Friday, October 29, 2010

My Quilt for the Blogger's Quilt Festival: A Handkerchief Grandmother's Fan Quilt

Yeah--it's Quilt Festival time on internet!  Here's your chance to meet other quilters at your leisure.  Here is my first machine quilted queen size Grandmother's Fan made out of vintage handkerchiefs. 

I have handkerchiefs from both of my grandmothers, great grandmothers, great aunts, aunts, mom-in-law and mom.  When my boys were little, I wanted to make a quilt out of handkerchiefs.  I thought that a Grandmother's Fan would be a nice way to display vintage handkerchiefs. Some of the hankies were really thin so I lined them with a cotton underneath with applique film.

I started out with a white square of cotton fabric.  The fan was laid on the square.  I used invisible thread to attach the fan to the white square.  The white fabric under the fan was then carefully trimmed away to get rid of the extra bulk.

The fan block above is special because it is from my Great Grandma Moore.  Her first name started with an "R".

What a cute hankie for Valentine"s Day!

The yellow fan blades on the ends display my childhood handkerchief.

As you can see I had a lot of fun putting this quilt together and I really can't decide which block I like the best.  Some are more special than others because I know where the hankies came from.

 When it was time to quilt it, I had decided to machine quilt it because most of the fabrics in the fans are vintage and I thought that I would help preserve them better with free motion backgrounds in the fan blades.

This is a queen size quilt and yes I quilted it on a regular home sewing machine.  I used a 1630 Bernina.  My sewing machine was set on a large table and I let the quilt open as I quilted.  I tried rolling it and I found more freedom in just letting the pool around my machine.  I do not remember how many hours it took to quilt it, but I remember only sitting down for not more than 30 minutes to quilt at a time.  My focus was only on one block at a time.

This quilt is very special to me because all the ladies that gave me handkerchiefs had a hand in supporting me as a young mother.  Since that time, some of these beautiful ladies had passed on and this quilt brings back such wonderful memories.  When I was making this quilt, I made way too many blocks!  I have enough blocks to make a second quilt!  So eventually both of my sons will get a Grandmother's Fan quilt.  Thanks for stopping by and please be sure to check out the rest of the beautiful quilts at the Blogger's Festival at

Happy Quilting


Lindsay @ Me Quilting said...

I love your fans, especially all the different ends on them that is great! wonderful kerchiefs, and what a great way to cherish them! and your machine quilting is awesome!!

Lois said...

Quilted on home machine, what a patient woman. It is a really beautiful quilt and you did a wonderful job. Love Lois

Deborah said...


Chris said...

Stunning! What wonderful work.

MaksiTaksi said...

This is a great way to use hankies. I love to look of this quilt and think it's very special.

Sandra said...

This quilt is so pretty and is sure to be an heirloom. I've seen it in person and the photos posted here do not do it justice. The machine quilting is also amazing:)

Carol said...

What a gorgeous way to showcase your antique hankies.

Marjorie said...

What a great use for the hankies! I just found a bunch in my UFO bin that I collected decades ago, but couldn't decide what to do with them. Your quilt gives me new inspiration and possibilities.

P. said...

That is just gorgeous! What a great way to incorporate beautiful vintage hankies into a work of art in this quilt. The quilting really complements it well.

Katie B. said...

This is a beautiful way to showcase your collection of hankies! I have a stack that I got from my grandmother. I really need to do something with them.

quiltmom said...

I have long admired the hankie quilts- yours is a beautiful design and such wonderful hankies you had to use.
What a beautiful story that goes with them. Your sons are very lucky.
Thanks for sharing,

Eileen said...

LOVE your quilt. what a great way to use the hankies. i have a lot of them from my grandmothers also so perhaps some day i'll try this idea. thanks for sharing and have a great day