Heirloom Quilts

Today's post is honoring the handicraft of my foremothers, specifically, their quilting.  I have the enormous privilege of owning several quilts made by my paternal grandmother, and now, several quilts made by my late mother.  I've chosen one of each for today's blog post with the simple hope of sharing some beauty with the world.

Staring with the quilt made by my grandmother:

It's a relatively straightforward quilt.  I would describe it as made with frame blocks using an on-point design:


All of the quilts I have from my paternal grandmother seem to be scrap quilts.  She is no longer around for me to ask about her intentions, but I suspect this is just a reflection of her thrifty nature.  She was an adult during the Great Depression in America and lived a very rural life.  I never knew my grandparents to be wasteful or extravagant.  I think the idea of making-do and using what one had was a lifelong habit for many of their generation.

The quilt is both hand-pieced and hand-quilted.  I remember having to be very careful around her house as a child because there were often pins and needles on the floor, quite attracted to little, unsuspecting bare feet!  I suspect her projects followed her around the house as she worked.

Next up is a Double Wedding Ring quilt with scalloped edges made by my mother (probably sometime in the early '80s or late '70s):

This too is hand-pieced and hand-quilted, aside from the binding which has been attached by machine.

One of my cats was highly intrigued by this quilt and its smells.  I fear I have more good shots of the cat than I do of the quilt!

She was doing such a good job at posing - so photogenic - I just couldn't resist!

The weather turned soggy again in the interval and I didn't want to get this quilt wet, so I only have another close-up shot to share with you.  My mother's quilts often feature these small, dainty prints, but not exclusively.  She made some quilts which feature only strong primary colors.

A few of my mother's quilts have crossed the Atlantic to join me here in France, but others have stayed at home, in Arizona.  When we can all safely travel again, I'll gladly document and share those as well!  The physical, home-made objects that have been passed down to me by my family are one of the main ways that I honor those individuals and that I keep their memories alive in my own life, especially as I live abroad.  I think these connections are important wherever we live, even if we are in the same town as our loved ones.  There is so much love and personality that goes into these creations, whether they be woodwork or leather tooling or knitting!  It's as if there is a part of that person infused into the object.

In any case, I hope this little presentation of some of my family heirlooms brightens your day today and that your own family heirlooms do the same for you every day.  Keep safe everybody!


  1. I love this tribute to your grandmother! Her quilts are beautiful! In my sewing room I keep a "trasmatta" (a rug made from scrap fabric woven together https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trasmatta) that my grandmother made me, and just last spring I sewed a skirt from one of her hand-woven curtains. It makes me feel more connected to her and keeping her legacy alive.

    1. Thank you! I remember your skirt project from your grandmother's handwoven curtain! I thought it was so beautiful and a lovely way to keep her presence with you in daily life!


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