December 30, 2015 2:05 pm
Updated: December 30, 2015 8:28 pm

Preserving cherished loved ones with memory quilts

WATCH ABOVE: A memory quilt is a blanket crafted from recycled pieces of clothing that holds profound memories for the person who owns it. As Felicia Parrillo reports, memory quilts are quickly gaining in popularity.


MONTREAL – Karen Desparois makes all kinds of quilts, but she said memory quilts have a special place in her heart.

Over twenty years ago, after Desparois gave birth to her daughter, she and her family were getting ready to move to a new home.

Her husband told her that they couldn’t possible take all their baby’s clothes with them.

“I just was hoarding them, I don’t know why,” she told Global News.

“I made quilts, memory quilts, so I didn’t have to throw anything away.”

Karen Desparois at her office.

Louis Xavier-Roux/Global News

A memory quilt is a blanket crafted from recycled pieces of clothing that hold profound memories for the person who owns it.

Now, Desparois is sharing her hobby with people all over the world.

“My customers are telling their story and then I’m illustrating the story with fabric and it’s kind of a beautiful thing,” she said.

Desparois said memory quilts are becoming more common and are quickly gaining popularity.

Leah-Mary McGow has been quilting for a couple of years now.

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She makes baby quilts, but she also makes memory quilts from the clothing of loved ones who have passed away.

“You take somebody’s old memories that are packed away and you literally take them out, you dust them off and you piece them together and make this something new that they can really wrap around themselves,” said McGow.

She said making these quilts can be a heartfelt process.

“You literally go through all the material that they’ve brought,” she said.

“Sometimes they bring boxes and boxes of stuff and you have to pick through it. So, you have to find the ones that have the most memories for them. You hear all about it, you learn everything about that person they loved and why they loved them.”

Just a few months ago, McGow had the chance to learn all about Sandra Adam’s late husband, Steven.

“He had collected probably about 1,000 t-shirts,” Adam told Global News.

“He loved everything and everything obscure, records and that sort of thing.”

Sandra Adam had a memory quilt made in honour of her late husband.

Louis Xavier-Roux/Global News

When he died in March after a long battle with cancer, Adam wanted to honour him and his collection.

“It means everything to me,” said McGow.

“It’s all the things that he loved. It means that he’s always with me.”

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