Living with Quilts

Lots of times you all leave a comment or I see something that prompts me to write a post.  Today’s prompt came from Joan.

Joan wrote, “Greetings, Jo! I have popped into your blog numerous times, but I just recently started following you. We have a lot in common :)  Do you keep all your quilts? Gift them? Sell them? I have soooo many (many Bonnie patterns, too). We just did a big remodel of our living room and kitchen. I had a Jenny Lind changing table I used as a quilt corral in the living room. Now I am looking at it and wondering if I have too many quilts. I have given many of them away. But it’s like giving away children (of which I have eight), if you know what I mean. Wondering what happens to yours.”

I gift a lot of quilts.  Many go to benefits.  Some go to charity.  Some are wedding, graduation, or childcare gifts.  I give baby quilts to relatives and people we are close to.  It doesn’t bother me to gift or give them.  My kids all have several quilts from me too.

Typically a gifted quilt is one that isn’t “my colors” or “is an easier quilt” or is one that is made with precuts.  I never give my very favorite ones away.  If I know I am going to gift a quilt I often pick colors that aren’t my favorite or a quilt that isn’t exactly my style so it’s easier to give.

As far as knowing if you have “too many” quilts, I think that is a question each of us has to ask ourselves from time to time.

I thought I would take you on a tour of my home and show you how I display some of my quilts.

This is a built in cabinet in my dining room.  Most people would display dishes there…not me.  The entire thing is quilts…17 of them.

I have a ladder in my… living room.  There are quilts on it.  These get used all the time.  They aren’t for display.  I snapped the picture as it as this is how they typically look.   I have a plan for the wall above here for quilt display but I have to get someone on board to help me.

I have a basket of rolled quilts in my bedroom.

This is in my bedroom.  I have a stack of quilts on my treadle.

This is a quilt rack in the spare bedroom.  One quilt is missing as we have two on the bed right now.

This is the night stand in the bedroom.  I have a stack of baby quilts and two large quilts rolled and shelved there.


They aren’t displayed but the right hand door is filled with quilts that I’m willing to part with for benefits or gifting.


There are three quilts on this rack in my hallway.


There is a stack of quilts on the icebox in the hallway near the door to my sewing room.


My sewing room has a stack of quilts on my treadle….

I have some wall sized quilts in my sewing room.


I have a stack of quilts on top of the cabinet.


I have baby quilts rolled and in an old tool box on top of another cabinet.

There are a few hanging aroung the house too.


I’m sure many would say too many quilts.  For me, it’s okay.  None are in the way.  But yes…this many large quilts in one house is definitely overkill.

I have another spare room that is Karl’s for now.  I anticipate the next stack of quilts I make will go there.  It’s hard that I feel like I need to keep many of the ones we have had published.  We have been slowly giving away some of them but we do need to keep some.  Who knows, maybe we’ll hit the road and teach classes if that ever becomes a thing again.

One of the reasons I am back to cross stitching is that I have so many quilts…I don’t really need another one, but I do enjoy making them so I’ll keep quilting but don’t feel a bit bad if I branch out a bit and do a little cross-stitching or punchneedle…or embroidery or anything else that stricks my fancy.

I would like to a few smaller projects more for decoration-Projects of all kinds, quilts, pincushions, cross-stitch, whatever.  I really don’t have much for decor.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that or not.  It’s a lovely thought.

I know I appreciate seeing how other display quilts so I am adding a link here.  I am encouraging any of you who can to link ways that display quilts.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

I would also like to share that there is a Facebook group called Living with Quilts.  Group members are always sharing displays of quilts in their homes.  It is so fun to see.  You might want to check them out.

36 thoughts on “Living with Quilts

  1. Penny Holliday

    Thank you for the tour Jo! Love your quilt displays through out your home! I don’t think you can ever have too many quilts! BTW ~ I’m remembering to tell you that your completed sewing room is beautiful!

    Reply
  2. Valerie

    Can a songwriter create too many songs? Can an artist paint too many pictures? I don’t think there is such a thing as too many quilts–I love all that you have and aspire to create that much! Perhaps one day you could have a quilt show of your own–at your church or in your house–and share your craft and creativity.

    Reply
  3. Brenda in SC

    Jo, I absolutely love all your quilts and how your display them. I am a primitive country display type person too and hope to have my home my home like yours one day. I keep buying antiques and primitives every time we go to auctions. I also buy vintage quilts and am also looking for ways to display them, so your post was right on time.
    Thanks for all you do for the quilting community. You are such a generous person and your blog is such a great way to start my day with coffee every morning. Love and hugs from South Carolina.

