The Reason I ♥ Quilts . . .


Dug through some of my photos last night, thought you’d like to see my collection of old quilts . . . and get a dose of happy color to start your day!

I started collecting quilts years ago, after my grandma gave me a quilt her mom had made. Besides the fact that my own grandma’s mom made it, and now it was mine, I fell in love with the simple clean colors and patterns. Now old quilts kind of set the tone for the rest of the decorating in my house.

I piled these quilts to display in my store in California . . . not for sale; I wanted people who didn’t know, to see what quilts look like all together, as an inspiration that others may start a collection of their own. 

Many of the old patterns have charming names like Wedding Ring, Jacob’s Ladder, or Log Cabin.  This one is Flower Garden.

I love vintage quilt stands too…you can just get a peek at this one, it’s a painted “spool” style, my favorite kind, and yellow (!), almost as much fun to hunt for as the quilts.  One of these in a bedroom and you have created a little bit of magic. 

Quilts are just as wonderful piled on the top of a hutch, bringing the eye up and popping some lovely color into a room.

People might think that quilts are only good for decorating in winter.  Not at all.  Winter, spring, summer, and fall, there is always a place for an old quilt.

Of course the end of the bed is the perfect place.  What I love about them is the history they represent, and the beautiful handwork of countless creative women.  None of these quilts is signed or dated.  Yet you can hear the whispers of talk that went on at quilting bees when these were made, all by hand, all with little stitches, fireplaces crackling, needles flying, women connecting, making beauty!  And being wonderfully fabulously practical at the same time!  Warming their families.     Love. Love. Love.

If you look close you can see there is damage on this very old, well-loved quilt.  Did that make me say, oh I don’t think I will buy it even though they are asking almost nothing for it?  No, I think not.

No, I run to its side, blocking it with my ample body so no one else notices it, and whisper, hello baby, you want to come home with me?  Then I  fold it up, and drape it over a chair in the bedroom to make a cozy corner of history, love, and creativity.

Some quilts just seem to sing, I like camping! Or, take me to the beach, let’s go have a picnic, I love the Fourth of July!   They make any picnic look better.

Some of them say, let’s go lay under a tree, just you and me, and let the leaves fall down on us.  Let’s bring our book.  Let’s take a nap!

And some quilts say, let’s go get cozy in front of the fire.  You just have to do what they say!  It is wrong not to.

I love hunting for them; we find them wandering the back roads in old New England barns, in Iowa flea markets, in California antique stores, in Ohio junk shops, and island yard sales; no place is really safe from my quilt radar. Some quilts are so expensive (as well they should be for all the work in them), but I don’t buy those.  I wait.  I wait and wait.  I am ever patient when it comes to quilts.  And when I see one that fits my beauty criteria that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, I get it. I hug it to me, I’m happy!  It’s the little things in life!

Quilting is not a dying art, thank goodness…amazing new quilts are coming up all the time.  Here is a photo from a quilt show we had at my farm stand in California a couple of years ago.  Everyone made quilts using my fabrics . . . and these are the three winners!  It’s as it always has been, an art, filled with beauty, and connection and heart. 

Love this quote, hope you do too, I always think it’s the perfect way to start a day!  

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108 Responses to The Reason I ♥ Quilts . . .

  1. blondie blu says:

    Sigh… Susan, what a beautiful, beautiful post – visually and sentimentally (is that word)? Vintage quilts are a love of mine too, especially crazy quilts, and this past spring I got my first vintage crazy quilt! It is my treasure. I gaze at it and run my hands along it and think, just as you, of the woman or women who lovingly created it… of the people it kept warm and the love that it gave. And I’m so happy it lives with me now! xo Helena

  2. Jane says:

    Love, love, love your quilts! Especially that dear little cherries one. BTW, I’ve seen the pictures, you do not have an ample body. Couldn’t hide more than a doily with it!

  3. Golly crumpets Susan, your quilts are divine! I couldn’t pick a favourite as it would be unfiar to al of the others, but they are all make your knees weak beautiful.
    I too love quilts and have four so far, but unfortunately they are not handmade or vintage. However we hope to add to our teeny tiny collection with handmade and vintage quilts that have history and sentiment stitched into them.
    We love quilts and their comforting cosiness so much so, that we take one with us when we vist our in-laws, as we just cannot sit and relax in the lounge playing rummikub without a quilt reassuringly draped over us.
    My ultimate quilting dream would be to learn the art and make one of my very own so that it could be passed down through the generations. Who knows, maybe one day if I start learning now!
    Happy Wednesday!
    Love Morwenna

    • Karen P says:

      And I LOVE your “British” writing! I can almost hear your sweet accent, Morwenna. (Or maybe I’m off-base and you’re not British at all! 🙁

    • Morwenna, There is no time like the present to make that happen. There is nothing more satisfying than making that first quilt!

