Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I've been saving the best of my little girl's first clothes for nearly four years. Given that she's 4 in June, that's a LOT of clothes to hang onto. 

Recently I was trying to declutter and I came across the 4 bags of 'memory clothes'. I needed a rainy day to start my project. In the end, I caught a nasty cold on St Patrick's Day so I was housebound, but with the kids still around, that meant sadly no bed rest for mummy. 

So I decided to give myself something to focus on - other than my sniffles and sneezes. 

I made a beautiful 'memory quilt' in 3 days. I am thrilled with it. I can't stop looking at it. I think I even love it more than my daughter who I made it for. I sat with it around my shoulders this morning, relishing in its cosy, soft warmth and the memories of Tegan wearing those clothes.

I'm actually thinking I might make one for myself now - from all my favourite old clothes and a snuggly blanket. 

And for mums on a budget (ie no money) like me, the good news is that it cost NOTHING! Yep, a big fat nada, zero, zilch. Used from recycling old materials, such as clothes and an old unused blanket. I'm not a seasoned maker of things, I just make things up as I go, but somehow it turns out nice...

Will I tell you how?

Here's what you'll need:

  • Sharp scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Piece of card cut into a square: 7&half inches x 7&half inches
  • Old clothes
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Blanket (make the squares fit to the size of the blanket)

1) Cut the squares up using the cardboard template. 

2) Iron squares flat (they sew better). This is the first time my dusty old iron has been out in years!

3) Pin pieces together, making sure the right sides will face out when they're stitched (see pic). Start in short rows - I did vertical rows of 5 to begin with, then sewed all the rows together. I used white thread for this, but it doesn't matter, whatever you have.


4) Use a small stitch on your sewing machine to make sure all the pieces are tightly fitted together. Make sure when you're joining rows together to pin the joints of the squares first, so they don't end up miles away from each other. It doesn't matter if the odd square isn't in perfect alignment, it adds to the charm of the quilt (a lot of mine didn't end up in perfect alignment because I used lots of different types of material, often the stretchy material overspills the cotton and fleecy squares).

5) Lay patchwork on top of blanket, ideally leaving around an inch to fold edges over and sew a neat edge. Amazingly, my squares and blanket fitted perfectly, I honestly don't know how as I hadn't measured it beforehand.

6) Fold the edge of the blanket over and pin to secure in place on the patchwork side. Corners are a little tricky, I had to snip mine and then fold over each other.

7) Sew along the edge, making sure you catch the patchwork edge so it's secured to the blanket. I used pink thread for this, so that it would blend in with the pink blanket.

8) Once the edges are stitched (go over corners a few times if you had to cut out some bulk), pin across the middle rows. Then sew in between the rows to fully secure the patchwork quilt to the blanket. The idea is to keep the two flat when you do this so that there's no excess/gather between the blanket and the quilt. This 'quilts' the blanket.


 9) For the quilting effect, I sewed a zigzag stitch along every second row of squares. I like the look of zigzag stitches and it doesn't seem to matter if it's not neat. I didn't sew around every square because I couldn't be bothered. If I get a notion to finish it off some day, I might sew around every square but for the time being it's held together very well and looks great. 

10) Cut all the excess pieces of cotton that stick out. Ta da, finished. It looks great and it's a lovely keepsake of a child's favourite clothes. And it's warm and soft too. The kids love it! Me too!

Post a Comment


  1. Amy this is incredible! I can't get over how gorgeous it is. I don't have a sewing machine right now but its something I would really love to do. Beautiful

  2. Amy this is incredible. I can't get over how beautiful it is, you are so talented. I don't have a sewing machine but this is definitely something I would love to do someday. So inspiring

  3. wow this is such a beautiful idea to do, I have horded everything that my daughter has worn from the past five years now instead of them going to a charity shop I can make them into a memory... thank you!!

    1. Hi Stephanie, did you ever make your memory quilt? I just made another for my youngest.

  4. 2 questions:
    1) Can you do this with hoodies?
    2) Can you mix and match (e.g t-shirts and hoodies) or does it have to be one type of clothes?

    1. Yes I use any material going. Last blanket I did I ever incorporated part of the hood into the top so it can be worn x


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