BEREAVEMENT QUILTS: A SOURCE OF COMFORT

“Farewell is said by the living, in life, every day. It is said with love and friendship, with the affirmation that the memories are lasting if the flesh is not.” 

R.A. Salvatore, The Legacy

When we lose a loved one, memories are all that we have left, and most of us cling to those memories with all our might.

Often, one of the hardest things to let go of is our loved one’s clothes – such a personal reminder of who we’ve lost. We may even find ourselves burying our faces in those clothes to catch a brief scent of them and a reminder of all the happy memories we’ve shared.

Sadly, those scents will fade with time, but the clothes remain and still conjure powerful memories - Dad’s “lucky” shirt that he wore to every game or Mom’s special Thanksgiving apron or Uncle Joe’s one-of-a-kind fishing jacket. Sometimes those memories are just too powerful to pack up and take to Goodwill. Sometimes, it’s just too hard to let go.

Quilt made of Hawaiian shirts

Quilt made of Hawaiian shirts


A Source of Comfort

That’s when a memorial quilt or a memory bear made with those special clothes can help you through the grieving process. You can wrap yourself up in the memories and hug that bear when you feel a cry coming on. It will be sad at first, but you’ll find comfort over time.

Bears made of jeans and flannels

Bears made of jeans and flannels


When is a Good Time to Have a Memorial Quilt Made?

Timing is completely on your schedule. It’s when you feel ready and comfortable. Everyone grieves differently; there’s no grieving timetable that everyone follows.

I had one customer who lost her father. She brought me his things less than a week after his funeral because she needed something to wrap up in as quickly as possible. Another customer contacts me every year inquiring about making a quilt, but she is not quite ready to release her daughter’s clothes to have a quilt made.

Sometimes, when we lose someone, and we begin thinking about creating a memory quilt our thoughts turn to surviving children, siblings, friends, etc., and the last person we think of is ourselves. Even if you’re not ready for a memory quilt or bear for yourself right now, we suggest putting some clothes aside. You’ll be happy that you did later.

Everyone is different, which is entirely understandable. We work with compassion and love with each memorial quilt that we create.


What Garments Can I Use in a Memorial Quilt?

Anything that says “dry clean only” on the label - such as suit material or neckties - can be used in quilts but that means your quilt will also need to be dry cleaned. If you’d like to be able to wash your quilt, then whatever you would normally throw in the wash is fine. That includes:

Tees

Sweatshirts

Pants – jeans, washable dress pants, khakis

Bathrobes

Dress shirts

Jackets – Denim jackets, windbreakers, etc.

Socks and suspenders

Dresses

Flags and banners

Scarves and Handkerchiefs

Hats – baseball or knit or ski caps

Pajamas

Linens – tablecloths, towels, sheets, blankets, etc.

Athletic clothes – jerseys, shorts, singlets, swimwear, etc.

Quilt made of head scarves, pajamas and robes

Quilt made of head scarves, pajamas and robes



Golf Shorts Quilt

Quilt made with golf shorts



Quilt with pictures

Quilt with pictures

Memorial Quilt Costs

Memorial quilts cost the same as regular t-shirt quilts. However, if the quilt includes more than five unique items such as flags, suspenders, socks, baseball hats, etc., there may be an additional cost. These items – called “sew-ons” - need to be cut and sewn onto another piece of material, which requires a little more time.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the situation, the loss of a loved one is always a painful process. If you’re a friend of someone and want to have a memorial quilt made for them, remember that timing is everything. While most would agree that a quilt or a memory bear is much easier to cuddle with than a pile of clothes, you have to be sensitive to your friend’s needs and their timing. Even if your intentions are sincere, they may not be ready. Talk to them and be patient.

I’m Here if You Need Me

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me. I’d be happy to speak with you – call me at (810) 250-1825 or email me at meg@megsquiltedmemories.com.