      There is a Want To Be Quilter Campaign going on over at… It just started and will go for 12 weeks! Head on over there and register with one of the bloggers on her sidebar and maybe you can win some tools to help you get started!

  4. Madame samm says:

    Ahhhh there were sew many I loved over the Susan…( good morning btw) I love them all…the older the better in fact….You reminded me of one that has been passed down in my family 5 generations…it was reconstructed as the fabric was razor thin…but I still have that a cedar chest..time to take it out and introduce it to my home and family…My hopes is that this tradition of quilting never ever ends…You certainly can inspire sew many more to get their sewing machines think>? My morning coffee and cozy chair here this morning thanks you..thank you for the color in my world…blessings mdm samm

  5. donna sutton says:

    Susan, I Love your Blog. Today I really felt I had to drop a line. I am a quilter and have entered many a show. Your blog is so inspiring. For some reason I never got into collecting old quilts. The ones I always admired were to expensive. Therefore I decided to make my own. That has been over 25 years now. So my children and grandchildren have a collection immeditately.
    That is if they want them. I primarly do applique. Also hand quilt. Truely love your blog.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for saying hello! Love what you’re doing for your children and grandchildren, they’ll remember forever!

  6. Judy C in NC says:

    Thank you so much, Susan, for sharing your beautiful quilts – people are forever asking me when I make yet another quilt, “What are you going to do with this one?” and my reply is always “keep it until I want to give it away.” Afterall, my quilts have sew much love sewn in – each stitch holds a promise, a wish, a prayer or a dream (thanks Pat for the words) and built in hugs. Your quilts are magnificent and true treasures. Judy C

  7. Karen P says:

    Good morning, Susan, and girlfriends! What a lovely post on this beautiful Wisconsin morning! Love your quilts. I recently “unearthed” a baby quilt that I had almost quite forgotten I had packed away that my great-aunt made for my firstborn about 35 years ago. I had used it so much that the gorgeous vintage fabrics are fraying but it still holds so many wonderful memories. I’m a bit afraid to wash it again for fear of it fraying worse. Any tips on how to “mend” the worn spots? It’s what I think is called a Log Cabin pattern. I just LOVE the vintage prints in it!

    • sbranch says:

      Not really on how to mend, and you probably already know this, but you shouldn’t put it in the washing machine (I learned this the hard way a long time ago, and won’t be forgetting it soon!). I pretty much follow guidelines such as this : for washing my quilts, including the walk on it idea. Yours sounds smaller, might not need so much walking!

      • Karen P says:

        Thanks, Susan, for the tips. I was young and foolish in my early years with the quilt and washed the living daylights out of it (being that I used it on a daily basis with my daughter). I’m paying for it now. Will take a look at that video and maybe take a little “walk!”

      • K. F. Ross says:

        Thank you for the care instruction website. I have an old embroidered quilt of the flowers of the 48 states. It is beautiful but in need of refreshing. Always appreciate your photos, info, words of wisdom!

  8. Country Gal says:

    They are beautiful quilts ! I have a few as well , I love them , they really have a country feel about them and are great for picnics and out door events, Quilts will never die out ! Awesome post and photos ! Have a wonderful day !

  9. Patsy says:

    Gorgeous quilts. I have a few antique ones, but more that I’ve made. They’re everywhere. The standout one is a quilt my great grandmother made with sugar sacks. Love quilts and love to quilt.

  10. We have three quilts in our family room, made with love for us for our wedding and for our two baby boys. People ALWAYS remark on them when they come to our house for the first time, and telling the quilt’s stories is such a joy.

  11. Brenda says:

    I have one that came out of my grandparents attic after they had both passed. My grandmother was a quilter but I am not sure if she made this one or not. No one else seems to know. It is in reds, my favorite color at this time, and it makes me smile. Love your post!

