Memory Blankets (My First Quilt)

For El & Lil's first birthdays, their Auntie Sophia gave them both handmade quilts.  These quilts were beautiful and I envisioned the hours and hours it must have taken her to make these.  I had never made a quilt before and I imagined it to be quite a task.  We took those quilts everywhere with us and each time we pulled them out I would admire the time and effort she took out of her busy schedule to make these for the girls.

Finally, after staring at these quilts for so long... and after the girls hit their next growth spurts and suddenly, there was a pile of out-grown clothes staring back at me... Inspiration struck and we were on our way!

What better way to dip my toes into quilt making than by making a memory quilt?!

Kids grow out of their clothes on such a regular interval, it's scary!  And as the pile of out-grown clothes keeps growing, what do you do with them?  Donate them? Throw them away? 

But what about those pieces that are still loved? Softened by being worn every night? Given by a family member? or have a special meaning or story behind it?  Can you really throw out the first outfit your baby came home from the hospital in?

I saw this picture of a little girl wrapped in a blanket made of her earlier, out-grown clothes and I knew this was a perfect project


I originally cut squares out of all the clothes, but afterwards, I felt I needed a bit more 'movement' - the grid pattern felt too boring for me.  Also, some of the pieces had subtle staining and there was a bit of variety in the fabric weights.  So, I chose the quarter square triangle pattern for my quilt.

Official Quilting Assistant

With my quilting assistant, Coco, I cut, pieced, and sewed all of the triangles into the following pattern.  My husband generously donated some of his old clothes for the back side.  All of the fabrics used for this quilt were previously worn... nothing new was bought for this quilt.  Even the batting was donated by Auntie Sophia!!

The Sandwich Ready to Quilt
The Back

And to make it 'Just for Lily',  I made a little foldover tag with a machine embroidered signature.

Tag Front
Tag Back

I am so happy how this quilt turned out.  I like the nautical feel of this blanket and it's unisex!  I try to steer away from girlie pinks or boyish blues because girls don't only like pinks and there's no rule that says boys can't like pinks either... 

Every single piece of fabric represents an article of clothing that my husband and I remember - the person who gave it to the girls, what the piece is pant/shirt/etc, and the fondness we feel when we think back to our little monkeys wearing it.  

Blanket No. 1 - My First Quilt

Memory quilts are a timeless gift.  Although it's nice to save outgrown pieces of clothing for future generations, it's not a certainty that the item will ever be worn again.  Why not gobble up all of those precious pieces and create something new - something that will wrap them in warmth and will comfort them with tender memories for years to come.

Lily's First Memory Quilt


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