Eleven Reasons Custom Handmade Quilts Take Time

This is a sample custom quilt profile we offer for customers who decide to give a custom quilt but can’t get it finished in time. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This is a sample custom quilt profile we offer for customers who decide to give a custom quilt but can’t get it finished in time. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Eleven Reasons Custom Handmade Quilts Take Time

Every once in awhile a potential custom quilt customers asks the question why a custom quilt takes 90 days to make. The answer is simple: they are truly handmade. There’s no big factory, no assembly line, no cookie cutter pattern. All of our custom handmade quilts are unique to the customer and made by hand here in Missouri, USA.

The following are the eleven reasons why custom handmade quilts take time:

  1. Our custom handmade quilts are made to a customer’s specifications. It can take a customer who isn’t used to making a handmade quilt extra time to decide on the details such as handmade quilt colors. The colors depend on a variety of factors including sneaking into the recipient’s bedroom to see what colors they have on the walls.

  2. The second step is choosing the pattern. We rarely make traditional patterns so its up to the customer to tell us what message they want to convey through the custom handmade quilt and we go from there.

  3. Probably the longest step for the customer is deciding what photos to include. The number can depend on the size of photos and the kind of quilt layout they choose for their custom handmade quilt. Collages are the easiest way to include the most photos so that can take some time for the customer to compile and ship to us.

  4. If the custom handmade quilt is being made out of someone’s clothes, that step also can take time. We advise customers who are sending us clothes from departed family members to take their time, this becomes part of the grieving process. We listen carefully to the stories they share and try to reflect that in the custom quilts we made for them.

  5. If the custom quilt is being made out of someone’s clothing, we like to include a photo somewhere on the custom quilt. Deciding on the one photo can take time.

  6. If the customer wants to add a saying or dedication, that can also take time for the customer to decide what to include. We sometimes make suggestions but usually customers have something that strikes them as perfect for the memory.

  7. Then there is what font and size for any custom embroidery, which also requires several decisions prior to any work getting started. That way, the custom embroidery is included in the quilt piecing and doesn’t show up on the back of the custom quilt.

  8. Quilt batting is what is in the middle of the quilt, giving it warmth. Traditional handmade quilts are all cotton. The majority of contemporary quilts are a mix of cotton and polyester batting, while others are all lightweight polyester. We offer another option, renewable and sustainable bamboo which is very light, similar to cotton but not as damaging to the environment to process.

  9. Custom handmade quilts can be made reversible if the customer chooses something besides a white fabric for the backing. Sometimes a customer has a great fabric they want and they order it and ship it to us.

  10. What kind of quilting is another decision step, from a pattern overall design to one of my favorites, a meandering machine quilting.

  11. Then there are the customers who try to sneak a photo, or two, in after the final design has been approved and work has begun. We try to accommodate if we can but once the piecing is started, the only way to add something is to go back to the drawing board and redesign the layout.

Once we get started on the quilt piecing, the process goes relatively quickly. We send the customer photos once the custom quilt top is finished; or both the top and bottom if there are two custom quilt sides.

After the photo review, it is quilting time, basically finishing the custom handmade quilt.

There are at least four people involved in this process and every one has to fit in the custom quilt into their schedule of other custom work.

We are proud of the final product and we are sure no one else will have a handmade quilt like the one we make for you.

Charlotte

Women of Substance Handmade Quilt

Women of Substance Handmade Quilt was an award winner in 2017. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Women of Substance Handmade Quilt was an award winner in 2017. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Women of Substance Handmade Quilt

I don’t know too many people who use this expression “women of substance” these days but it has a specific meaning.

Dictionary.com notes this expression means "substantial or solid character or quality." Other definitions include "consistency, body" and "something that has separate or independent existence." 

Based on these definitions, a woman of substance would be a woman who has strong character, is consistent, has more to her than meets the eye and has a variety of interests outside and within her home and family, according to “Our Every Day Life. “ They note “she is interesting to get to know; she possesses a depth of personality and character.”

So it will come as no surprise that these women of substance referred to in this handmade quilt where the women in the suffrage movement, working to get women the right to vote. The custom handmade quilt was entered into Piece and Plenty’s Quilt Guild October 2017 Rolla, Mo. bi-annual show.

Women of Substance Handmade Quilt flower blocks are each unique. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Women of Substance Handmade Quilt flower blocks are each unique. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

From the handmade quilt name I was expecting to see the names of the 12 women honored. Instead, there are twelve handmade patchwork quilt blocks with red patterned fabrics.

Gana Harris, St. James, Mo. both pieced and quilted this custom handmade quilt for her oldest daughter. It crossed my mind when I saw this handmade quilt that Mom is passing on some strong character qualities presenting this quilt as a gift for her daughter.

