Mother-Daughter Scrappy Quilts.

Some time last year my mother suggested we embark on a joint quilting project. Not to make a quilt together, but to make the same pattern without telling each other anything about it – no word about colours or themes or anything. Do you know how hard that was? When we spoke about the quilts over the months it took to make them, I’d find myself biting my tongue to avoid saying anything about colours or design. But we both managed to keep quiet about our quilts – it really worked because when we finally had the big reveal a couple of weeks ago, we were both utterly surprised.

The brief was this: a scrappy quilt, made from random strips turned into blocks and made as much as possible from your stash. Buy what you have to for the backing etc, but stick with stash scraps for the bulk of it.

Here we are, early on a Sunday morning, holding up our ‘Mother Daughter Scrappy Quilts. Coco, my parents’ dog is helping out.


Now even though we were following a pattern, we both decided early on we didn’t have to be strict about it. I chose to make mine smaller – I just knew I didn’t have the skills yet to go much bigger, in terms of the machine quilting I’d have to do. I made it lap size. Mum quilted hers by hand so went larger.

Our fabric choices are really very telling about our preferences. Mum is always drawn to small print, florals in elegant and pretty colours. I’ve got more a solid leaning, with some bolder prints although small florals aren’t absent from my stash either. They’re in there. We loved looking at our squares, made up from loads of little strips, and picking out scraps from different projects.

Here are some closer shots of mine.


Thanks must go to RoseRed for her suggestion of the blue and yellow borders. Early on when I was piecing the strips I was really unsure what colours I’d go for and I sent a photo to RoseRed, who really should be adopted as my colour consultant. She came up with denim blue and a pale yellow. These were the closest I could get. They pick up the colours in the blocks nicely.

The back was always a certainty for me. I knew I’d go for something printed but neutral, something to pick up the creams and bones in the front pieces, in contrast to the dark blue that featured so much in the front.


And finally, the nice little finishing touch – my mum made labels for both our quilts.


She has the same label on hers – except hers says ‘1 of 2’ instead of the ‘2 of 2’ on mine.

I started this quilt before I did the patchwork class I took a few months ago. I learned better piecing skills in the class and I know I can look at my piecing on this quilt and see how far I’ve come. It was never meant to be a show piece. It’s meant to be a simple, fairly plain, a way to use up scraps. I know that when I sit with it over my lap I look down and see the little pieces sewn into it and remember their stories. I see a scrap from a dress for Alice I made in the first year, a dress from the second year, a piece from a cushion I made or project bags I made when I took first tentative steps into sewing.

Those memories make me happy, which is exactly how you should feel under a quilt you made yourself.



12 thoughts on “Mother-Daughter Scrappy Quilts.

  1. I love your kind-of-matching quilts. I think that knowing you made it will give you lots of joy and outweigh any small flaws. Who would believe fabric choice would make such a difference!!

  2. The quilts look great. It’s such a wonderful idea for you & your mum to work on a project together. My mum quilts too but I don’t.

  3. They both look wonderful and you must be so pleased with the result. I love the labels your mum made too. It’s good to look at a project and see little pieces from past projects. Gorgeous all round!

  4. These are gorgeous! I really love scrappy quilts. There is something special about making something beautiful from all those little leftovers with nothing wasted. You’ve got me thinking about the potential in my scrap bag! And such a fun thing to do with you mum too.

    • I love that about the scrappy quilts, too! So much possibility – the knitting equivalent of making something with stripes from all your leftover balls of yarn!


  5. Beautiful. I remember how my mom used to be crafty. Then she started teaching middle school (11 – 13 year olds) and now she spends every moment outside of work recovering on a fainting couch. Or at least it seems that way. Maybe she’ll get back into crafts when she retires and we can do projects like this.

  6. Isn’t it interesting to see how the quilts reflect your (and your mom’s) color sensabilities? I haven’t done any sewing in a while and I should since I promised someone a shop apron (and bought all the materials for it) a whole ago. Maybe this weekend. Unfortunately, when it’s nice enough to sit in what I’ve come to consider my craft room, that means it’s nice enough to be outside!

  7. That is just awesome. Love the idea, love the projects, love how different and the same they are. That is very, very cool.

  8. I think you both did a fabulous job on those gorgeous quilts. I dont make quilts as my sister loves making them for us all and she is so talented and usually hand sews all of hers. I knit her things instead so it works out well. I love the backing fabric you used for your quilt and the colors go really well together. I am sure it will keep you nice and warm over winter too. What a great project you did together.

  9. What a great idea. Not having quilted (yet) at all I suppose I don’t have the right to any opinions, but I like the idea of a quilt made of scraps. It appeals to my thriftiness 🙂 plus like you said, it’s such a lovely way to remember special garments and projects. And it’s a design challenge, isn’t it, to make do with what you have–yet it often makes the designing easier, because you’re limited. I love both the quilts, and your mum’s labels–just perfect. Congrats on your new quilt!

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