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

Native Wildflowers Handmade Quilt

Wildflowers quilt in room.jpg

Native Wildflowers Handmade Quilt

There are wildflower quilts and then there are simple, charming handmade quilts like this native wildflowers quilt at Mastodon State Park in Imperial, Missouri. I will try not to digress into my Mastodon hunting lesson. Mastodon State Historic Site is a publicly owned, 431-acre archaeological and paleontological site with recreational features in Imperial, Missouri, maintained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, preserving the Kimmswick Bone Bed. Did you know Missouri had mastodons, a relative to elephants, about 12 million years ago?

Me, neither, so the stop at this site was delightful in many ways. There were bones of the giant beavers that roamed Missouri as well as an award-winning mile high pie nearby but I would just as easily tucked this native wildflowers quilt in my bag to bring home where it even possible.

The staff on duty didn’t know the name of the quilter but we can all read the name of the hand applique flowers.

Delightful handmade native flowers quilt at Mastodon State Park, Imperial, Missouri.

Delightful handmade native flowers quilt at Mastodon State Park, Imperial, Missouri.

Missouri’s wild columbine is one of my favorite native spring flowers so I was tickled to find it applique on this handmade quilt. Notice how the red embroidery floss on red cotton gives the flower an extra dimension.

Wildflowers quilt columbine.jpg
Applique and embroidery give these flowers definition. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Applique and embroidery give these flowers definition. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Same thing with this Jack in the Pulpit flower quilt square only the embroidery floss is easier to see on this flower applique pattern.

Another lady visiting at the same time I was at the park said she thought the flower names were free hand embroidered and I can see why she said that, each seems to have a simplicity to the lettering.

Wildflowers quilt larkspur.jpg
Rose mallow is a lovely native Missouri shrub I hope to add to my garden this year. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Rose mallow is a lovely native Missouri shrub I hope to add to my garden this year. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Not all of these flowers can easily be found in Missouri’s native woods and prairies. I can’t remember the last time I saw a yellow lady slipper, a form of orchid, in one of my walks.

Wildflowers quilt orchid.jpg
Missouri’s pawpaw trees are coming back into favor. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Missouri’s pawpaw trees are coming back into favor. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Talking to one of the George O. White Nursery staff in Licking, Mo. last year, she said Pawpaw tree seedlings are one of the first of their seedlings to sell out now, although only a decade ago no one seemed to want to plant them.

The paw paw tree can get rather large so I doubt I can add one to my hillside garden but I may opt for a bonsai one one of these days.

Another native flower that gives me much joy to find is yellow tickseed and wild violets, both native flowers that are challenging to cut to bring inside so I leave them.

Wildflowers quilt tickseed.jpg
Did you know wild violets are edible and high in vitamin C? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Did you know wild violets are edible and high in vitamin C? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Just a couple more quilt blocks to share. The top one reminds me of the wild sweet pea vines I have tried to transplant from a friend’s house to no avail, I may have to settle for one in fabric.

The second block is out of focus but morning glories are easy to grown and can quickly become a nuisance for garden planners who want a well-organized garden. I am not one of those so this year I may be adding blue morning glories to some of my trellises.

Wildflowers quilt pea.jpg
Both these native plants like to grow on trellises. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Both these native plants like to grow on trellises. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

So there you have it, a short tour of some of Missouri’s native trees and flowers, all excellent plants for pollinators.

Oh, wait, I was talking about a handmade quilt about Missouri natives, wasn’t I. Aren’t you lucky that I didn’t veer off into Mastodon hunting!

Charlotte

Beatrix Potter Baby Alphabet Quilt Gift Set

Beatrix Potter illustrations were a favorite childhood author. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Beatrix Potter illustrations were a favorite childhood author. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Beatrix Potter Baby Alphabet Quilt Gift Set

Do you recognize these characters? These are part of my childhood memories, illustrations of animals in a garden by Beatrix Potter.

According to Wikipedia, Helen Beatrix Potter (11866 – 1943) “was an English writer, illustrator, conservationist and natural scientist  best known for her children's books featuring animals.

Born into an upper-class household, Potter was educated by governesses and grew up isolated from other children. She had numerous pets and spent holidays in Scotland, developing a love of landscape, flora, and fauna, all of which she closely observed and painted.

