Scrap Happy August – Grandma’s scraps

Pattern and pieces

A box containing scraps of fabric bubbled up to the surface recently. It was a treasure trove of quilt pieces, blocks, patterns and scraps that had been prepared and saved by my grandmother from the 1930’s until she died in 1986. I love the entire box of treasure, knowing that my grandmother’s hands cut out the fabrics, planned the quilts and stitched some of the pieces together!




She left several completed patchwork quilt tops when she died.  My mother had them made into quilts and gave a completed quilt to each of the five grandchildren. I received one made with these blocks…there are still 39 fans unused – I am not sure why they didn’t get incorporated into the quilt, but I am glad to have them.



Dresden Plate

…and here is one of four nearly complete Dresden Plate blocks.




There are 38 nine-patch blocks in this stack.  I have already taken enough nine-patches to make three single-bed quilts. I gave a quilt to each of my children for their ninth birthday. My granddaughter will be nine in two years – maybe I can eke out one more nine-patch quilt, though the colour combinations are getting stranger as I have used the ones I like best already!!




This is one of twelve big blocks made with men’s shirt material…



Eight Pointed stars

…and there are 150 of these eight-pointed stars. most of them made with men’s shirts, but some of them include my grandmother’s aprons.



Diamond pattern

I love this brown paper pattern with dozens of pin holes in it.




These templates are heavily used too, some obviously pinned in place and some traced around. She used envelopes, cardboard, seed catalogues, advertisements and even sandpaper (which I seem to recall was for use on velvet fabric).  There are many shapes of templates – besides hexagons, there are diamonds, squares, rectangles, and odd-shapes, like for the fan pieces. I found pattern pieces made with envelopes that had addresses of three of her different homes – which is how I know she was making quilts for at least fifty years!




Grandma’s pencil line can be seen on many of the hexagons. 




She had started sewing hexagons together in long strings. She left no notes about her intentions, and I didn’t much like the seeming randomness of her placement.  So I unpicked the one or two strings of hexagons, and am re-stitching them by hand into a flower and star quilt, using the English paper-piecing method. I will have to supplement with some fabric from my own treasure boxes, but I quite like that idea.




I’m really enjoying these scraps!!!

Now that I am retired from both my paying jobs there are enough scraps to keep me going a while, I think. Hitty Constance helps with the work of course.



ScrapHappy is a group of bloggers using up scraps of anything – no new materials…Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible, and posts come out once a month on the 15th!



Here are the links for the ScrapHappy people – headed by Kate and Gun, who devised and run the group.  This is my sixth Scrap Happy post – Yay!


Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera



27 thoughts on “Scrap Happy August – Grandma’s scraps

  1. Let me know if you need a particular colour to complete anything. I have an 80 litre storage box of scraps of allcolours and designs, so I hope I’d be able to find something for you! 🙂

  2. Such awesome work – putting those quilts together with the fabric and color combination is a work of Art. Constance is a hitty with talent

  3. I actually got chills viewing this, thinking about your grandmother while she was working on these pieces. Wondering how she would have felt at that time, if she knew she wasn’t making quilt pieces but putting together treasure to be found by her dearly loved granddaughter in the future. This is so very heartwarming and special. Thank you for letting us in on it.

    • You are very welcome. I am sure she knew I loved her, as did her four other grandchildren, and though she had no idea that I would end up with her quilt pieces, I am sure she would have been alright with the ways I am using them, even though different from her plans!

  4. Yes, thank you for sharing this marvelously special treasure trove with us. I share your thrill of having it in your possession. And now, what a precious time in your life to sit there with your grandmother’s blocks and stitch away, Constance at your side. Yeah for scraps!

  5. I would be thrilled to discover some of these bits and pieces in an antique store. To have them from your grandmother’s hands and heart is just over the top. I am very happy for you and wish you many pleasant hours working with them and turning her work into completed projects to be treasured by you and by future generations.

  6. What a fabulous treasure you have! I think I would love to play in such things if my mother or grandmother had left them behind. I have one tied quilt in a snowball pattern that my mother made.

    • I am sure your snowball quilt is a treasure! It is interesting how some interests develop – I am sure my love of textiles and dolls comes in a straight line from my grandmother to me! I do appreciate my grandmother’s pieces even more now that I have the time to actually do something with them! I am also brave enough to change my grandmother’s plan, and make something that I will enjoy using her prepared pieces.

  7. My grandmother was also a quilter so this really struck a chord with me. She also left blocks behind…I got them but knew that one of her other grandchildren was a talented and dedicated quilter and I sent them to her. She was delighted and I know I did the right thing. Just as your lovely stash is being used by such a talented and dedicated needle worker! You and Constance are a marvelous team.

    • Thank you very much – we are absolutely grateful to have inherited these pieces, and determined to do them justice, even if we end up with something different than what my grandmother had planned!

    • It is an honour and I have to admit, has been a bit of an anxiety as well – I didn’t want to mess anything up that my grandmother might have planned . But for some reason it feels fine now – I can’t go back and ask her, and actually a couple of things that she started, I can (and have) improved on and I am actually not worried about it any more!

  8. Thanks! I worked with textiles in a museum for many decades, where we tried to determine and then preserve the maker’s creation exactly as intended. It is very freeing in a way to make the decision to go on my own path…and I am so happy that Jean (one small stitch) encouraged me to join the scrapsters!

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