Our Quilting Stories {And A Quilted Giveaway}




One of my goals for this past winter was to make a few quilts.  It was a big goal for me and I wrote about it here and issued a challenge to all you readers!  I asked you to share  pictures and even a little quilting story and I’m so happy to be able to follow up today with all that was shared with me.

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  1. Carol says:

    Jillian’s story is my favorite. I will never forget my own grandmother sharing her talents with me. Today, as I pick up a needle or rug hook, I think of her and am grateful for the gift of creativity which she shared so freely with me.

  2. Joan H says:

    Oh my, I thoroughly enjoyed this! We just moved from NE Arkansas to the eastern part of Virginia’s Northern Neck (that’s a mouth full). My sewing stuff is still in major disarray, but seeing your post makes me want to get in there and straighten it up (actually I need shelving!). Jillian’s quilt inspires me because I have a 9 year old granddaughter nearby now, and Wanda’s quilt inspires me because I too was part of a threesome of girlfriends, one of whom died of cancer 2 1/2 years ago. We miss her every day! Thank you all for sharing your stories. ❤

  3. Kathleen Frederick says:

    Oh my this post just thrilled me! So many bonified quilters, real quilters! I loved Jaime’s comments, LOVED Jillian’s comments and her quilt, and fell in love with you and your Momma’s picture!

  4. Cyndie Gray says:

    Oh my such wondrous stories AND such beautiful quilts. The story that most touched me is Jillian’s. I haven’t quilted but she makes me think that maybe, someday, I could start out small & try to make a quilt!!!

  5. Wendy Besong says:

    I just love all the pictures and descriptions of why people love to quilt. The fabric is what draws me in. My favorite quilt was done by my best friend who died of cancer several years ago. I draw inspiration from her talent and vision.

  6. Emily says:

    Hi Dori; I loved this post! Reading everyone’s comments and their stories brings back some wonderful memories. I think of my grandmother and those women who came to her house to put a quilt in the frame and quilt. I loved sitting under it listening to their life stories as they quilted. I can still remember some of their names. Seeing the picture of you and your mother sitting together quilting your Grandmother Flower Garden quilts is priceless. I am a quilter and my hand pieced project is a one inch GFG quilt. I laughed when I saw Lisa sitting at her sewing machine in her camper. I have been there!

  7. Krista says:

    Dori, this is a fabulous post. I love seeing everyone’s pictures and reading their stories. Every single one of these quilts are absolutely beautiful, but if I have to pick one I would say Jamie’s purple quilt. I love the colors and design on the fabric. It reminds me of a purple quilt my grandma made me. This really encourages me to make my own quilt some day.

  8. Marsha says:

    I loved reading Maxine’s story. I, too, grew up with quilts on the bed. My favorite quilt of all time is one that my paternal grandmother cut the pieces for, my maternal grandmother pieced the top, and my great grandmother sewed the French knot “sunflower seeds” in the centers of the sunflower blocks. enjoyed everyone’s quilting stories! Another family quilt is made from wool suit fabrics and was a graduation gift to my maternal grandmother. Finally, I have a crazy quilt that was made by my maternal grandmother, and I need to learn some skills so I can mend it – one fabric has disintegrated so I’d like to replace it. If anyone has suggestions of how to do that I would be grateful.

  9. Joyce says:

    I don’t know which story I like the best either. I love the picture of Lisa tho!! I have inherited some old parts of quilts from my grandmother also. They are very imperfect but I have learned just to love them in all their imperfection because they are from her. I am making one of them into a wall hanging now.

  10. Wanda Irvine says:

    I like Maxine’s comment “quilts tell a story”. I have my moms old quilt that a group of ladies put together for her when my dad left for WWII. I can just see them around the quilting frame giving support and cheering her up. When I taught nursery school I always had a pioneer week. I would bring my quilt and read a story about a granny’s quilt that saved the day! We would churn butter and try my spinning wheel! Loved all your stories!