Each handmade quilt has a story and this is the story of Women of Substance Handmade Quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Each handmade quilt has a story and this is the story of Women of Substance Handmade Quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Besides the lovely custom quilt details, Women of Substance Handmade Quilt is hand quilted, giving the quilt a lovely three-dimension.

This handmade quilt is dedicated to a period in history close to when another traditional patchwork quilt got its start, double wedding ring quilt like this Vintage Double Wedding Ring Cutter Quilt.

Apparently the Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild judges agreed, this custom handmade quilt won first prize.

Women of Substance Handmade Quilt won first place at the local quilt festival. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Women of Substance Handmade Quilt won first place at the local quilt festival. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Ok, now how many of the 12 women suffrage women can you name. I’ll start.

Susan B. Anthony.

Now it’s your turn!

Charlotte

Owl in Maze Handmade Quilt

This patchwork owl is certainly the center of this handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This patchwork owl is certainly the center of this handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Owl in Maze Handmade Quilt

Our record hot temperatures haven’t dampened the evening sounds of an owl living in the woods surrounding my Missouri home.

I heard it again last night, clearly announcing his presence among the oak leaves where squirrels were snacking on green pears out of my nearby Bartlett pear fruit tree. It usually crosses my mind to try to spot the owl in fall, when the leaves are off trees and the owl may be easier to spot.

The sounds reminded me of this Owl in Maze Handmade Quilt featured at the 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild Show in Rolla, Mo.

The custom, patchwork handmade quilt features one owl smack dab in the quilt middle surrounded by what I assumed were modern versions of leaves.

And the little owl?

The owl looks a little scared close up, doesn’t he. Or at least startled. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The owl looks a little scared close up, doesn’t he. Or at least startled. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Interesting how one’s perspective on the owl changes from looking at it from a distance compared to a handmade quilt close up. From a distance the owl seems settled in his perch; close up he looks a little less sure of himself. Or is that just me.

The other interesting element in this custom handmade quilt were the trapezoid leaf shapes. Not only do the form an interesting border throughout the handmade quilt center but I wondered how hard they were to add.

The quilter herself adds to the story here:

Glad to see the trapezoid shapes were fun to make, I was beginning to wonder. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Glad to see the trapezoid shapes were fun to make, I was beginning to wonder. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

I would be glad to have this little custom owl quilt hanging around my house any day!

Charlotte

Pink Large Blocks Handmade Quilt

You can better enjoy the patterns in the cotton flannel handmade quilt blocks. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

You can better enjoy the patterns in the cotton flannel handmade quilt blocks. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Pink Large Blocks Handmade Quilt

Sometimes it’s very easy to fall in love with fabrics, which is what inspired us to make this one of a kind Pink Large Blocks Handmade Quilt.

Following the design of our custom baby rag quilts, Pink Large Blocks Handmade Quilt is a handmade custom one of a king lap quilt throw size 50x60 inches, a good size for that small child to grow into and still have a baby quilt around.

The handmade quilt has a variety of all cotton flannel multi-patterned designs, which sometimes get lost in smaller block sizes. The patterns are easy to see in these larger custom quilt blocks, which are finished with hand cut ragged edges.

The all cotton flannel was washed before cut into quilt blocks to ensure the quilt blocks are soft to the touch.

Each handmade flannel baby quilt block is sewn at a diagonal to keep the cotton flannel rugged over the years.

This little toy lamb will keep the handmade baby quilt company on its trip. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This little toy lamb will keep the handmade baby quilt company on its trip. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

We offer our handmade baby quilts with a free toy to carry good wishes. And what did we pair with this sweet handmade baby quilt?

A little white lamb toy, also soft to the touch with a matching pink nose.

Oh. And a matching pink bow.

But it really was the pink nose.

Charlotte

Precious Moments Baby Crib Handmade Quilt Gift Set

Unique baby crib quilt gift set includes a quilt and Precious Moments figurine. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Unique baby crib quilt gift set includes a quilt and Precious Moments figurine. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Precious Memories Baby Crib Handmade Quilt Gift Set

One of Missouri’s successful gift companies is the Precious Memories collection of cards, figurines and other related collectibles started in 1978 by illustrator Sam J. Butcher. His signature illustrations feature teardrop eye characters with sweet positive sentiments now recognized worldwide.

What began as gifts for friends expanded into an extensive line of collectibles with the help of Enesco Company, which made the Precious Moment figurine we added to this one of a kind, made in USA Precious Moment Baby Crib Quilt Gift set.

The approximately 5-inch pre-loved porcelain figures are standing on either side of a tree trunk with two bluebirds perched on top. “I love you” is carved in the center of the tree trunk. The Enesco #-3116 figurine is called “Thee I Love” A Girl and Boy Standing Around A Tree and the value of the collectible figurine ranges from $20-$60.

