Back in about 2018, our daughter Kalissa was at a garage sale. She knows I love embroidery and at the time we had the antique booth and I would embroidered things. At the garage sale was a huge collection of embroidered pieces and Kalissa asked the person if they would sell the whole lot and what the price would be. The lady came back with some crazy price like $40 for it all. Kalissa said yes and came home with two large brown paper bags stuffed to the top with embroidered pieces.
I went on and sold many of them here on the blog via the auctions to raise money for the Community quilt fund. It has been largely successful it was one of the best things I’ve purchased and resold as far as making money for the Community quilt project.
Well in December I was cleaning things out and prepping for auctions. I found the bag of embroidered goodies, yes there are still some left, and decided to really look at them and decide what might or might not sell. Were the items better to pass on or keep for auction? I decided I was going to take some and pass it on to Jazz and hopefully she could make them into quilts. She’s such a talent when it comes to non-traditional pieces. Her creative mind brings the projects to life.
I sent her some hard-to-use items and I’m thrilled to show you what she did with them.
“Hi, Jo. Last month I received a shipment of embroidered quilt tops from you. One was this cute clown embroidery. As you can see it was six squares attached to a piece of cotton printed with dump trucks, sailboats, and tractors. I removed the transportation piece and tucked it into my box of juvenile fabrics.
They were three panels were sewn end to end in a long strip, not conducive to a square-shaped baby blanket. I delicately separated the units and made three separate quilts with them, each finishing at 40” x 40”. The first one was bordered in a clown print I had in my stash, then pink-on-pink polka dots and a yellow and white print from Becky M (she lives in Texas and Alaska) who also donated the flannel back. I bound it in green from my scraps.
The second one has three borders next to the embroidery, a diamond-shaped print, a mottled bright pink, and more of the yellow from the first one, all from Becky M. The bright blue binding is from Jeanne M, from Tucson, Arizona. It looks electric next to the yellow! The back is a very soft, multi-colored, striped cotton, the gift of another of our friends.
The last clown quilt is framed by a red star print, a donation from the same Jeanne M, who also sent me the red and white heart flannel back. Next to the red is a left-over strip from one of my jelly rolls and that is bordered with the last of Becky M’s yellow. Holly M. sent me the red and white binding about a year ago.
Here are the three clown quilts.
In the same mailing was… a continuous, long strip of individually embroidered, identical sports motifs. I cut them into four pieces of three images each and fashioned them into a little athlete’s quilt that finished at 36” x 48”. I used a yellow, blue, white, and orange print from Becky M, of Texas and Alaska, to border it with and the same red and white binding from Holly M. that I used on the clown quilt.
Here is a close-up of the handwork.
The back is a rich brown plaid that will be soft and comforting to the All-Star child at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, Texas.
You also sent me this exquisitely embroidered quilt.
Based on the similar free-spirited style I’m speculating it’s the work of the same artist. It is so colorful, and the work was done so lovingly.
You can see from these close-ups that it was assembled entirely by hand.
The squares were loosely sewn together with perky pink, light blue and two different shades of green embroidery floss, and the front-facing binding back was hemmed with a long blanket stitch with purple floss.
As fetching as it was, though, it appeared to be very fragile. Much too delicate to be hugged, laundered, and loved by a deserving patient recipient.
I very carefully removed the front from the back, preserving all the charming stitching and appreciating the needleworker’s artistic eye in pairing her work with a solid grape-colored cotton-blend back. It made the brilliant white background of the floral design sparkle.
After the pieces were pressed and squared up, I machine-sewed over the vibrant seams with clear thread to reinforce and strengthen them. I batted it and stitched in the ditch to reapply the purple backing. I cautiously (as in, neurotically!) measured, positioned, pinned, and worried over the best way to ensure enough of the backing to use as binding. (I only bind the conventional way, attaching the strips to the front of the quilt sandwich and then hemming it to the back.) Once I was satisfied, I cut. And it worked!
Here is the sturdier, more structured version of the beauty you sent. It ended up measuring 36” x 50”, an unusual size for a quilt, but isn’t the embroidery just glowing? And now it’s on the way to a patient at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, Texas, who I just know will cherish it and appreciate all the hours the donor invested in the colorful embroidery.
You also sent me this embroidered piece with a note:
I agree, it does look like it was intended to be a tablecloth but look what a dandy 36” square lap quilt it makes! I traced around a cake pan to draw circles over the designs and just sewed it up.
I bound it with a dotted brown print to complement the blue and brown flannel backing (provided by the now-famous Becky M. (Soldotna, Alaska and Whitney, Texas).
All these embroidered quilts were batted with a package of batting from Sarah W. of Houston.
From one ambitious handworker and many of your devoted followers came all these unique quilts for the patients of Ben Taub Hospital in Houston. Thank you, Jo, anonymous embroiderer, Becky M, Jeanne M, Holly M, Sarah W!
Whoever is doing all this beautiful stitching (and I am certain it’s all been by the same person, based on the unique style) has been a blessing to the patients at Ben Taub Hospital.
Next, I’ll show you a quilt I embroidered. It’s from a kit sent to me from Janie W, from Edmond, Oklahoma. She emailed me in November acknowledging that I do not need any more fabric or quilts to finish, but offered flannel, which I was happy to receive, especially since she included this duck-themed stamped cross stitch kit for me to make!
But it’s not quite ready to show. Next time!”
WOW…I knew you could make these pieces shine Jazz!! You were exactly the person to make these embroidered pieces come to life. I’m so impressed. Many thanks to the people who helped provide fabric and supplies along the way.