  11. Genevieve V. says:

    I absolutely LOVED all of your winter quilts. Such an inspiration! But Jillian’s quilt and memory was my favorite! Makes me want to make time this summer to sew some up with our girls. 🙂

  12. Marjorie Wieweck says:

    I too loved Jillian’s sorry as I can relate with 3 granddaughters & 1 grandson that I have taught to sew & quilt. They have one of their own they’ve made & many that I have made for them. The double wedding ring I’ve started but haven’t finished yet is for the oldest one for her high school graduation this June. I’m about half done so need to get with it.

  13. Gloria Smith says:

    Dori, I enjoyed this blog post. I have been quilting for over 25 years. It is just a part of who I am. I loved Jaime’s comments. All of the ladies made beautiful quilts. After reading Maxine’s post it makes me want to pull out the partial finished quilt that I have that belonged to my husband’s mother. It is a Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern. I’ve only hand quilted one large quilt. Maybe this is be my next winter’s project – finish the top and hand quilt. Thanks for your blog.

  14. Mary says:

    What I loved the most wasn’t a story, but the picture of you and your Mother quilting together. It brought back many happy memories of my Mother and Grandmother sitting around a quilting frame in the evenings, stitching and talking. I would fall asleep on a couch listening to the needles pop in and out of the quilt. At some point, Mom would pick me up off the couch and tuck me into bed. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!!

  15. Sandy says:

    Loved all the quilts, I enjoy seeing what others do with fabric. There are no quilters in my family other than me, so for me the creative process is most important. I connect with Lisa the most. Thanks for posting the pictures.

  16. lizvc says:

    They were all wonderful! My mother was an award-winning quilter. She loved piecing and quilting by hand and had the tiniest stitches and perfect corners. So, while I learned a number of crafts from her, I hesitated to take up quilting. I used my job as an excuse. Still, I went to quilt shows with her and bought fabric for her, so I did develop a love of quilting. She passed ten years ago. My best friend is now teaching me how to quilt. It has added another dimension to and deepened our friendship so Kathleen’s story resonated in me the most.

  17. Nancy Mosley says:

    All of these stories were near. I have & use my grandmothers quilts and look at the fabrics and wonder if it was a dress she wore or a shirt my grandfather wore. I’ve never made a quilt but I remember watching my mom & grandmother make one. I want to make one someday. I liked Kathleen’s story of how a friend helped her after a surgery. What a nice gift to get someone started as they recover and also maybe help take their mind off of recovery. I also liked the colors of her quilt. Very pretty!

  18. Sandi King says:

    Dori, I loved so many of these quilts and stories, especially about those that said they inherited quilts from in-laws or grandmothers. My gramma also left me a quilt she made. It is a small one but adored because she used scraps of material from clothes and linens that I remember from staying with her when I was a young girl. I bought a sewing machine that I will be using to make my own quilts. I will do some hand work also, and I hope to incorporate some embroidery squares of my own design for special people in my life into the quilts I make for others. We will be getting our home (doublewide mobile home) this weekend and then start working on it. In a couple weeks my cabin will be delivered and as soon as it gets finished with insulation, drywall and paint, and electric I will be moving my crafts into that space to work on them. Wanda, Jaime, Laurel and Bonnie’s quilts and stories impressed me a great deal and I hope I can become as good a quilter as they are. Thank you so much for posting this blog. I love MaryJane’s Farm magazine and all the bloggers on here. Every one I read is enjoyable and makes me smile. So happy to be able to have this interlude with all of you.

  19. Ellen Gerard says:

    You so inspire me! Thank you! Love all quilts! It is like covering family and friends with love So many beautiful unique ones to choose from- just can’t decide. Have a happy blessed day1

  20. My first quilt was for my 1st grandchild a grand daughter. All the post and pictures from everyone brought me back to a simpler time and how much joy making that very 1st quilt. It was Cinderella and the last block I placed a block with a embroidered golden slipper. It made my heart so happy to see she has now put it in a special place and many years have passes it held together yeah!!! I had no previous knowledge or family that passed any knowledge along. Your blogging blessed me to read how people share a little love from themselves to others and how it so lovingly impacts the receivers.

