Sunday, September 23, 2012

Grandmother's Blocks

I am so glad autumn has arrived. It is one of my favorite times of year with cool nights and colorful sunny days. I cannot tolerate the heat of summer. It makes me cranky, lethargic, and I don’t feel the least bit creative. Now that it is cooler I can feel my creativity coming back!

I’ve been making pumpkins and scary cats for my wooden trencher that we keep on our kitchen table. Mainly, I have been clearing away a lot of unfinished projects. One of those projects was quilt blocks that have been around for 30 years. When my grandmother was becoming old and sick, my Aunt gave her scissors and material to cut into quilt blocks so she would have something to do. Most of the squares were for nine patch blocks, but some were for a triangular pattern called “Flat Iron.”
After my grandmother died my Aunt gave me several shoeboxes of the cut material. Several years ago I had sewn most of the nine patch blocks but had never assembled them together into a quilt top. I had to sort thru the blocks and only kept the best because some were of unusable fabric. It is a busy quilt with fabrics that I can still remember from family’s clothing or my grandmother’s kitchen curtains. I have heard the term “poverty piecing” when every scrap of material is used and even some of the squares are pieced, but I don’t think my grandmother would like that term. She just used what she had and didn’t want to waste anything.

The quilt is now sewn together and it turned out better than what I thought it would. I have not “stretched” a quilt in a very long time. Since I didn’t have any help, I did not get my mothers frames out; but I basted it together on my studio floor. The quilt is now in my mother’s quilting hoop and the first block in the middle is quilted.

I used painter's tape to stretch out the backing fabric.

Then centered the backing, cotton filler and the top together.

Starting in the center, I smoothed the top out and basted using quilters pins.

I really love the curved quilters pins. They are so much faster and easier to use than basting.
Simple quilting with a dark blue thread.

I am going to save the rest of the quilting, for when the snow flies! It will be nice this winter to sit in front of the wood stove quilting, drinking my coffee, with Sadie at my feet and remembering my grandmother. 

 I'll show you my trencher full of cats and pumpkins as soon as I have it filled!
Hope you are having a great first weekend of autumn!


  1. Love the quilt! It looks wonderful :)

  2. Love love the quilt-and the history of it too!

    1. Thanks Tipper. There are so many memories attached to all the colorful pieces of fabric. I think my grandmother would be pleased that they will now become a quilt after all this time!

  3. It looks great!...I love to see a quilt with all that variety of fabrics!....beautiful!! And so great to have a quilt with some family history

    1. Thanks Tim for all your inspiration and tips. Because of you this quilt will finally be done after 30 years!

  4. it looks great!!...I love a quilt with all that variety of fabric...and so great that it has family history!!....beautiful