Wednesday 1 November 2023

Something Old, Something New

Today is the reveal for "Circles and Squares." I had only about a month to work on mine, and so I needed something I could do quickly. During the month of August, I was finishing up sewing together the blocks for my Vintage Linen quilt top. I'd made crazy quilt blocks using some of my grandmother's vintage dresser scarves as the center pentagon.

And so I had some of my grandmother's doilies and dresser scarves scattered around the room. I noticed this one. 

It was probably made to put at the top of a chair back, to protect the upholstery from the oil from someone's hair. I didn't think to take a picture until I'd already started taking it apart, but I think you can get the idea what it looked like when she made it.

My grandmother inspired me to learn to quilt. She was long gone by the time I learned, but she was the quilter I knew growing up. Her quilts were all hand-pieced and hand-quilted. She had a heart condition, and she was required to be lying down all but about 4 hours out of any given day. That meant she kept herself busy doing needlework, including embroidery and crochet. She could pick up the tiniest crochet hook and start pattern, no nothing. She just crocheted until she had created something lovely and delicate.

Well, okay, so I found those little circular pieces, but what could I do for squares? Then I remembered this fabric I'd picked up in our travels. I'd selected it for a certain purpose, but then ended up doing something completely different. (How many times have you done that?) And it seemed I could use the two things together somehow.

So, I cut apart an appropriate number of squares. (I liked those little messages on the selvage edge too.)

First, I laid out the blocks. They seemed a little boring until I added the brightly colored buttons, which also counted as circles.

And then I used a zigzag stitch to stitch the doilies to the you would for applique.

And then, I sewed all the blocks together.

And then, I added this pretty quilt block batik to three sides and the button jar panel to the fourth.

For quilting, I selected this variegated thread. It had all the right colors.

And then I quilted it with a simple dot-to-dot motif.

In the border, I quilted a sort of square stipple, and then I sewed on the buttons.

When the quilting was finished it looked like this.

I used another pretty pastel batik for the binding.

And then my quilt was finished!

I used this sewing-themed fabric on the back. My quilt was created by two quilters: my grandmother and me.

So, I hope you like my quilt. It isn't one of my more inspired creations, but I'm happy to have found another way to incorporate my grandmother's needlework into one of my projects.

 Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while…but our hearts forever. ~ Unknown


  1. Great creation. I love the jars of buttons at the bottom and the use of your grandmother's doilies.

  2. This is such a joyful quilt Barbara, I love your colour scheme and repurposing your grandmother's crochet was inspired :)

  3. Gosh, it is so hard to get to post a comment on Blogger!!
    But I love this piece -- you added so many elements that reinforced the theme!

    I am working on a table topper made of old handkerchief corners -- I have plenty left so I may make a companion piece using your idea of the crazy quilt blocks, because I love that piece too!


    1. Thank you, Gwen. The handkerchief table topper sounds wonderful. I used some of her handkerchiefs to make a cat quilt where the cats are wearing the handkerchiefs as aprons.

  4. I this is beautiful. I love the way you have included your grandma’s crochet and added the buttons and jars of buttons. It’s a really cheerful quilt :)

  5. I love the detail you put in and it all compliments your grandmothers pieces and is alovely keepsake - fun and joyful. - Ruth