Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on July 14th, 2014

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10 Things to Use in a Memory Quilt

Memorial Quilts

Memorial quiltWhat do you do with all the clothes someone leaves behind when they pass away? This is always a big question you face when you lose someone you love.

Many people say, they are just clothes, donate them! Yeah, BUT…. 

That “Yeah but” is important. You are unable to just box all the clothing up and take them to Goodwill because clothing triggers memories of your loved ones.

At first, it’s the smell. Don’t feel silly if you have gone into your closet to smell your loved one – smell is so powerful. And if you have curled up on the floor surrounded by their clothing and had a good cry – you are okay and normal. Smell triggers memory more than any other of our senses.

Memorial quilt

As time passes, the smells begin to fade. It’s then the sight of the clothing that brings back memories. You remember all the times you saw your loved one in that ratty old bathrobe or the time he spilled motor oil on that pair of jeans.

There becomes a time when it is time to let go of your deceased love ones wardrobe. When? It depends on you and your circumstances.

What if you could get rid of the clothes and keep them too? That is the beauty of a memorial-clothing quilt. All the clothes will be out of the closet, but a piece of each will be saved in a quilt. A quilt that you can then snuggle up with whenever you want. This is one time that you can have your cake and eat it too! 


shirt and hat in photo.jpeg

Here are some items to consider putting in a memorial quilt:

  1. T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Jerseys, Tank Tops
  2. Dress Shirts, Work Shirts, Polo Shirts
  3. Blankets, Quilts
  4. Sweatpants, running shorts
  5. Blue Jeans  
  6. Slacks
  7. Logos from Baseball Caps
  8. Bathrobes
  9. Coats, Gloves, Hats
  10. Neckties

Things to consider leaving out of a memorial quilt:

  1. necktie quiltUnderwear
  2. Bras
  3. Socks and hosiery
  4. Anything with a bad memory associated with it.
  5. Jewelry
  6. Shoes – with perhaps the exception of soft-soled baby shoes.
  7. Things that are not soft and that would not be fun to curl up with.
  8. Something that if it were you who died, that you would not want in a quilt.

More About: Planning a Memorial Quilt


You can mix and match any fabrics in a memorial quilt. The one important thing to remember is that when you mix and match fabrics, you have to follow the cleaning directions of the most delicate fabric. So if all the items in your quilt are machine wash, tumble dry, that is how you would care for the quilt. But if one item were machine wash, line dry, then you would have to care for the quilt in that manner.

This is most important when you mix dry-clean only items with regular wash and dry clothing. If there is one clothing item that is dry-clean only, then your quilt needs to be dry-clean only. You will remember to dry-clean your quilt, but will someone in two or three generations remember to dry-clean the quilt? The memorial quilt you have made should last generations. So think ahead to the long-term use of this memorial quilt.

More often than not, we make more than one quilt out of a deceased person’s clothing. Clothing lends itself well to being split to multiple quilts because we can cut multiple blocks out of any one item. As you are contemplating having a memorial quilt made, you might consider who else would benefit from having a quilt or pillow made from your deceased loved ones clothing.

To learn more about the different types, styles and qualities of T-shirts, download our T-shirt Quilt Buyer’s Guide. 
It’s a great place to begin your journey to finding a quilt maker.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide


Back to: Memorial & Memory Quilts

About Andrea Funk

Andrea Funk is the inventor of T-shirt quilts made with multiple blocks sizes. The modern method of making T-shirt quilts. In 1992 she founded Too Cool T-shirt Quilts. Her life has been immersed in T-shirt quilts ever since. 


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