I ♥ Quilts….

 I 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 . . . they weren’t 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 Grandmother’s 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 body so no one else notices it, gather it up and whisper, hello beautiful, would you like to come home with me?  When I get it home, I  fold it up, and drape it over a chair in the bedroom to make a cozy corner of history, love, color, and creativity.

Here’s another “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” ~ It’s interesting that the same pattern can look so different depending on the fabrics chosen.


They decorate the yard too . . . look how sweet they are hanging on a clothesline

. . . We live a block from the sea and I could sit in the garden with a glass of tea and stare at quilts flapping in the breeze that comes up from the harbor for hours…like meditation.  Floating like butterflies.

Some quilts just seem especially social, they want to go out, they say, I like camping! Take me to the beach; let’s go have a picnic, I love the Fourth of July, let’s go to the fireworks!  They make any picnic more charming.

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 . . .

Over the years I’ve grown a quilt radar, and no place is really safe from it. 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.  I really don’t need a million of them.  But 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!

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 few of years ago.  Everyone made quilts using my fabrics for our contest . . . and these are the three winners!  It’s as it always has been, a homeart, filled with beauty, and connection and heart.

150 Responses to I ♥ Quilts….

  1. Sandi Zier says:

    where can your fabric be purchased

  2. Sandy Yarber Dixon says:

    I have about a dozen heirloom quilts. You have given me some new ideas on how to display them. They were made by my grandmother and her mother. Thank you.

  3. Cathy says:

    Oh Susan, I ♥ quilts too! Thank you for showing us yours. I have a number of beautiful ones entirely hand made by my mother. I’ve made some myself, but I speed cut my pieces and do them on a machine. Mother had the time and dexterity to make gorgeous quilts, with all the pieces individually cut and sewn by hand. I absolutely love seeing just about anything on a clothesline, and quilts are especially beautiful….thank you for a delightful page.

  4. Joan Lesmeister says:

    ♥ quilts too! My Mom handmade (each and every cut & stitch by hand, no fancy dancy tools like I use!) 12 of her great-grandkids Sun Bonnet Sue & Overall Bill baby quilts! She had originally made my brother a quilt in 1937 (she has it because, sadly, he passed away in ’73). She started making the “greats” quilts when she and my Dad were travelling & living, for 11 years, in a mini-motorhome after retirement. Now that she’s 95, she can no longer quilt, but, luckily I got my own Sun Bonnet Sue quilt 2 years ago, because I whined a lot! I have the Wedding Ring quilt my Grandma made my folks in 1935 – such a treasure! I also have quilt squares that my Grandmas on both sides started, but never completed….some day I will! Well, that’s the plan anyway. Great blog sweet Sue, and beautiful pictures…thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      You are the perfect person to have these things, Joan, because you love them so much.

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Aww, thank you, you’re so sweet! I was going to wash dishes, but decided to look at your quilt blog instead..so pretty..and there was your comment! I just got those squares out last week to lovingly caress them – & try to figure out what to do, what to do – gave up for now!! Hugs!

        • sbranch says:

          Sometimes the “loving caress” is all we can do, and sometimes, it’s enough!

        • shelly matter says:

          Joan, i too <3 quilts and my grandma and mom are both quilters:) How wonderful that you have your family quilts to treasure and love! Maybe you could make pillows with them and then one day share them with your family. Maybe even make your dear momma a pillow:)
          Thanks for sharing<3

  5. Chris Dowd says:

    Susan, thank you so much for sharing all that you love so much. I love the way you notice everything and realize the blessing we have all been given to have the opportunity to enjoy all the color, texture and pattern that life presents. I have been sewing all my life, but just now have the time to pursue my interest in quilting. Next weekend will be my first entry in a quilt show, and I’m excited. I enjoyed seeing all your quilts and the beautiful way you have of displaying them. I’m loving your blog, and look forward to each new one you send. Thanks again! :0)

  6. Teresa Jensen, CA says:

    The only handmade quilts I have were made for my children by my mother-in-law and I have never let them use them. They are safe in a storage bag. The ones we use are from the department store. I love quilts and would love to have more. Thanks for all your bloggie goodness!

