Heirloom quilts were once made for warmth, and were considered something of a coming of age. Those getting married were common recipients of quilts, as were men when they reached 21, to signify independence and manhood. Others were given for friendship, the birth of a child, or to signify some special event in the life of the recipient.
Today, these keepsakes are no longer to given to men as a sign of passage, or for keeping warm. Today they are given as works of art to add to the beauty and decor of a home, and are often inherited by family members in future generations. They become special family items as the quilt is often signed by the maker. For this reason they become treasured pieces of history in families.
For those that have never made this type of quilt before there are several different ways to make them. One of the first considerations is the purpose of the gift, and the event or holiday. It should be designed pertinent to the event or holiday, including special things for that event alone. For instance, making such a gift for as a housewarming or birthday gift would include different things than making one for Christmas or the birth of a child.
The purpose for making the gift is then central to designing the project. It will also help in determining colors, and special items that might be used. For instance if it is for the birth of a child or wedding anniversary, the recipients own baby clothes could be used to make the quilt, or parts from their wedding dress. Poetry can be used and memories to create truly special and unique heirloom quilts.
Journal styles are very popular, in which every square has a special word, saying or piece of poetry. Each square can have one word of a poem, or could have two or three words, indicating a particular feeling that day. Those incorporating photos are also quite popular, and offer opportunities for personalizing in a way few other things do.
Life quilts also make a special gift. This type incorporates events across a person’s life on the pattern of a guilt. Photographs placed at certain intervals of the quilt make for a nice touch. Use elements of birthday style, journal style and life style into the same masterpiece.
This might include memories important to the person, such as a city where they grew up, music from their youth, or a college graduation. It might also include the birth of a child, something they once wrote from a yearbook or scrap book, photos of them, children, family or friends. It might incorporate the year of marriage, special moments, promotions on their job, or gold rings of retirement.
Think of creative ways to make the quilt. Use t-shirt pieces, graduation clothes, their mother’s old hat or decorative glove pieces that hold significance in the person’s life. Heirloom quilts make perfect gifts and valued keepsakes, so make sure no matter what style you use to make it, that it holds treasures few other items ever could. Planning ahead, using creativity and ingenuity will help make this gift a beautiful and heartfelt keepsake.
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