Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vintage Hankie Wall Quilts

Remember the barn tour I posted about a while back?

This was a lovely bit of inspiration that I took away from the day.

We met a lady who handmade these wall hangings from her beloved grandmother's collection of vintage hankies.

Even though she inherited her grandmother's entire trunk of handkerchiefs, this crafty and caring woman decided to turn them into keepsakes her whole family could enjoy.

She plans to make a total of 14 of these beauties and was just beginning a deep purple one when we happened her way. She was kind enough to share her secrets in making them.

First, she organized the hankie stash by color schemes. Then, she started layering and piecing them onto a fourteen inch square of muslin. She cut each hankie strategically in order to maximize the usable space, thus eliminating  stains.  Often she cut along the diagonal to get as much visual interest as possible. After safety pinning each piece approximately where she wanted it, she did some quick and simple hand-stitching to secure it all on the muslin square. Next, she created a two inch border out of coordinating fabric. Once this was accomplished, minimal machine quilting was applied all over ~ just a gentle wiggle up and 
down the square and all around the border to further 
secure everything in place.

Look at all the ways she layered and embellished her creations! I love how it gives the overall effect of a crazy quilt, but without all the extra tedious hand-stitching they traditionally require. By looking closely at some of the pictures, you will notice that this talented quilter took the time to transfer old photos of her grandmother onto fabric so that she was able to add yet another layer of nostalgia to each wall hanging she made for her family. What a beautiful keepsake that will be 
treasured for generations to come!

Gets me thinking about trying this with some of my own hankie stash. Hmmmmm...

Happy Quilting!


  1. What a great idea! I have been collecting hankies from yard sales and would love to make a quilt with them.

  2. Oh so pretty! What a way to ensure that these lovely hankies can be loved forever! Looking forward to seeing yours when you are done working with your stash!

  3. Wow, this is so beautiful and inspirational! I with you on trying it! I did a couple small mini quilts with hankies I used from my wedding, but this is so detailed! Love it! Thanks for sharing. ;) xo Heather

  4. That is such a fantastic idea! For a lot of those old treasures I would never feel that I could actually use them but I wouldn't want for them to sit in a drawer somewhere unappreciated. Adding that little bit of lace on the edge also adds something special to them.

  5. I love this idea! So beautiful. When a friend here knew that she would soon be losing her grandmother to cancer, she gathered together some of her pajamas and dresses that she had worn for years and gave them to a friend who made small memory quilts from all the fabrics. After her grandmother passed away, she gave one to each of her family members who recognized all the material from all the things grandma had worn over the years. Such a lovely thing to do. Wishing you a great day. Tammy

  6. These are so pretty! I have always thought hankies were like little pieces of art. What a wonderful way to preserve and showcase them.


  7. What a beautiful idea! Thank you for sharing your pics.

  8. That is a great idea. So super sweet and a treasure.

  9. Love this! Thanks for sharing! Do share yours if you decide to do the same :)


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