    • sbranch says:

      I think, and this may just be me, you should get them out and use them! No? Too dangerous at your house? Lots of cranberry juice and beet eating going on there? That would be different. Maybe, just over the back of a chair in YOUR bedroom?

      • Lynn Hillston says:

        Susan, your ‘beet eating’ comment made me laugh right out loud!! I’m with you, get them out, get them loved – that’s what they were made for. I have a collection of antique quilts too, and they are draped and folded everywhere, such a loving touch in a home. Bringing a little of my American heritage to our home in England (come for tea next time you’re over!)

        PS I have loved your work since the early 80s, when i bought some of your first books. Just delightful, every one of them. So nice to see how you’ve gone from strength to strength over the years.

        Wishing you all the best,
        Big Hugs,

    • Barb O'Connor says:

      Quilts are made to be used. It’s meant to be e hug every time you lay down under it. If there is one thing quilters HATE it’s quilts that are stored in bags. After all those hours making them, it feels like they aren’t loved if they are out of sight. We can make another one. It’s our joy to see a quilt wear from use.

      That being said, if you have an heirloom quilt, then storing them the way Susan does is sure to make them start falling apart. The material is old and weak from age. You need to store them out of sunlight which bleaches the colors and not folded the same way repeatedly or the material will give out along the folds. There are plenty of web sites with suggestions.

      • sbranch says:

        You’re probably right, I’m sure I could do a better job of it, although I do move them around all the time . . . upstairs for one season down for another, exchange the dark ones on the bannister for the light ones, and I’m careful to refold every time.

    • Betty L says:

      Your mother-in-law made those quilts to be used and loved. How sad she’d be if she knew the people she made them for have been forbidden to use them! I’m a quilter, and I’d be crushed to learn that one of my made-with-love quilts had been relegated to a storage bag!

  7. Dearest Susan, you should come down South to North Carolina! Not only will you see handmade quilts hanging from clotheslines, or at quilt shows, but QUILT TRAILS is an organization that paints wooden placques in the shapes/colors of quilts and they hang them on buildings! My home church, Bald Creek U.Meth. Church as one on it so look up Q.T.s on the internet http://www.quilttrailswnc.org. As we say down here “You’ll have a fit” ! Happy Fall Ya’all.

  8. Janet Bisson says:

    You have warmed my heart today! I try to quilt daily since age is catching up to me.!! We quilters are still out there and willing to teach anyone. Thanks for the show – I loved it!!!!!!!

  9. Holly Simpson says:

    I have just discovered your site after having lost touch with you, I’m sad to say, for quite a few years. I am a quilter and have a love of quilts as well and stumbled onto your site while searching the internet for a quilt pattern~what a coincidence! I’ve been sitting here as the hour becomes later and later, reading and looking at each and every entry on your entire site and I’m loving it soooo much! I love books as well as quilts and have made quilts to reflect some of my favorite books and then I display them together. My favorite of all time is, “The Little Red Hen”. I quoted this story to my kids when they were younger, so many times that they now can repeat it back to me word for word. 🙂 A little hint for those overloved quilts….make potholders. I found a quilt at a yard sale that was being given away as it had very large worn places. I took this as a sign that it had been loved a great deal in its life but still had more to give. I brought it home and watched it for several days until the idea came to me to use the unworn areas to make potholders. I gave them as Christmas gifts and was very touched to find that they are still being used several years later.

    • sbranch says:

      Positively love it . . . somewhere on my site you will see my ironing board with the cover made from an old quilt. I didn’t do it, found it at a flea market, but it looks so easy to do! Finding a quilt in bad-enough-but-still-good-enough, condition would be my only problem.

  10. Helen White says:

    Love you living room furniture. White is so wonderful to decorate with and the fabric on your wing back chair is very sweet. Oh, your quilts were beautiful also.

  11. Becky says:

    Oh your that Susan branch LOL.I just completed 2 months giveaways from Madame samms blog now I recognize the name.Gorgeous quilts so lovely.Im not a quilter but would love to be.Thanks for sharing.Its cold tonight and they look so cozy.Blessings!

