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

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

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

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

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

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

Dragon Dance Handmade Quilt Wall Hanging

What a charming way to celebrate a Chinese New Year! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

What a charming way to celebrate a Chinese New Year! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Dragon Dance Handmade Quilt Wall Hanging

Are your January days cold and dreary? Ours in mid-Missouri are so this time of year I try to bring in as much color into my house as I can. I still have poinsettias with their leaves turned red and pink; some of my moth orchids have re-bloomed and salvaged begonias are brightening up my kitchen.

It’s at this time of year that I also think about how to warm up my rooms with quilted wall hangings.At the bottom of my steps to my basement, I just hung a Four Seasons Lap Quilt Wall Hanging to brighten the landing and remind myself winter will soon be over. Luckily many small handmade quilts or lap quilts and throws like this one also include tabs on the back so they can easily be made into wall hangings. When not in use, the tabs sit flat on the back and don’t interfere with using the handmade quilt for naps.

One of my favorite places for home decor inspiration is local quilt shows such as the 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild in Rolla. One of the custom handmade quilts and quilted wall hangings that I would love to have on my wall this time of year is the Dragon Dance custom handmade quilt and wall hanging featured here.

Made by Laurie Miller, of Rolla, this lovely piece of fiber art won a first place for the best incorporation of the challenge fabric. In other words, the quilter was given a fabric they had to incorporate into their custom handmade quilt and Laurie was the best in show. Nice going, Laurie!

Take a closer look at the lovely, detailed dragon head. The eyes are amazingly detailed and I love how the fabrics compliment instead of compete with each other. With the variety of printed fabrics, this could easily have been a visual disaster but Laurie selected fabrics that hold their own:

The closeup shows the fabric details including the dragon eyes. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The closeup shows the fabric details including the dragon eyes. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

When I first started my custom quilt business, my first quilter and I used to spend hours pouring over potential project fabrics to ensure that we had the right fabric combinations. Since then, I have seen dozens of beautifully- made custom handmade quilts that suffered from poor fabric selection. If the fabrics are wrong, it doesn’t matter how accomplished the quilter is, incompatible fabric colors will lead one’s eye.

Which is yet another accomplishment of this custom handmade quilt, even with all of the primary colors and strong tones, they seem to like each other.

And can you imagine this hanging on a wall in your house brightening up the corner?

Nice recognition of the lovely quilting work! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Nice recognition of the lovely quilting work! (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Me, too!

Charlotte

Reaping Rewards Handmade Quilt

Reaping Rewards Quilt.jpg

Reaping Rewards Handmade Quilt

No, its not your imagination, this is the same quilt pattern “Ah, Autumn” featured in the three previous blog entries. Of the three previously featured Ah, Autumn handmade quilts, this one looks the most like Harriet Bain’s Ah Autumn quilt starting with the quilt colors. For some reason the quilter has renamed the quilt but all of the basic pattern elements are still there.

This is why a quilt pattern can have different names from country to country or even region and down within a country.

The one interesting element mentioned in this handmade quilt is the use of Guatemalan fabrics.

Reaping Rewards Quilt close up.jpg

The handmade quilt border gives this pattern an interesting contrast. It is reminiscent of the leaf pattern found in the rest of the handmade quilt.

This was another quilt featured at Piece and Plenty’s 2018 bi-annual Quilt Guild show in Rolla, Mo.

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

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

This handmade quilt story mentions that the Guatemalan cotton has a different texture, something I missed when I was at the quilt guild show. Maybe next year!

Charlotte

Ah, Autumn Handmade Quilt by Harriet

Another interesting combination of fabric colors. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Another interesting combination of fabric colors. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Ah, Autumn Handmade Quilt by Harriet Bain

This is the third in a series of handmade quilts that were featured at the 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild in Rolla, Mo., a quilt show held bi-annually.

Each one of these Ah, Autumn handmade quilts featured a special fabric or detail incorporated by the quilter. This particular version of the Ah, Autumn handmade quilt also has very bright colors as opposed to the muted greens, burnt reds and browns one traditionally associates with fall colors.

The signature leaf quilt block details close up. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The signature leaf quilt block details close up. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The signature four leaf block also reflects the quilter’s fabric choices. Harriet, who I know as a friend through master gardeners, made all of her leaves with striped fabrics.

