15 Nov 2016
November 15, 2016

Make a Family Memory Quilt

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The family that quilts together, makes memories together. . . especially if they create a Family Memory Quilt. And, Thanksgiving is an excellent time to begin. I’ve found beautiful designs to inspire you and collected ideas to get you started below. Read on and enjoy deciding what will be the best fit for your tribe!

Image courtesy of diaryofaquilter.com

Image courtesy of diaryofaquilter.com

Thoughts to start with . . . .

  • Wash and iron your fabrics first, then cut the pieces and mark a seam allowance line all around.  Be sure to give specific instructions on why it’s important to stay inside that line.
  • Mail blocks to each family group before the holiday or have them available at your Thanksgiving gathering. Ask each person to embellish or sign the block in their own unique way or cut super-size blocks and plan one per family.
  • Have threads, fabric pens, embellishments, fabric paints and more available to make this a fun activity before or after the meal.
  • Set aside time before or after the holiday to gather interested stitchers and enjoy assembling the blocks together.  Everyone can be involved!
  • Decide how the finished project will be used. As a gift for Grandma and Grandpa or something that will pass through the family groups from year to year?
  • Add a label to the back of the quilt with the year the blocks were created.  Consider including birthdates on the blocks or the label.
  • A quilt would be lovely, but there are other possibilities. Family group wall hangings, pillows or banners could be marvelous treasures, too.

The fabulous inspiration. . . .

Image courtesy of diaryofaquilter.com

Image courtesy of diaryofaquilter.com

Modern Tree Block Quilt

Although these easy Christmas Tree blocks weren’t designed for a Family Memory Quilt, their modern, bold centers will be perfect for signatures or embellishments. Originally made as a small wall hanging, Amy of the Diary of a Quilter blog redesigned her blocks to create a full quilt. Quick to make with easy instructions, your finished blocks will be 7” x 9”. You could have a stack done by the time you say Thanksgiving Tom Turkey three times fast. Well . . . almost! Read through Amy’s helpful tips on selecting colors, then decide on your palette and gather your scraps or fat quarters.  Make it holiday themed or choose all-season colors. Any way you go it’s going to be a tree to remember! Click here for Amy’s Modern Tree Blocks tutorial.

Image courtesy of girlandagluegun.com

Image courtesy of agirlandafluegun.com

Family Tree Quilt

Kimbo of A Girl and a Glue Gun gathered her sisters and created a beautiful Family Memory Quilt as a Christmas gift for her parents. The three girls chose fabrics and interfacing and began to design their own tree of hands. Their simple, basic instructions allow plenty of room for your own interpretation of size, layout and design. Use traced family hands if you can, but varied sizes of hand cut-outs will work just as well. Kimbo and her sisters embroidered each hand leaf with a name and added an adorable owl as a friendly focal accent. Click here for the Family Tree Quilt on the A Girl and a Glue Gun blog.

Image courtesy of offbeatbride.com

Image courtesy of offbeatbride.com

Signature Quilt

This charming signature quilt designed by Ariel of the Offbeat Bride blog will make a wonderful Family Memory Quilt, too. You’ll find this quilt simple in design and easy to sew. Ariel is a non-quilter and this is her first so, newbies – you can do this, too! Your blocks will be simple signed squares that you can pair with solid or pieced blocks in coordinating colors if you like. Ariel includes a marvelous list of embellishment supplies to have on hand for the signing session along with the dos and don’ts for an “on site” signing. Click here for the Signature Quilt tutorial.

Traditionally, the family gathers for a tasty Thanksgiving meal. Greetings, hugs and stories are exchanged. Pumpkin pie is served and enjoyed. A few games are played. And then, it’s all over except the memories. Memories. The treasured moments of our lives for which we are truly grateful.  Make this the year your creativity and sewing skills create an heirloom Family Memory Quilt worthy of those precious moments of joy!

About the Author


Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community. Follow Annette and more of her sewing adventures on her own blog, www.sewfullife.com.

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