Friday, April 21, 2017

From My Mother's Scraps--Part II

Lately I've been working on documenting Mom's quilts. So I thought this would be a good time to share more of the projects I have made (or have in the works) from the scraps she has passed on to me over the years from the quilts she has made. You can find part one here.
I will show my project first and then will follow with Mom's quilt that begat it. : )

When I recently found projects hiding in my sewing room closet, the brown/cream HSTs for these baskets were among them. They were leftover from one of Mom's few tied quilts. It was a quilt Dad had seen in a book and liked it, so Mom made it for him.
Don't you hate when this happens?
I'm not sure if this is how it will finish, or if I will add more borders. Right now it would finish just under 12".
Yesterday I sewed up the baskets (which will finish at 5") 
and was about to sash them with a blue plaid from Mom's leftovers, but it wasn't my favorite combination. Then I had the bright idea to use part of Dad's favorite blue plaid shirt. I'm really liking the fact that this is made from leftovers of a quilt Mom made for Dad and fabric from Dad's favorite shirt.

This is a really poor photo of Mom's quilt--and then I made it worse by using a photo of the photo. I'm not sure why, but Mom called this The Cowboy Quilt. She made it just 4 or 5 years ago.
You can see that the stars were made using brown/cream HSTs, and Mom had made a few dozen more than she needed.
When she was choosing the fabrics for this quilt she wasn't pleased with the selection of plaids available locally, so I brought her some of the plaid shirts from my stash. I believe this is the only quilt in which she ever used repurposed shirts.

You have seen this on my design wall recently. It is still hanging out there, but I have sewn a row together now and then. The first three diagonal rows are made. The others are falling off the wall.

This began with the scraps from Mom's one venture into the lovely, flowery world of watercolor quilts. 
This was named "Drink the Living Water". I don't know if that was the name of the pattern, or if she made it up. If you enlarge the photo you may be able to see the stipple quilting--it is all by hand. I can't imagine doing that over all those seams!

I didn't have enough leftovers from the watercolor quilt to get as many blocks as I wanted, so I also incorporated squares from Mom's Postage Stamp-ish quilt. It isn't a true postage stamp quilt if you define that as a quilt with 1" finished squares. The squares in her quilt finished at 1 1/2". Close enough, to me.
I liked the fact that the pastel inner border on this quilt is also made up of little squares.

A few of the blocks in the quilt below were already assembled, but not used in the quilt of Mom's. There was a bunch of leftover squares already cut, too.
I did have to supplement the scraps just a tiny bit to have enough blocks to make a good sized throw quilt. I don't know why I haven't quilted this yet.

(My camera lens appears to have had a smudge when I took this photo years ago.)
I was with Mom in a local quilt shop when she saw a quilt made from this pattern on display. She really liked it and bought the pattern then and there. Mom rarely did that. Most of the quilts she made were from books or magazines she or I owned.

The challenge I have always faced when I incorporate units that Mom had already assembled, is the fact that in all Mom's decades of quilting, she has never owned a 1/4" foot, yet she has always used the edge of her foot as her seam guide, so her seams are always larger than 1/4". Matching the units I make with the units she makes isn't always easy, and the making of the quilt from these leftovers was a challenge, trying to get my blocks the same size as hers.

In Part 1 I shared these little quilts with you. I made these with leftover units from the last quilt my Mom made and gifted them to my daughters. 

 Now I am making one for myself.  I have one more hexie flower and 4 more HSTs, along with several strips of trimmings from the piano key border Mom had assembled, so I could make one more of these little quilts.

The quilting is now farther along than this shows. About all I have left to do are the motifs in the corners.

Mom decided that the quilt she made in 2015 (when she was 85) would be her last. She called it her Happy Quilt. You can see the elements that I used to make the little quilts above.


Mom is a cat lover, and for her birthday about 3 years ago I made this little quilt that I had first seen on another blog. It is foundation pieced, and not as hard as it may look. I used fabrics from 4 different quilts of Mom's to make this little piece. I will only share one of them with you. 
The quilt below is the source of the fabrics in the little quilt at the top of the pile, right beneath the kitty. This is Mom's Kitty Quilt.
 A friend had given her yards of this kitten fabric, and she had to make something with it. I helped her come up with a block that was not quite square, to accommodate the size of the kitten panels. I have a bunch of the kitten fabric left among her "scraps".
There are bags of Mom's scraps I haven't even opened yet, so maybe someday there will be a "Part III".
Most of my sewing lately has been work on swaps I have coming up, and a very minimal effort on quilting "the beast". It really does annoy my shoulder to push that king-size thing around under the needle for very long. But it will eventually get finished--one block every week or two, maybe, but it will get finished!!
Until next time, 
Janet O.


  1. It is such a wonderful thing to document your mom's work. I wish I knew all the quilts my mother had made...good going sweet daughter!!!

  2. What a lovely and sweet project you have embarked upon! I hope documenting your mom's quilts (and your little replica/leftover-scrap pieces) includes labels on the back of each piece in case they are ever separated from the photos you have taken. This is a lovely tribute to your mom's quilting career and a beautiful heritage for your family. I keep going back to the photo of your mom's postage stamp quilt and the texture of the quilting highlighted in the sunlight - gorgeous!

