Keepsake memory quilt- Jamie’s life quilt

I wanted to share this keepsake memory quilt with you ….

keepsake memory quilt


It was a bit of a departure from the baby clothes quilts I mostly get asked to make …. this was more of a ‘life quilt’ for an adult – for a man, too, which was a really unusual request …. not that I never make quilts for men, it’s just not something they order for themselves.

It was a real mixture of university sweatshirts, favourite jeans, sweaters, a couple of scarves his mum had knitted, suits and significant t-shirts.

keepsake memory quilt

As I sat in the sun deconstructing everything, I wasnt entirely sure how I was going to put it all together …. there were a lot of different colours and textures, shapes and sizes – to preserve the important text and images – and I’d been asked to come up with something based off 6″ squares that wouldn’t look out of place in a contemporary setting with a predominantly grey colour scheme.

keepsake memory quilt

Even as I was interfacing and cutting pieces, I was still playing around with layouts …. it wasn’t until I was researching something else, and happened to look at both boro and pojagi (wrapping cloths) that the penny dropped and I figured that I could make what appeared, on the surface, to be a fairly random placing of different shapes and sizes …. but what was, actually, a careful graduation of pieces based on both colour and age ….

keepsake memory quilt

With design finalised and approved, I could start piecing …. it took a while …. it’s a big old quilt, and all the different textures made it more difficult than usual to make sure all the corners lined up nicely ….

keepsake memory quilt

But it’s worth every second of the faffing about and double checking when it all comes together ….

Add in a little embroidery …. just the tiniest bit around the faded and frayed jeans pocket …. I’d been asked to include it, and I was more than happy to oblige – I love these worn little details, they add so much character, and hold real memories ….

Ashwell Quilt - embroidery detail (1)

We’d chosen a pale grey vintage wool suiting fabric for the backing, to be mixed in with a favourite scarf …. you had to feel the weight of this monster once it was all basted together with the batting to believe it ….

keepsake memory quilt

Quilting was made more complicated, as we were only quilting along the horizontal …. with the weight of the quilt and the amount of stretchy cotton jersey, it was difficult to avoid any drag … some unpicking was needed. I can’t help it. If it’s not right, I will obsess over it for the rest of my life 😉

keepsake memory quilt

All done …. a nice & tidy foldover binding slip-stitched closed, and loose ends to tie off ….

keepsake memory quilt

And ….. done …..

It was destined to go over a sofa, so I tested it out in the husband’s man cave …. and it works, it works …. (though I hope Jamie’s sofa is bigger than this little 2-seater!) I can just imagine that on a quiet winter’s night, it will be almost magical to sit with it and see the story of a journey through life right there, and be able to touch it and revisit all those memories of all those special times ….

Even better?

…. “It’s perfect …. Thank you again so so much for being so wonderful and thoughtful and a delight to work with” …..

getting feedback like this makes every bit of the blood, sweat and occasional tears that go into a quilt worth it.

One response to “Keepsake memory quilt- Jamie’s life quilt

  1. What a wonderful quilt, it’s not until you see it on the sofa, that you really appreciate the size.

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