I wasn’t concerned about the value, I just liked the little bluebirds on top and was happy to find something to keep our Precious Moments Baby Crib quilt.

Precious Moments Enesco figurine with two bluebirds Enesco E-3116. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Precious Moments Enesco figurine with two bluebirds Enesco E-3116. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The brand new baby crib quilt features printed Precious Moments panels with an alphabet theme. C is for cat with a cute yellow cat that reminded me of my yellow Shirley Honey hanging off the blue green letter.

Doesn’t this cat look a little worried?

Love these doe-eyed characters, this one a frightened feline. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Love these doe-eyed characters, this one a frightened feline. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Another charming Precious Moments bear keeps the letter B company.

This bear stands in for another favorite alphabet letter. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This bear stands in for another favorite alphabet letter. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

There is space under each one of the alphabet panels to add custom embroidery to personalize this lightweight baby crib quilt.

There is also a 3-inch space at the bottom where a baby’s name and birth date can be added with custom embroidery.

Baby quilt border has space for custom embroidery. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Baby quilt border has space for custom embroidery. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This baby crib quilt has bright pastel colors that will stand the test of time in the washer.

The backing of this baby crib quilt is white and soft.

Let us know what you want on the free gift card and we will be glad to ship it to a different destination for you. Truly a sweet, precious baby gift idea!

Charlotte

Nine Patch Photo Quilt

Traditional quilt patchwork with printed photos makes a great memory quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Traditional quilt patchwork with printed photos makes a great memory quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Nine Patch Photo Quilt

If you are just starting to make handmade quilts, you will recognize this basic, beginning patchwork quilt design, the nine patch. This beginning patchwork handmade quilt design features a basic design with nine same size boxes. To change the design, the quilter selects different colored fabrics, sometimes adding multi-patterned cottons with solids or multi-patterned cottons with solid colored fabrics.

This is an updated tribute to those first handmade quilts only this handmade quilt uses the nine patch for the corners and incorporates photo memories as the main handmade quilt blocks.

The customer for this handmade quilt embellished her photo blocks with cute stickers that represented the people in the handmade quilt blocks, from flowers to books and other mementos.

These photos blocks had embelishments on the corners. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

These photos blocks had embelishments on the corners. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

A small multi-patterned pink cotton with small white flowers merged the photo quilt blocks into the overall pattern. Sometimes it is challenging to select the right fabric but we advise to pick something simple and neutral so the custom photo blocks stand out on the handmade quilt.

The custom photo quilt blocks were printed as the customer provided them. They were designed on standard 8.5 x 11 inch white paper and we cut the quilt blocks down to size. We use a unique printable muslin cotton that nicely maintains the photo colors through cold water washing.

In case you are wondering, all of the original photos are returned once they are printed onto our custom photo fabric.

Here’s the handmade nine patch photo quilt top ready for quilting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Here’s the handmade nine patch photo quilt top ready for quilting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The customer also provided the photo layout so they had each one of the photo memories in the right spots on the handmade quilt.

I can imagine a child spread across this handmade photo quilt pouring over the photos, can’t you?

Charlotte

Dick and Jane Handmade Baby Quilt

Do these illustrations and sentences ring a bell? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Do these illustrations and sentences ring a bell? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Dick and Jane Handmade Baby Quilt

If you were learning to read in the 1930s through the 1960s, the Dick and Jane books were part of your reading list.

According to Wikipedia, Dick and Jane are the main characters in popular readers written by William S. Gray and Zerna Sharp. The main characters, Dick and Jane, were a little boy and girl. Supporting characters included Baby (or Sally), Mother, Father, Spot (originally a cat in the 1930s, but a dog in later editions), Puff the cat, and Tim the teddy bear. They first appeared in the Elson-Gray Readers used in the 1930s, which themselves were heavily revised and enlarged editions of the Elson Readers originally produced by William H. Elson in the 1920s.

The simple but distinctive illustrations for the books were done by artists Eleanor Campbell and Keith Ward. Robert Childress  did the 1950s illustrations, which are the ones featured in this Dick and Jane baby crib quilt printed fabric panel.

A variety of Dick and Jane illustrations are on the front quilt panel. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

A variety of Dick and Jane illustrations are on the front quilt panel. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Keeping with the theme of the baby crib quilt being based on beginning readers, the backing of this made in US custom baby crib quilt features some of the sentences in the book.

Practice reading with the back panel of Dick and Jane baby crib quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Practice reading with the back panel of Dick and Jane baby crib quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Dick and Jane Baby Crib Quilt has lightweight and sustainable bamboo for filling, making this a lightweight and warm baby quilt.