  3. What a joy and treasure to document your Mom's work. I had to go back and read the part 1....I missed it I think as I was just home from the hospital. I love that you are using up parts of each quilt that she saved. Making small ones that are easy to share with the family is such a good idea. I love the kitty quilt, and the Happy Quilt too, but you know my favorite! The Living Water watercolor is beautiful and so is the postage stamp one.
    I remember taking a class from a national quilter--whose name escapes me--- when I first began and she taught to use the side of the presser foot to create your own personal seam allowance. Her theory was that as long as you were consistent, the size did not matter.
    Great post and I am pinning a few of them:)

  4. You have the greatest ideas and I love how you use your mom's fabrics to make such pretty things. I love the cowboy quilt too...Blues and tans are always so pretty together. Your mom made such pretty quilts!

  5. what a blessing to share the passion of quilting with your mom. Her quilts are lovely. The flower pot is so sweet. That is my favorite kind of summer quilt. light and happy.
    the leftovers are so nice - pretty stitching.
    What a fun post - love your basket blocks too - thanks for the chuckle lol.
    i'm gong back to look through the quilts again!

  6. I so enjoyed this post and seeing all of your mom's and your beautiful quilts. I think this wo?uld make a wonderful book - have you thought about writing one ?

  7. Wow another morning of beautiful eye candy. Thanks. Counting down to retirement in august where I will live in the sewing room yay!

  8. Oh what wonderful quilts and such special memories. I wholeheartedly agree with Teresa (above) that this "generational" memory quilting would make a wonderful book. I enjoy a quilt even more if it has a special story. However, this might be a little too personal and difficult for you right now. Maybe next year? And I think the star in the "cowboy" quilt is called "cowboy Star" which may be why your Mom named it that. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day.

  9. Your mother's Cowboy Quilt reminds me of quilts in Barbara Brackman's book. Thank you for sharing your mother's quilts. Her seam allowance reminds me of Eleanor Burns always telling quilters to cut their sashings/borders, etc to match their finished block measurements as one person's finished measurement is not always the same as another.

  10. Such a beautiful and sweet effort! The quilts of your mom's and the quilts with her scraps are wonderful. I especially like that one with the cat on it. So creative and heart warming.

  11. Very sweet journey through your Mom's scraps! Love the tiny quilts you've made with them. The kitty quilt is too cute. Hope the Beast finally gets its last push through before the hot weather settles in.

  12. How wonderful to have such treasures from your mother. You are doing a lovely job finishing them and you will have some sweet reminders of you mom. Good luck with the beast--best not to overdo and end up with an injury!

  13. Love the browns and blues in that little basket quilt. It's just is so soothing. I sure enjoyed seeing what you have done with your mother's scraps through the years. Such a variety too! The only scraps I have from my mother are either Christmas fabric scraps from her "Boutique" years or drapery remnants from when my grandmother worked at Z.C.M.I. in the drapery department. I have used a lot of the Christmas scraps but some of the reds bleed so I used them sparingly. Love the paper pieced cat on a stack of quilts. That is adorable.

  14. What a legacy!! Incorporating your Dad's shirt fabric into the quilt borders was brilliant. Hope I am still quilting at age 85. The beast does not stand a chance--he doesn't know who he is up against.

  15. Your mom was prolific, proficient, and creative. Just like you. I thinks it's fun that you're making multi-generational quilts (so to speak). I love your basket up top as well as the 64- and 16-patch quilts. And that photo of your mom with her Happy Quilt is a gem.

  16. Janet, that picture of your mom with the quilt is GORGEOUS!!! I LOVE it!!
    thanks so much for sharing her quilts and the stories!! AMAZING!!

  17. janet, you are blessed indeed to have such a legacy of inspiration from your mom...thanks for sharing with us...

  18. I love the way you have shared your mother's inspirational work and your own projects. Lovely! Thank-you for the insight!

  19. What a fun post - love all of the projects, and love having a little bit of your family history to go with them. I'm looking forward to the next scrap bag!

  20. A really interesting post Janet - it's lovely to see the flow of scraps back and forth between mother and daughter :-)

  21. Beautiful quilts, all of them! The picture of your mom and her quilt is a treasure, as much as the quilt itself! Lots of inspiration again in this blog. ---"Love"

  22. So many fun projects Janet! I especially love the basket quilt in blue & brown - great color combo!

  23. What a sweet daughter you are to honor your mom this way and to enjoy using up her scraps. I love, love the little baskets and the sashing from your dad's shirt. Such nice treasures to keep and share.

  24. Great documentation Mom :)
    I don't think I've ever seen that quilt top of 16 patches and 64 patches...I really like it!

  25. What a wonderful legacy of your mom and of the treasures she has created. The fact that you have made so many beautiful pieces from her scraps makes it even more heart warming. I'll bet she adores the paper pieced cat quilt! That is darling. What a blessing you are to her!


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