Make an Original Memory Collage


Quilters tend to collect things. I’m certainly no exception. Especially when it comes to fabric! During my lifetime, designer fabric collections became a thing. I remember when those pretty lines of fabric first showed up, each bolt looking so beautiful sitting beside its companion bolts. I have to admit more than one collection has made it home with me and survived in my stash for decades. When I revisit these old friends, I can’t image breaking them up so I wanted a way to commemorate these cherished treasures. 

As I began to think about it, I realized we all have odd collections of fabric that we save for one reason or another, just because they are a special group. Whether it’s a collection from an internet fabric swap, a scrap from each of our charity projects, or the leftovers of a baby quilt, we’ve stashed away these bits of fabric because they flood us with memories when we revisit them. 

Here is a project for those tidbits best kept with their fellow fabrics:

How to Make an Original Memory Collage

To begin, sit down with your fabric and some paper. Begin sketching ideas in general shapes. Right away I gravitated to a butterfly shape.

Draw or trace the main shape you wish to depict.

Next, abstract the shape into straight lines. Notice how I removed the curves from the butterfly wings. Draw over your original drawing. Be sure to include enough pieces for each of the fabrics in your collection.

The collage can be English Paper Pieced, Foundation Paper Pieced, or template cut and traditionally pieced. We’ll use English Paper piecing for this butterfly.

Once you settle on your block layout, trace your final design on another piece of paper. 

Label your design pieces.

Make a copy of your block design. If you have specific paper you like to use for English Paper Piecing, use it to copy your design. If you wish to make several collage blocks using the same pattern, make a copy for each block.

Cut apart your design to create templates. These are your paper pieces used for piecing.

English Paper Piece the block together using the fabrics from your collection. If you need to brush up on your English Paper Piecing skills, Teresa Justice has a great tutorial you can visit.


My Quilt Story

Want to catch up on the rest of the project? Here are the details:


Between now and Fall Paducah in September, we invite you on a special creative adventure. Each week we will offer you ideas, techniques, blocks, and embellishments to help you tell your quilt story in stitches. 

If you didn’t catch the beginning of the project, visit here for the quilt story worksheet.

Did you remake your first block? You can find some help here.

Have you decided on the monuments representing the moments that changed your quilt story? Here’s a look at how to start.

Are you building your town? See how we built a building.

Have you created a quilting garden? See some sample blocks here.

What quilt construction techniques have you learned along your journey? Take a look at our list.

Want to add some memorabilia? Take a look at our quilt blocks great for showing off your favorite quilting pins.

Do you have special people who filled your quilting heart through the years? Here’s an idea to include them in your quilt.

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