7 Heartfelt Ideas for Creating a Sentimental Quilt for Someone You Love

There’s no better gift than one that comes from the heart. Young or old, a handmade, personalized gift is one of the best items you can receive. It shows that someone in your life loves you enough to spend hours designing and creating something tailored perfectly to you.

If you want to warm the heart of someone in your life with a handmade gift that uses your quilting skills, but you’re not quite sure what to make, here are 7 different craft ideas for you!


1. T-Shirt Quilt

A t-shirt quilt is, simply, a quilt made out of old t-shirts. There are plenty of different occasions you could make a t-shirt quilt for. If you have a sporty grandson, make

e a quilt using some of his old jerseys, or jerseys from his favorite teams. If you have a daughter who’s into the drama club at her school, order extra show t-shirts and make a memory quilt for her!

To make a t-shirt quilt, you’ll use the same method for any normal quilt. Just cut the blocks out of the old t-shirts (if there’s an important logo or slogan, make sure to get that in there), and sew them all together however you like!

This is a sweet gift if you know someone who has recently lost a loved one. If they’ll allow you, have them give you the loved ones favorite clothing items and you can make a memorial quilt.

A t-shirt quilt would also be a great gift if one of your children or someone else in your life is having a baby. Get some of the parent-to-be’s old baby clothes if they’re still around, and make a quilt out of that material for their baby! You could also use old blankets of theirs, old bed-sheets, or old curtains.


Interested in learning more check out our tutorial.


2. Stuffed Animal

If you have a young child in your life, a handmade stuffed animal is a fantastic gift. What kid doesn’t love having a soft friend to snuggle up to at night? And a stuffed animal made especially for them by Mom or Grandma? Even better.

For a quilted stuffed animal, you can pick fabrics in the recipient’s favorite color, with patterns of something they love (basketballs, cartoon characters, flowers etc.), or combine the two. The softer the fabric, the better. Then, find a sewing/quilting pattern for a stuffed version of their favorite animal and get to work!

Like the t-shirt quilt, you can also make a stuffed animal out of someone’s old baby clothes for their newborn. Just make sure to embroider any eyes or other facial features rather than using plastic pieces, as these can be a choking hazard.

Although they’re mostly targeted towards young children, a custom stuffed animal is a great gift for anybody. Even teenagers and adults love stuffed animals, whether or not they’ll admit it, and they’re sure to love it even more knowing it came from you.


3. Alma-Mater Quilt

An Alma-mater quilt is a quilt made out of merchandise from a specific college or university. You can make one of these for anyone you know who has a school they’re especially passionate about (if you live in Texas, you definitely know at least one die-hard Aggie or Longhorn). There are several different ways you can make an Alma-mater quilt. This can be a t-shirt quilt made entirely of school shirts, sports jerseys, or club t-shirts. You could also make a quilt out of fabrics in the school colors with the school’s logo or mascot in the middle. If you’re gifting this to a fan who prefers being more subtle in their decor, you can omit the logo and just make a standard quilt in the school colors.

This kind of quilt is the perfect gift for a recent college grad, or a high school grad, with a pattern for the college they’re going to next semester. For a high school grad, you can also make an Alma-mater quilt with shirts and colors from their high school. You could make a t-shirt quilt with school colors and shirts from all the clubs they belonged to.


Purchase the College Quilt Pattern from Stitchin' Heaven.


4. Timeline Quilt

Another sentimental quilt for someone who’s just reached a major milestone in life, a timeline quilt is a quilt with blocks that represent different events and periods of time in the recipient’s life.

A timeline quilt can be interpreted however you like it. Each block could have a pattern representing a hobby that person was into, their favorite colors, or material from old clothes of theirs from each year.

This is another gift that’s great for a recent grad, to commemorate their passage into adulthood, or for someone reaching a major birthday like 21 or 50. You could also make a timeline quilt to honor the life of someone who has passed away, celebrating their journey and adventures through life.


5. Tactile Quilt


A tactile quilt is so named because it’s a quilt made from fabrics of multiple different textures, making it a fun quilt to touch and feel. This can be entertaining for young children to play with, or soothing to touch when someone is feeling anxious.


To make a tactile quilt, go to your nearest craft store and pick out some of the most fun and interesting-feeling fabrics you can find. Fabrics that are especially fluffy, made from different types of fur, felts, leathery materials; it’s all up to you. Then, make them into a quilt using whatever pattern you like.

A tactile quilt would be a good gift for a baby or toddler. All of the different colors and textures will keep them entertained, and are a fun way to teach them about adjectives to describe the fabrics (rough, soft, orange, purple). It would also be great for an autistic child (keeping in mind any aversions to certain textures they might have), as an object that they can touch and feel to calm down when they’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed.


6. Learning Quilt


Like using a tactile quilt to teach children about adjectives and descriptive words, a learning quilt incorporates fabrics that can be used to help a child learn something. There are any number of ways you can design a learning quilt. You could make a quilt with blocks for each letter of the alphabet, pictures of animals or animal prints, different shapes, or each color of the rainbow. A learning quilt is another good baby shower gift, or a gift for a child who is just entering or graduating preschool. This is a fun way to get kids to learn, and they can use it as a special blanket at night too!


7. Family Tree Quilt

A family tree quilt is a quilt meant to honor and represent an entire family, with individual blocks designed to represent each member. You can make a family tree quilt several different ways. One of the more simple methods would be to embroider each person’s name within a separate square, perhaps with the family last name in the center, or embroidered around the edges. If you want to get everyone in the family involved, you can talk to each person and have them help you design their own block with whatever they want, whether it’s their favorite colors, a pattern with something they love on it, or a favorite quote embroidered on the square.

There are plenty of sentimental occasions for a family tree quilt to be made. You could make one for a newborn baby to welcome them to the family, or for a grandparent’s birthday, to demonstrate all of the family joy they’ve brought into the world. This would also be a great wedding gift, with squares representing the members of both families to symbolize them becoming one.

If you have a super tight friend circle, or maybe you lead a Girl Scout troop, this would be a fun craft for everyone to make together. Each person could make their own square, or everyone could be randomly assigned someone else and make a square for them, like a Secret Santa!

The best quilting gifts are those from the heart.

There’s no one in the world who wouldn’t be absolutely touched to receive any of these handmade gifts. A gift like this shows someone that not only do you know them well enough to make a personalized gift, but you love them enough to put hours of your time into making something just for them.

Whether it’s a child’s macaroni necklace for Mother’s Day or an elaborate Alma-mater quilt for graduation, there’s no better way to show someone how much you care about them than with a homemade gift.


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Stitchin' Heaven Howdy is a blog designed to inspire and draw out the creativity of the quilter, sewer and the crafter. If you love fabric as much as we do, we look forward to building a great community.  

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