Make a Memory Quilt for Free from Your Old Clothes!
June 26, 2012 by Heather
I made a goal in the wintertime to make a quilt for our family that we could use for picnics and other outings- something that I would feel fine about throwing on the ground and getting dirty So throughout the winter, I collected clothes that my youngest had grown out of or that had gotten a little worn out or stained. I am saving my favorite outfits for a “baby clothes quilt” (Have you seen those? They’re adorable!), but for this project, I wanted the old/stained/worn out clothes (the ones the thrift stores don’t even want)
When I finally felt I had enough clothes (including a pair of plaid PJ bottoms of mine that shrunk and an old crib sheet), I got to work cutting out 6×6″ squares of fabric. Eventually, I had enough squares to make a quilt that was 12 by 12 squares.
Below you can see a picture of the squares laid out on the floor, and I’ve added a few photos showing my oldest wearing the shirts that some of the squares are made from (my youngest also wore them, so they’ve been through a lot).
Once I figured out how I wanted to organize my squares, I sewed the squares into rows and then sewed the rows together until I had the front of the quilt done.
Then I called my mom before making a trip to the fabric store for the back piece and filling and was so happy to find a way to do that for free, too!
She had this old white blanket that I could use for the filling:
And a pink fitted sheet that we cut the elastic off of to use for the back of the quilt:
I sewed the three layers of the quilt together so that they would be inside out (but left a bit un-sewed so that I could flip it right side out). After flipping it, I hand stitched the hole closed. Then top stitched around the outside of the quilt:
The next step was to “stitch in the ditch” by machine. First I pinned all of the squares because I wanted to make sure I didn’t end up with any bunched up bits of fabric in the middle of the quilt.
My 3 year old was an excellent helper for this stage- passing me safety pins
I was so happy when I got it finished! And what a bonus that it cost me nothing but time and the cost of thread! It is NOT a perfect quilt- you could find a bunch of mistakes in it. You can already see grass stains on it, and I think that’s PERFECT for what I want to use it for! I love that I don’t have to worry about it if it gets dirty, and that I know I can throw it in the wash as often as needed. I also love that it’s full of memories because I can just see my little girls in the clothes that the fabric came from!
I can’t wait to get some use out of it this summer!