  12. Mary Lou says:

    The pics today remind me of the quilting bees my grandmother often had. The dinning room table was moved, the quilting frame set up and the ladies from the church would gather to work on The quilt. My great grandmother was also a great quilter and I remember her saying that you had to sew seven stitches to the inch. They took such pride in their work and had a great time working together. A lesson for us today – do ya think? Love your blog.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for sharing your treasures with us! I have a few of my grandmas old quilts. One is green and white with embroideried names of friends and family. Its not doing well but I love love love it. Mom would put it over me when I was sick in bed but when I was well it would be put away. Thanks!

  14. Peggy Cooper says:

    My daughter-in-law made us a beautiful quilt for Christmas the year of our 30th wedding anniversay (7 years ago), and made it extra special by embroidering a message about our marriage on the back. I bring it out and drape it over the sofa every Christmas, and it reminds me of how special she is, and how lucky we are to have her in our family.

  15. Lin says:

    Oh, Susan, you got that exactly right! You’re so lucky to have so many of these old beauties. I only have 1 old one, found wrapped around the box springs of my mother-in-law’s bed when we cleared their house……. I was a quilter for 20 some years, until I discovered card making (which is really very similar, only you can get results in a day, not 6 months!), but the tug on my heart that quilts still have is just as strong. It’s good to know that there are still some quilts out there to be found without mortgaging your house! (I completely agree, though, that those high prices are so worth it for the beautiful workmanship).

    Loved this post especially today – thank you! I ADORE your “slightly damaged” one that looks like apples!! Have never seen a pattern like that!

  16. Donna Hamilton says:

    I have quite a few antique quilts from my family. My paternal great-grandmother and paternal grandmother were both quilters. My great-grandmother made a baby quilt for each of her great-grandchildren. Mine was in the tulip pattern which I have displayed in my guest bedroom. For my sixteenth birthday, she gave me a full-size bed quilt that matches my baby quilt. Brings back memories of her everytime I see these two quilts. My paternal grandmother taught me to quilt when I was twenty. She said that since I was her only granddaughter, that I needed to learn the art of quilt making. She taught me well and I still have the quilt that we made together. I miss sitting at a quilting frame with her and quilting and learning about the women of my family and the quilts they each made.

  17. Sharon says:

    You can just feel the love and warmth in those beautiful quilts. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  18. dawn says:

    What a wonderful collection! I only have 1 real quilt now. Some day, I hope to have a collection like yours.

  19. Deb says:

    Dear Susan,
    I’m sooo happy I found your blog – what a wonderful place to stop by and visit. I’ve been using your cookbooks since I got the first one (Heart of the Home) in 1986. I too love old quilts, in fact, I just was entrusted with one of our family heirlooms, a Star of Bethlehem quilt made by a great-aunt in the 30s. You’ve given me some great ideas about how to display it and others that have been hidden away in the attic. Time to bring them out and enjoy them.

  20. julie ivers says:

    I enjoy all of your posts, but this one is a favorite — as I, too, love quilts. I own o one handmade one and have made only two crib quilts (for my two non-grown sons) and some pillows. But I’ve painted ceramics in patchwork designs, decorated school handouts with quilt patterns and found quilt designs on notecards and much else . And my all-time favorite writing project with my eighth-graders was the Quilt Project, for which they first interviewed an older relative or friend; then they wrote three stories or poems or essays, using the person’s life as a springboard. Finally, each girl created a quilt square, its design inspired by the loved one’s life. Over the years, I received squares that were sewn & embroidered fabric or made from paper — even some digitally-designed squares. When they presented their project, they could also cook and share with the class a favorite recipe of the person! I still hear from many girls, whose quilt squares now grace a grandpa’s nursing home room or a family room wall ; several squares have also become part of a display at a loved one’s wake or funeral. I loved their creativity as these modern teenagers discovered old and new ways to tell a story through this traditional craft. Hurray for quilts!

  21. What a glorious post to wake up to! I love vintage and antique quilts! They have so many stories to tell and I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at some of those old tyme quilting bees where many of them were made! I love a good quilting bee myself and hung out at the area Senior Center where my aunt went until I moved away. When I first started I got a few stares from the Seniors but after they saw I only came to quilt with the ladies and listen to their stories, they were ok with me…they even started offering me juice when it came around. 🙂

    We own a quilt made by my hubbys great great grandmother and it is displayed proudly on the bed she made it for. She passed away in 1875 so the quilt is 136 years old and actually has very little wear damage. The only slight wear damage is actually brown and red fabrics that have shirred and we were told that was from the acids in those colors back then.

