A QUILT MAKER’S TALE – #4 – Doilies and Embroideries

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.


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Today’s story is from Linda Dutch from New Zealand.  Please scroll to the bottom of this post to connect with Linda.


I LOVE upcycling & re-using, it’s a great way of valuing those lovely old embroideries and doilies.

There’s lots of memories here in these two earlier quilts I’ve made.



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My mum had a lovely collection of doilies & hankies, but over the years they all ended up in the back of her airing cupboard!  Not fashionable I suppose?  And keeping them fresh & white without good old Napisan would have been tricky!  After she passed away I always had the idea I would make something with them, just never too sure what. So they ended up in the back of my airing cupboard!

Then a few years ago, I spotted a quilt in an old NZ Quilter magazine, & figured I could do that… easy peasy! I compiled them into a quilt top, selected some blue & white backing fabric, layered everything up, and started to do some machine quilting. But it wasn’t going too smoothly, so I just left it!

Fast forward to January 2015-

On re-looking at that quilt, I remembered so many of the doilies from when I was growing up. And I realized I should actually get this finished!  I’ve added more doilies, overlapping them to get a pleasing & balanced effect.  Sometimes the overlapping was necessary, a few doilies haven’t aged very well!  Then I did more machine quilting. It’s minimal, just enough to hold it all together, way way too hot at present for anything else really!

And now we use it over the summer holidays.

And remember Mum.



Support a small shop

 Bobbie Lou’s Fabric Factory is one of my favorite fabric shops.  Right now there are 500+ different fabrics on sale there and I definitely spied some I’d like to add to my stash.

Chelsea, the owner of Bobbie Lou’s, even has a section dedicated to florals, so yeah, I’m kinda smitten.

Visit the shop here.




3 Questions for Linda

  1. What do you love the most about quilt making?   Well, I’d have to be honest and say it’s all those first steps that get me interested . . . the fabric pull, making the trial block and discovering that I love it. I do tend to stall a little on the quilting. I struggle with free motion quilting and get bored with my attempts at straight line quilting, but this year I am attempting more machine quilting. Some quilts get made quickly, others need to brew for a bit!
  2. I love what you are doing with your Anthologie quilt in the Bari J quilt along, how long have you been embroidering?  Your work is gorgeous on those Dresden plates!  Thank you Melanie! Embroidery was something my mum loved to do. Late last year I discovered Nichole’s book ‘Boho Embroidery’ full of contemporary hoop art embellished with freestyle embroidery and I thought I could give that a go. And then, I stumbled across your QAL which was the perfect project for me to try out a few stitches. I can’t seem to get my stitches consistent, but its lots of fun trying.
  3. Are you a fabric hoarder, a minimalist or somewhere in between?   I love to make scrappy quilts so having a good fabric stash is important. I have an eclectic selection of fabric dating back to when I owned a little quilt shop many years ago, so yes I guess I’m a fabric hoarder! Here in NZ patchwork fabrics are very expensive, anywhere from $NZ26 – $NZ34 a metre and many quilt shops have had to close. Consequently my stash is mainly made up of fat ¼’s which I buy locally and now & then ½ yard pieces I buy online. Lately, I’ve also been using my husband’s shirts and more vintage embroideries in my projects; I love this trend of up cycling, this re-using, and this way of valuing the ‘old’.


Connect with Linda

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