As I was reviewing the fabrics I realized this quilt reminds me of the color combinations in one of my quilts our Lime Green Double Wedding Ring Quilt.

This quilt features another special fabric detail. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Winggins)

This quilt features another special fabric detail. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Winggins)

As fall ends its reign, I enjoy looking at these various Ah, Autumn handmade quilts and comparing the fabric choices and color combinations. This quilt also features a special fabric, this one from Burma, Harriet’s home country.

Every quilt is lovely on its own merit and nicely celebrates the beauty of the season.

Charlotte

Winter Twitterings Handmade Quilt

Winter Twitterings Handmade Quilt from the local quilt show last year. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Winter Twitterings Handmade Quilt from the local quilt show last year. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Winter Twitterings Handmade Quilt

Cold, overcast days are keeping me inside these days but I still make it outside to refill bird feeders and to check my garden, even if nothing is blooming or even green.

Listening to the birds in my garden reminded me of this charming "Winter Twitterings” Handmade Quilt from Piece and Plenty’s 2017 bi-annual quilt show. And no, this is not about “tweeting” on a social media platform, this is a reference to the sound birds make.

The overall color scheme of burgundy and cream is elegant and a nice counterpoint to the more whimsical quilt block details.

Two charming embroidered birds in Winter Twitterings Handmade quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Two charming embroidered birds in Winter Twitterings Handmade quilt, (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Take a look at another block and the cute way Brenda Morton hand-quilted this winter themed quilt. The hand quilting adds some dimension to each of the quilt blocks.

Embroidered birdhouses keep birds company. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Embroidered birdhouses keep birds company. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Every handmade quilt has a story and Winter Twitterings is no exception.

Every quilt has a story. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Every quilt has a story. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

When seen together, this is a charming handmade quilt celebrating birds and winter, something I enjoy watching from the cozy warmth of my own home. Not surprisingly, this quilt also won first prize in the quilt show.

Not surprising, Winter Twitterings quilt won first prize. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Not surprising, Winter Twitterings quilt won first prize. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

These days most quilts are machine embroidered so I want to make a special note that this one was not only hand quilted but hand embroidered as well. That’s worthy of a tweet!

Charlotte

Flight of the Honeybee Handmade Quilt

Love the bright colors in Flight of the Honeybee handmade quilt and wall hanging. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Love the bright colors in Flight of the Honeybee handmade quilt and wall hanging. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Flight of the Honeybee Handmade Quilt

We’re expecting our first frost in mid-Missouri tonight. My plants are all tucked inside as are my honeybees in their outside hives. After 8 years of keeping bees, the hardest part of winter is not getting to visit with my honeybees every day.

I thought about that when I first saw Flight of the Honeybee Handmade Quilt at Piece and Plenty’s bi-annual quilt show in Rolla October 2017. It’s actually a wall hanging, a lovely piece of fabric art that nicely honors the flight of the - well, you know.

And, to boot, it features my favorite flowers!

The flowersare one of my favorites, zinnia flowers. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The flowersare one of my favorites, zinnia flowers. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

I just spent a couple of hours preparing zinnia seeds to plant in my garden next year for my bees and butterflies.

The other surprise was that this was made by a former colleague, Johnnie Fiscus, and her mother, Alverta.

Nice explanation of what this quilted wall hanging represents. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Nice explanation of what this quilted wall hanging represents. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Usually every featured handmade quilt and wall hanging has a short biography of each of the quilters and this one was no exception.

Biographies of Johnnie Fiscus, left, and her mom, Alverta. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Biographies of Johnnie Fiscus, left, and her mom, Alverta. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

If I could bundle these two together, I would add Flight of the Honeybee quilted wall hanging to our handmade Honeybee days of the week kitchen towels. Yes, I’m getting in the holiday spirit!

Charlotte

Handmade Quilt Gift Idea for Hospitals and Nursing Homes

Close up of the 4-inch fabric blocks in Blue Yellow Ninepatch lap quilt and wall hanging.

Close up of the 4-inch fabric blocks in Blue Yellow Ninepatch lap quilt and wall hanging.

