Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Memory Pillows and Quilts

Over the last 6 months, we've emptied my parents home and then sold it.  Contents were divided amongst family members or donated.  I offered to make Mom a pillow using one of Dad's shirts - Dad passed away in 2019.

Cutting into the shirt was (emotionally) harder than I expected and it took me several months to actually tackle the task.  Actual pillow assembly didn't take much time at all.  I wanted to include the button packet (stitched closed) and the shirt pocket.  The pillow has an envelope fold on the back.

I've now got scraps from this first shirt and several other shirts and plan to tackle a memory quilt.  

Have you ever made one?  

I will end up mixing shirt fabric and quilting cotton.  I've got  scraps left over from a quilt I made for Dad (see it here) which I intend to use.  Beyond that, I don't have a plan and I've not yet calculated the amount of fabric each shirt will yield.

I'll share more when I do.  For now, I need to mail Mom her pillow!

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. I have made memory quilts and in fact I have piles of Dad's clothes that I need to make several more for family members. So far I got one done for my sister and plan on making one for several of my brothers and maybe for the grandkids. Dad died in 2015. I have a pile of jeans and Dockers, a pile of polo shirts, and some dress shirts. I am planning on taking a cue from and do something simple although the way she arranged the colors made the quilts so beautiful. Your pillow turned out so nice! I like to incorporate the details like pockets, etc too.

  2. This pillow made with your Dad's shirt is brilliant! I wish I'd thought of this when my Dad died. My mother would have cherished it. Well done, you.

  3. This memory pillow is great and I’m sure your mum will absolutely love it always

  4. It is hard to cut into clothing - I've made some memory quilts, and it always takes me a while to gather up the courage to do the cutting!

  5. I have not made a memory quilt but I love the idea. My parents passed away before I got into quilting craze. Love the pillow you made for your mom. She'll love it. Hugs to you.

  6. I'm in the process of making quilts for our grandkids from my late husband's t-shirts. Trying to use a different pattern for each one, but considering that there will be at least 8 made, I have a feeling that there may be two quilts from some of the patterns. I've included back pockets from his jeans with part of a kerchief draped over the pocket. And I have patches from different places ( like Grand Canyon) that I will be stitching down on one of the quilts. I'm also taking some of his kerchiefs and stenciling a train locomotive onto them and then trimming them to block size. Having so much fun. :)

  7. First, I'm sorry for you to have lost your dad, and grateful for you to have your mother. I lost my mother 19 years ago, and still have my almost-91 year-old dad. I can imagine how painful it was to sew with his shirt. Second, I've never made anything from old clothing, though I've saved a few special pieces. I actually wore my mother's clothes (she sewed everything she wore) for several years. I am sure you'll find the appropriate way to highlight the rest of your dad's clothes, along with those fabrics from his quilt. It will certainly be a very special piece.

  8. It turned out great. I like the buttons and pocket. A great memory for your mother.

  9. I love that you kept the pocket as part of the pillow. What a wonderful way to keep a part of your dad around for your mom.


Thanks for visiting Elm Street Quilts. Looking forward to hearing from you!