Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Quilt Squares for Christmas

Several years ago (actually, more than 20!) my sister-in-law and I were talking about Christmas gifts. The conversation ran the gamut from the difficulties we had in giving presents that the recipient would really enjoy and/or find useful, how much we hated wasting money on buying things just to give something, and how much we wanted to inject some creativity and fun into gift giving. Out of that conversation came a great idea - Quilt Squares for Christmas.

We decided that four of us -- my two sisters-in-law, my mother-in-law, and I -- would make and exchange quilt squares as our gifts to each other. The only rule was that they would be 12 inch squares; beyond that we could do anything. The idea was that after many years had passed, we would each have enough squares to put together into a quilt, full of memories, creativity, and love.

I have more than 40 squares, but haven't (yet) sewn them together into a quilt top. There are plenty of reasons excuses -- I'm not sure how to best arrange them; I don't know what color sashing to use, and the biggest reason of all -- I'm not a quilter. Today (and maybe some other days during November that I'm out of ideas) I'll share some of the squares.

The one on the left is from my mil the first year we did squares. I don't think any of us remembered to sign our squares the first time, but you can see sil2's initials on the pieced square on the right.

These are both from my mil, who does quilt. I think Drunkard's Path is on the left, and
 Dresden Plate on the right. She made us a log cabin quilt out of the same blue fabric in 1992.

The embroidered redwork is from my mil and the Christmas tree is
 appliqued and embroidered from sil1.

This is a unique and Christmasy square from my mil. I remember
 my kids being entranced by the lift-up flap.

The second year we did this, I got clever and decided that if I was making squares for three people, it was really no problem to make an extra square for myself. These are my 1993 and 1994 squares.

You can see that I was lucky enough to marry into a creative and talented family!
More later...


  1. WOW! what an amazing collection... really, I can't even think of what to type! I can see "reasons" why you haven't sewn them together - figuring out the placement and the colors would be a huge challenge. and 40+ squares, that's going to be BIG! I think it's wonderful that you were able to connect creatively with your in-laws in such a meaningful and beautiful way. (has anyone made a quilt with their squares?)

  2. You have quite a treasury of squares and wonderful stories to match each one. If it ever becomes a quilt it will be an incredible heirloom of family, love, creativity and joy!

  3. Wow! They are quite talented and it appears you are too! What a wonderful idea and what a keepsake. (And I'd pay someone to put it together once you figure out the arrangement.) (But I guess that would defeat the original thought process!)

  4. What a GREAT idea! Such a special and wonderful celebration of all your years together. (You'll have quite a huge quilt by the time you figure out how to piece it all together.) You all have created such a special collection of memories. XO

  5. What an amazing idea! You could have three separate quilts comprised of squares from each mixing of SILs with MIL. Wish I had the talent for sewing.

  6. Wow!! I love this idea, but can certainly see the challenges! Unless you're set on one big quilt, I think I'd maybe make a smaller lap quilt, a pillow, a table runner... or two or three!!


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