Handmade Quilt Gift Idea for Hospitals and Nursing Homes

Sometimes it’s hard to find a gift for someone in a hospital and nursing home. You don’t want to give something that may be damaged or misplaced and this little gem is a wonderful option.

Blue Yellow Ninepatch Lap Quilt Wall Hanging is a brand new imported lightweight lap quilt in bright yellow and blue multi-patterned cottons. The backing is also a bright and cheerful fabric with printed yellow and blue flowers. The lap quilt also comes with a built-in sleeve so this tiny reminder of sunshine can be hung on a wall.

Close up of the backing and sleeve on Blue Yellow Ninepatch Lap Quilt and Wall Hanging.

Close up of the backing and sleeve on Blue Yellow Ninepatch Lap Quilt and Wall Hanging.

One of our customers recently purchased a Blue Yellow Lap Quilt Wall Hanging and had friends write good wishes in the blocks with an indelible pen.

Another option is to have custom embroidery added with a special dedication in the bottom blue border.

Blue Yellow Ninepatch Lap Quilt Wall Hanging on a bed to show all of the included fabric colors.

Blue Yellow Ninepatch Lap Quilt Wall Hanging on a bed to show all of the included fabric colors.

I have a personal connection to these colors and design. Years ago, I gave something similar to my grandmother as a housewarming gift when she moved into a nursing home. Only instead of calling it a ninepatch pattern, we decided this was an irish chain.

My most recent customer insisted this was more of a ninepatch so we’re leaving it named as she requested. Whatever you call it, Blue Yellow Ninepatch Lap Quilt Wall Hanging will brighten anyone’s day!

Charlotte

Vintage Butterflies and Flowers Handmade Quilt

Doesn't this look like butterflies have taken over? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Doesn't this look like butterflies have taken over? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Vintage Butterflies and Flowers Handmade Quilt

I caught the end of the 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild "Bed Turning" session in time to see this lovely vintage Butterflies and Flowers handmade quilt. It was love at first sight, and you can see why, there are a variety of different-sized butterflies all over the applique flowers!

June is usually the month for National Pollinators Week and this year, it will be celebrated June 18-24. Butterflies are among the many pollinators who keep our landscapes full of a variety of flowers not to mention the largest family of pollinators, bees.

This vintage quilt has its own celebration, starting with the variety applique butterflies all over. There are two sizes of butterflies, the larger dominant applique ones and the smaller ones forming a border.

Love how the butterflies are paying close attention to flowers. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Love how the butterflies are paying close attention to flowers. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

And in one of the quilt corners, a delightful surprise, the name of the quilter and the year she made it hand-embroidered: Dot French, 1984.

See the surprise in this corner? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

See the surprise in this corner? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

I had a butterfly quilt in my teenage years, a patchwork butterfly quilt pattern with more details than this one. Taking a closer look, it would not be hard to make a similar butterfly quilt, the applique butterfly shape is pretty simple as are the flowers. Looks like the longest time would be in embroidering the flower centers and leaves.

The larger applique butterflies have a basic, easy shape. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The larger applique butterflies have a basic, easy shape. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

I have been contemplating making a new butterfly throw design and this vintage butterflies and flowers handmade quilt will definitely be my inspiration!

Charlotte

Ladybug in the Maze Handmade Quilt

This is a small quilt but mighty because of the center subject, a lovely red ladybug.

This is a small quilt but mighty because of the center subject, a lovely red ladybug.

Ladybug in Maze Handmade Quilt

It's hard to believe but it's almost mid April and there still is snow in the upcoming forecast. What happened to spring??

Over the years, one of the ways I have easily change the decor of my guest room and bedroom was by changing out the quilts. My winter quilts are much heavier than my spring and summer ones and, once I find wall space, I may even hang a couple of the smaller quilt blocks I first made years ago.

This Ladybug in the Maze handmade quilt was one of my favorites at the 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild and you will quickly see why - the subject in the center is one of my favorite garden bugs, the ladybug. This little red bug eats aphids and is one of the beneficial insects we should encourage to have in our gardens instead of using pesticides.

Here is a closer look at the ladybug and the detailed quilting that went into this charming small handmade quilt, the perfect size for a wall hanging:

Here is a closer look at the center red ladybug and the surrounding quilting.