To personalize, it would be easiest to add an embroidered patch sewn on the back. Another option would be to select a block and add custom embroidery under the Dick and Jane Baby Crib Quilt block.

I can just see a beginning reader curling up with Dick and Jane baby crib quilt and reading along with the sentences on the back!

Charlotte

Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt

Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt is actually a gift that keeps on giving. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt is actually a gift that keeps on giving. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt

I suspect one of the reasons I love tulip-themed handmade quilts is that for years I didn’t plant them in my Missouri hillside garden. Besides having to try to blast holes in the rock to even have a place to plant the bulbs, the few that I did add were quickly consumed by visiting deer. It just didn’t seem worth the effort.

When I saw this Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt at the local quilt guild bi-annual show, I as immediately drawn to the colors. The bright burgundy and greens made the traditional applique design striking, especially from afar.

As I got closer, the detailed machine quilting added very nice details including the daisy flowers in the burgundy quilt block corners.

Look at the detailed quilting in Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Look at the detailed quilting in Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

What prompted the quilter to select this color combination and applique design? I wonder about those choices when I see handmade quilts. Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt has an interesting history, which as you can imagine started with a gift.

The story behind the Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The story behind the Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

On a side note, tulips are a popular handmade quilt design. The one we carry from the Williamsburg Collection Pink Applique Tulips is based on a pattern Europeans brought to North America when the immigrated in the 1600s. The Pink Applique Tulips quilt shows tulips with a different color range on each flower, making me wonder if this is artistic license or if the tulips featured where different back then and lost through the centuries.

Regardless of tulip history, Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt has another surprise. It won second prize in its category at the 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild Show in Rolla, Mo.

Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt won an award! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Gift of Applique Handmade Quilt won an award! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

What a fitting way to honor the work of Ruby Work, the original quilt maker, and that of quilter Sara Wright, who was thoughtful enough to share the Gift of Applique Handmade quilt history.

Every handmade quilt has a story. Part of the delight is finding the details!

Charlotte

Personalized Pastel ABC Baby Quilt

One way to personalize a baby quilt is to add baby’s name and birth date. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

One way to personalize a baby quilt is to add baby’s name and birth date. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Personalized Pastel ABC Baby Quilt

I am using this Pastel ABC handmade baby quilt as an example; the principles are the same, which is how to make a handmade quilt personal.

For baby quilts, the easiest way to make a handmade baby quilt personal is to add custom embroidery. There are several combinations possible, the most popular being the baby’s first and middle name, then the birth date.

Some customers also chose to add just a first name, others add the first and last names, and then some have added first, middle and last name.

If you don’t have enough time to get custom embroidery, which can take a couple of weeks, then chose a complimentary toy. The best toy is a baby rattle in complimentary colors to the handmade baby quilt.

Another way to make a handmade baby quilt personal is to add a complimentary toy. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Another way to make a handmade baby quilt personal is to add a complimentary toy. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

If you have access to a family photo, a nice way to personalize this handmade baby quilt would be to add a framed family photo.

To make sure our customers have the information they need, each customer gets a personalized quilt care guide outlining how to wash, dry and store the handmade baby quilt. The name, size and type of handmade quilt is listed on the back of the card.

How do you personalize your handmade quilts?

Charlotte

Yellow Blue Double Wedding Ring King Quilt

Blue and yellow are favorite wedding quilt color combinations. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Blue and yellow are favorite wedding quilt color combinations. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Yellow Blue Double Wedding Ring King Quilt

It’s getting to be that time of year again, and by that I mean June, the leading wedding month and when I get asked what handmade quilts I recommend as wedding gifts.

I myself like to give double wedding ring quilts and throws, a lovely traditional patchwork quilt that can easily be updated by the colors, and designs, that form the double wedding rings.

One of my favorites is this Yellow Blue Double Wedding Ring King Quilt, which offers several advantages over other traditional double wedding ring quilts. Double wedding ring handmade quilts became popular in the 1930s and continued their popularity for their sentimental pattern - a double wedding ring - as well as allowing for the use of scrap fabric to form the double wedding rings.

Over the years, some alternations have been made to the overall patchwork design but the original pattern continues to be an all-time favorite wedding gift.

First, this brand new imported double wedding ring quilt has several favorite bedroom fabric colors including blue, yellow and green multi-patterned cottons. This wedding ring quilt should fit into most home bedroom decors.

Secondly, the California king size 122x105 is generous and nicely fits most king size beds. Now that we add padding to mattresses, it’s helpful to select a larger quilt that will nicely cover the additional size. This king quilt has a generous pillow tuck so no shams are needed.

I like having my quilts reversible so I can use both sides. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

I like having my quilts reversible so I can use both sides. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Now for my favorite feature in new handmade quilts, Yellow Blue Double Wedding Ring King Quilt is reversible, giving two home decor looks in one.

