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Reimagine: Life, Loss, & Love
This event was part of Reimagine: Life, Loss, & Love

Scraps Of Happiness: Making A Memorial Quilt

Scraps Of Happiness: Making A Memorial Quilt
Being wrapped in a memorial quilt is the next best thing to being hugged again. Learn how to make this specific puff quilt pattern my great grandmother used. (A From The Ground UP Gathering)


Memorial Quilts have been made for generations. Repurposing the clothing of our loved ones is a beautiful way to reconnect physically and spiritually whether they have passed on or have just moved to the other side of the country. For me it’s like being hugged by them when I need it.

My Great Grandmother Grace came from a long line of quilters - The Pralls, Corsons and Hillyers of Staten Island made dozens of quilts together as did so many families, maybe even yours. My Great Grandma didn’t love traditional quilting. In a 1930s newspaper article, there was a pattern shared for making a triangle puff quilt that she cut out. It's the kind of quilt that anyone can make, perfect for beginners. It doesn't even require a sewing machine. All you need are scraps of the fabric cut into 5-inch squares that can even come from clothing.

My Great Grandmother started one of these quilts and slowly added to it over the course of her life using pieces of my grandmother’s prom dress, leftover fabric from the living room curtains, a remnant from the dress in which she buried her mother, fabric left from the dining room chair seat covers and pieces of clothes from her grandchildren, like a piece of my aunt Carol’s summer halter top. When she passed away, my grandmother continued the quilt, adding more family clothing.

In 1999, the quilt was passed to me with a bag of unused scraps of family clothing. I have been adding to the quilt for 20 years, a piece here, a piece there. I like to pull it out on the anniversary of their passing or during Christmas time. I don't think it will be finished in my lifetime, and I am not trying to finish it, part of the connection is knowing that I am the 4th generation to work on this quilt and I will give it to my daughters to continue once my hands have grown tired.

I would like to share this tradition with you, and spend time making triangle puff quilts together.

Hosted by Adrienne Mikulka, Founder of From The Ground Up: Gatherings for Healing Through The Arts.

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Visual Art Workshop Storytelling