Though Potter was typical of women of her generation in having limited opportunities for higher education, her study and watercolours of fungi led to her being widely respected in the field of mycology. In her thirties, Potter self-published the highly successful children's book The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Following this, Potter began writing and illustrating children's books full-time.”

My grandmother introduced me to Potter books. Although I couldn’t read English at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed the illustrations and made up my own stories about the characters illustrated in the books.

This brand new, made in USA Beatrix Potter Baby Alphabet Quilt celebrates the Potter animals through the letters of the alphabet.

The letters of the alphabet feature wonderful Beatrix Potter illustrations. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The letters of the alphabet feature wonderful Beatrix Potter illustrations. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

To turn this into a gift set, we added a Wedgwood plate featuring Mama Rabbit feeding a sick Peter, a great addition to a nursery wall.

Back to the baby quilt, which features printed panels of Potter’s wonderful illustrations. The quilt blocks are pages from her alphabet book, including the front page of the book.

Rabbits are a favorite Beatrix Potter theme, as in Peter. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Rabbits are a favorite Beatrix Potter theme, as in Peter. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

We included the dedication page so you can easily add custom embroidery and personalize the baby quilt.

One of the baby quilt blocks has space to personalize with custom embroidery. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

One of the baby quilt blocks has space to personalize with custom embroidery. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Knowing options are nice to have as well, we added space at both the top and bottom of the Beatrix Potter Baby Alphabet Quilt where custom embroidery can be added. To tie the quilt blocks together, an ivy leaf pattern finished this lightweight baby quilt.

There’s also space at the top and bottom of the baby quilt to add custom embroidery. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

There’s also space at the top and bottom of the baby quilt to add custom embroidery. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Since we started with Peter Rabbit, it only seems appropriate to include the rabbit in the last baby quilt block.

Did I mention a rabbit named Peter? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Did I mention a rabbit named Peter? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This brand new baby quilt also includes typical baby colors including reds, pinks and greens so the baby quilt should nicely blend into any baby nursery.

Charlotte

Pink Large Rag Blocks Baby Quilt

This pink large rag blocks baby quilt is for that little girl moving into a big bed. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This pink large rag blocks baby quilt is for that little girl moving into a big bed. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Pink Large Rag Blocks Baby Quilt

Flannel rag quilts have been a customer favorite for baby showers, baby gifts and nursery decor. As we were developing the baby quilt designs, we made another larger one to see how it would turn out. Pink Large Rag Blocks Baby Quilt is for that little girl who has outgrown her crib and moved to a big girl bed but still wants a favorite blanket to keep her company.

To entertain her, we picked soft cotton flannel fabrics with interesting designs that compliment that pink color. There are baby quilt blocks with purple flowers, a favorite of several little girls I knew who loved purple as they grew up. Another popular topic is featured in another baby quilt block, butterflies.

Complimentary cotton flannels feature favorite subjects. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Complimentary cotton flannels feature favorite subjects. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Not to be forgotten, we also have pink flannel baby quilt blocks with bears, although this gift set has a huggable lamb as the toy instead of a bear.

Bears and flowers are favorite baby quilt topics. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Bears and flowers are favorite baby quilt topics. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

These cotton flannel baby quilts are easy to wash in cold water and dry on cool. The fabrics were pre-washed before we made the baby quilts so any shrinkage of the cotton fabrics should already have taken place.

Can you think of someone who would enjoy this baby gift set?

Maybe we should call it a big girl now gift set!

Charlotte

Green Hawaiian Handmade Quilt

Traditional Hawaiian quilts feature local flora in their block patterns. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Traditional Hawaiian quilts feature local flora in their block patterns. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Green Hawaiian Handmade Quilt

Hawaiian handmade quilts are considered family treasures and rarely leave a family’s ownership according to a native Hawaiian friend I met years ago when I worked there for the US Navy.

Several quilt historians note the Hawaiian quilts we see today date from the 1870s, although religious missionaries introduced the concept of quilting to Hawaii in the 1820s. The Hawaiian quilts from the 1870s used an applique on solid cloth method using two colors: a color for the background, and a color for the applique.

