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Monday, September 30, 2013

A dolly blanket

On another book run to the library last week, 
(the kids are addicted to books!),
the director handed me a bag of colorful blocks.
He found them among his mother's things.
Could I do something?

I showed them to Jan.
They are turn of the 20th century fabrics.
The dark blues are mourning fabrics.
They are quite fragile.
But not to late to save.
The director said his grandmother must have sewn the little blocks.

I pressed all their scrunched up faces quite flat.
Look at the blocks made of even littler bits.
I volunteered to set them together.
Not one was square; the job would be very fiddly.
But my sewing machine is put away in favor of two young ladies who love to sew.
Jan put them together.

I went into the studio just in time on Saturday.
The quilt is on the frame and ready for quilting.
Time for the big Gamill and the artist to go to work.
"It's like drawing with a needle," Jan says.

She's sewing freehand, and called the little design her modern Baptist Fan.
Baptist Fan is an old, traditional quilting pattern.
Jan said she was sewing more closely than she normally would in order to add stability to the fabrics.

The back of the quilt.  A lot of movement.

The little quilt is about three feet on each side.
I attempted to sneak it into the library this morning,
but the director caught me.

He has no idea what transpired between the little bag and the item on his desk.
But he knew what it was.
His Grandmother was making a dolly's blanket.
Who for?


  1. I love the new background picture on your blog. And quilts. I have some beautiful ones that hold amazing memories! Yours is beautiful.

  2. Lovely!

    I wish I had a long arm like your sister (and the skills to go with it).

  3. That quilt is "fan"tastic! My own mother would have loved it. BUT... she was such a purist about quilts... she would have quilted it by hand. It sure turned out lovely... the library director got a beautiful surprise.

    1. Our mother was a hand quilter, too. I think she would have embraced machine quilting. It could take her a year to piece and quilt a quilt. Now two artists participate, and, as they say, you can't make too many.

      In our world women want to sew quilt tops, but not piece them. The layers still need fastened together and it is not easily done on a home sewing machine.

      Enter the person who can make the long arm sing. Machine quilting is an art form in the quilting world. Take a look at Jan's web site, Or her blog, Janicelovestoquilt.

      She'll knock you socks off.

  4. Who would have thought such fragile pieces could have been saved?!! Jan is fantastic. Simply beautiful.

    Like Joyful, I wish the same.

  5. What a wonderful surprise for's beautiful.

  6. Who for, indeed!!

    (And how lovely that this pieces/these pieces were saved.)


  7. How absolutely beautiful. The quilt - and the gesture. My eyes are leaking a bit here.

  8. Jan brought back time. What a wonderful surprise for the librarian!

  9. Nice work! Sewing aged un-square patches together must have been quite a challenge. What a treasure you and yours have created.

  10. I did not realize Jan used a machine. That makes infinitely more sense. I do not mean to denigrate what Jan does in the least. She amazes me. It reminds me that the season is turning and I have not been tying the knots in the quilt Jade and I made this summer.

  11. I like that your grands love to read and read books instead of from a Nook or a Kindle. I love going to the library; all those books available for free to get to read! Beautiful quilt; I bet the librarian was pleased with the final result.


  12. Breathtaking result! Words fail me...

  13. The Quilt looks so beautiful. Good work by Jan.

  14. That is the sweetest dolly blanket I've ever seen! it would make a nice bassinet or pram blanket too, for a baby.
    You must have such patience to put that together.

  15. Beautiful! My grandmother used to quilt too :)

  16. love it! reminds me of all the quilts my grandmother used to make--i still have a few of them and they need some repairs --lucky dolly :)

  17. That is beautiful and just sweet, so lovely of you two to take the time and make a memory.

  18. Great save on this treasure of a quilt. I had one quite similar to this made into a baby blanket for CC that my aunt's mum had made in 1920 or there about.

  19. I love quilts the warmth of a blanket without the roughness, these day some of the blankets are so soft but not as warm.
    Merle...... ....... .......

  20. Wow - Janice works fast! And her work is beyond excellent. What a nice thing to do for that gentleman.

  21. Oh, how touching! I loved this post.

  22. Beautiful and the quilting is amazing so glad the pieces were saved.

  23. I am totally amazed! I love to look at quilts and this is beautiful. What a monumental labor of love and kindness. Jan is a miracle worker.