Earlier this month I talked about a friend in my playgroup who lost her sweet boy because of premature labor. A group of friends banded together and decided to make her a memorial quilt.
As with any project involving 8 strong women we bumped heads a few times, but in the end we came up with a beautiful, thoughtful, and practical gift for this grieving family. We decided on a twin size quilt so it was big enough to be functional should they choose to use it, though it folds up small enough to be put away if they wanted. And it’s large enough for my friend and her husband to sit under, together. Just like the shawl I knit her, I wanted it to be a hug.
When I looked online for ideas I came up with very little. Most memorial quilt ideas were wall hangings or t-shirt quilts. Neither was practical in this situation so we figured it out on our own. Each of us committed to creating one square for the quilt. Everyone planned on either embroidering or doing applique, so to ensure that the squares came together well I purchased coordinating fabric and passed out 12.5″ squares.
We had a peach/brown color for one set and a light blue for the other. Each woman chose her background color and promised to get their squares back to me in 3 weeks. My mom, the amazing and thoughtful woman that she is, offered to assemble the quilt top at a quilt retreat she was heading to. The result is remarkable.
The original thought was to make the quilt 3 squares wide by 4 squares long, so we needed to add an additional 4 squares to the 8 we were making. I made 4 large heart squares and got out my late grandmother’s embroidery machine a few days before mom was set to leave for her retreat. In those squares I embroidered “In Loving Memory”, baby’s name, baby’s birth date, and the names of the women who worked on the quilt for her.
We then decided to make the quilt 4 squares by 4 squares so we whipped up a smaller version of those hearts to fill in.
It was really interesting to see what everyone came up with, some of them were very similar. Two women actually used the same pattern and highlighted different parts of it. My mom had it quilted professionally, and its just perfect.
Here are the individual squares in the order they appear on the quilt:
The finished squares were about 11.5″ square with 2″ of sashing in between them. My mom used the same fabric for the sashing, backing, and binding. It came together beautifully and I’m proud to say that our sweet friend loved it. She pored over every square when I gave it to her, and I know it is being used in her home.
What do you think of our memorial quilt? Does it seem like a practical gift to you?
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