The oldest type of memory quilt is the album quilt or signature quilt. These type of quilts marked special occasions or were given as a gift when someone moved away. The album is not of pictures but of signatures.
The only requirement is the center of the block is either white fabric of a muslin in order for someone to sign their name. Once completed, you’ll have a living memory of that snapshot in time.
These can be made from a rail fence pattern or crazy quilt pattern or really any block where there is a blank space.
Photo Memory Quilts
You can now put yourself in your quilt. Or your kids or your family. Photo memory quilts are excellent gifts for grandparents.
Print out the picture on photo transfer paper and then iron it on your chosen fabric. Once you do that, you can use it just as a regular block.
You could put the pictures of far-flung family members in an I-Spy quilt or use each picture as the center of a star block.
These type of quilts are very versatile because wherever you would use a square in a quilt pattern, you can substitute the picture for it.
Use the clothes of someone who has passed away as material for a quilt. For men’s shirts, there are now quite a few quilt pattern that use plaids. For ladies, you can use their fabric from their favorite formal dress or silk blouse as material in a crazy quilt block.
Every time you look at the quilt, you can smile because it is from a piece of clothing that your loved one wore.
These are popular for a reason. If you have an athlete, sorority girl or frat boy in your family, they have plenty of t-shirts. Take those t-shirts that would probably be thrown out and make a quilt out of them.
You just have to get over your fear of making a mistake. This is why I strongly recommend keeping ugly t-shirts around to experiment with as your first project. Get the interfacing and the dimensions right and then go to town.
If you are still unsure and you do not have a quilt design software, it is time to get out good ole graph paper and crayons to make sure you have the proper proportions.