The back of this extra large handmade quilt features a printed floral fabric with a lemony green background. Since most US bedrooms are blue, this should nicely fit into bedroom decor and change things up as the seasons pass.

Detailed machine quilting gives this wedding quilt extra dimension. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Detailed machine quilting gives this wedding quilt extra dimension. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Finally, the very detailed machine quilting will be forgiving of youngsters jumping on the bed, dogs rolling and any friendly wrestling that may take place. Many traditional handmade quilts have either quilting only around the double wedding rings or hand quilting, which is delicate to extended pressure.

So for these reasons Yellow Blue Double Wedding Ring King Quilt is my recommendation for a wedding gift. Or, to put this another way, all customers who have purchased this handmade wedding quilt in the past agree with me!

Charlotte

Diamond Hexies Handmade Quilt

Fun to see how the different fabrics were blended into this handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Fun to see how the different fabrics were blended into this handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Diamond Hexies Handmade Custom Quilt

When I think of hexagons in a handmade quilt, I think of Flower Garden handmade quilts like Vintage Martha’s Flower Garden custom handmade quilt. Diamond Hexies handmade custom quilt is a new take on the use of paper pieced hexagons and I love the overall look.

Diamond Hexies custom handmade quilt was featured during Piece and Plenty’s bi-annual quilt festival October 2019 in Rolla, Missouri.

If you are a beekeeper, Diamond Hexies custom handmade quilt will remind you of a frame of bee bread where bees store flower pollen in honey for later use. Think of it as a bee’s larder for feeding baby bees.

If you look at the various hexagon collections, within each block there are different fabrics, all scraps from the quilt maker’s fabric stashes. Although I understand the attraction of buying new fabric, using fabric scraps is more attuned to the spirit of original handmade quilts, which were made from clothing and home decor fabrics, a true repurposing.

Close up of the different fabrics used in this custom handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Close up of the different fabrics used in this custom handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Diamond Hexies custom handmade quilt, as most quilts do, has its own back story.

The story behind this hexagonal handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The story behind this hexagonal handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

One of the thoughts I have had over the many years is to spend one winter making teeny tiny flower garden handmade quilts out of very little hexagons.

I may still do it!

Charlotte

Sadies Roses Handmade Quilt

Unusual colors for a rose quilt, aquamarine fabrics against white. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Unusual colors for a rose quilt, aquamarine fabrics against white. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Sadies Roses Handmade Quilt

There is no such thing as a blue rose, which is what initially caught my eye about this Sadies Rose Handmade Quilt at Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild’s 2017 bi-annual quilt festival in Rolla, Mo. Over the years, aquamarine has also been a favorite personal clothing color so finding them combined in this handmade quilt was doubly-enticing.

The design of this Sadies Roses handmade quilt is more modern than the traditional roses quilts like Vintage Yellow Roses quilt.

Looking closer at this more modern handmade quilt design, the rose blocks reminded me of some I have seen featured in Baltimore Album handmade quilts, where each of the quilt blocks is different.

Instead of varying the design, Sadies Roses handmade quilt features the same applique design in each of the handmade quilt blocks.

Meandering machine quilting finishes off this rose-themed handmade quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Meandering machine quilting finishes off this rose-themed handmade quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Because this is not a traditional handmade quilt, the quilt maker gave the Sadies Roses handmade quilt blocks more color by making the centers yellow. Rose buds in aqua blue border the roses as well as wrap around the edge of the handmade quilt.

As far as this handmade quilt’s story, there are several starting with where the quilter found the quilt pattern.

Each quilt has a story and this is Sadies Rose handmade quilt story. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Each quilt has a story and this is Sadies Rose handmade quilt story. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Although there is little more information about why she was disappointed with the machine quilting, the handmade quilt itself was nicely recognized.

Another surprise, this is an award-winning handmade quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Another surprise, this is an award-winning handmade quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Considering the competition at this quilt festival, third place is a very nice placement for a handmade quilt with “disappointing” quilting!

Charlotte

Blue Owl Handmade Quilt Wall Hanging

The Blue Owl Handmade Quilt at the entrance of the Kimmswick, Mo. Restaurant. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The Blue Owl Handmade Quilt at the entrance of the Kimmswick, Mo. Restaurant. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Blue Owl Handmade Quilt Wall Hanging

It’s easy to overlook because it is hanging right at the restaurant entrance, where people are usually waiting to get in.

Although protected by glass, the Blue Owl handmade Quilt Wall hanging is a warm, inviting handmade quilt that tells a special story all of its own.

