A Quilt Maker’s Tale – The Guest Book Quilt

My grandmother could pull any quilt from her closet (that’s where she kept them) and tell you something about it.  One time she pulled one down for me and told me where each fabric had come from, some were clothing that her children had worn.  She remembered every piece.  Every quilt maker has a story to tell.  I want to collect those stories and share them with you. 

A Quilt Maker’s Tale is a series featuring stories from my readers about their experiences with quilts.  The stories are in the quilt maker’s own words and uses their own pictures.  If you’d like to be featured in this series, please have a look here.



Today’s story is my own.  I haven’t received any new tales since last month.  Please, please, please send me your story, so that I can continue this series.

This quilt doesn’t look very special.  It’s just basic patchwork.  But this quilt is very special to me.  Probably my most special quilt that I own.  I’ve only owned for a short time.

Back in 2015, my grandmother turned 90 years old and we threw her a huge party at her church.  My grandmother had so many friends.  Her phone rang constantly.  She was “famous” at her church and community for two things:  the single best apple pie (it looked like a turnover, and was quite humble looking, but the taste!) ever cooked and crochet shell blankets.  No baby that she knew of could be born and not have one.


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I decided to do a guest book quilt at my grandmother’s party.  I brought the fabric squares, put fabric markers around and let all the guest sign the squares.

Later, I assembled all the squares into a quilt and gifted it to her.

She slowly went through and read every square.

She loved this quilt.  She couldn’t get over the quilting and couldn’t understand (no matter how many times I explained) how I FMQed it.  She had only ever hand quilted.

She took it to church with her every Sunday (she was eternally cold natured) and every time I visited her, she would tell me how all the ladies would come and pet it and tell her how wonderful it was.


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Last October, I visited my grandmother on what would eventually be, our very last one on one time together.  We had a crochet day and made several granny squares together.  She had untangled a huge ball of yarn for me and instructed me that I’m supposed to pull the thread out from the center of a skein and if I did that I wouldn’t have issues with tangles.  I confess:  I can never find the center of that yarn to pull that string.

Before I left she wanted to give me something and she went into her room and pulled out this quilt.  I told her it was a gift and I did not want it back, but she insisted that I take it home with me.  She told me she was old and that she wanted to make sure that I got it since I was the one who had made it for her.  I obliged.

My grandmother passed away just this past December.  Instead of flowers, we covered the top of her closed coffin with this quilt.  It was beautiful.  I’d never seen it done before, and it was so moving to see it up there with all of the sweet messages written on it that she had read and blushed over.  She was very loved, my grandmother.

The quilt was returned to me once more after the ceremony.

I have many quilts that I cherish, but this one will always have a very special place with me.



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  1. What a lovely story! And it seems that the gift for creating by hand goes on through you. May this quilt always bring you warm memories.

  2. A beautiful and touching story Melanie. Your quilt is beautiful Such a thoughtful and loving gift to your grandmother. I have a signature quilt that was a collaboration between a deceased cousin and my self from a family Thanksgiving years ago and it holds the same memories for me. Thank you for sharing.

  3. So glad you have good memories of your grandmother. And, you are very thoughtful to have come up with this idea. The quilt in it’s simplicity, has turned into an heirloom.

  4. That is the most beautiful and special quilt story I have ever read. You and your grandmother were very blessed to have such a connection ❤️

  5. This story was so sweet. My mom will be 85 next January and I think this would be a great thing to do for her.

    I have a question. I am really new to quilting( my grandmother was my inspiration). I am wanting to do something like this for my nieces wedding. Would you make the quilt before the wedding or just have the squares for everyone to sign and then make the quilt?

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