Homemade Quilts – a Holiday Miracle

I’ve been working in the quilting industry for 16 years and I can honestly say that I have a firm appreciation for homemade quilts, the work that goes into them, and their artistic qualities. As a working mom with two young children, I don’t have a lot of spare time for hobbies, but when I do, I love to scrapbook and make homemade baby quilts for gifts. Even baby quilt patterns often push the limits of my free time! It might seem a little miraculous, but every once in a great while, I squeeze in an original design with a little help from Jean Nolte, like Boo’s Nursery quilt. With this one, I decided to go all out and included curtains, a changing pad cover, crib sheet, pillow, and crib skirt. I was inspired! Needless to say, I love and appreciate homemade quilts.
Boo's Nursery Quilt
Boo’s Nursery by Kristi Loeffelholz

In October, I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure with my mother-in-law – Dyann Edwards, Dyann’s sisters, one of my sisters and her daughter, and my 5-year-old daughter.

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

It was a beautiful, sunny October day in Iowa and Dyann mentioned she wanted to make homemade quilts for each of her five kids to have after she’s gone.

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Dyann is a healthy person, so I laughed and said, “You have a long time for that!” She replied, “No, I want to have them done for Christmas and I only have two done so far.” Since I know how to quilt, and I know what goes into making a quilt, I was floored that she expected to have three more king-size quilts done in under three months! The remaining three quilt patterns had not even been chosen yet – she had a huge job ahead of her!

Her next question to me was what kind of quilt would Jason, my husband, and I want. I didn’t even have to think about it!

Libby's Log Cabin - Reveal

Libby’s Log Cabin by Marianne Fons was my choice! It is a beautiful quilt that was featured in the 2500 series of “Love of Quilting” on PBS. While I watched that episode being taped, I knew that it would make an absolutely beautiful patriotic quilt someday. Jason is in the military and we are a patriotic family. The traditional Log Cabin with the stars really speaks to me.

Dyann asked what fabric we would like and, like the quilt, I instantly knew it had to be patriotic prints from Sandy Gervais (who is also from Iowa) for Moda, which would be complimented nicely by Moda’s other patriotic lines.

We see a lot of quality-made quilts come into the office and I can tell you that this is made to perfection! Dyann has been a sewist most of her life, but only recently took up quilting, and I have to say, I think she found her niche!

Libby's Log Cabin - Detail

Jason’s brother, Steve, and his wife, Julie, chose the Endless Summer quilt pattern by Vanessa Christensen of V & Co made with packs of Batik Jewels from Keepsake Quilting. I am typically not a batik person, but oh my goodness! Their quilt turned out amazing.

Endless Summer - quilt by Vanessa Christensen

Jason’s sister, Lynde, and her son, Landon, chose one of my favorite quilts of all time — By the Sea by Jenny Doan. This quilt graces the cover of the Fons & Porter Quilting Quickly book in Mixology by Moda Fabrics. Lynde wanted her quilt in yellow and grey. I just LOVE the polka dots on the border!

By the Sea - quilt by Jenny Doan

Jason’s brother, Bryce, and his wife Ashly, are farmers in addition to working full-time jobs, and have an affinity for Oliver tractors, so they requested an Oliver Tractor quilt. I don’t know how she did it, but Dyann found an Oliver Tractor quilt kit and they absolutely love it!

Oliver Tractor Quilt

Bonnie Rahn of Sac City, Iowa, quilted all of these homemade quilts and Dyann sure kept her busy! It was fun to see Bonnie’s creativity come to life on these projects. I love the tractor quilted onto the border on Bryce and Ashly’s quilt! Bonnie and Dyann make quite the quilting duo.

 Quilting by Bonnie Rahn

Jason’s sister, Taryn, and her husband, Shawn, love the outdoors and chose Alpine Woods by Bristol Bay Studios for Benartex, Inc. and Essentials Graphic 45 for Wilmington for the fabric.

Quilt for Taryn and Shawn

Since the panel pieces were larger than the pattern called for, some quick math and a call to Diane Tomlinson, Associate Editor at Fons & Porter, was in order! If you don’t happen to have Diane on speed dial, we have created this very handy, downloadable webinar, “Make Quilts the Size You Want” with Debra Finan, Editor at Fons & Porter.

Quilt Detail for Taryn and Shawn's Quilt

Again, the quilting detail is so beautiful and really adds to the quilt!

I am very fortunate to have married into such a great family! Homemade quilts are cherished keepsakes and will be handed down through the generations.

Tip Tuesday: 9 Quilt Label Tips Straight from the Quilt Experts
Don’t forget to add labels when you are giving homemade quilts as gifts, it could be one of the most important steps to help document where this quilt came from! In 100 years, the quilt owner will know exactly who made it and when.
Randy and Dyann

I am not sure how Dyann pulled off five king-size quilts between August and December, all with impeccable piecing, but she did!

A special thanks to my father-in-law, Randy, for dropping quilts off and picking them up from the quilter. For Mother’s Day this past year, he bought Dyann a Baby Lock Melody, so she has a super nice machine to help piece – always helpful.

Aren’t they cute?

Marianne Fons once said to me, after gifting a quilt to my son, “I want you to use this quilt. The greatest compliment you can give a quilter is using their quilt so much, you wear it out. If you do that, I will be happy to fix it for you”.

Did you give a homemade quilt this holiday season? I would love to hear from you and see pictures!


Happy Quilting!

Kristi Loeffelholz

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