This handmade quilt celebrates a very special event. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This handmade quilt celebrates a very special event. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The Blue Owl Handmade Quilt Wall Hanging is a contemporary version of a traditional friendship quilt, where every block is made by a different person to commemorate a special event, or just a special relationship among friends. Many friendship quilts I have seen over the years were made by church groups to mark special events such as weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.

The designs in the Blue Owl Handmade Quilt Wall Hanging are not complicated. As a matter of fact, many are the same quilt design. What makes them unique is how each one of the people who personalized the handmade quilt blocks with not only their name but something that embellished the quilt block design.

Each block has an embroidered name to personalize it. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Each block has an embroidered name to personalize it. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The pink and blue color scheme of this handmade quilt reminds me of similar colors in our Pink Sunbonnet Sue handmade quilt. The pink borders are more of a raspberry than a mauve pink and the blue accents compliment the name of the Kimmswick, Missouri restaurant with its signature apple pie. See the tiny Mile High Apple Pie in the bottom left corner of the quilt bloc on the right?

In addition to celebrating an anniversary, this charming friendship quilt honors when the restaurant first opened.

The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery handmade quilt block. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery handmade quilt block. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

And to honor it’s name, the handmade quilt has cute little blue owls among the quilt blocks, nicely matching the restaurant’s own mascot.

The Blue Owl Restaurant sign at Kimmswick, Mo. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The Blue Owl Restaurant sign at Kimmswick, Mo. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

As spring flooding continues throughout the midwest this year, I hope the levies hold and keep Kimmswick and this charming restaurant safe and dry.

I am looking forward to going back and sampling some of the other delicious deserts that this charming restaurant has to offer.

Charlotte

Bali Wedding Ring Star Handmade Quilt

Stunning custom wedding ring quilt, can you see all of the patterns? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Stunning custom wedding ring quilt, can you see all of the patterns? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Bali Wedding Ring Star Handmade Quilt

When one is starting to make quilts,, the advice is usually don’t start with a wedding ring pattern. Known as one of the tougher patchwork quilting patterns, the double wedding ring quilt is a favorite gift, and home decor item, for most US brides.

We make double wedding ring quilts and have several available like this blue double wedding ring quilt but only our more experienced piecers tackled the very popular traditional wedding quilt pattern.

So it was with great delight that I found this custom handmade double wedding ring quilt with - what is it that the brides call them - I think it’s embellishments. Not only does this custom double wedding ring quilt have the difficulty of the wedding rings, but this custom wedding quilt includes a star where the rings cross.

The quilter has also made good use of the fabric colors, adding a pattern to the double wedding ring centers with just the cotton fabric selection.

We often feature handmade quilts than can also be wall hangings and I would be tempted to use this quilt on a wall to better appreciate all of the details.

The detailed quilting also adds great texture to this custom wedding quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The detailed quilting also adds great texture to this custom wedding quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

As beautiful as the piecing work is, that last close up of the custom wedding ring highlights another feature of this custom handmade quilt: the machine quilting. There is machine quilting and then there is this kind of intricate machine quilting, giving the handmade wedding quilt yet another dimension.

Every quilt has a story and this custom wedding quilt is no different. Take a look at the story details, including how long it took to make this custom quilt.

This custom wedding quilt only took 2 years to make! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This custom wedding quilt only took 2 years to make! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Country Sweetheart Handmade Quilt

Country Sweetheart Handmade Quilt includes applique and lace details. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Country Sweetheart Handmade Quilt includes applique and lace details. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Country Sweetheart Handmade Quilt

Just as I like to say that every custom handmade quilt has a story, some of our handmade quilts have special stories all their own.

Country Sweetheart Handmade Quilt was recently purchased to ask a fiance for her hand in marriage. Only this customer did something very interesting, he asked all family members first, swearing them to secrecy. Then he had us embroider family names in the corner quilt blocks, with his name and that of his fiance in the center quilt block along with the names of their two children.

If you think about it, handmade quilts are wonderful not only home decor items but a way to memorialize special events like the joining of two families. Another reason why Country Sweetheart Handmade Quilt was the perfect candidate for this family.

The center hearts are made out of cotton red velvet. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The center hearts are made out of cotton red velvet. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

We had also discussed adding favorite sayings in each of the Country Sweetheart Handmade Quilt corners, which each has a red cotton velvet heart.

Country Sweetheart handmade quilt also has hearts at the corners. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Country Sweetheart handmade quilt also has hearts at the corners. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Another option was to add embroidery inside the floral quilt blocks since the Country Sweetheart Handmade Quilt design left a nice area inside each fo the floral circles.

Each floral block also has floral quilting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Each floral block also has floral quilting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

It’s interesting to see how our customers choose to personalize their handmade quilt gifts. The ones that bring families together have a special place in my heart.