  12. Lesley says:

    I love visiting your site because it lifts my spirit to see joy and fun. Your quilts are lovely but the video of the quilts moving with the breeze was delightful. Thanks. Lesley

    • sbranch says:

      I could look at that all day . . . it’s my favorite thing about spring, when I get to hang the clothes on the line again and watch them move in the breeze!

  13. Lauren says:

    I have a dwindling stash of Susan Branch baby fabrics, that I haul out for each new baby that comes along. Are you planning any new fabric lines? Sure hope so. Cheers. Lauren

  14. Heidi says:

    There is nothing like taking a beautiful room and decorating it with beautiful quilts. I’m a quilter, so I have a passion for them., especially the old ones. Thank you for sharing with us.

    I so love your website. There are days when the stress level here at my office is unbearable. I sneak to your website, browse a bit and begin to calm down. Thank you for being here for all to enjoy.

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to hear Heidi! I love quilting, wish I had more time for it, but there is ALWAYS time to be an appreciator, which I am expert at being! (That sentence can’t be English, but you get my meaning!) Thank you!

  15. Judy Tracy says:

    Our minister, Bryan Eckelmann (a 50 year old) shared yesterday that he had made hand quilted quilts for each of his children and a few more besides. And he said, “Isn’t it too bad it is a dying art.” He thought many more quilts were made 50 years ago in the 1950’s. Poor man…..I said “No I don’t think so! So many more quilts are being made today!” He is new from Oklahoma, and he will be coming for dinner soon to find out at least a little of what California quilting is all about.
    Your pictures are wonderful and the quilts loving treasures. Quilting is an endless blessing in our lives:>) Love the way quilting is incorporated into your designs.
    As ever, Judy Tracy:>)

  16. sally baker says:

    You maybe can tell by my e-mail address, I’m a quilter too. I think quilts are so wonderful because they are so versatile, like people. I used to paint but find fabric much more satisfying..that touchy feely thing, you know. And I thank God that it is not a “dying art” and is very much alive! thanks for appreciating them as you do.

  17. ida kemperman says:

    I love your blog, and all you do! I, too have a wonderful vintage quilt collection. Where is your store in California? Please let me know. I would love to visit it soon. Also, I plan to visit Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket soon.

  18. Susan says:

    As a lifelong love affair with quilts – mine and other people’s – continues into my older years, I definitely loved this post. Your quilts, and your attitude toward quilts, is is wonderful. I have to admit I have spent a little too much on an antique quilt or two, but it’s balanced out by the ones I got for a shamefully low price. After all, I wanted each of them to come home with me, so they did, no matter the price tag. Often I’ve waited, too. But sometimes . . . not. I also loved your movie listing. We see eye-to-eye there, as well. =)

  19. shelly matter says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your quilts with us<3 Looking at them makes me feel all cozy & snug! As none of the babies (as I refer to all of our children who range in age from 13 to 25 and only 2 of which are still at home) or grands are here today Fred and I are enjoying a quiet day in the nest watching our home team, Penn State, munching on yummy leftovers. All the while I'm "visiting" w/ you and my fellow kindred spirits on your blog<3 Ahhhh, life is truly good:)

  20. Jan from Northern CA says:

    Over 20 years ago, my dear maternal Grandmother had a quilt made for my sister and I. Each one was made with fabrics of old dresses and other blouses that she had. I recognized them! Mine is the circular ring pattern surrounded by orange. I’ve used it for years, but the last few I’ve had it safe in a drawer as it had been showing wear. BUT, now I see my mistake! I will get it out and display it in a place of honor. Thank you for the inspiration to show it off again and enjoy it and the memories of my wonderful Grandmother!

    • sbranch says:

      SO glad, yes!! Where the world can see. What’s the difference between folded in a drawer or folded at the end of the bed or over a sofa? 🙂 Good for you.

      • Marilyn Bunte says:

        Susan and Jan
        I have loved quilts since I was a child. My grandmother made 3 quilts for my mom over 100 years ago. I have the three quilts hanging from a white rod as my head board.
        My sister introduced me to Susan Branch several years ago with one of your books. (Vineyard Seasons More from the Heart of the Home) I am so glad my sister did.