  21. Debra Brown says:

    I Love quilts and make a lot of quilts too, so I love quilt stories too.

  22. Kim Van Rheenen says:

    I love Maxine’s story. My son now uses a quilt made of the trimmed off bottoms of men’s woolen trousers. My maternal grandmother took in sewing to help make ends meet when she and my grandfather had 10 children (!) and used the excess length trimmed off of men’s woolen trousers to make a quilt. Heavy and warm, it has lasted many years!

  23. Marilyn Walsh says:

    Wanda’s story touched my heart! I have 2 very dear friends whom I have known for nearly 32 years. I have been working 2-3 jobs for the last few years and have been able to do any kind of craft. I have dabbled in quilting in the past, but never finished a quilt. My grandmother was an avid quilter and made some beautiful quilts from only scraps. She would gasp at actually buying material to make one! I think I am going to try to make a quilt for my friends similar to Wanda’s.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. Maureen says:

    Lisa’s story resonates with me. My husband and I both have busy lives and he respects my need of “Sewing Sundays”. He cooks, I sew and we both are ready for the new work week. He honors my plea of “I need to go sew” and tells everyone it’s my passion. I am blessed.

  25. Mary Rauch says:

    Totally enjoyed this posting and all these wonderful pictures! I bet it was a treat for you when it all came together?…Thanks so much for all your work!
    Keep me in mind for your quilted drawing please.

  26. MarciD says:

    I liked Marci’s comment (and not just because I have the same name) about stitching a quilt and faith. I have never quilted but it is one of my goals. Loved all pictures! Very inspiring.

  27. Dori says:

    I connected with Luanne’s post the most. I often think about the women in the 17 and 1800s who stitched, cut, pressed, quilted etc. without electricity, a sewing machine (sometimes) fabric stores, cutting mats and rotary cutters, myriads of thread choices and I am in awe of them. What a labor of necessity yes but also love. So I am very much attracted to the old classic patterns and reproduction fabric. Quilting is timeless.

  28. I actually like the “funny” photo. We lived in an RV for a while, too, and I think quilting would have been VERY helpful for my sanity! LOL!

  29. Vivian Monroe says:

    I feel so bad I didnt get to make one as I had accepted the challenge then we decided we were going to move so my entire house is packed up, but now we are not moving yet, so I will have to get out my sewing machine and dig around my tubs and boxes for material and make me a quilt. I loved every story especially the one the lady made of her three friends, and my favorite was the pic of you and your mom at the end, it brought a big smile to my face when I saw yall’s smiles. Hope I win some potholders, maybe then I will be inspired to at least try my hand at those. Be BLessed and thanks for sharing all of the beautiful quits and stories. Neta

  30. Patti Hurlburt says:

    Thanks for sharing all the quilting stories. I loved the one from Maxine (which is my mothers name by the way). I too found quilt tops from my grandmother that she hadn’t gotten finished. I inherited her button box and a lot of the material scraps that she had saved. Someday I hope to get them all pieced into a crazy quilt. My last memory of my grandmother quilting was of me sitting beneath the quilt and helping her get the needle back through to to top. It took a lot of time because her fingers weren’t so nimble but we finally finished the quilt. The stitches were lovingly sewn and I’ll cherish it always.

