Book Review: “Memory Quilts” by Better Homes and Gardens

Hello all! I bet you thought I’d forgotten you! I assure you that isn’t what’s happened, things have just been a bit – well I’ll say it’s been unusual and leave it at that! But you didn’t come here to read about what’s kept me from posting – you want to see what I have for you today, right? Then here we go….

Today, I’d like to share with you some quilts that were made from a great book titled “Memory Quilts – with T-shirts, Autographs, and Photos”. The book is by Better Homes and Gardens. This time of year, with graduations, new babies and weddings just around the corner, we all have great memories to preserve – and what better way to do so than with something you have designed yourself?

The first type of quilt discussed in this book is the T-shirt quilt. T-shirts can say so much about the owner of the shirt, and putting together an entire quilt of them can really be a great way to showcase their interests, accomplishments, and passions.

Also, making a quilt from those shirts that will probably never be worn again gives them a great new life! Particularly for the graduate who is moving onto a new stage in life, the shirt that was worn with pride at a high-school football game may not come out of the closet once they get to college. But a quilt made with those shirts will be displayed and used with pleasure. This book has great ideas whether your t-shirts are all the same size or you have to be creative to make the different sizes work together.

T-Shirt Quilt

Here is a T-shirt quilt made by Bev of Elkhorn, NE. What a great quilt for one of her kids to remember some high school activities. There weren’t enough T-shirts for a whole quilt, so she used some of the ideas in the book to make pieced blocks to fill in areas that might otherwise have had another T-shirt patch. The closeup view on the right will show you a bit more detail on the blocks if you click on it.

It’s rare to find T-shirts that have been made for different events and with different themes that all come in the same size. So determining a block sized based on your largest t-shirt patch can help in creating your design. Sewing the final quilt together becomes a snap – as you only have to decide how the blocks look best together.

T-Shirt2

This quilt had even more of a challenge when it came to block size – so the quilter become a bit more creative. As you can see if you click on the photo to the left, I have marked some areas where borders and fabric strips were added to the quilt to make things properly.

This style of filling in the spaces makes the quilt seem a bit more difficult, but if you lay things out ahead of time, you will find that it really isn’t too tricky. As you can see, this particular quilt has 5 bands going down the length of the quilt. Each band has it’s own width, so once you get going, it’s hard to make a mistake.

Of course, this is about memory quilting – not just T-shirt quilts. And what better way to preserve your memories than with photos? Many of us have groups of photos on our computer hard-drives, just waiting for that ‘perfect’ way to display them. But you don’t always want to make a photo album. Why not a memory quilt with photos?

What a cute quilt this grandma made featuring her granddaughter, Katrina Rose. And years from now, imagine Katrina enjoying the site of this quilt that was made just for her!

Photo Memory

Just imagine all the ideas you could do with this idea. Feature a wedding anniversary, church events, school days, etc. In the book it will teach you how to work with fabric sheets you can print photos on (you may remember that earlier I did a series of ideas on photo fabric printing).

Take a closer look at this image on the right – a digital photo, printed on fabric, and then a picture taken of that fabric – and it’s still beautifully clear! What a great way to preserve those precious memories!
Pick up this great new book! Get the family and friends involved in making memory quilts!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
Sheila
P.S. – watch for another idea from this book in a day or two.
Sheila

Photo Fabric – not just for pictures!

As I promised in Friday’s Post “Tips on Using Photo Print Fabrics“, today I want to share with you a quilt that my daughter is making as a gift for a friend of hers.

She choose to make this quilt a little differently, rather than using photos, she choose Bible verses that were meaningful to the person she is giving the quilt to.  So yes, as I said in the title, photo fabric is NOT just for pictures – we should probably call it ‘printer’ fabric, because that’s more appropriate.

This is just one of the blocks in the quilt. The only thing in this project that differed from the instructions I gave you on Friday’s post (see link above) is that the ‘image’ in this case is wording. So rather than locating a picture on her computer, she created the image using software on the computer. A text image like this could be created using a word processor or a graphic editor, whatever works best for you and you are most comfortable with.

This quilt was made using one of the Turning Twenty patterns, so here you can see a full ‘block’ from the quilt. One of the things that makes turning twenty quilts so much fun visually is that the individual blocks don’t jump right out at you.

On Friday’s post, I included pictures of the label that was being made to go with this quilt. Here is the label, first framed in a brown fabric to make it look like a photo frame, and then added to the quilt back.

space

The use of a photo as a quilt label was really a great idea – and I’m glad that she thought of it. I’ll have to try that with at least ONE of my gift projects in the future. Imagine giving a quilt as a gift and knowing that years later someone will have a picture of you that was current from the period when the quilt was made – what a wonderful gift to include!

And here is the completed quilt – you may notice that instead of 20 blocks (as their should be in a Turning Twenty quilt), this quilt was completed with 15 blocks. That is because my daughter didn’t want the quilt to be quite as wide, so she left off a row of blocks. So rather than having 5 rows of 4 blocks each, she has 5 rows of 3 blocks each.

Sorry I couldn’t get a good image of the lettering in each of the boxes, but as you can see from the closeup of the block at the top of this post, the color is a subtle one that was chosen to coordinate with the fabrics used. But each of those 15 light colored blocks does have a separate scripture verse in the block.

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
Sheila