        • sbranch says:

          So nice to hear Marilyn, thank you!

          • Marilyn Bunte says:

            Susan, What is your suggestion as far as the care of the quilts? I have not washed them and
            since they are out in the air should I be doing something special for them? Thank you so much. Marilyn

          • sbranch says:

            Just refold them every so often so they don’t just sit on one fold all the time. You can air them outside once a year. But don’t let them be in direct light or they will fade. I’ve had good luck washing them in the bathtub … HERE is a link for directions. They weigh a ton when they’re wet, so plan ahead for a large wet dripping thing to be carried outside and allowed to dry. If your quilt is very fragile, I might not wash it at all. Quilts are like beautiful silver or gorgeous old dishes, they should not be hidden away, they should be used and loved. Life is short. xoxo Hope this helps!

  21. Wanda Styrsky says:

    I have 30 of my grandmother’s quilts! I love each and every one. Now I am beginning to hand them down to my own grown daughters.


  22. sally baker says:

    In just re-reading comments, and as a quilt maker and sometimes restorer, all of you who love old quilts…please don’t ever store them in a drawer or Heaven forbid, in a plastic garbage bag!!! They need air and the oils in wood will stain the fabric over time. Plastic bags can also be mistaken for trash by someone not in the know. Light is another no-no so keep them away from windows. When you fold them, refold on a new fold line. Again, over time those fibers that constantly are folded will eventually break. Susan, you’ve got it right…love those old quilts and put them out and use them! And they must love it when you hang them outside on a clothesline. The fragrance when you bring them in is incredible!

  23. janet gorrell says:

    Susan–I love all of your things, have your books, stickers, pictures, etc. But, the question of the moment is, “What is the color name and brand of the paint on the wall in the picture where you have quilts piled on a hutch?” Love that green. Thank you.

  24. Cindy says:

    I quilt and I love your antique quilts. In fact, I saw a quilt with a block I had never seen. I graphed the block out and put it in my ‘quilts I want to make’ folder. My sister loves your blog; she turned me on to it. I plan to purchase some of your fabric in your web store and make her a quilt. What a surprise!

  25. sondra fox says:

    Good Morning to YOU Susan, The sun is beginning to peek into my home office. It’s another beautiful CA day. I must admit that even though I LOVE CA, I get jealous after reading some of your Martha Vineyard blogs. Your life on the island sounds so perfect. You make it so. Your parties, kitties, quilts, walks, singing birds, “everything,” are what I too, enjoy as well. I’m a quilter who lives with quilts on a daily basis, on the back of our sofas, or curling up under one on a chilly CA evening, reading a book, or watching an old movie. As I’ve written you before, your blogs are a daily, morning activity, in my life. I’ve told all of my friends about your website. Thanks for all you do to make our lives even happier! Oh, Susan, since you love old movies & things of that nature, I’m going to share something that I recently found that I think you’d enjoy. Try Acorn English TV. I’d be interested in hearing whether or not you enjoyed it.

  26. Michelle says:

    What a lovely post! You have such a way with words, Susan. Your blog posts are sincere, engaging and charming with a dash of humor. Vintage quilts are one of my favorite things. I only own two, but I hope to find more. Like you, I look for one that I think is lovely and that is a good price. That is why I only have two so far. I think they add such a homey and cozy charm to any room in the house. You have a beautiful collection!

  27. Meridee Hillman says:

    Yesterday I went to my first estate sale. I bought a much loved and worn quilt.
    I love what you said about hugging it and being happy; it’s just the way I felt!
    And now it is hanging – worn spots and all- over my stair rail looking oh so inviting:)

  28. Henrietta Jend says:

    I can’t believe how beautiful these old quilts are…I hope you can tellme where similar ones can be purchased. I am 77 years old and not a quilter, but I have always loved quilts and have a few…not anything like the displays. I hope you can tell me where they are available. Thank you so ver much!

    • sbranch says:

      If you check our store, we have a vintage section, when I find a pretty quilt at a good price, I put it up there.