Here is a closer look at the center red ladybug and the surrounding quilting.

One little ladybug looks so elegant, reminds me of the ladybug applique throw we offer based on a vintage pattern with a lot more red ladybugs in different red patterned fabrics.

Another surprise, this was made by a former co-worker of mine when we worked together at the local daily newspaper. 

Every handmade quilt has a story so if you find one at an auction or estate sale, make sure to ask who made it and when, the back story adds value to a quilt if you can find it.

Each handmade quilt has a story and this is the story behind this gem of a handmade quilt.

Each handmade quilt has a story and this is the story behind this gem of a handmade quilt.

Nicely done, Loretta!

Charlotte

Basket Handmade Quilt

Can you spot all of the baskets in this handmade quilt by a master gardener friend?

Can you spot all of the baskets in this handmade quilt by a master gardener friend?

Basket Handmade Quilt

As I was dusting off some of my favorite baskets earlier today thinking of spring, I remembered this handmade basket quilt from the fall 2017 Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild quilt show in Rolla, Missouri. The handmade quilt had been made by a master gardener colleague of mine but what I recalled was that I had intended to count how many actual baskets were featured in the quilt.

Baskets are an important element in my life. Besides cat napping spots and storage areas for books, I keep baskets to carry plants around in my garden so I keep many baskets in various shapes and sizes around my house.

This lovely, award-winning quilt also seems to suggest baskets are good for a variety of chores, starting with collecting strawberries.

This strawberry seems to be growing in it's own basket!

This strawberry seems to be growing in it's own basket!

Each one of these quilt blocks feature lovely baskets such as the strawberry sitting in its very own colorful container. An applique red bird appears to be getting ready to fly off ned to a basket holding a pretty flower.

Look at how the machine quilting adds nice texture to the quilt background.

This red bird is keeping a lovely flower in a basket company.

This red bird is keeping a lovely flower in a basket company.

This side of the handmade basket quilt, with the award ribbons, feature smaller baskets.

Basket handmade quilt won a second place award at the quilt guild show last fall.

Basket handmade quilt won a second place award at the quilt guild show last fall.

Each handmade quilt has it's own story, one of my favorite parts of any quilt show. This quilt took a little extra time from start to finish, according to Marilyn's accounting but it sure was worth the effort!

One of the wonder features of any handmade quilt is the story behind its making.

One of the wonder features of any handmade quilt is the story behind its making.

In addition to the variety of baskets, I liked the fabric color combinations, the bright colors will help this quilt have a long life.

Charlotte

It's Snowing Handmade Quilt

Love the way the scarf has a little movement in the patchwork quilt design.

Love the way the scarf has a little movement in the patchwork quilt design.

It's Snowing Handmade Quilt

This may sound silly but I got into a lively discussion with a very young man earlier today while waiting at a hardware store. The question was how cold does it have to get before one can make a good snowman.

His contention was that there is no bad time to make a snowman. I didn't disagree with the sentiment but at what temperature, I asked, does snow not pack enough to hold a shape.

This 10-year old had it all figure out, down to bringing a spray water bottle with him to add a little moisture if the snow needed it.  I admired his tenacity but when the temperatures dip below zero, that's too cold to be doing much of anything outside even in a snowy garden, which makes this charming "It's Snowing" handmade quilt a great way to bring a snowman inside. Make that four snowmen!

Here's the handmade quilt with all four blocks making a charming quilted wall hanging.

Here's the handmade quilt with all four blocks making a charming quilted wall hanging.

I know the piecer and quilter of this quilt so this becomes special just for that reason.

In addition, though, I love how the patchwork scarf has movement instead of just sitting on the snowman's neck. Patchwork quilts are based on geometric designs so to see a simple square turn into movement is a nice touch.

The other part of this handmade quilt story? Well, see for yourself in the posted story at Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild's fall 2017 show in Rolla, Mo.:

See, there's hope for those of us with unfinished projects still around!

See, there's hope for those of us with unfinished projects still around!

For those of you who may not know, UFOs are unfinished projects and I have a few of those myself so this will be further inspiration to get some of mine done.

Nice job, Loretta!

Charlotte