    Reply
    1. Ginny Clyne

      Jo, your quilts are beautiful like you. You inspire all of use with what you do, creating beautiful quilts, your generous spirit, the care you take of your family and friends, your outreaching to help others and your wonderful blog. Your blog is the only one I follow. I have come to think of you as a dear friend. Please keep as many quilts as you like and continue to create more the world can use all the beauty it can get yours is a God given talent use it.

      Reply
  4. Julie Holleran

    thanks for your lovely quilt display tour;)))) I have been kind of stymied as to where to put a lot of my own quilts — they now reside folded up in my linen closet–they need to come out and be seen…I will certainly use some of your ideas loved this posting hugs, Julierose

    Reply
  5. Suzanne Yerks

    You have so many nice antique pieces of furniture. I especially like your bedroom set. Just beautiful. It all looks the more cozy and timeless with the quilts added throughout.

    Reply
  6. Holly

    I love your house and hope for a nice porch off of your sewing room someday. I still chuckle at the story of the cabinet coming through that 2nd story door from the pickup truck below. Each of our last 6 moves required getting a back porch per my husband and each time as soon as we built the room, we moved. Arghhh

    Reply
  7. Ellie

    Thanks for the lovely tour of your home and how you display quilts. It makes me think about finding ways to display more of my quilts.

    Reply
  8. Kate

    Many beautiful quilts. I can only imagine how many you have made in total because you give so many away. Beautiful, beautiful! I have no problem giving away a quilt – if when I start it, it is the plan. I have a hard time giving away any others because I have made them because I like the colors, pattern, etc. I am not sure if I even have 25 total, but I worked full time until 2 years ago and when away from the house for close to ten hours a day, doesn’t leave much time for sewing. I do like the challenge of making them and keeping them!!

    Reply
  9. Colleen Hicks

    Your Best Blog ever! Enjoyed it totally! Love the Quilts, your way of displaying, your home, your antiques, your primitives! All of All of All of it! So many beautiful quilts. Do you label and date all of them?

    Reply
  10. Pat

    Jo, thank you for a tour of your home and a view of your quilts and how you display them. So many wonderful colors and patterns. I like how you have a mix and do not have only certain types of quilts and colors. It makes life much more interesting!! I also love seeing your antique furniture. Such wonderful pieces.
    I am enjoying your blog so much. It has gotten me to pull out my cross stitch and enjoy it again. I have done very little punch needle and wonder if you could do a blog on the basics . Thank you for all you do to help your fellow needle workers.

    Reply
  11. Mary Jo B.

    Wow – I am in awe of the number of quilts that you have — and they are displayed so beautifully. Thanks for the tour.

    Reply
  12. Jenny

    Such lovely quilts! It would be difficult to give them away.

    You mentioned that some of the quilts get published and I was wondering when you get published, do you give up the rights to sell the quilt instructions yourself for a specific time or forever? I have seen some lovely quilts on Pinterest which refers to the quilt being published in a magazine several years ago and if you want the instructions, you have to purchase the magazine. I would rather purchase it from the designer and have my money go to him/her.

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      The publisher of the magazine owns the rights to their written instructions. If a designer wants to rewrite the instructions in their own words and make it into a pattern they can after a year or so depending on the contract specifics. Most designers don’t rewrite the instructions. We tried it on a couple of patterns and found it wasn’t something we want to do.

      Reply
  13. Beryl BC

    These are beautiful quilts. Most of mine are hidden in the closet. I need to use some of your ideas for display. I’m wondering when they’re out on display how often you need to launder them. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  14. Kim J LeMere

    Loved seeing them all and I don’t think you can have to many quilts. I give most of mine away and I try to not overload our two children. We usually take a family trip every few years and I try to make them a quilt or runner to remember our journey. The last trip was to the Keys and I just finished 2 quilts of flamingos, flip flops, bikes, chicken and a small map of Florida and such. I make a lot of children’s quilts which get donated since we don’t have grandchildren to share with. After almost 20 years of quilting I have kept about that many, the rest get moved out. Your home is lovely and I enjoyed the tour, warm and welcoming.

    Reply
  15. JustGail

    Even folded up, your quilts are beautiful. I think I need to get mine out of the closet and stack them in a couple of places. Or get a couple of big baskets or crates… And your double door wardrobe and the bed (what I can see of it anyway) are gorgeous also.

