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Memory Quilt

Memory Quilt

Memory Quilt

Well, I finally have made some progress on my latest commissioned Memory Quilt!

I decided to attack this project with simplicity. I think most people that want a quilt made are thinking of a handmade patchwork feel and not a quilt masterpiece….especially if they don’t give you any direction at all in regard to the design…..or at least that’s what I am hoping:) It took me quite a while to decide on this and finally just started cutting! I feel like I have been just holding on to this bag of clothes for months….I don’t know about you guys, but this whole timeline thing is probably the one thing I actually do not love about making quilts for others. I always feel like I keep them waiting SO long! Oh well….that is my process I guess:) I have to really think about it and wait until it speaks to me.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Memory Quilt

In my previous post I talked to you guys about how I just spent some time looking over the clothes, analyzing the fabric and how much useable material I had to work with. These clothes really struck me as so personal and I could feel all the love inside them…..I think that made them harder to cut up!

My next step was to pull a few fabrics that I thought coordinated with the general feel of all the clothes. The person who I am making it for told me her favorite was a country blue. I picked a couple different shades and added a similar style yellow for some extra pop!

Memory Quilt

I pressed all the shirts, cut out all the large flat areas, and then subcut them into 4.5″ x 8″ rectangles. I laid them out on my design wall with staggered rows so that the seams would alternate. After sewing everything together I trimmed the edges so they were square.


I hope they are going to like this quilt!

Memory Quilt

Ahhh……a little summer breeze:) Not great for picture taking, but beautiful none the less!

Now…..should I add a border??? Hmmmm…..what do you think? I have plenty of the blues and yellow left over.

Keep it Sassy

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Memory Quilts


Memory Quilts

I am working on another memory quilt for a special someone at my church. Her daughter approached me and asked if I could do this project AND keep it a secret.  She handed over a grocery bag full of clothes and to be honest I was a little nervous to peek inside. You never know what you are gonna get!


I was pleasantly surprised! Lots of cotton shirts and after inspecting a little closer I realized they were all handmade. Lots of really unique prints and well made at that(umm, look at these cute hot air balloons!). Wonder how she decided what pattern she would sew? or did she just make up her own?


The details like these handmade button holes give you a look back at the history of sewing and clothes making and a glance into this persons life.


This one has been mended a few times and buttons replaced. It made me think back to a different time when we made due what we had and actually fixed things when they were broken. Things were handmade and appreciated more because of that.  This is one reason I love quilts so much! We take pieces of ourselves and put them into our quilts and give them to others….so personal, our way of showing others that they matter! We might not admit it out loud, but we secretly want our quilts to be loved and appreciated so we too can feel like we matter.  I hope to put all of the memories of the woman who made these shirts into this quilt and show how much she mattered. You can buy a quilt for just $20-$30, but you only are given one if someone loves you!

Quilts matter:)

Keep it Sassy

You can find and follow TheSassyQuilter  on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, Instagram, Twitter or by email updates(form on right sidebar)!

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How to make Memory Quilts…

 Memory Quilt

So excited to to say I am finished with my Memory Quilt!

This one was different for me because I was hired to make it, usually I make them and if someone wants to buy…that’s up to them. This project was a bit of a bear at times, but I love the way it came together. Making a quilt out of baby clothes can be tricky, so many different fabrics to work with and pretty thick compared to our usual quilting cottons.

Here is my basic process on this quilt:

1. Consult with your client and get an idea of what exactly they want. I printed out photos from the internet of other memory quilts to get an idea of what she liked and asked her to pick out what appealed to her the most, and what things she did not like. If they are not familiar with the quilting process you may have to guide them towards using what will be best in a quilt. Do they want just squares of fabric or do they want to keep the front of the shirt intact to preserve it as whole? Do they want you to try to remove or work around imperfections(stains) or keep those in there due to the memory attached. How big of a quilt do they want? Crib size, throw? How will this quilt be used, keepsake or lots of wear and tear?

2. Decide on a time frame and general cost range. What is the maximum time frame they are happy with. Give yourself plenty of time here! All kinds of things pop up and this is probably not the only quilt you will be working on. For pricing I gave an amount for the construction and a receipt to be added for supplies.

3. Now for design time! During consultation I had mom pick out all the important clothes and we laid them out on the table how they appealed to her. I took several photos with my phone and drew up a chart too, noting what each article of clothing was and what they meant to her(first Christmas, first outfit,etc…) This really helped when trying to organize my thoughts later. Mom also gave me a large bag of filler clothes too be used as needed.  When trying to come up with my design and construction plan, I had to measure all of the shirts and pants and come up with the largest block possible that would work for all of the outfits(8.5″)….this was time consuming! Remember to be mindful of necklines, zippers and snaps! Mom wanted to preserve the outfits as a whole, but was okay with a few blocks being pieced. This may have been a little overboard, but I cropped and printed out small pics and arranged them like tiles. For the pieced blocks, I cut and pasted the printed pictures to created the blocks. I didn’t feel chopping up someones memories until I felt like she was happy with the design. If you are a computer wiz, you can probably do this on Photoshop. After presenting this to mom, make any changes necessary and  you are good to go.

