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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Five Generation Flannel Quilts Finished!

Over year ago, at our grandkids Whitney and Jameson's combined birthday party, I was approached by their Grandma Lisa from their dad Jesse's side of the family.  She had a box full of flannel squares that were partially assembled quilt tops.  They had been started by Lisa's Grandmother Mary Kostichka.  Sadly, she never got to finish them before she died 25 years ago, in 1993. 

Lisa asked if the material could be of any use to me.  I have never quilted flannel before, but I was willing to give it a try.  And of course, I decided to finish the quilts in memory of the woman who started them, and return the finished quilts to the family!

These would be quilts for my grandkids Whitney and Jameson, started by their GREAT GREAT GRANDMOTHER MARY.  Wow... mind boggling.  Can you imagine this woman, looking down from Heaven, realizing that someone was going to finish her work and give it to the great great grandchildren she never dreamt of yet?

It took me a while to clear my decks of other projects and tackle these flannel squares. Some were started into panels, some were just cut out, some were seamed in groups of twos. Some were one size and some where another. I noticed right away that flannel from years ago was a LOT thicker and nicer and tightly woven than the newer flannel of nowadays in the stores. 

I sorted and pieced, and arranged the squares. I soon realized that I would be able to get THREE queen sized quilts from this fabric.  That would be great, because besides my grandkids Jameson and Whitney, there is another little cousin named Scarlett that is the daughter of Tyler, my soninlaw Jesse's only sibling.  So now I could make THREE quilts.... and send one back to the grandmother Lisa to decide if Scarlett needs it or just to keep it her house for all of them to share with cuddles and naps. 

Once I had the pieces mostly figured out, now I had to use my coupons, watch the sales, and get three thick cotton quilt battings for the insides.  Most people don't realize that a quality type of cotton queen sized quilt batting runs in the $50 range.  Add to that the backing, fabric, thread (another $100 easily)  and then the time to make them--- that is why handmade quilts cost so much!

That is why I wait for my coupons and buy a few good cotton battings at a time, for whatever the coupon allows.  I don't ever bother with cheap polyester battings anymore. They are not worth the time and never hold up after a while.

Then I needed to buy 6 yards of flannel for the back side of each quilt.  Again, I wait for a sale and use a coupon as well.  I found fairies for Whitney, crazy animals for Jameson, and some lovely little birds on birch trees for the last quilt for Grandma Lisa.

Once I got all the pieces together, 
it was time to load each one onto my quilting frame.
It's called a Quilt Sandwich. 
Top, batting and backing. 

Now the real work begins (but it's fun!)

As I sew the quilts, I love to do a swirly pattern with a freehand motion. It's like drawing on the quilt sandwich with thread.... and I drive the sewing machine over the surface with care and control on the machine handles that rides along on a sliding carriage underneath the quilt. The faster you move, the longer the stitches, the slower you move, the tighter the stitches.  So you try to go as evenly as possible to make a nice quilting stitch.

This is a sketch of my stitching,
I call it Hooks N Swirls

It took me a while, but I finished up all three quilts, and did the binding on the edges as well.   Steve helped me hang them all up on the clothesline before we had too much snow in the yard.  It was a real feeling of accomplishment to get them all done!  

This one is mostly peachy pink, yellow and some turquoise colors'

It has the fairy princess backing fabric
and it's for Whitney who is 3 years old. 

The next quilt is more reds and blues
and I had to add a few more boyish blocks to finish it up.
 It went well with the crazy boyish animal backing fabric.

It is for grandson Jameson
who is 10 years old. 
Although he is "cool", 
it's great to snuggle up with for playing video games! 

The last quilt of the three quilts is more pastel,
softer pinks and blues and lilacs.

I really liked this backing fabric of tiny birds and birch trees.
I made the label more generic for the family provenance,
 in case Lisa wants to keep it at her house.
And I added an extra label to attach over this one,
if she wants to give it to Scarlett later on. 

The leftover scraps of the odd cut blocks 
were enough to make up two little dolly blankets! 

I made up tags for them---
specifically for Whitney and Scarlett to have. 
They can cuddle up the dollies, teddy bears, 
and even Whitney's beloved Super Grover! 

I explained to Jameson and Whitney who their Great Great Grandmother Mary was,
and how she never got around to finishing the quilts. 
But now I did so they can have them and cuddle.
I want to see them used, loved and worn with years of good service.

Jameson agrees! 

When I gave Whitney her quilt, 
she thought I was trying to make her take a nap!  LOL 

Later, our daughter Heather made a video of the kids
and their quilts....  

click on this You Tube link:


So this is for you 
Great Great Grandmother Mary to my grandchildren.  
Five generations later
Your quilts are DONE! 


  1. What a thoughtful and beautiful thing you did for the kids. And to honor Mary. Gives me a fuzzy heart! Plus it was good practice for your own quilts. Win win!

    What do you use for the tags?

    1. Thank you Barbara for your kind words!

      The labels that I use I print myself on sheets of special fabric label paper from June tailor. I use a regular inkjet printer. June Tailor has a website that you can go to to use her free template units that you just fill in the blanks with your words. Or you can make your own with any type of publishing software.

      It's made to just iron on, I learned to use a pressing cloth though because the direct iron on the white label material can make it yellow. I also stood around the edges with a decorative stitching.

      . It's on sale this week at Joanns at 40% off. I'm sure you can also find it on Amazon or in most other larger quilting Stars.


      Hope that helps! Thank you for reading my blog.

  2. They are beautiful and I bet nice and warm with the flannel.

  3. Thank you! And especially warm for these cold Wisconsin Winters.

  4. You are such a kind and thoughtful Grandma. Bless you for all that you do for your grands.

    The quilts are beautiful.


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