Memorial Quilts or Pillows From the Clothing of a Passed Loved One
March 15th, 2021
By Andrea Funk
Definition: A quilt made from the clothing, T-shirts, sweatshirts and any other textile worn or used by a loved one who has passed away.
Are you looking for something meaningful to do with the clothing of a deceased loved one? Have you considered having a memorial quilt or pillow made from their clothing?
If you are planning to have a quilt or two made from your deceased loved ones clothing, here are the first steps of that planning process.
1. Decide Who May Need or Want a Quilt Or Pillow
Begin by deciding who might like a quilt or a pillow. This will be contingent on your budget and how many clothing items you have. Here is a link to the pricing page on our website. This will help you determine your budget. We have found that a typical adult wardrobe can make about 5 to 8 queen-size quilts or many smaller quilts and pillows. Make a list in order of importance of who should receive one, don't forget yourself.
Quilts or Pillows?
Next, figure out if you need quilts, pillows or a mix of quilts and pillows made. This will depend on how many people may need a memento of their deceased loved one. Here are a few examples.
- A young parent has died and left two children and a spouse. This would be a great time to have a quilt made for each – so three quilts. If the parents of the deceased are involved, they might like to have a pillow.
- A grandparent has died and has 8 grandchildren and a spouse. The spouse may like a quilt. A pillow for the grandchildren would be a wonderful way for them to remember their grandfather. So one quilt and 8 pillows.
- A child has died and has left behind parents, grandparents, siblings and friends. Depending on the age and wardrobe of the child, there might not be enough clothing to make something for everyone. We would suggest first making something for the siblings and then the parents. If there is enough to make additional pillows or small quilts, then the grandparents might be next in line. So a small quilt for each sibling, and a larger quilt for the parents. Or a large quilt for the parents and a pillow for each sibling.
- A baby has passed on. The baby clothing, blankets and bibs could be made for the mother of the child. These are the saddest quilts for us to make. But the impact of the quilt is enormous. Read more about baby clothes quilts here.
Planning a memorial quilt or pillow?
Here are step-by-step directions for ordering your Too Cool quilt or pillow.
2. Decide Which Items to Include
How Many Clothing Items Are Needed for a Quilt?
This will depend on how many you have and how many quilts you plan to have made. Typically we will take one quilt block from each item. 30 to 40 items would make an interesting quilt. If you want a small quilt, then we would use a smaller piece from each item.
Conversely, if you want a larger quilt, we would use larger blocks from each item and perhaps multiple blocks from each article of clothing. The larger the quilt you want, the more pieces of clothing you can use. So for a queen or king size quilt, you could choose 60 to 70 articles of clothing.
How Many Clothing Items Are Needed for a Pillow?
We suggest that you choose 6 coordinating clothing items for a pillow. We cut 4 to 6 blocks from each items. Remember when choosing the clothing for the pillow that you want to choose soft items that feel good to touch or lay your face on.
Dry-clean Only Items
As you work through the clothing, you need to think about the type of fabrics you choose to put in your quilts and/or pillows. If you choose an item that is dry-clean only, then what you make out of it will have to also be dry-cleaned. For example, if you put a dry-clean only blouse in a pillow with 5 other items you could wash in a washing machine, the pillow will have to be dry-cleaned. Read the washing instruction label to know.
3. Tackling the Clean Out of Closets and Drawers.
After you have decided on how many quilts and pillows you want to have made, the next step is sorting the clothing out. Click here to read more about tackling sorting out a deceased loved one’s clothing.
Memorial quilts are always sad to make. We have learned from personal experience that these quilts and pillows can have a positive impact on loved ones as they grieve.
If you are not ready to have a quilt made, hold on to the clothing until you are ready. Here's an article that will help you figure out if you are truly ready to begin this process.
To learn more about memorial quilts and pillows, visit our Learning Center.
We have over 200 articles about all aspects of memorial and T-shirt quilts.
Photos of Memorial Quilts and Pillows
All the quilts and pillows made for one family from the clothing of a man who died.
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.