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Turning t-shirts into bereavement quilts

Fuzz Monsta quilt on couch

Bereavement quilts are made to honor the life of a loved one who passed. Constructed of their clothing, or other items, bereavement quilts can also allow their friends and family to feel close to them after they're gone.

T-shirt quilts make great bereavement quilts, as they are made with items a loved one wore and loved, whether those are graphic t-shirts, button downs, or any other shirts and clothing items. They hold memories of them, and each bereavement quilt is unique keepsake.

In this blog post, we've included two of our customer's very special bereavement quilts, and the stories behind those quilts.

A Son Gains his Wings

Stefani Zirger had her son at 20 years old, giving her a sense of purpose. Raising her son without the father, and forming an irreplaceable bond with him, Zirger's son made her the woman she is today.

"We talked about everything. He was the best child," said Zirger. "He never gave me any of the typical problems... He always knew he could be honest with me... He'd ask for advice or my opinion on things."

Even when her son was older and out of the home, Zirger and he had an incredible bond. They would text often, and meet for lunch a couple of times a month. 

On June 6, 2019, Zirger's son gained his wings. "It was unexpected and heartbreaking," she said. 

Zirger had two memory quilts made, one for her dad and one for herself. Together, her and her dad are working through their grief and working to keep her son's name alive. "I want to be able to wrap the quilt around me like my son is hugging me," she said.

A Memory Quilt for Homie

Bill and Rebecca Heissler had a t-shirt quilt made in memory of Bill's Dad Ron, who passed away in July of 2018.

In 2008, Ron moved in with his son and his family due to his failing health. "The first few years he faired pretty well... and [he] was an integral part of our family. The last 5 years, his health declined, and we became fulltime caregivers as he lived with us in our home," said Rebecca.

According to Rebecca, Ron never wanted to be a burden on the family, and, although they never asked or expected him to, Ron did as much as he could for himself, as well as for the family in return. 

"My husband watched in grief as the man he knew declined physically and mentally," said Rebecca.

After the family reached out for in-home hospice care, they were told Ron maybe had 6 months; however, he passed away 11 days later. 

Once they had enough strength to go through Ron's belongings, they realized he had had a large collections of t-shirts from many aspects from his life. Not able to part with them, Bill stored them away in a storage bin in their home.

After learning about MemoryStitch, Rebecca was able to pull the shirts out, and start creating a Memory Quilt in memory of Ron, or "Homie" as he was fondly referred to. 

After losing his Dad, Bill was the last remaining person in his immediately family, as his mom and brother had passed several years prior. "So by having this memory quilt made for him," said Rebecca, "I feel as if it represents his entire family, that will remain with him throughout the years bringing comfort and warmth."


Like this post? Check out other customer stories below!

T-shirt quilt story: 11 years of lake day memories

Customer story: A quilt of adventures

Creating keepsakes from t-shirts: gifting a friend who gave 110% 

From t-shirts to keepsake: Cherishing past memories with embroidered t-shirt quilt

Customer story: Creating a game day t-shirt quilt

Graduating during Covid-19: A Quilt of Cheer Memories



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