Memory quilts are the ultimate gift, featuring everything from concert T-shirts to little league baseball jerseys

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For more than 10 years, Mike and Bonnie Holodnak have been creating heirloom quilts featuring T-shirts, clothing and more. Memory quilts are the perfect way to cherish childhood memories or honor a lost loved one. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio)

By Laura Briedis

You can literally wrap yourself up in memories, with some help from Memory Lane Quilting. From a quilt that incorporates concert T-shirts to little league baseball jerseys, these memory quilts tell a story.

“Whether a quilt made from bathing suits that reminds you of your favorite vacation places to sorority shirts from college years, we creatively put together the pieces that will keep the warmth of your memories alive,” says Bonnie Holodnak, who owns the Brecksville-based business along with her husband, Mike.

“One of the most popular quilts features sport jerseys,” comments Mike, pointing out a quilt they made using a photo of a high school football player and his parents taken on the field, which was placed in the center of the quilt surrounded by multiple jerseys and football camp shirts worn over the years. 

Other customers have saved every jersey worn by their child from little league to high school baseball, as well as clothing from cheerleading, marching band, dance teams and theater. Even ribbons from horse shows and golf towels make for a unique quilt.

“We generally lay out the quilt in a checkerboard pattern, alternating light and dark,” explains Mike. “If the customer requests chronological order or some other special sequence, we will go through each shirt with them to create the design.” 

Depending on the size, Memory Lane can make a lap quilt (53 by 62 inches), a twin bed size quilt (62 by 82 inches), a wall hanging (44 by 53 inches), or other special requested size. They can also make stuffed teddy bears. 


“Sometimes people sort through a box of clothing and only bring what they think will look good on a quilt,” says Mike. 

“Don’t dismiss any items and just bring everything so we can sort through the items together. It is our job to piece fabrics and colors together in a way that makes them stylish.”

Using a unique quilting process, Memory Lane Quilting does not use stabilizers on the T-Shirts, so they are very soft and cuddly. A special stitching technique keeps the individual shirts from stretching, allowing the quilt to keep its shape.

“Whether a graduation present for a child heading off to college or a memory quilt that honors a person who has passed away, these quilts are the ultimate gift,” says Bonnie. 

In addition to creating memory quilts, Mike and Bonnie can assist quilters who make their own quilt tops but need help quilting them together with backing and batting. Memory Lane Quilting also sells new Nolting Longarm quilting machines and used equipment. 

Memory Lane Quilting is located at 6950 Miller Road in Brecksville. Shop hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday, Sunday and evenings by appointment only. Call 330-468-2831 or visit MemoryLaneQuilting.com for more information.