Monday, October 10, 2011

Memory quilts from clothing

Alix Joyal is a quilt artist based in New Hampshire who specializes in making memory quilts for the families or friends of loved ones who have passed away. She uses the loved one's clothing in very unique and creative ways to make a lasting treasure.

Recycled Denim Quilt (memory quilt) by Alix Joyal at Mamaka Mills

Here is a quilt that Alix Joyal made for a family who lost their young son, Eugene, in a tragic accident. Alix used his jeans,  t-shirts, button-up shirts, and basketball shorts to create this contemporary, striking design. By juxtaposing the light and dark denims, Alix has created a glowing effect, as if the quilt is illuminated from behind.

Alix chose a seven inch maroon border, which beautifully complements the chambrays and muted indigos of the quilt body. As a special touch, she even added Eugene's signature, copied from his passport, in the lower right corner (see her original blog post for details).

Recycled men's shirt quilt by Alix Joyal at Mamaka Mills

Alix made this fabulous quilt in a modified log cabin design from mens recycled shirts. Notice how Alix's thoughtful color choice of orange serves as a perfect complement to the light blues and really sets off the brown earth tones. She notes that some of these blocks still have the button holes or tags still on them, which greatly adds to the visual interest.  It's for sale now at Mamaka Mills' Etsy site.

Custom Military Quilt, Army-Navy-Marines, by Alix Joyal at Mamaka Mills

Alix Joyal designs and produces very original, innovative, and meaningful memory quilts for service men and women and for their spouses and families. Here is an example of a military quilt that was constructed using parts of  military uniforms, fatigues, and camouflage gear. We really like this contemporary design which symbolizes such beauty, symmetry, strength, and resilience.

Alix also can also incorporate military medals and ribbons into her unique designs. Her heirloom-quality quilts are custom designed to reflect the personality and life of the loved one whose life is being remembered.  For more examples, see her galleries of  memory quilts and military memory quilts.

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Alix Joyal. For more examples of her work, visit her website at Mamaka Mills and the Mamaka Mills blog. She graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC with a BS in Textile Development and Marketing, and she has been quilting for 20+ years.


  1. When I see these quilts made from recycled clothing, I think about all the clothing I have sent off to the op shop (thrift shop), and wonder if I will ever see a quilt with a "contribution" of mine in it.

    I do regret getting rid of both my husband's and mine military uniforms, I reckon I could have made a good quilt from Army and Air Force uniforms.

  2. I think it was LeAnn over at Nifty quilts that made some wonderful quilts for wife and daughters of a friend out of old shirts.

  3. Great quilt work and very emotional for those parents and wives, I think


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