Symmetry was very important with these handmade quilts, and the applique was made much like a snowflake cut out of paper. Essentially, the fabric would be cut into its desired shape and then applied to the background fabric.

One of the still popular quilt design motifs is to feature Hawaiian flowers, like this Green Hawaiian handmade quilt does. Although I don’t know Hawaiian flowers, it’s easy to see these applique designs are definitely floral.

What do you see in this handmade quilt block? I think that’s a hibiscus. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

What do you see in this handmade quilt block? I think that’s a hibiscus. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The Hawaiian handmade quilts I saw in Honolulu featured the Hawaiian coat of arms in the center as well as floral and animal patterns. A number of those quilts were red so this mottled green background fabric was an interesting choice to set off the floral applique designs.

What Hawaiian flowers are these in the quilt block? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

What Hawaiian flowers are these in the quilt block? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Just as quilting makes a huge difference in any handmade quilt design, the hand quilting in this Green Hawaiian Handmade Quilt adds a third-dimension. Starting at the border, then in the quilt background and finally through the white applique, the hand-quilting helps to bring the quilt blocks to life.

The handquilting adds dimension to this Green Hawaiian Handmade Quilt (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The handquilting adds dimension to this Green Hawaiian Handmade Quilt (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Green Hawaiian Handmade Quilt was among dozens of local handmade quilts entered in the 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild bi-annual show in Rolla, Missouri. Although it was surprising to find a Hawaiian quilt in the middle of the Midwest, I enjoyed seeing the beautiful detailed applique and quilting.

It reminded me of the details and quilting in our Iris Throws, which also represent Midwest flowers.

Each handmade quilt has it’s own story and here is the story of Green Hawaiian Handmade Quilt:

The story behind Green Hawaiian Handmade Quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The story behind Green Hawaiian Handmade Quilt. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

One of my brothers gave me several Hawaiian quilt pattern books several years ago. This one inspires me to dust those off and see if I can tackle making one for myself.

Aloha!

Charlotte

Pink Cross Stitch Handmade Quilt

Pink Cross Stitch handmade quilt repeats the pattern in the quilting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Pink Cross Stitch handmade quilt repeats the pattern in the quilting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Pink Cross Stitch Handmade Quilt

I saw a pile of printed white cotton fabric with floral designs at our local hobby shop last week and it reminded me of this delightful handmade quilt. Pink Cross Stitch Handmade Quilt was shared at the 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild show, held bi-annually in Rolla, Mo.

Most of us who embroider learned to do so with cross stitch patterns, which are relatively easy to do. The embroidery floss is pushed through fabric in small diagonals, the more equal the sizes of the diagonals the more experienced the embroiderer.

I myself made a cross stitch table cloth with flowers as my first embroidery project; I still have it somewhere tucked away in a drawer and periodically use it.

There’s also some history with this Pink Cross Stitch Handmade Quilt but first let’s take a look at what makes this handmade quilt so interesting.

First, here’s the detailed embroidery design for each of the Pink Cross Stitch handmade quilt blocks. The darker pink flowers are quite solid with embroidery floss and not easy to do, this is where mistakes can easily be seen. I looked but I didn’t see any here:

Very detailed embroidery makes up Pink Cross Stitch Quilt blocks. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Very detailed embroidery makes up Pink Cross Stitch Quilt blocks. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Now imagine that floral design quilt block and imagine what it would look like as a block where the design is hand quilted. That’s exactly what the quilter did here, taking that center design and using it as her quilting pattern:

Hand quilting repeats the pink cross stitch quilt design. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Hand quilting repeats the pink cross stitch quilt design. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Most cross stitch quilts just have the embroidery in blocks, like our Vintage Embroidered Roses handmade quilt.

Now for the back story to Pink Cross Stitch Handmade Quilt. What I love the most, besides this being a family heirloom, is that it was chosen to live on with a daughter.

Love the story behind this handmade quilt, it became a gift for a daughter! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Love the story behind this handmade quilt, it became a gift for a daughter! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Which reminds me, as you make your handmade quilts, remember to add your name and date to the handmade quilt. That way they can be easily passed on to family members and preserve the name of the quilt maker!

Charlotte