By the way, she said yes!

Charlotte

Hummingbirds Handmade Quilt

This is a hummingbird handmade quilt, do you see the hummingbirds? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This is a hummingbird handmade quilt, do you see the hummingbirds? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Hummingbirds Handmade Quilt

The first reports are coming in, the scout hummingbirds have made it to mid-Missouri and are now checking out the area gardens. Hummingbirds migrate to Central and South America in fall to winter over in their summer season. Then as those continents move into their fall and winter, the tiny birds made their way back to North America.

Just their migratory patterns are amazing, these little birds require a lot of carbs to keep their tiny wings beating at 103 flaps per second.

I was thinking about this migratory pattern as I spotted this Hummingbirds Handmade Quilt featured at the 2017 bi-annual Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild Show in Rolla, Mo.

It took me a few seconds to recognize what pattern represented the hummingbirds. Do you see them?

The story behind this hummingbirds handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The story behind this hummingbirds handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

They are easier to see surrounding the Hummingbirds Handmade Quilt center block, which looks like a modern columbine. As I looked at this center block, the blue hummingbirds made their appearance as they “fly” into the flowers.

Love the center flowers, I assume columbines. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Love the center flowers, I assume columbines. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Looking closer at Hummingbirds Handmade Quilt one can see the very detailed machine quilting that adds a lovely dimension to this custom, brand new quilt.

The quilt border is also very pretty with blue morning glories enticing the hummingbirds for a visit.

Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, the largest of the pollinator groups, are among the pollinators that help plants reproduce and produce the variety of foods we currently have in our diet.

Excuse me, I now have to go make up some hummingbird syrup for the new arrivals!

Charlotte

Wink and Smile Handmade Quilt

Wink and a Smile Handmade Quilt from 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Wink and a Smile Handmade Quilt from 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Wink and A Smile Handmade Quilt

What do you think of when you hear the expression a “wink and a smile?”

I think of music but my assumption was tested at the 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild Show in Rolla, Missouri.

At this bi-annual event, I found a lovely handmade quilt called a “Wink and a Smile” and I pondered the name as I took a closer look at the handiwork in each of the custom quilt blocks.

The first blocks that caught my attention were the yellow ones.

Bright quilt block from Wink and a Smile Handmade Quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Bright quilt block from Wink and a Smile Handmade Quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Up close, the blocks in a Wink and a Smile handmade quilt each have their own story to tell. Besides the interaction between two cotton fabrics with yellow, detailed quilting adds a dimension to the overall design.

How quilters meld fabrics into their designs is an art all of its own. The intricacy of this handmade quilt is different than how one of my quilters included similar fabrics in a Lone Star Queen Handmade Quilt.

Now take a look at how the same machine quilting changes with the Wink and A Smile Handmade Quilt block color, this one a darker, purple tone.

Purple Wink and a Smile Handmade Quilt block. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Purple Wink and a Smile Handmade Quilt block. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The story behind a Wink and a Smile Handmade Quilt is also a reminder that these fabric pieces are not thrown together in days, it can literally take years to get them completed.

Quick story behind Wink and a Smile Handmade Quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Quick story behind Wink and a Smile Handmade Quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

A quick peek at one more Wink and a Smile Handmade Quilt block, this one featuring pink cottons. Again look at how the same machine quilting looks different yet again.

One more quilt block, this one in pink for Wink and a Smile Quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

One more quilt block, this one in pink for Wink and a Smile Quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Do you suppose that’s how this charming handmade quilt got its name?

Charlotte

Vintage Twin Crazy Quilt

This twin-size vintage crazy quilt has wonderful details. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This twin-size vintage crazy quilt has wonderful details. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Vintage Twin Crazy Quilt

Years ago, a friend gave me a pillow made out of men’s ties with embroidery along the rectangle seams. It wasn’t exactly a traditional crazy quilt pattern but it was a strong nod to the mismatched design, one of the hallmarks of this vintage 1800s craze.

And a craze it was according to historians. On the one hand, it may have been a misplaced recycling trend since the quilters incorporated vestiges of clothing, fabrics and even lace into the odd-shaped fabric designs embellished with embroidery.

On the other hand, it was also a new quilt concept since traditional quilts up until that time were very geometric, repeating pattern blocks in fabrics without any additional features such as embroidery.

So it was with delight that I found this twin-size crazy quilt at a sale. The 68x88 inch size is close to a standard 64x86-inch standard twin size quilt, which is also an excellent size for a quilted wall hanging.

This crazy quilt has lovely embroidery details. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This crazy quilt has lovely embroidery details. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

One of my favorite features of crazy quilts are the embroidery designs. Having been taught embroidery from my very early years, I enjoy seeing the dexterity of the quilter and how they incorporate embroidery floss colors into the fabrics.

