Creating memories One stitch at a time
“We as Americans have a love affair with T-shirts,” said Towamencin resident Molly Fisher. It’s when those T-shirts that have sentimental value become too small, faded or worn that people turn them over to her to cut up and stitch into quilts. Fisher is the founder of Memory Quilts by Molly, a home business she started almost two years ago thanks to posting photos of memory quilts she made for her sons on Facebook in 2009.
“I got 25 comments in a half-hour: ‘How can I do that?’ ‘Where can I get one made?’” she said.
She has since created and sold 122 personalized quilts made from sports team shirts, concert shirts, Harley-Davidson T-shirts, Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts and for one of her friends who spends a lot of time in New Orleans, a quilt comprising 65 pub shirts.
“If that quilt could only talk,” Fisher said of the latter.
Fisher, who has two collegeage sons and a daughter in middle school, had been a stayat-home mom and had tried a few part-time jobs before starting Memory Quilts by Molly. “I’ve sewed all my life. Back in the day, my mom was a longtime quilter. She did it as a hobby, and she did it by hand,” she said.
Unlike her mother, Fisher uses a powerful sewing machine that can punch 1,500 stitches a minute.
“The sewing machines today, they’re computers, man,” she said.
)LVKHU FDQ fiQLVK D VPDOO TuLOW in eight to 10 hours. Queen or king size quilts take 25 to 30 hours.
“What they’re getting is a premium product,” she said, noting that she sends pictures to the customer to each step of the quilt-making process for their approval, and uses cotton backing, batting, thread and fabrics.
Graduation quilts are all the rage right now. A prime example is a gift Fisher made for a graduating LaSalle University senior. Although you may not know him personally, the T-shirts in the quilt say a lot about his life: Reading Olympics, North Penn Squires, Walton Farm CODVV RI ’07, 3HQQfiHOG Wind Ensemble ’07-’08, St. Maria Goretti Christmas Invitational basketball tournament 2008, North Penn High School Lacrosse ...
“If anyone is interested in a graduation quilt, it will be GLIfiFuOW WR gHW LW GRQH Ey -uQH, but I can have it done in time for them to go off to college in August,” said Fisher.
Quilts can also be a tribute to a departed loved one’s memory. A “Carlos” memorial quilt, commissioned to Fisher in honor of an Argentinian medical doctor, comprises fabric swatches from his jackets, ties and sweaters.
“It helps them through the grieving process,” Fisher said.
Other items that Fisher can quilt include long-sleeve and short-sleeve knit shirts, golf shirts, men’s bathing suits [not Speedos], button-down shirts, sweatshirts, flDQQHO SDQWV, flHHFH SDQWV, EDEy FORWKing, handkerchiefs, cotton bed sheets, high school varsity letters, jackets, sweaters, suspenders, aprons, Scout badges and baseball patches.
“The wedding market is a budding market for me,” said Fisher, mentioning a quilt she made for the ChupSDK LQ D -HwLVK wHGGLQg FHUHPRQy comprising swatches submitted by relatives of the bride.
Memory quilts can be created in four different styles — traditional friendship star sashing, traditional block sashing, modern or block quilt.
“My husband jokes that I’m bringing manufacturing back to the [United] States,” said Fisher, who has 20 quilts that are either queued up or in production.
“I donate one lap quilt a year to a wRUWKy QRQSURfiW [WR DuFWLRQ RII@. 7KLV year I have several to choose from. It’s nice to give back,” Fisher said.
See more at www.memoryquiltsbymolly.com or www.facebook.com/MemoryQuiltsbyMolly.
Left, Molly Fisher folds and bags one of her quilts at her home in Towamencin.
Below, Fisher is seen through an old refurbished Singer sewing machine that belonged to her mother as she works on one of her quilts.
Bottom, Fisher stitches a new quilt.