  31. Vicki Meeds says:

    The last photo of you and your mother brought tears to my eyes. My mother made many of those same blocks. I have one quilt top she made with them. Several years ago my mother and I spent time just like that embroidering quilt blocks. A memory I cherish now. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Carmen Anderson says:

    Oh my heavens how do we pick our favorite story/photo!!!? I enjoyed all of them and isn’t that what quilts do..take us to a moment in time filled with love, laughter, tears, memories of those we love, those we may never have known yet are connected through the threads of time. Quilts truly do bind us together, whether with perfectly matched theme or the mismatched characters of life….quilts provide us warmth, protection, a place to daydream, to welcome life and to hold dear as a life passes away. My quilts may never win a blue ribbon or be displayed in a museum, they surround those I love with my love forever and always, what more could I ask for….

  33. Judy says:

    I loved all the quilting stories. My Great Grandmother quilted all winter long beside the little ‘olé pot-belly stove. I’d sit there reading some book or other watching her knarled fingers pushing that needle in and out, in and out. I hated it when she disappeared into the bedroom to spread it out on her spare bed to do the batting and backing. I wanted to see what she was doing. I didn’t want to miss anything.* giggle* That sweet lady made so many quilts to warm my sister and I, relatives, neighbors and friends. All were done my hand in the “scrappy” style. They were so colorful and thick. I still have a couple of her quilts. Everybody who got one of Grams quilts really got a treasure to keep, a memory of a hard-working lady who gave so much of herself to others for their comfort and happiness. I have a bit of an itch to try to quilt too. I just need to start and to not be afraid. I think I’ll start something small. It’s in my blood right? *giggle* BTW, I love that picture of your and your sweet momma! That IS a keeper.

  34. Debbie Shue says:

    I love quilts. Even took a claas once to learn but alas i did not finish the class or the quilt i hoped to make. Still have the fabric somewhere. Its been at least 10 years…i am blessed to have some of my grandmothers quilts. I always feel her presence when i cuddle in one of them i envy you quilters and get inspired from this post and the pictures to try again. Would love to make quilts for my grandchildren to cuddle in and have good thoughts of me when i am gone.

  35. lyn moon says:

    I think Jillian story is my favorite. Doing this with her grandma is a memory I’m sure she will never forget. For either of you. And she has something to show for it. Building such precious memories.

  36. Donna Rothe says:

    My favorite was from Wanda and the ‘three girls’ having tea. It reminds me of my sister and I. Although we are far apart, AL & CA when we get together we have tea in our perspective flower gardens.

    My own favorite quilt top was a surprise from my Grandma Emily. When my sister and I were little, our favorite dolls had clothes my Grandma made. Unbeknown to me she had saved all the leftover material from the clothes and incorporated it into a quilt she gave me years later. When my grandma gave the quilt top to me, the material looked familiar but I couldn’t place it. Then she told me about the doll clothes material. I was totally surprised and it brought tears to me eyes. My Grandma Emily is now gone and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and how happy I am she kept that material for a special quilt.

  37. Carol Slater says:

    I loved all of the stories, but I think that Maxine’s story really touched me the most. Finding the quilt tops from her grandmother and finally finishing them is something that I will never experience. My grandmother did quilt a little, but she mainly done crochet and knit work along with many other crafts. She was very talented and I never really took up any of the crafts from her. Now that I am older, I wish I would have.

  38. Marion says:

    Wanda’s quilt touched me the most. true friendships are everlasting and forever, depite someone passing on. Thanks for the giveaway.

  39. Joan says:

    Bonnie’s quilt was my favorite. I love anything to do with history. Thank you for all the photos and stories of the various quilts.

  40. Marilyn says:

    Jaime’s quilt touched me the most. Including her late sister in her brother’s wedding was beautiful an so thoughtful. Thank you for sharing your quilting ,too.

  41. Pam masse says:

    The quilts you do are very beautiful and inspiring. Keep up the good work.

