Friday, July 22, 2016

Great- Grandmother's Quilt

I had a rare and amazing opportunity to quilt a vintage quilt top. Not just any vintage quilt, this one was pieced by my husbands great grandmother Mary Ann Wirth.

Family members were able to confirm that the floral fabric in the quilt used to be her dress. That's right she cut up her own clothes and used them to create a quilt to keep others warm.

The darker solid yellow fabric is vegetable died muslin, the lighter yellow fabric is a sheet that she cut up into fabric strips. She really put a lot of work into making this quilt top.

At one point she ran out of white thread and finished the piecing of the blocks using black thread. Our best guess is that because this top was created during war time, she probably wasn't able to get more thread or perhaps couldn't afford to buy more white thread so she just finished it up using what she had on hand. Nothing went to waste back in those days.

She started piecing the top by hand, and later she was given a sewing machine as a gift and the remainder of the top was completed by machine.
The quilt on my longarm.
My mother-in-law brought the quilt to me, along with maroon fabric for the back (to match the maroon flowers in the dress fabric). She and I went through my books of quilting patterns and together we decided on an edge to edge floral pattern.

Stitching out the floral quilt pattern.
All quilted!!!

The back is just stunning.
We had to put it on a bed..just once.

So pretty.

My mother-in-law (Doreen) had promised her mother that someday she would have her grandmother's quilt top finished. Doreen added the finishing touch by stitching on the binding and now she proudly displays the quilt in their WI home. It's full of history and love. Three generations of women in our family have worked on this quilt, and I'm honored to have been part of this family heirloom.

-Kat  :)


  1. Oh Kat! I do not know how to express the feelings I felt while reading your story. All I can say is: "Oh Kat". ;-)

  2. Oh Kat! I do not know how to express the feelings I felt while reading your story. All I can say is: "Oh Kat". ;-)


About Me

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Welcome to Calico Cali Designs! I’m Kat, digitizer and sewing enthusiast. I learned how to digitize in 2010 from master digitizer Walter Floriani…it was an amazing experience. Soon instead of spending my time sewing, quilting and stitching out other people’s embroidery designs, I was sewing, quilting and stitching out my own embroidery designs. I created this blog, not only as a place to share my embroidery designs, but also as a place to share all the things I make, sew, paint, embroider, and create. You’ll see posts about my life, my studio, patterns I’ve sewn and products I’ve tested. I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them. Follow me on twitter . Hugs!! – Kat