Memory Quilts - A Great Way to Upcycle!

During lockdown we had a wardrobe clear out which left us with two piles of clothes - one for unwanted items destined for the charity shop and one for worn out, frayed and broken articles heading for the dustbin.

In the 18th and 19th century, fabrics were precious commodities and upcycling of worn out garments was commonplace. Quilts were needed to provide warmth, and scraps of fabric provided a practical way to make a larger cloth for a bed or to keep the wind from penetrating windows and doors.

With this in mind, I decided to make a quilt from old shirts using 3" squares. I kept all the buttons and some of the labels to use as embellishments.

A dark blue shirt didn't quite fit in the the colour palette and so I used this to make hoops which I then appliqued to the quilt top.

The buttons were stitched in a circle within one of the hoops and also sewn randomly on to the quilt. The dark blue shirt was then used to bind the finished quilt.
Memory quilts can be made from t-shirts, shirts or any fabric which has 'meaning'. Many years ago quilts took a long time to make as they were hand sewn. This machine - pieced version was fairly quick to make thanks to its uncluttered design.