  29. cheryl says:

    hi just came across your blog site and looking at your pictures of where you had been in kent and there you was at Tenterden my favourate place to shop , l live just 4miles away in a village called Bethersden, the only thing missing in Tenterden is a quilt shop when l win the lottery that is what l will do with my sister we both love quilting and fabrics, l hope you had a wonderful stay.x

  30. ida kemperman says:

    Dear Susan,

    I like everything you do. Your taste is mine! I love my quilt collection and will be glad when they come back into vogue (not that it matters), so the value will be there, as it once was. I need to pare down and don’t wish to give them away.

  31. Cynthia Pfledderer says:

    You are such a delight. I read your books over and over like returning to a favorite destination. This page on quilts is so charming. 🙂

  32. I never had a collection of old quilts so 20 years ago I started making new ones … that will one day be old. These days all I quilt is the coast. I keep thinking I will run out of inspiration, but not so much.

    So … in my book … quilts are mostly about summer, not winter. Then again, I live in southern California so what do you expect?

    Thanks for all the inspiration you have given me over the years ~

  33. Fran says:

    I am lucky to work in a Quilt store. Just can’t wait to get there each day. People come in to share the most beautiful old and new quilts as well as create their own. I have a small collection of antique quilts, which I love, love, love and am always on the look out for ones to fit my collection. So glad you love them too!
    I can’t wait for your book on your trip to England – you blog about the trip was wonderful. I felt like I was there too. Thanks for everything!

  34. Linda says:

    Dear Susan,
    I too am a lover of quilts, both old and new. But I think my favorites are the antique ones. I have a half wall at the top of my stairs where I place the folded quilts over the wall so they hang down the stairwell. Some I place on top of another so some of each will show. I also fold and place several on a bench in my living room, which is quite appropriate as the bench is made from an antique bed that my daughter used as a child. I love discovering new ways to display & use my quilts. Thanks for the pictures of your quilts. I never tired of seeing quilts!

  35. Glenda says:

    Susan: I loved seeing your quilt section! I make quilts, and am currently making a special one for my granddaughter (13 years old), who will be having surgery on November 16th. (You “know” her … she was one of the girls you sent some gifts and commented about their great attitudes.)

    Thank you for being so thoughtful!

    • sbranch says:

      One of the girls in the Daring Girls Club? Please tell her I said hello. I hope all is well! What a special gift, she will treasure your quilt forever!

  36. april says:

    Just found your site- I have some of your cookbooks and love them.Just wanted to say I was out on Block Island this summer and a group of church women had each made a block to symbolize the island- They put it together in a gorgeous quilt and raffled it off (Sadly I did not win 🙁 .It was such a great idea and came out so nicely. — Thanks for such a great blog

  37. marily from central wisconsin says:

    Hi Susan, I just stumbled upon your site,just love what I found.I have sewed my entire life, started quilting about 10 years ago, since I retired this last summer I find I try to work on quilts from six until nine each morning and sometimes even do some in the evening when my hubby watches TV ,just finished a snowball pattern made scraps, now ready for the quilters,I would love a long arm not enough in my ranch style home.have been busy with English paper piecing grandmothers garden,it is lovely, was inspired by my great grandmother made one for each her 4 grand daughters, hard work .well have a nice week .

  38. Catherine in Carlsbad, CA says:

    Hello Susan, A few years ago I purchased some fabric from your “In Love With Nature” collection, but did not think to look for a pattern, and I am not seeing a pattern or even a photo of a quilt made with the collection. Did you design a specific quilt or pattern for the collection? Many thanks.

  39. Jane Makuch says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful photo’s with us. When I think of quilts, old or new, I picture you!

    …Cozy quilts, crackling fireplaces, sleepy cats… Susan Branch… Ahhhhhh…

    Are there any plans for new fabrics or to re-release your past fabrics (Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Seasons and Tea Party)? So many of us would looove to get our hands on more for quilting! ~Thank you Jane

    • sbranch says:

      Not at this time, sorry Jane, hopefully in the future we will more fabric to offer. xoxo Thank you for asking.