    I was on Ebay one day looking at old quilts and saw an Umbrella Doll quilt that was made from a pattern that my Granny Ida used a lot. The quilt was in Chicago and I got this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have family in Chicago and I thought that might be a quilt my granny made so I emailed the seller to enquire about the maker but got no response so I bought it! I received a reply to my email about 3 weeks later that had the makers information in it. Not my granny…but someone’s granny… I now have the job of loving this quilt since her grandchildren didn’t.

    Yes, times may have been hard for this person and they felt they needed the money but I would scrub someone’s toilet’s before I would sell off my grandmothers quilts!

    But that is just me!

  22. Pondside says:

    All those colours just make me want to smile! I love how you use the quilts and don’t just fold them up in a cupboard.

  23. Deborah says:

    Quilts over comforters any day!!! Love love them also.

  24. Ellen says:

    Beautiful quilts! I want to read more, and especially love the quotations! Thank you for blogging…you were meant to teach.

  25. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Honestly, I don’t know why I feel I MUST write something every time you blog. I DO try not to! 🙂 I love the pictures of the quilts–love quilts, the designs, the colors, and the history. I always look at old quilts and think of the lives that went into them, lives lived and time gone by while someone patiently quilted them. It makes a bond between now and the past, somehow, for me…So thanks for sharing your collection and what a beautiful setting for backdrop! I also love the architectural details of your house that are sorely lacking in our 1980’s townhouse. 🙁 They took away all of the character when they designed townhouses (which we live in one). Question: (and this might seem kind of dumb and unrelated to your blog, however, I’m curious…) How do your lamps on either side of your fireplace mantle plug in? Don’t see cords and they seem too bright for candles. We have a fireplace mantle, that is why I ask…Thanks! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      There are plugs on the top of the mantle — very tricky!

    • Deborah says:

      Had to laugh here, Pat, I also, am compelled to post on each new days Blog-how can we not? Such good stuff!

      • sbranch says:

        And I love it when you do!!! xoxo

        • Nina says:

          I do too girlfriends! And everytime I look at a new update I say to myself…”I think this is my favorite so far! lol” Todays was definatly a keeper your quilts are beautiful Susan. I have started a collection of my own but its very small hopefully it will grow. I love your home you put the “Sweet” into Home Sweet Home Susan! Thanks again for sharing! xx

  26. peg says:

    Quilts are amazing…and your collection makes me want to turn off the computer and go home and do a little redecorating right now (in the 100 degree heat!)! I do my best work in the early a.m. …by now, I’d have the kitchen ship-shape, the laundry caught up and I would be tackling the living/dining rooms with some cleaning and then rearranging. Charlie never knows when he’ll need a map until he walks in the front door…! Love you blog, love you. Thanks for giving us all something to look forward to! ♥

  27. Nellie says:

    What a lovely post this morning! I have few quilts, but the ones I have were made by my grandmother, using no particular pattern, just squares of fabric sewed together. The fabric she used was from scraps of material that had been used in dresses for my sister and me. I have thought of quilting myself, but fear I lack the patience. One of my quilts is fraying a bit, too, so I use them carefully.:-)

  28. Marilyn says:


    What a wonderful post! I’m the lucky owner of a quilt made by my husband’s grandmother. My husband is 60, so that gives you an idea of it’s age. It’s gorgeous, colorful and made entirely from flour sacks. We consider it a family heirloom.

    I knit, crochet and do needlework (and know the time and skill involved) so it always grieves me to see handiwork in thrift shops, garage sales etc. I hate to see that they are unwanted, so my mission is to snap them up and give them a home! 🙂 As you said, they represent both history and the creativity of many talented women.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  29. Vickie T. says:

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful quilts with us! I also loved seeing your cozy living room and guest bedroom!

  30. Connie says:

    Beautiful quilts – beautiful pictures – beautiful home. Thanks for a lovely read.

  31. Ranch Wife says:

    You may not be a quilter, but you ‘get’ it. Yesterday I left a comment on Stash Manicure about how I think we should make you an honorary quilter. You understand the power of quilts. How lovely that the old quilts you rescue get to continue their journey with you. I only wish that the old quilts could talk!

