Friday, February 15, 2013

Quilts, Quilts, and Rescue quilts

Some of the people in my house are retired, but my sister isn’t there, yet.  Still working.  Jan quilts for her Rolodex of customers.  She makes quilts for us.  We all have warm flannel winter quilts and pretty summer quilts for our beds.  She makes quilts to hang in the studio to give customers visuals of how she might quilt their quilts. 

Of course there are more.  The rescue quilts. 

Jan seldom meets an abandoned quilt top she does not love.  In all fairness, the maker probably did not abandon the quilt, but ran out of time to quilt it.  Heirs and assigns, not valuing the work, put it right in the estate sale, or send it straight off to a thrift shop or Goodwill.  So many unfinished quilts tops find their way into Jan’s studio she bought a separate cabinet to hold them.

Rescued tops, waiting...waiting...

Toby helping

As she has time she puts them together with a backing and batting, gets them quilted and bound.  Jan knows so much about old quilt patterns, old quilt fabrics, old quilt piecing styles, that when she’s done she says she can hear some one’s grandma in heaven, smiling and saying “Look, it’s done!  Someone can use that quilt, now.”

Jan has donated many of her rescue quilts to be raffled for charities.  Many of them have gone to TLC, the Transitional Living Center we make quilts for.  Her rule of thumb:  keep them until she has admired them enough, then let them go.  Still, they backed up on her.  There are a couple of tubs of finished rescue quilts in the studio.

On a recent trip to The Crooked River Herb Farm Shop Jan put her head together with Kathleen and they came up with the scheme to simultaneously fill an empty corner of Kathleen’s expanded shop and fund the purchase of more abandoned quilt tops by selling some in the shop.  That’s what Jan and I did today.

Kathleen watching

Jan displaying, customer watching

A quilt label

Display front

Display back

The Quilt Corner


  1. I'm not a sewer so I am in awe of people who quilt.It's akin to rocket science to me.I love quilts and am glad that quilting hasn't joined the long list of dying arts.
    Jane x

  2. I've never thought of abandoned quilts before. So there is an abundance of them?

  3. I love the concept of the rescue quilts! While I have never been into quilting, my mom was, I had been into knitting at times or needlework and have taken a few unfinished needlework projects to thrift stores. I'm hopeful someone did get them and finish them like your sister does with quilts. All beautiful ones displayed here :)


  4. I would have fun in your sister's studio. I love to admire quilts. I am so impressed with her ability to make and restore so many of them!

  5. Such a sweet picture of those who've gone on appreciating your sister's work to finish a quilt or two or ten! And I'm sure it's true. They are just exquisite. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I'm not much of a sewer but I surely can appreciate beauty and that's what I see here...not just the beauty of the quilts but of the hearts that send them off to do their job in the world.

  7. Hand made quilts are becoming a rare thing. Good on your sister for rescuing the projects and making a place where they can find a good home.

  8. I love quilts though I have never made one. My grandgirl though tells me we are making one during her week this summer. I saw several on the rack I wouldn't mind having.

    1. I can't believe she parted with the one on the right back side of the rack--crossed green stems and huge flower heads. But then, it really should go on someone's bed.

      Good for your granddaughter. If I can sew blocks, anyone can, and with a lot more imagination. Hope we see it done.

  9. What talent! I love the tag which honours the original maker as well as your sister. I hope these quilts sell quickly to help continue the cycle of quilting for charity.

  10. I would love to visit that shop, what a great place to display the quilts. The labour, the label and the love make those quilts pretty special.

  11. You and your sister are both such special people. That label was as heart-warming as the finished quilts are beautiful.

  12. How wonderful to give these quilts a second chance. They are beautiful & displayed in a lovely setting. I hope they find new homes.

  13. Dear Joanne, I myself as not a sewer, much less a quilter. But my grandma O'Mara quilted all her life. She's use the materials in old dresses. So I have a quilt she made for me when I was in school back in 1955. She used my childhood dresses that I'd outgrown and old dresses of my mom. I treasure that quilt even though I can no longer use it because it is so frayed and tattered. It will always be dear to me.

    The quilts you've shown us today are so lovely and represent so many hopes and dreams and lives. Peace.

  14. Just time-hopping from 2019! How beautiful. Great craftsmanship!