding fabric left over from my cousin’s t-shirt quilt. Even though this quilt isn't made from my aunt's clothing it will always remind us of her.
There are so many different ways to make memory quilts and I’m always honored to get to play a small role in helping preserve your stories. If you would like to chat with me about having a memory quilt made for you or a loved one please reach out either through my inquiry form or via email. Details on pricing and the ordering process can be found here.
Photo Credits: All photos by author, except where noted.