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5 - Shirt Memory Quilt

Memory quilts are a great way to remember or celebrate your family history, the life of a loved one or an important event in your life. Many memorial quilts are made from a loved ones clothing. The 5-shirt quilt is easy and quick to make even for a beginner.

The quilt on the photo was made by volunteers during this Summer. The purpose was to teach a group of refugees basic quilting and to raise money for a non-profit organisation, support refugees by offering sewing classes and social sewing programs.

Materials and Cutting

- 5 man shirts, 100% cotton (6-7 if they are on the small side or have special cuts, seams or embellishment)

- cut the shirts apart along the seams and iron the pieces

From each shirt cut

- 4 large squares 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" (20 in total)

- 100 small squares 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" (500 in total)


- sew the 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares into sections of 5, alternating the colors

- make 100 units

- 50 sections should starts and end with dark color and the other 50 with light ones

- press the seams in either direction

- join 5 sections into 1 block

- make 20 blocks

- block measures: 10 1/2" x 10 1/2"

Quilt top measures 50 1/2" x 80 1/2"

Assembling The Quilt

- sew the blocks into 8 rows of five as shown on the left image

- press the seams from the pieced blocks toward the large squares

- join the rows and press the seams


- layer backing, batting and top

- pin the sandwich with several safety pins to keep the layers together

- the layers can be stitched together using walking foot


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