    I’m guessing you may have thought about selling some quilts, but decided not to for one reason or another? Like the kids still want some of them, who’d pay the $$$ they are worth in time/materials, the stacks haven’t fallen over – yet, what is this “too many quilts” of which people speak….

    Reply
  16. Joyce

    Oftentimes when I am making a quilt, I will show it to my husband who usually asks, “Who are you making that one for?” My answer is almost always, “No one in particular–I’m just compelled to make it.” Sometimes, my quilts end up as gifts or given to benefit auctions, but, like you Jo, I can’t part with my favorites. I do display them on my walls, beds and quilt racks like the art that they are. Some people paint or sculpt, I quilt!

    Reply
  17. Joy

    Beautiful quilts! I’m lucky enough to have some made by my grandmothers and have made a few of my own but have so many more in progress.

    Reply
  18. Robby H.

    So much beauty and creativity on display in this post! I love the quilt that hangs behind Scrap Crystals. In fact, I think I’d like to make one, yours is so pretty. I feel like it must be a Bonnie Hunter quilt, but I can’t figure out which one. Can you help a girl out?

    Reply
      1. Bettina

        Hi, Jo

        Do you or have you ever made a Star Quilt, the kind the Lakota give away for various reasons?

        My dream is to learn how to create one, and then another, and then another…

        Reply
        1. Jo Post author

          Bettina. I guess I am not sure what a Star Quilt that Lakota gives away looks like. Could you provide a link?

          Reply
          1. Linda in NE

            I’ve seen pictures of Lakota giveaway quilts and I’d say they are the Lone Star pattern. Always beautiful.

            Reply
  19. Nancy L Fratz

    Wow, I love that you took an older, unloved foreclosure and made it into a very nice comfortable home. Yes, your quilts are beautiful, every single one of them. I live in West Palm Beach, FL so making quilts for us to use is laughable. But, I enjoy the process and I love donating them to our local Police Department for children who have been through trauma. I have stopped making anything larger than a throw because we simply have no need for them and it is easier to quilt smaller quilts on my domestic Janome. I love improv and being creative with my favorite fabrics. I am totally in love with the wool carpet In your bedroom.
    Good for you for sticking with what you wanted for planning your kitchen.
    Love your home and love that your children are close to you.

    Reply
  20. VIRGINIA CORRIEA

    Hi Jo. I, too, have many, many quilts and I display them all over my house. I have started working on very complicated quilts, like Dear Jane, The Caswell Quilt, in order to slow myself down. I am very, very fast at piecing so I have to find some way to slow myself down and still do my quilting. I also do a lot of applique and I do the stitching of the pieces by hand; and that helps slow me down some too. I’m running out of room.

    Reply
  21. Marz

    Hello
    Lovely post, great pix, and who’s to say what qualifies as “too many” but the curator of the lot!
    Even so, if you feel you’re running out of room, here’s an idea – a crazy one, but IF your ceilings are generous, a plausible one: ceiling racks! Made with simple dowels, your lovely quilts can be hung, FOLDED, like a tea towel on an oven handle, but from the ceiling, which is always a rather empty & underused space in most homes. The dowels are hung close to the ceiling, about 12″ apart, and in this manner your quilts are stored, displayed, taking up unused “air space”, and freeing up floor and cabinet space.
    It’s a thought…
    Cheers!
    Marz in San Francisco

    Reply
  22. Rebecca

    Such a wonderful display of beauty and cozy quilts.
    I thought I would give many away, but am still in the “that’s my child” stage. I think a local show of your quilts would be a gift at nursing homes, when such is practical again.
    I have a lot of tops not yet quilted, and have endless ideas for more. My house is cold all winter I keep thinking about hanging them like warm medieval tapestries on the walls. So far just on my bed.
    My son wants me to keep them for him, he has a lot of crocheted Afghans and jealousy guards them when he lets others snuggle under them.

    Reply
  23. Linda in NE

    I think it’s fair to say that you have a houseful of quilts! I love seeing all the ways you display them. I find it easier to gift quilts if I’ve made them for a specific person or cause because then they never really feel like “mine”.

    Reply
  24. Debbie S.

    How many quilt is enough?
    You have enough quilts made when your soul is filled, your creativity satisfied and the fingers just won’t work anymore.

    It is my hope that my children find me dead and buried in my quilt piles someday. What a way to go!!

    Reply

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