Scrap Happy Provençal Quilt backing October 2021


I have been working on a quilt since January 2020, making one block a month, and using scraps of fabric bought in Provence – my mother-in-law bought some in the 1960’s and 70’s, I bought others there in 2010.

My mother-in-law died about three weeks ago, and though Alzheimer’s had taken away her ability to plan and make quilts she never stopped enjoying looking at these blocks with me.  She would comment on which she liked the best and which she thought didn’t work so well, while managing never to criticize. This quilt is imbued with memories of her generosity; quilting enthusiasm and talent; and the fun we had with fabrics.




I am on the home stretch now, All that is left is to prepare the backing fabric, get it quilted, and sew on a binding. A nice long piece of coordinating cotton was liberated from my mother-in-law’s stash, and because I had to seam it anyway to get the width for the backing, I decided to add in a strip of the scraps of Provençal fabrics stitched together.




The entire backing then had to be pressed…Constance added some weight by standing on the clapper. Each bit of the fabric was allowed to cool and dry before pressing the next section…it took a long time, but we persevered!




Now we have the full width of the quilt top + four inches on all sides, including a lovely offset stripe of all the Provençal fabrics that are featured on the front! I even found a couple more scraps of fabric with washing instructions!




One last scrap of leftover Provençal squares, added to the offcut of the backing fabric made a nice matching pillowcase.



Good Omen

The cat approves…what more needs to be said!

The Quilt has been delivered to the kind person who will stitch all the layers together.

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! If you like the idea and want to join the group, contact Kate or Gun who devised and run this group.  Their blogs are the first two links below:


32 thoughts on “Scrap Happy Provençal Quilt backing October 2021

    • It will be a special quilt, and one I have loved making. My mother-in-law really enjoyed looking at the blocks as they came together, and it was special that she shared her fabrics as well as her opinions. Memories and fabrics fade, but the process of making the quilt was a time I treasure too!

    • Thank you, it was always going to be full of memories, but some that are surfacing are quite unexpected. I am glad to have had this project to work on “with her”…and glad her hands and heart are at rest now.

  1. You’ve done a marvelous job…thanks for bringing us along as you’ve progressed through it.

    I am saddened to hear of your mother-in-law’s passing and am reaching out virtually with a quiet hug for you. As others have stated, your quilt will bring her to mind.

    The thought also came to me that as my mother passed through her last years, I “employed” her aid in making one last piece of art (she was a gifted artist) -a wall hanging, appliqued quilt together. She’d point to the fabrics she chose for the next spot on the quilt, I’d go home and make them, bring them back the following time and we’d repeat the process until it was finished. Memories….

    • Oh, Becky, it sounds like you had a similar experience. I found that bringing these squares out to show my mother-in-law during this project was very satisfying for us both. She was emphatic about what she liked, but polite about what she felt didn’t work. I had thought of only bringing the ones out that I knew she liked, but my sister-in-law pointed out that she should be allowed to dislike things, those feelings should be allowed too!

  2. What a wonderful backing for the project, and a wonderful way to remember your sweet MIL. I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds as if you were close and will miss her a great deal.

    • It wasn’t easy to get to know her as a person, and we didn’t see eye-to-eye on everything, though we did have lots in common. I will certainly remember her through this quilt and the amazing fabrics. She had a sharp eye for colour, for a bargain, and for what was right (or not). I will miss her.

  3. So sorry for your MiL’s passing, Alzheimers is such a sad,dreadful disease. It was nice for both you and her that she could still enjoy the fabrics. I visit a Master Weaver every week, she too has Alzheimers but she still gives me advice on warping the loom. Your quilt is beautiful, love the joining scrap strip, it is a wonderful remembrance.

    • Thanks for your very kind words. The leftover feelings are sad, difficult, and complicated. We did both love fabrics and making quilts, and it was good a point of reference. Many memories! And thanks to her, I did not buy a single thing to make the top and backing except one reel of thread!

  4. laughed at the last photo of the cat. Our cat always was right smack in the middle of anything new in our home, Your quilt it beautiful…the colors are rich and striking. I enjoy Constance and her projects so very much.

    • Siyah is always ready to help…unfortunately it is the rainy season, and muddy pawprints are less delightful than just a few cat-impressions…but she looked so pleased with herself and comfortable!

    • I didn’t want the strip of squares to languish…and it looks so good! I think Kate from this group did that once, which inspired me here! And every little bit of weight helps when seam-pressing…I am not quite ready to go back to the days of flat-irons, so I am glad to have Constance’s help with that!

    • Thank you very much…and besides the memories of my mother-in-law, the quilt is filled with memories of the covid-time, we began the quilt in January 2021, and made one block a month until June this year. I have been working on borders and backing since then. It will be a quilt treasure for me!

    • The original pattern we worked from was called “Shaded of Grey” and was composed of darker and lighter greys, plus black and white….But… it rains all winter here, under lowering grey skies. I had to do something bright and cheerful!

  5. I’ve enjoyed watching the journey here. So sorry to hear of your loss, too. Oh, but what a joyful memory to have. Isn’t it just awesome when the cat approves! LOL! I love that red fabric with the little blue flowers. Of course, it has my favorite colors in it. heheh!

  6. a work of art and love. How generous your MIL was and how generous and loving you were to involve her , I am sure it added so much joy to her life . You are truly an amazing person.

    • It is the end of an era…but not the end of our quilt collaborations. I am working on one right now that incorporates some blocks she made and some I am making…youngest human will be getting a quilt for her ninth birthday, made by the two of us!

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