That’s not an easy thing to do since some embroidery floss colors can easily get lost.

Another way to see the artwork of the embroidery is to look at the back of the crazy quilt, which will feature the embroidery without the distraction of the fabrics.

The backing of this crazy quilt helps to highlight the embroidery. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The backing of this crazy quilt helps to highlight the embroidery. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This vintage crazy quilt has another wonderful feature, a red heart close to the center with an embroidered horse inside. This detail makes me think this quilt was made for a young girl who had a very special four-legged friend.

This embroidered horse towards the center is so charming. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This embroidered horse towards the center is so charming. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

As you spend time looking at this crazy quilt, the fabrics also start to tell their story.

How many of these fabrics were originally favorite clothing now repurposed into this crazy quilt. There are some soft cottons and rough solid textiles. If this crazy quilt could talk!


More examples of the crazy quilt embroidery. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

More examples of the crazy quilt embroidery. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Crazy quilts are getting harder to find so this would be an excellent candidate to be used as a quilted wall hanging, installed somewhere away from damaging sun, smoke and cooking fumes.

Charlotte

Custom Alphabet Handmade Quilt

Custom alphabet quilt made by Laurie Miller and displayed at a local quilt show. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Custom alphabet quilt made by Laurie Miller and displayed at a local quilt show. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Custom Alphabet Handmade Quilt

There is no doubt I like alphabet quilts for baby gifts. Not only can they be used in a crib but they can be wonderful wall hangings, easily changing a room into a nursery. The alphabet is also one of the first things kids learn and here it is, easy to refer to and a special part of a child’s early days.

There’s quite a story behind this handmade quilt, starting with what the original intent was with ceramic buttons. You don’t see many on this custom alphabet handmade quilt, which is a story of flexibility and still completing one’s custom quilt design idea.

I was just thinking where would someone even find ceramic buttons these days. I can remember picking some up years ago when my mother would make some of our clothes. The ceramic buttons then where the only “cute” buttons then on the market.

Today there are a variety of plastic buttons with cute themes, much lighter to sew onto clothes.

The story behind this custom alphabet handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The story behind this custom alphabet handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Each custom alphabet handmade quilt block had cute pre-made appliques, at first it was hard to decide which one to feature. Then I settled on some of my personal favorites - butterflies, bees and bluebirds.

The charming “bs” in the B block of this custom alphabet handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The charming “bs” in the B block of this custom alphabet handmade quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

If you can’t make a custom alphabet handmade quilt, you can do something similar with an already-made alphabet quilt like Alphabet in Clouds Baby Quilt. The baby quilt is finished, all you have to do is go shopping for the pre-made appliques. Have fun!

Charlotte

Cat Mischief Handmade Quilt

Any of these scenes look familiar? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Any of these scenes look familiar? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Cat Mischief Handmade Quilt

Whenever someone is not sure of what handmade quilt to give as a gift, I recommend they consider a pet-themed quilt like Cat Mischief Lap Quilt Quilted Wall Hanging.

Most pet lovers I know would get a kick out of this brand new, handmade quilt with a cat theme. Each of the quilt blocks has a familiar scene, something I can say since I live with a couple of curious cats.

What is also nice about this handmade quilt is that it can also be used as a wall hanging since it has little tabs on the back to easily convert it from a lap quilt to home decor. What cat lover wouldn’t enjoy having this on a wall!

This scene reminds me of one of my cats with tuna. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This scene reminds me of one of my cats with tuna. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Now if you live with cats you know they like routine; they have their own way of doing things and, at times I think we are sheer entertainment for them.

My cats also let me know they love me by the looks they give me.

Doesn’t this cat look angelic? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Doesn’t this cat look angelic? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Mousing can be an issue, nicely celebrated in this cat-themed handmade quilt. In the following quilt block, the cats look like they are having a conversation with the mouse, something that periodically happens at my house.

My vet said mama cat has to teach her babies how to hunt. Apparently my cats missed that lesson since they will come tell me there is a mouse in the house before they would ever consider catching it.

I often am the one catching the mice in my house. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

I often am the one catching the mice in my house. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

If you live with cats you also live with boxes. Not that they are really boxes to a cat, we have one box that has become a toy depository. Not that they don’t have basket sand other places to put them, it’s just that now one of my cats likes to keep them in this particular box. It’s cat logic.

There’s mischief in them there eyes! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

There’s mischief in them there eyes! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Another advantage to giving this cat-themed quilt as a gift is that there are nice-sized places where custom embroidery can be added with a favorite saying, cat names or whatever you would like to add to personalize the quilt.

Dare I say it, this is the cat’s meow?

Charlotte