Making Memorial Quilts from the Clothing of the Beloved

Georgia Marie Wood (1917-2003), 2004, 78″ x 62″, fragments of my grandmother’s housecoats, Sunday dresses, and golf shirts. Made as a gift for my father.

Passage Quilting™ Workshop

Friday & Saturday, December 10 & 11, 10 AM – 4 PM
St. John’s Unitarian Church, Cincinnati OH
Cost: $150 (scholarships available). To register contact: Lisa Siders.

This hands-on, bereavement workshop provides a grounded container for the experience of grief. Participants will utilize the clothing of the departed and other meaningful materials to create a quilt without a predetermined pattern. This process will be the vehicle for inner work and outward expression as it reveals and orients the patterns, by which we survive, grow and transform. The resulting quilts will reflect our relationships, retain a sense of the body, and carry the consoling essence of the beloved. No sewing experience necessary. Sewing machine required. Facilitator: Sherri Lynn Wood.

Learn more about the process of Passage Quilting™.

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10 Responses to Making Memorial Quilts from the Clothing of the Beloved

  1. Maven says:

    My mother was in such a rush to rid the house of every scrap of clothing, every item that was dad’s. I wanted one last time to smell his clothes, to say goodbye. The idea of this memorial quilt as a vehicle for grief… I wish I had the opportunity to have done something with dad’s clothes, had I ever had the chance and access to them.

  2. Mary says:

    My very talented aunt made a very fun quilt out of my Gram’s polyester pants. A Memorial Quilt is a wonderful way to preserve memories. A twist on the beautiful and soft looking quilt you pictured, Gram’s pants quilt has a sense of humor that we all enjoy.

    Really enjoy your blog:)

    • Sherri Lynn Wood says:

      Thanks Mary – Your Gram’s Pants quilt sounds fabulous. I would love to see a picture of it. Do you have a link to in anywhere?

  3. Susan says:

    Oh, what a lovely idea. I am sad to think of all my mother’s clothes that we gave to Goodwill – I wish now I had saved a few of them and made something like this. However, I still have one or two tops and I think I could make a mini quilt as part of a pillow – thank you for such a good idea.

    • Sherri Lynn Wood says:

      Yes Susan, You certainly can make something with only one or two of your mother’s tops. This process is all about relationships and if you think you need additional materials to balance what you do have of your mom’s consider adding one or two pieces of your own clothing or a piece of clothing from yourself and your siblings or your children, your mom’s grandchildren if this applies to you. I published a keepsake, mini quilt, how-to in Whip Up’s Mini Quilt book:

      Good luck.

  4. Isabelle says:

    I sympathize with you, Lynda and share every word of comfort Sherri wrote about the making of passage quilting. I am in the process of sewing a small quilt in memory of a dear friend who passed earlier this year. Quilting little pieces of his life, memories shared in letters, my own interpretation of our friendship. It helps a lot and I wish you feel the same, Lynda.

  5. Lynda M O says:

    As we speak I gather clothing for a quilt memorializing the five members of my first circle of “family” who have gone on without us in the last two years. The first and most difficult to process is my younger sister, when at 49 years was taken in just a few minutes without suffering.

    • Sherri Lynn Wood says:

      Lynda, I’m so sorry to hear that you are suffering so much loss. Working to make a quilt from your sister’s clothes may seem overwhelming in the abstract but consider that the vehicle of making the quilt will provide you with an embodied and safe container for experiencing your grief. This will be grounding and supportive. Your sorrow and the relationship you have with your sister will transform – externally as her clothing becomes a beautiful quilt, as well as internally. Best wishes and prayers.

      • Lynda M O says:

        Many thanks, Sherri, for your kind and thoughtful words about quilting Teri’s clothes into an objectifiable tangible memory.

  6. Kimberj says:

    I’ve made quilts to memorialize pets, births, weddings and anniversaries but never a bereavement quilt. What a lovely, lovely idea and such a fitting tribute to give to those left behind.

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