  42. Bonnie B says:

    What a great post! So glad so many quilters took the challenge. I enjoyed reading all the stories that they shared. Stories seem to give such meaning to a quilt and those who know the story behind their quilt are indeed fortunate.
    I was planning to include a quilt in the challenge that I was working on, but it is only pieced so far. I will be quilting it soon. It is redwork and patchwork bunnies and chicks with an Easter/Spring theme, so I had to hang it for Easter without it being quilted. lol And since I have been working on my granddaughter’s prom “outfit”. It’s not a formal but a short, black circular skirt with a crinoline and a black & white fitted crop top. Verycute.
    I loved the pictures of your darling potholders and would be so pleased to win some.

  43. Becky Treahy says:

    I can relate to Maxine’s more because I have quilt top that was pieced by my grandma… I think…lol. It could have been by my mother. Neither one of them were quilters that I know of, but this top showed up at my grandma’s house somehow. I had to find fabrics that blended and colors that matched to make it large enough, and that took me forever. I will start hand quilting it soon for my grand daughter. My own daughter will be helping me quilt it… That is truly a multi-generation project. I love the picture of you and yr mother too. That is a wonderful memory!

  44. Joan says:

    I’m not good at making choices so I am going to say – QUILT on GIRLS!!! such loving, lovely stories. I was taught by my Great Aunt Edna – first I sorted fabrics, then I got to draw around the patterns – then to cutting — piecing — to finishing. When she passed, she left boxes full of pieces, some somewhat together – many not – I have spent 20 years making quilts from these boxes of pieces – still have at least 8 more to go – hope I live long enough. Because I have all these pieces, I don’t visit the quilt shops but I saw your thimble and am very interested in it, might you tell me where you got it? Sure does look like a good thing. Thanks for bringing back my memories. God bless.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Joan,

      That thimble is awesome. It has the metal end just like the old ones, but a silicone body so it conforms to your finger. Super comfortable to wear. I bought it at Joan’s Fabrics.

      Thanks for writing!


  45. Susan Carter says:

    I loved all the quilts and quilters’ comments as I found we had many threads in common. Lisa (blue and yellow plaid), however, really resonated with me. Is it the same Lisa that is quilting in the travel trailer? I need to create a little each day. It may be a stitch or two on a project in my “handwork go-bag” or time in my studio, both refresh me. I have 4 children ages 15-34. When the kids were little, people would ask how I found the time to sew. I’ve always answered, “A few stitches every day really add up. Besides, it’s the only thing I do each day doesn’t get undone.” Quilting and other handwork represents progress; forward motion; making the most of today; and looking forward to what comes next.

    • Lisa says:

      The blue and yellow quilt is one I made from my husband’s dress shirts, thank you! I don’t remember what I was working on in the trailer.

  46. Debbie says:

    Kathleen’s story touched a chord in my heart. I have two dear friends who both weave their love of quilting and helping together. We have spent many hours doing things for one another and then spending time creating beauty together.

  47. Judy says:

    Loved all the stories. I have been a quilter for 30 years plus and can relate to each story, collectively they have inspired me to find and finish a pile of blocks my mom started about 20 years ago. I know I still have tucked away in my stash, and I know I can finish it and then give it to her in time for her 84th birthday. Thanks to you all for the inspiration.

  48. Sara Bell says:

    I loved seeing all the pictures of the quilts. I am working on a king size one for my sister and brother in law. My sister married a soldier like me, I have made the the quilt top with patriot prints, boarder out of ACU print (army uniform print), and added patches from my brother in laws uniform that he wore during multiple depoyments to the middle east. This is only my second quilt. As I work on the quilt I remember learning to quilt and use a sewing machine while living in Germany with my soldier. I also think about how grateful I am that both my brother and law and my own soldier have made it home multiple times from deployments. I am happy to say my husband is retiring in a year more then 20 years in the army, so deploymentshe are finished.

  49. Brenda says:

    Quilts are one of my favorite things I don’t have time to work on one right now but I still buy the material for one of these days it is funny how looking at a quilt with a certain color can take me right to my grandma’s house. I love stories about quilts and memories

  50. Sunnie says:

    Thanks for the giveaway, I like to make quilts too, I am very much a beginner.

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