Tag Archives: flour sack quilt

Making The Best of It

Hand Quilting In Progress

Oh my, have I ever been sick the last couple of days!

A stuffy nose crept up on me Thursday evening and by Friday morning, I was a sick mess. Stuffy nose, fever, aches and pains.

How fun!

In an effort to not spend my long weekend as a complete lump, I pulled out a hand quilting project I started ages ago. I had to go all the way back to my 2010 UFO list to find where I first started talking about this quilt.

Really? 2010? Come on Jennifer, get a move on!

Grannie's Signature Quilt
This is my granmother’s signature quilt, before quilting and before I added the border.

This quilt inspired the Extra Credit block for the Project of Doom.

You may remember that I’ve worked on other quilt tops that came from Grannie’s house after she passed away.

Grannie's Trunk Quilt
Grannie’s Trunk Quilt

Grannie's Nine Patch
Grannie’s 9-Patch

I did, apparently, at least get the borders on Grannie’s Signature Quilt and start quilting in 2010, as evidenced by my 2010 UFO Round-up.

I’m keeping the quilting super simple. Grannie was not fancy and everything she did or made was practical and frugal, and I’d like the quilting to reflect that. I’m planning to bind the quilt in muslin.

It sure would be nice if this quilt did not make it to my 2012 UFO list!

Back to my tissues…and my hand quilting.


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Grannie’s Trunk Quilt

Grannie's Trunk Quilt

I see and touch a lot of quilts. With my work through The Linus Connection, literally hundreds of quilts will go through the hands of myself and the other volunteers when we distribute quilts each month.  With that many quilts, it can sometimes slip my mind how special every quilt really is. It’s the time, the thought, and the effort that makes a quilt a quilt.

This quilt is very special, indeed.  My mom unearthed it from a trunk in my grandmother’s house after Grannie passed away.  It started out in my hands as an awkward UFO made of hand-cut (and perfectly proportioned!) flour sack blocks.  These are not reproductions, these are the real deal, some of which still  showed stitching marks from where the bags of flour were originally stitched closed.

It was very long, about eight blocks longer than you see in the photo here.  It was narrow, too, just a long, skinny quilt top, with the occasional hole from being folded for 40 years (give or take a few).  My mom estimates the fabrics themselves are much older because the original sacks were used as pillowcases before they were cut up for quilting.

The first thing I did was remove the extra length.  Then, I very carefully removed the damaged blocks, most of which were across the middle, replacing them with some of the ones I removed from the length.  All the blocks left over became new rows to make the top wider.

And then it sat in a bag in my sewing room for over a year.

It was my amazing friend Linda that inspired me to finish.  She co-owns a long-arm quilt machine and was nudging our friends to share thing with her to quilt.  I pulled out the border-less top and what remained of a bolt of muslin I bought several years ago.  There was the perfect amount for borders and backing.  Poking around my supplies, I realized I had batting, too!  Obviously, the quilt needed to be complete.

Yesterday, Linda returned the quilt to me, which I have named “Grannie’s Trunk Quilt.”   I added binding and washed the quilt – the first time this fabric has been washed in ~40 years!  It washed up beautifully, crinkling just the way an old quilt should.

What will I do with it now that it’s done?  I think it’s going back to the farm house where it began.  It’s journey would be full circle then, and that feels right to me.

So, Mom, this quilt will be coming home soon.  I hope you like it.

Grannie's Trunk Quilt

A close up of the beautiful fabrics and the scrunchilicious quilting.

Grannie's Trunk Quilt

Linda added flowers in the border, such a wonderful touch!

Grannie, Steph, Nathan, Pa & Jen
(L-R) Grannie, my sister Stephanie, Pa, me, and towering over us in the back, my “little” brother, Nathan.  March 1994.

Thanks once again to Amy for hosting another wonderful Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  I hope you’ll join in, too!

Happy Quilting!




Grannie’s 9-Patch

Grannie's 9-Patch, in progress

“Grannie’s 9-Patch,” in progress

If you stop by regularly, you probably know that a great deal of my crafty communications come via Talk To Me Tuesday, the crafty vlog project that I started last year.

The last month or so, I’ve talked a bit about some 9-patch blocks that my mom found at my grandmother’s house where she and my dad now live.  I learned to sew in that house from that same grandmother from a shoebox filled with squares of fabric cut from everything from old shirts to flour sacks, all for making 9-patch blocks.   When my mom offered the box of blocks to me, I was thrilled to take them.

Flour sack 9 patch

The 9-patch blocks the day I received them.

Some of the blocks were already pieced in long, wonky rows. When I went to quilt retreat with my sewing circle in March, I spent quite a bit of time in between other projects picking those seams apart, pressing the blocks and repairing seams where the stitching was coming out.

The blocks came home as a stack of flat, but still wonky 9-patches. I measured and measured until I found the smallest consistent size and then took a deep breath and started squaring all the blocks to the same size. Once that was done, I did a little math and decided how big I wanted the finished quilt to be.

Thanks to some good advice from my friend Osie, I knew I wanted to use muslin for sashing. Her advice for the multiple and varied prints was a fabric to calm it all down. Muslin does the trick perfectly!

I still have outside borders to add, but once that’s done, it will be ready for quilting. My lovely friend Linda quilts most of my large quilts and does a super beautiful job of it.  The back of the quilt will be muslin and it’s final resting place will be on my very own bed.

These blocks were pieced by a variety of people, many which were different generations of grandchildren.  The value of these blocks is beyond words to me and I feel incredibly lucky to have this beautiful part-heirloom, part-contemporary quilt.

Happy quilting!