Memories for Mother Quilt
Memories for Mother Quilt
Finished Size: 29.5" x 29.5"


I wanted to come up with a nice wallhanging for my mom for Mother's Day. After tossing around ideas, I came up with this pattern. I have always liked the Ribbon Star pattern, so modified it to meet my needs. The wallhanging will measure about 29" x 29" and is composted of 8 - 3" fabric photos (I use BJS), and a center motif of your desire. I will be using an embroidered panel of a poem I remember from childhood:

M is for the million things she gave me,
O means only that she's growing old,
T is for the tears she shed to save me,
H is for her heart of purest gold,
E is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
R means right, and right she'll always be,

Put them all together, they spell "Mother,"
A word that means the world to me.

Fabric Selections and Quantities

Note: As with all of my patterns, fabric quantities assume that the fabric is 40" wide (WOF) and have been washed and pre-shrunk. In addition, all quantities have been rounded to the next 1/4 yard to accomodate shrinkage and squaring up.
Fabric SwatchYardageCutting InstructionsNotes
Swatch1 1/2 yard Cut 2 Strips @ 4" x WOF As you can see, you will really only need an 8" x WOF for this fabric. However, I like to round up to be safe. This fabric is for the "star" in the pattern. You will be using this along with Swatch 3, to make 32 HST units.
Swatch2 1/2 yard Cut 2 Strips @ 4" x WOF This is the "background" fabric. This will also be used with the Swatch 3 to make 32 HST units.
Swatch3 1 yard Cut 4 strips @ 4" x WOF
Cut 4 strips @ 1.5" x WOF
Cut 3 strips @ 2.5" x WOF
This is the "dark" or "ribbon" fabric. You will use the 4" strips to make 32 Swatch1/Swatch3 HST units and 32 Swatch2/Swatch3 HST units. The 1.5" strips will be used for the borders. The 2.5" strips will be used for the binding.
Backing/Batting/Muslin 1 yard each, backing and batting
1 - 26" x 4" strip of muslin for the hanging sleeve
You may use any backing of your choice. Honestly, since it is just a wallhanging, I would just use a nice muslin. I would recommend a low-loft batting. You may even use crafter's fleece.

Special Notes:

You will need a 9.5" x 9.5" fabric for the center square. I will be using white and embroidering the poem on it.

Other ideas:

Put a picture of mom in the center.
Put a larger picture of the entire family in the center.

Thus, you will need more fabric for that section. Most of you will have some nice quality white fabric in your stash already. In addition, you will need 8 - 3.5" x 3.5" squares with your photos on them. I would recommend a photo no larger than 2.5" - 3" so that it is spaced evenly in the center. If you are using BJS fabric, you should be able to get 4 photos on each of 2 - 8.5" x 11" sheets of BJS treated fabric. You may also opt to use the photo transfer sheets.

Making the HST Units

Cut each of the 4" Swatch1, Swatch2, and Swatch3 strips into 4" squares. Then, following the instructions for HST construction, make 32 HST units using Swatch1/Swatch3 and 32 HST units using Swatch2/Swatch3. (Note on the above referenced page, there is a quick piecing method by which you can quickly sew the HST using the strips instead of cutting into 4" squares first. Use whatever method you prefer.) Each of these units should be squared down to 3.5" x 3.5".

Construct Your Ribbon Star Blocks

Following this diagram:

Arrange 4 each of the Swatch1/Swatch3 and Swatch2/Swatch3 HSTs, along with the center photo, to create a total of 8 - Ribbon Star blocks. Note:To enable easy construction in the final product, press Row1 and Row3 seams facing the darker fabric, with Row2 facing the lighter fabric, in 6 of the Ribbon Star block constructions, and then in the remaining 2, press Row1 and Row3 towards the lighter fabric, and Row1 2 towards the darker. Use these 2 blocks as the middle row in the final quilt top. (Thus, all of the seams will lock together, making it easier to match up the seams.)

Assemble the Quilt Top

Next, create Row1 and Row3 of the Quilt Top using 3 of the Ribbon Star blocks. Press the seam allowances OUTWARDS. Create Row2 (the middle row) using the 2 blocks with the opposing seams, and the center panel. Press these seam allowances INWARDS. Now, sew the rows together to form the Quilt Top.

Add Borders

By this time, your quilt top should measure 27.5" x 27.5". Measure it through the horizontal and vertical MIDDLE and note the dimensions. Sew the two side borders on first using the 1.5" strips cut to the length (27.5" or your vertical measurement). Press seams towards the border. Repeat to attach the top and bottom borders.

Finishing the Quilt

Press your quilt top to insure that it is nice and neat. (Be careful when pressing if using TRANSFER photos. They tend to be sticky, and may distort from an iron.) Trim your backing and batting so it is approximately 1" larger all the way around your quilt top. Layer your backing, right side down, then your batting, and your quilt top, right side up. Use your favorite method of basting, and quilt the sandwhich. I would recommend outline quilting around each center photo, then each "star", stitch-in-the-ditch along each row and column, and the border. Square up your quilt top if necessary, attach the hanging sleeve and then apply the binding. (Refer to binding tutorial if you need instructions.) Trim your batting so that it extends approximately 1/8" past your binding edge, and fold your binding to the back and hand stitch it down.

Finishing Touches

Don't forget to add a nice label to the back of the wallhanging including your name, date of construction, and any other pertinant information you desire.

*When attaching the sleeve, create a hem in each of the short ends of your sleeve fabric by folding the fabric back 1/4" TWICE and ironing the seam in place. Now, fold the sleeve, wrong side together, along the length of the sleeve, creating a partial tube. Pin the raw edges of the sleeve even with the top raw edges of the quilt sandwich back. (Remember that these pins are there when you sew down the binding.) Then, hand stitch the folded edge to the backing of the quilt. (Try to only catch the stitches on the BACKING fabric.)

Your Finished Quilt

Your quilt should look similar to this:
Finished Quilt

Completed Examples

This is the first Memories for Mother I made for my mom. I had a bit more white space around the photos than I desired. Click the back button to return to this page. Memories for Mother #1.

This one is a completed version, sans binding, that my dear best friend made for her mother. Her mom displays it proudly and actually cried when she received it. Memories for Mother #2. I did a little better on framing the photos to fill out the box on this version. (I printed the photos for her.)

And yet another one. This was made for my sister-in-law. She has a hunter green/burgundy/maroon theme. I did a very good job on the photos on this version, finally got a good trick for doing the photos. Still, due to the proportion of some of the photos, I did have some whitespace. Based on a recommendation from someone, I framed each of the photos and the poem with gold bias (fusible from clover) and it added some flair I think. I also used a bit larger border on this one. Memories for Mother #3.

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