IMG_2774This is my crazy cut and paste project:)

4. Time to prepare the clothing. When working with kids clothes you will most likely have all different types of fabric, unless you are doing a onesie only quilt. By the way, this would make your life a lot easier:) No matter what you chose you will need to stabilize your fabrics. This will require an interfacing that is fusible. I used a Pellon, midwieght fusible interfacing.


The “weight” of the interfacing will determine the stiffness of your finished block. A lightweight may be a good choice for lighter weight fabrics that you want to retain a softness, but my fabrics included everything from swimsuits to sweaters to denim.  Open up your clothing on the sides or the back if not using that part and follow the instructions for fusing it to the interfacing. If keeping a neckline in the block, you will need to do some piecing before you fuse to the interfacing. Once that is done center your designs and cut your blocks. Use a fresh blade here and your wrists will thank you.


These are my prepared blocks, the interfacing is keeping them nice and firm for piecing.

5. Piece your quilt top. I used a fresh needle here too! I used a generic quilting needle, 80/12, figuring it would suit most fabrics the best.  Go slow and use pins if needed. The interfacing really kept me on a level playing field here and it went together smoothly. I pressed my seams open to lessen the bulk.


I wanted to keep this cute sleeve on the sweater, so I just stitched it down.


I used the back of another shirt as a backing to keep this neckline.


This shirt had the cutest little cuffs on the sleeves, so I just added them to the corners of the block.

6. Sandwich your quilt. I used a thinner polyester batting due to the already heavy weight of this quilt top.

7. Get to quilting. Your quilting design is also something you need to discuss during your consult. Thread color? Density? or Tie Quilt? I recommend a stitch in the  ditch approach for a multi-fabric quilt, but an all over stipple would work well for one made with onesies. Using a tying method to hold these quilts together is another great option. Here is a great tutorial by Connecting Threads here.

8. Finish the edges. You can bind the quilt using your normal binding methods or you may opt to do a pillow case style finishing method. I chose the later for this one. First I layered my batting, quilt top-face up, backing-face down; then I stitched around the perimeter of my quilt leaving a open area on one side. Next, turn the quilt inside out and stitch the opening closed. I quilted close to the finished edge to give it the appearance of binding.



Memory quilts can be a bit different from what we are used to working with, but with the right tools and knowing what you are getting in to, you can do it!

Happy Quilting!

Keep it Sassy

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Memories and a Chevron…


So I have finally finished up all the blocks for a Memory Quilt I am working on(another persons memories, not mine). These blocks have definitely been a trial for me. Lots of different fabrics…fleece, denim, cotton, lycra! And with necklines and legs some needs some serious piecing to get into block formation. I had to teach those baby clothes a lesson, haha. They do look pretty cute though:) I hope the mom is going to be happy with them.


These little cherries are just too cute!


Tricky little arm…


My next project is a Chevron quilt! This one has been on my to do list forever. I am using a tutorial by Kelly@MyQuiltInfatuation. Thanks Kelly for doing all the calculating for me:) I am sticking to my “use my stash” promise and have cracked into a big ol’ bundle of Fandango that I just had to have and now am not even sure I like any more…I waited a too long, tragic! I am using it anyway. I’m sure the love will return, it is fabric and I do love the teal/orange combo.  So far I have all my squares cut out and will get to making the HST’s tonight.

On a super exciting note…a local quilt shop(Sew Refreshing) is having Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Co. come and speak/demo! I have got my ticket and can’t wait to meet her. Will share pics for sure:)

Keep it Sassy


stitch by stitch   Better Off Thread  Fresh Poppy Design

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Prism Progress

I don’t know about you, but I had high hopes for this holiday weekend! All that extra sewing time, right? I planned to quilt my Star Surround quilt, finish my Prism quilt blocks, and finish making the blocks on a commissioned Memory Quilt I have started that is made out of baby clothes. Totally do-able….Okay, maybe I over shot it a little:) Well, here is what I got done.

Prism progress in the Prism Along with Amy@13Spools


Believe it or not this is 99 blocks!

I have spent the entire holiday weekend working on these blocks! They are not complicated blocks and are paper pieced. I did some chain piecing to speed things up, but they seemed to keep regenerating in my pile! Do any of your projects ever do that?  Especially when it comes to trimming and pressing each step…Anywho, finally done:) Now all that is left is to rip off all the paper. While I know that will take a bit, I can easily do it while watching T.V. or maybe even on my lunch break.

Bonus, an entire gallon ziplock bag of some fun, usable(i think) scraps!


Star Surround QAL with Melissa@HappyQuilting…nada!


I did manage to get a good bit of the blocks done for the Memory Quilt made out of baby clothes. These I have to attach them to fusible interfacing and there are some embellishments and backings to the necklines that are added. A little time consuming since you only get one shot with theses and all the fabrics are different. They sure are cute aren’t they?


Well, not too bad I think. Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

Keep it Sassy


Better Off Thread  Fresh Poppy Design

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