  32. Jennie says:

    Thank you for such an inspiring post. I think I just caught your ‘quilt fever’! The love has been shared and my radar is on! Hopefully there will be no ‘quilt fights’ in the future 😉

  33. I love quilts, and adore this post!

    Susan and Bentley

  34. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh! Those peeks of your home!!!! Ohhhhhh so beautiful! Oh my, I think I’m going to get the vapors. Must go fan myself, in a nice rocking chair. So beeeeeeeeeeeeutiful.

    Mmmmmmm, can you tell, I love your home? -giggles- Am I clear as crystal, about that? 🙂

    Gentle hugs, Dear One…

  35. Pom Pom says:

    WHAT a gorgeous post, Susan. LOVE all the coziness to behold. I made the wonkiest quilt in eighth grade and then hauled it from house to house when we were first married. It finally ran out of steam, but I am still proud of my patchwork sampler! I must admit, I get a little bewildered with all the quilting knowledge these days and it keeps me from moving closer to quilt making.

  36. Joan Lesmeister says:

    🙂 Thank you for sending all that happy color our way! Beautiful pictures, and I must say I’m totally impressed with the “white” room… would have to be off-white here! I just took a trip back in time to when I was a little girl and my cousins and I played with our dolls under the quilt frame while my Mom, Aunts, & Grandma quilted over our heads (wish I had a picture)! And, I feel so honored to have the Wedding Ring quilt Grandma made for my parents (I’d better take a picture of it!). Again, thank you, a truly lovely blog!

  37. Your quilts are so beautiful! I love your collection, and your beautiful blog. Thanks you for sharing the artistry you have collected:>)

  38. Kimi says:


    I just love how you have your home very nice and welcoming too! the quits you have are very lovely and each with its own history and personality wonderful. Someday I will make a quit hopefully sooner then later! Thanks for sharing Susan enjoyed the post!!! PS. do you make quits yourself too?

  39. Jacqui G says:

    Once upon a time I took a quilting class. It was fun, and I made a couple of “little” quilts- and lots and lots of squares. Poor squares- they never got sewn together! My girlfriend, Helen, who also took the class (and continued to quilt and quilt and quilt) finally took the squares home with her after visiting me. She is going to make a wedding quilt out of them for my newly engaged daughter. That’s what friends are for! I do still vow to pick up the needle again and quilt something bigger than a bath towel….
    FOSB 4-Ever

  40. Hi Susan,
    I love all your quilts…makes me think of my grandmother. I can remember her with a quilt top spread on her kitchen table over batting. There is a wonderful quilt festival in Houston, Texas, each year. When I lived there, I used to love to attend it. Some of the quilts were truly amazing….like works of art. Quilts are so cozy! Thanks for sharing and have a beautiful day! xoxo Kim

  41. Kristina says:

    I do love quilts – have o=made one for each of the oldest children in the family (3 of the 7 grandchildren), which is really unfair to the others, but… Well, maybe for each of their first children?

    Anyway, I wanted to comment that I LOVE< LOVE< LOVE your living room, Susan! Simply gorgeous! 🙂

    Have a beautiful day!

  42. Michelle A says:

    Love your post and love all your beautiful quilts! Im so jealous! I make and collect quilts too, but dont have as great of a collection as you do. I love how you have them out and all over your house and not put away. My favorite way to show them in is piles too. I just think all the colors together look so happy. Thanks for sharing with us.

  43. Kathy S. says:

    I have a special quilt that is oh so frayed but I rescued it from being thrown away. The ladies of the first church my dad pastored made it for my mom and dad… over 50 years ago. They were newlyweds and I am sure used it to death. I was going to cut the good pieces and make pillows, but I can’t make myself cut it up.

  44. Rosemary says:

    Ohhhh…how I love your quilts! The 30’s fabrics are my favorites! even the reproduction ones. Funny…our 6 Tuesday “sisters” sewing ladies (not an official name) have dabbled in quilting for years. About 2 years ago we started a block of the month quilt where, for the first block it is $5…then,, if we take our finished block back each month, then we get the next block’s material little kit free to go home and make for the next month. We go to a darling little quilt shop….and just let me tell you, we have dropped hundreds of $$$ as we enter that little shop and find yet another project we cannot live without.

  45. Rachel says:

    Amazing collection. I love it! I also LOVED your guest spot. GREAT job!!

  46. Jake says:

    What a great post! I think this is one of my favorites. First, your living room is really, really beautiful. It looks so cozy, yet has a bit of formality. I love all the red (flowers in chintz, books) with the white. And the chintz on your chair is great (any idea who made it and what it’s called). It’s just what I’d want the inside of a house like yours to look like.

