Memorial Quilting

Memorial quilting is a beautiful way of storing relevant events and thoughts in a person’s life or even or a group. They can be more important than a scrapbook since not only do you have the relics incorporated into the quilting, but you also can have memories encompassing the quilt itself. My mother made me a quilt when I was young, and it is very special to me now because it reminds me of when I used to snuggle into it on cool nights at our summer cottage on Pender Island. It reminds me of all the fun we had at our island cottage every summer. It reminds me of when I was a kid.

There are various ways to create a memorial quilt. You can cut up T-shirts and incorporate their designs into your quilt. My daughter, for example, has several T-shirts she received from different school events that are much too big for her but remind her of the fun she had on those field trips, competitions, etc. This kind of thing would be great to incorporate into a quilt. You can also use your imagination to include ribbons won in a competition, sequins or beads, a child’s drawings, photos of the someone or something relevant to the person, or also a handmade flower. You can include applique or hand embroidery. The possibilities are limitless.

Transferring photos to the fabric make the quilts especially meaningful. You would need a scanner or digital camera to upload your photos to your computer as well as a printer that is optimized for printing photos. You can buy inkjet printer fabric sheets if you are making a small or perhaps a one-time project, or there are ways you can make your own which is more cost-effective but will require more time and energy. It would be a great idea to use a program like “Paint Shop Pro” to make the colors more vivid, so they will show up better when you print them. It would also be a good idea to test your edited and resized photos on regular paper to make sure they will be printed just the way you want them to look. Then you can just put your inkjet printer fabric sheets into your printer. The photos you get on the fabric are soft, clear, and easy to stitch.

There is another method that many quilters like to use. The technique of color copy heat transfer produces photos on fabric that are colorfast and washable. You can get the special paper required for this at some print shops, quilt shops, or by mail order. Ensure you understand the directions on the paper. Place your transfer paper in a full-color laser copy machine. You require making sure that you have the photos printed backward so that when they are transferred to the fabric, they will come out the right way round. You may wish to crop your pictures or even overlap photos to hide irrelevant details to have more images into one piece of a paper. You can also enlarge or lessen the image with your copy machine so that the result is just the right size for your quilt project.

You should iron a test patch first to make sure your results will be good. After you have pressed the fabric, you need to be careful when you pull the paper off so that your image doesn’t get distorted.

Where your iron is not hot enough to transfer the image to your fabric successfully, a local T-shirt shop may let you use their heat press for a small fee. Another option is using those mail order companies that will transfer your photos to their cotton fabric.

A memorial quilting is a work of art. It is a significant gift, whether it is a gift to a child to remember his sports successes or acting in the school play, to a parent who has lost their child, to a couple to celebrate a wedding anniversary, or even to a charitable organization to remember the people they have served. A good idea when making a quilt to celebrate someone living is to leave patches where significant people can sign their names or make special comments. That makes it even more special.

Many thanks to James Karpac Orthodontics for sponsoring today’s post!