Shelley Chappell was 15 when she created her first quilt in a home economics class.

“I’ve always loved quilts,” Chappell says. “So I chose to make one.”

Since then, the Lake Highlands resident has designed countless custom quilts for anyone who orders them. Though Chappell works with many different styles, she finds her “memory quilts” the most satisfying. People bring her boxes of old clothes and other belongings, which often belonged to someone that has passed away.

She takes these fabrics and pieces them together, sometimes even including photos of the loved one.

“It’s like a living scrapbook,” Chappell says.

“They can take the memories and wrap up in them.” The clients are frequently moved by the quilts and the memories they bring to mind, which makes Chappell’s job even more fulfilling, she says. “I didn’t know what to think at first because all my customers cried,” she says. “Sometimes they ask, ‘Can I give you a hug?’”

In September, Chappell will open a quilt store where she will sell quilting supplies and take custom orders.

For information, call 972-97-QUILT.