    Also, the use of quilts in every room – for example the slightly more formal living room – is inspired. A great way to add color, display something special and add a homely touch. We have a hutch and I never know what to do with the top as it’s not flat. Quilts are now the answer! Now I just have to find old quilts!

    Actually, my great-grandmother made a quilt that had large bowls of fruit appliques inside a green and white lattice pattern. As a child, I remember looking at all of those fruits and just being amazed at their colors, the little stitches on each blackberry and strawberry… Thanks for bringing back the memory! If you don’t think I am stealing your ideas, I might write about that quilt on my own blog. I will, of course, mention where I got the idea and link back to you!

    Take care,


  47. Angie(Tink!) says:

    “There are only Two Ways to Live Your Life. One is as though Nothing is a Miracle. The Other is as if Everything is.” (Albert Einstein) No Wonder He’s a Genius! 🙂 Good Afternoon Sweet Sue…Oh How I L♥ve All Your Photos! & Oh How I L♥ve Your Collection of Quilts! Quilts & Picnics…Quilts Under a Tree…Quilts in Front of The Fireplace…All Cozy as Can Be! sending Hugzzzz & Kisses for a Relaxing Evening! xoxo Poof!♫♥

  48. Gert says:

    Oh Susan…. I love, love, love each and everyone of your quilts!! I only have a couple left…the rest I have given to my daughter:) Don’t we love to pass them on?? When she was here visiting last week, I showed her the one I won last year at one of our Red Hat gatherings.. It’s a fall one, but love to keep it at the foot of our bed:) I did let her know however that one day it would be hers…smile… But for now I’m enjoying it… My grandmother made one for me, which was beautiful…I remember her making it. She was a perfectionist… she had her quilt set up in a spare bedroom, when her neighbor ladies would come to visit, they would help her quilt!!! However….when they left she would tear out all their stitches…smile… (as their stitches weren’t as perfect as hers were..but she never let them know…she was just that nice…smile…and didn’t want to hurt their feelings…) As you said…there are soooo many stories behind each and every quilt and don’t we just love them??? We just found a quilt top that was made by hand…no machine stitches…just hand stitches…so precious! Hopefully we’ll be able to do something with it!

    Thank you so much for sharing this post with us…

    xoxo Gert

  49. Paula B. says:

    Have long been delighted by quilts and very much enjoyed seeing some of your collection. I am lucky to have quilts from both sides of the family, I think the oldest dates back to the late eighteen hundreds. One is a bold red and white print that I use as part of the Valentine’s Day decor – one of my favorite decorating holidays. While another special quilt is one my Gram would let us cousins picnic on (or just catch the sun on) when we were visiting at her house. The first one I ever bought, with my new teacher’s salary, was at a roadside sale while driving along a backroad at the Cape – it decorated my bed for many years. Ah quilts, and the memories they hold!

  50. Marcia K says:

    I would love to have quilts in every room.. I’m just starting out however, and not quite there yet. DH has the A/C so cold in the house that I would ever so much love to cuddle up under a quilt in the house right now even thought it is 108 outside.

  51. Patty says:

    Lovely quilt collection just love the colors and there is nothing like the feel of a quilt.

  52. Kate says:

    Hi Susan, I too love old quilts and at a receint quilt guild yard sale I got a big box of pre cut peices from the 1920’s and 30’s. They look very much like your pink star quilt above. Ive been looking for a pattern to use for the peices and that would work. Also wanted to share a resource for a antique fabric and textiles cleaner that works wonders and is safe for the old things. Takes all the stains right out.
    Your home is beautiful and I love all the quilts here and there. I also have a old flower garden quilt made by my great, great, aunt. Its a treasure. Thanks for sharing!

  53. Donna Baker says:

    my small quilt collection pales in comparison to yours – it’s my humble beginnings…I am a band new quilter (just finished my first one 2 weeks ago!) and the other 2 we have in our guest bedroom were made by my husband’s grandmother & great grandmother (or so he thinks!) looking forward to adding more made by me!!! thanks for sharing…the one outside with the book & nap are calling my name *wink*

  54. Barbara (WA) says:

    When the Bi-Centennial quilt craze hit, my mother and I made a quilt from all my clothing scraps. Unfortunately we didn’t know better and used double knits, light weight synthetics, etc. I still have the quilt which I need to take apart someday and re-sew. We tied it rather than quilted it so it would be do-able. Then in the mid-eighties I joined a small quilt group and learned how to hand piece and hand quilt. The first quilt I made this way is blue and white. We sleep under it every night! My favorite quilt is one I made from embroidered flowers made by my grandma, Nellie, in the late 1920’s. I have loved seeing some of your quilts and reading the comments. So many great stories!

