20-year-old goes viral for memorial quilt made from her late father’s old t-shirts

A young woman is turning her grief into quilts on TikTok

Summer Thompson has only posted a few videos on her account, but what she has shared is already moving millions. Thompson’s father passed away last year and to process the loss, she made a special memorial blanket out of his old t-shirts. At a time when mass numbers of people are grieving all over the world due to the pandemic, her message has struck a chord with many. 

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“Waves of emotion making this one,” Thompson wrote in the video caption. “My dad passed away in July. He was my best friend. He survived cancer and a lung transparent. Instead of getting rid of his shirts, I decided to make blankets for my mom, my sister and my half-sister.” 

Thompson documented moments from her creative process in the clip. She cut up his old t-shirts featuring movies, sports teams and bands. Sometimes she would become overwhelmed and break down crying while she was stitching the pieces together. The finished product was a bittersweet patchwork quilt and a homage to so many things her dad liked.

Thompson’s video received 16.4 million views. She later provided an update in the comment section. 

“My one sister called me sobbing and my other sister teared up,” Thompson said of giving them the gifts. “I gave it to my mom when this video only had one ‘like.’ She started crying and telling me about each square. She slept with it last night.” 

She added that she didn’t have enough shirts to make a blanket for herself, but is using the scraps to make a teddy bear. Thompson is now providing tutorials on how to make the memorial blankets and will even make one for you via Etsy

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