After losing a loved one, dealing with their belongings can be both a heartbreaking and a healing time. While it might be hard to part with the clothes, it needs to be done to give yourself a chance to heal. Memorial quilts made from the deceased person’s clothing are a creative way to both get rid of and hold on to their belongings.
What Are Memorial Quilts?
I’m sure you gave the nicest garments of your loved one to friends and family, and that’s a good thing.
But what about the rest of their clothing?
You can piece together older clothes and make a quilt to keep them close to you.
It will help de-clutter your life and lighten your grief a little bit if you eventually clean out your loved one’s closet, and dispose of their clothes, shoes, ties or purses, and other personal items.
No, we are not telling you to get rid of family photos, special comfort items, treasures, and keepsakes from your lost one. Just one day, when you feel ready, you will have to do some spring cleaning. And we know exactly what you should do with some of the fabrics… make a memorial quilt! (Or have one made for you).
What should you include in a memorial quilt?
Anything that has a nice memory attached to it and it’s soft and comfortable to cuddle in. Here are some examples:
- worn-out jeans
- flannel shirts
What are things that are not appropriate for a memorial quilt?
There are some items that should not become part of a mourning quilt. Things like:
- anything that needs to be dry cleaned
- items that wouldn’t be comfortable to wrap in (shoes, wallets, etc.)
Making a Memory Quilt Can Help You Heal
One family who lost their 16-year-old son Bobby to sudden cardiac death, used quilt making as a ritual for working through their grief.
Five quilts were made, one for each member of the family: each of Bobby’s younger siblings, and each parent.
One of Bobby’s shirt pockets was sewn onto each quilt, and the oldest child remarked that the pocket looked as if it was actually on Bobby’s chest.
As part of their griefwork, each night the children wrote a private note to Bobby and tuck it into his pocket. In this way, the kids shared their day with their lost brother.
The grieving parents also use the quilts in their own way. Bobby’s mother wraps herself in her quilt to be close to her son, and his father hung his quilt at work in his office.
If you can’t make the quilt yourself
While the gathering of women (and men!) for quilt making can provide much-needed emotional and social support in your time of bereavement, we realize that some people are just not cut out for a project like this. So below are several ways you can go with your memorial quilt project.
If you lost your baby, consider making a soft cuddly quilt from his or her baby clothes.
For adults, soft comforting memorial quilts can be made from any clothing large enough to cut squares from.
10-Minute Blocks: 3-Seam Squares For Quicker Quilts10-minute blocks
We heard about a new, super-easy way to make quilts we wanted to tell you about it. Instead of wrestling with a quilting frame or holding a hot heavy quilt in your lap for hours, you can make one square at a time… in 10 minutes!
Like speed cutting, the ”10-minute” technique is revolutionizing patchwork. Anyone can sew large blocks in just 10 minutes. Sewers who previously avoided quilting because it just takes too much time are getting involved. Fast and fabulous… with flair! That’s what you get when you turn large blocks into speedy quilts using this handy ”10-minute” technique. You can really make a 19″ block in less than 10 minutes.
Timeless thread design
We know of a group of craftsmen and women in the mountains of Oregon who produce gorgeous custom memorial quilts from your loved ones’ clothing… Timeless Thread Design.
There are several quilt making companies out there, so what’s different about Timeless Thread Design? They do their work slowly, carefully… making heirloom custom memory quilts… one at a time. Send them any of the following items, and they create a unique quilt for you with its own character and feel:
- Old work shirts with name tags, patches, or badges
- Shirts or jackets with pockets that you remember getting candy out of as a child
- Dad’s favorite old ties, suspenders, or even hats
- Grandma’s aprons or gloves
- Wedding or Honeymoon items
- Old handkerchiefs, doilies, even beaded or cloth purses
- Unfinished quilt tops or blocks someone was making
- Items with buttons or any other types of embellishments
- Old baby clothes
One customer said that being wrapped in their quilt was like being held in the arms of their lost loved one. This can help ease your pain and provide needed comfort and support. For a custom, one-of-a-kind heirloom-quality quilt, contact Geneva Ruth at the website above for a quote today.
Hugs from heaven
Hugs From Heaven is another group of memorial quiltmakers who craft beautiful heirloom quilts from your loved one’s old clothing. Read their story and order your own keepsake here if you wish.
Sherri Lynn Wood is a craftsman and theologian who believes that making a “Passage Quilt” is a helpful hands-on experience that mirrors and reflects the interior process of bereavement and transition. She gives workshops in California and North Carolina on memorial quilt-making.