Show Off Saturday: A Memory Quilt of Patches

Before binding. :)

Before binding. 🙂

This is a Patch Quilt – NOT a patchwork quilt, lol. Earlier this year my sister in law gave me my brother’s patch collection and asked me to make a quilt with it for his birthday. Apparently, he’s been collecting patches from every state he visits (plus Canada) as well as others like ‘Elvis.’

It took me a long time to figure out what to do with the patches. At first I thought I might do a patchwork quilt, with a square or triangle for each patch, but in the end I decided that would be too busy. 

I auditioned several fabrics and decided this navy print from Cotton + Steel looked best with the patches. I hung the fabric on my design board and let my kids decide where all the patches would go. Once they were all pinned to the fabric, I sewed them on using invisible thread.

Using my free motion quilting foot with my feed dogs down, I sewed around each patch with a zig zag stitch. Did you know you could do that? It was the easiest way to sew the edges of all the patches. I travelled in between the patches with the invisible thread. After quilting it barely showed

This quilt is so heavy! The patches weigh a ton. It would have been really hard to quilt sitting at my sewing machine, so I put it on the Grace Frame and quilted it that way with my Juki. I quilted a geometric wandering pattern on the borders and pebbles in between the patches.

After binding. :)

After binding. 🙂

I love how it turned out, but it’s not very cuddly. How could it be with over a hundred stiff patches? His birthday is coming up soon and I can’t wait to hear what he thinks.

So, what have you been sewing up this week? Did you make something with one of my free sewing tutorials or patterns? I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram @sewcanshe.

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Happy Sewing!

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. I, too have a bazillion patches I’ve collected from places I’ve been, and have been wondering for years what to do with them. I’ve toyed with the idea of making a large US shaped "innard" with the states outlined, so I can sew the patches to each state. I knew it would have to be a wall hanging, because there’s no way these patches will bend well. Nice job!

    1. Annette Poole says:

      Joann fabrics had a panel of the map of the world, earlier this fall.
      A friend is doing what you wondered , patches placed near the places they were purchased. It’s stunning.

  2. Marsha Toshner says:

    When my oldest son was deployed for the first time, a group of us parents and spouses, got together and made a quilt. We had a professional embroiderer enlarge the Army patches that belonged to that section of the Army. I made the quilt by attaching these huge patches to a background, then layering and quilting it myself. It was donated to Ft. Campbell, but was stolen from there Dec 2010. Is there a way of posting a pic here? I don’t want to link to my FB page, and I don’t have a blog. It’s already on a missing quilt site, but I have to update my email for that. The link is – The quilt is 101" x 101"

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