  55. Doreen Strain says:

    Your quilt collection is beautiful Susan. Thank you for sharing it with us. I too am a quilter. I can walk into a quilt store and the fabric speaks to me. First it’s the smell of the fabric itself that sets me into almost a calming sense of being, then I just let my eyes wander around the room and I can hear certain fabrics call out to me….”Hey there my friend, pick me! I’d look wonderful with that green overthere on the third shelf down and maybe even a little of that gold right above it.” I can just run my hand over the fabric and become emotionally attached to it. I think of my family member or friend I’m making the quilt for, tucked underneath it cozy and warm. It gives my heart such a wonderful feeling knowing I am giving someone else the experience and the feeling of being loved. Because (as I see you already know) quilts share our lives with us…they listen as we talk and they’ll talk back to us. If we still our hearts and open our souls…they will speak volumes over the years to all those who have the heart to listen. ~ FOSB 4~ever. ~ Doreen ~

  56. CarolK says:

    Susan, what a beautiful collection you have and your displays have sparked a decorating idea for me. I have a quilt that is over 70 years old than my mom made when my brother was born (her favorite sun – pun intended). It’s such a sweet little quilt and I know she taught herself to make it as her mother died when she was only 9 years old and she had no one to teacher her household crafts. She also taught herself to embroider pillow cases, table clothes and other little items (I have most of them now). I need to display them now to remind me what a crafty lady she was. Thank you for being all inspiring, you are awesome!!!!

  57. Gumbo Lily says:

    I love scrap quilts because they are often so bright and cheery and they represent a thrifty homemaker who chooses to make something lovely out of bits and pieces left behind from old shirts, dresses or flour sacks. Your collection is lovely. I bought a very damaged pink circle quilt at an auction — I just couldn’t let it pass by. My friend owned it and I always think of her and the lady who made it long ago.

    Such a nice post from such a nice lady — YOU!

  58. Janice Mc Laren says:

    I loved your blog today. I don’t have a lot of vintage quilts although I do love them. My Mom recently gave me a quilt my great grandmother made. I nearly cried because I didn’t expect it. I’m the only one of my sisters that quilts and she knew how I would treasure it.

  59. CAROL OLIVER says:


    • sbranch says:

      No I don’t…but I’ve made yo yos in the past; I wonder what happened to them, you made me think.

  60. Peg Shelton says:

    I love this post. I hand quilt with a group of about 25 ladies each Tuesday from 9 a.m. til 3 p.m. (We potluck at precisely at noon, delicious food!) The oldest quilter is 90 and I’m the second youngest at 61 (except for my granddaughter (age 9) who joins us during the summer). There is more wisdom, sharing and laughter at these times than at any other time during my life. What a great experience to be around a quilt with these amazing women. We meet at my church (Methodist) and the ladies are from other churches, Baptist, Assembly of God and Catholic. the only things off limits for talking about is religion and politics! They are a hoot. I’ve heard about all kinds of life experiences from these sage ladies. We hand quilt on consignment for people who have pieced quilts themselves and for those who have found quilts in yard sales, flea markets, and in boxes in Grandma’s attic. Some of our needlers are expert a referbishing antique quilts that have been worn and loved to tatters. We all would rather quilt than breathe. No one is allowed to make appointments for Tuesdays. To be absent results in a call to check and make sure all is well. I am truly blessed to have found this group 6 yrs ago when we moved to Arkansas from California. I would have been lost and terribly homesick if it hadn’t been for this group. Truly amazing being a part of this!

  61. Bonnie Crawford says:

    Hi Sue…
    Your wonderful post today brought back such fun memories for me. As you will remember, the very first time I met you was in that Antique store in our Village, and you were carrying that darling yellow quilt! That is what caught my eye, and I stopped you to admire it! What a goof I was….I had NO idea you were SUSAN BRANCH! I think if you had said your last name, I would have fainted on the spot! I do remember your quilts stacked so beautifully in your store, and I would always drool over them….they are all treasures, and special keepsakes for life! I love how each one tells their own story…..they are all so beautiful!!~~
    Today is my granddaughter, Aubrey’s 2nd Birthday! I made her a darling all pink quilt, and she loved it! I also made her a matching dolly quilt for her pink teddy bear. 🙂 I want to keep the tradition that many grandmothers before us started….to make special quilts for special people, and events in our lives. They will help carry our legacy, and keep those stories alive!
    Thank you for your beautiful pictures, and inspirational blogs….I look forward to them every day, and helps me feel you are close by, and not so far away!
    You are a gift, and thanks for sharing with us!!
    Love you Sue!! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      And I didn’t know you were BONNIE CRAWFORD either! You are my first person I met in an antique store that I stayed friends with for life!

  62. Mary says:

    You are soooo funny!
    Love your quilts and your beautiful home!

  63. Jean says:

    Oooh, thanks for the quilty love! There’s nothing more-gooder than pile of handmade quilts. I just adore the traditional feedsack quilts. They just scream “cuddle and snuggle with me!”

  64. Brenda Dunham says:

    Oh Susan… You start my day off perfectly… I too am a quilty kind of gal. I inherited by husband Great Grandma and Grandma’s quilts. No one else in the family wanted these quilts that were sitting in a lonely pile and I being new to the family just eyed them-wanting them so badly as they whispered my name to take them home… but being new to the family I passed them by. That night my husbands Aunt and Uncle came over with all of these quilts ( I mean a good dozen -dozen and a half) They asked if I wanted them because they noticed the look in my eye when I spotted the pile. With gracious hugs abound and tear filled eyes I grabbed them up so quickly. They’ve been scattered about my home ever since for 24 years. When I’m feeling blue or chilled to the bone there is nothing more comforting then wrapping myself around with one of those quilts. I’ve even found my family doing the same. It’s like a great big HUG from Grandma. I feel their love throughout our home. I’ve started making quilts also so I’ve added to the collection for my grandkids someday.
    So thank you for sharing your love of quilts, I truely understand the compassion.

  65. Patricia Neron says:

    Love, Love, Love, the quilt with the cherries it’s adorable. My Mom likes to quilt, she made Quilted Christmas Tree skirts for all of her children and she makes small quilts for our babies when they are born. But she does not make big bed size quilts. I am always on the look out for one at flea markets and yard sales. I never have any luck though. But I will keep searching…

  66. Carrie P. says:

    I really enjoyed that post and seeing all the treasured quilts. I have one like the very last quilt but mine is totally falling apart from being used a lot. So I am going to take it apart and put it back together again but it will be smaller using all the good parts. Thanks for sharing.

  67. pam says:

    I loved all the quilts I saw at your shop, but my favorite was always that red and white churn dash, top quilt in the second picture. I’ve sketched it several times from memory and saved a photo I saw once of it on your website…. just something so lovely about it.. I need to create my own version of Susan’s Red Quilt to enjoy. xo

  68. Clairellen says:

    Your blog is so uplighting, Susan…you bring sunshine into our lives with your posts and great photos. I thought you would feel extra happy to know that the full name of the quilt you have (with the hexagons) is GRANDMOTHER’S Flower Garden….makes it even better…a hug from Grandma, as one of the other ladies mentioned! Thanks so much for living at the same time as I am!! How about that for a compliment?!! 🙂

  69. Karen says:

    What a beautiful post!
    And the quilts! I couldn’t pick a favorite… well, maybe the hexie GFG. 🙂

  70. Theresa says:

    Wow…One hundred replies …thank you for inspiring me to continue to keep moving forward…you are truly a woman of grace and integrity Susan…I just love life more and more after spending a little time on this website

  71. Marglow says:

    Thanks for posting about quilts!!!! They are such a rare gift. You know you are very loved by someone who makes a quilt for you!

  72. Oh…I just love this post! I love quilts. I am always looking at them at estate sales. How anyone can ever part with one is a mystery to me! That quilt with the three circles and leaves is so adorable!! I would have snapped that one up too! I would love to make one like that! I am so enjoying your blog. This is the first time I’ve commented but I have often lurked! 🙂

  73. Leslie-Anne says:

    That was the most wonderful read to start my day! Now I’m happy. Thank you.

  74. Rita May says:

    May I use this quote on my blog with cut/paste? I love it too.
    Enjoying your blog very much on this rainy afternoon.

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