  40. martha dagostino says:

    Hello Susan, I will be getting the quilts out of my closet and display them in my living room. Even though I am retired – some days are so busy (thank goodness) – but your website is such an inspiration. happy thoughts, love, ruby

  41. Henrietta Jend says:

    I amnot a quilter, but I love them just as much! At 78 I guess it’s a little late to start…Have enjoyed your beautiful collection and wishing that they were allmine. Thankyou so much!!

  42. CarolK (NJ) says:

    I just had to take a look at your quilts again. They are so pretty. I just finished patching one I purchased at auction. Got a fantastic bargain too. I have to share a poem my brother in CA just sent to me. Being most of the girlfriends still use a clothes line to air our laundry this is so appropriate. We don’t know who wrote it but it’s just too cute not to share.

    A Poem to the Clothesline …

    A clothesline was a news forecast, To neighbors passing by,
    There were no secrets you could keep, When clothes were hung to dry.
    It also was a friendly link, For neighbors always knew
    If company had stopped on by, To spend a night or two.
    For then you’d see the “fancy sheets”, And towels upon the line;
    You’d see the “company table cloths”, With intricate designs.
    The line announced a baby’s birth, From folks who lived inside,
    As brand new infant clothes were hung, So carefully with pride!
    The ages of the children could, So readily be known
    By watching how the sizes changed, You’d know how much they’d grown!
    It also told when illness struck, As extra sheets were hung;
    Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe too, Haphazardly were strung.
    It also said, “On vacation now”, When lines hung limp and bare.
    It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged, With not an inch to spare!
    New folks in town were scorned upon, If wash was dingy and gray,
    As neighbors carefully raised their brows, And looked the other way.
    But clotheslines now are of the past, For dryers make work much less.
    Now what goes on inside a home, Is anybody’s guess!
    I really miss that way of life, It was a friendly sign
    When neighbors knew each other best… By what hung out on that line.

    NJ hugs………

    • sbranch says:

      Darling! I remember my mom’s clothesline, ear to ear in white cotton diapers. A giveaway as to what was going on in our house.

  43. betsy pringle says:

    While a teen in Ft. Lauderdale I used a quilt my great grandmother had made from my grandmother’s Aunt Jemima Halloween costume as a beach blanket. What a foolish girl when after a zillion washings and the seams and fabric were wearing out, I threw it away! How I wished I had have cut it up for smaller quilts, pillows, to put a square or two in frames, etc. Luckily others have survived along with treasure trove of antiques.

  44. Angela Nona says:

    Susan, I am a quilter. All my quilts except one were made by me and I hav over 50 quilts. I decorate my house with them. I love quilting – it is a joy for me and it makes me so happy to leave these behind me someday when Im called home.

  45. Sharon Suzanne Moran says:

    I did it! I bought my first quilt and it’s a beauty, pale blue and white with embroidered flower baskets. I have made a few simple quilts and now, with inspiration from Susan, I believe I’m bitten with the “Quilt Bug”! Crocheting prayer shawls and afghans has been my passion,now I’ve got a new one(and a lot to learn about conservation)! Oh that, and a website I highly recommend to animal lovers “For the Love of Alex”!
    Happy Quilting!

  46. Ann McKenna says:

    Thank-you for sharing the pictures of your beautiful quilt collection! I love quilts also and plan on starting your “Hearts and Flowers” quilt in the Fall. You also gave me an idea of where to display an old, quite damaged quilt that my grandmother made in the 1930’s. I’m going to fold it and display it on top of the old pine entertainment center in our bedroom. That way I can see it every day morning and night and in-between! Forever thank-yous to you!!!!!!!!!


  47. vicki gibbs says:

    Dear Susan,
    I absolutely LOVE your website, your books, everything you have on the market!!! I have been buying and reading your books for about 20+ years now, and enjoy your calendars whenever I can find them locally.

    I like your ideas about the old quilts, could you tell me where you find them? Is it a certain store, at estate sales or yard sales? Please let me know!

    Thanks and keep all the great ideas coming!

    Vicki Gibbs

    • sbranch says:

      I love to go to antique stores, group stores, flea markets, yard sales and that’s where you find the old ones. You have to look, and be patient, because they are truly loved and collected by so many, but they are there, and every once in a while you get lucky and find the perfect one at a price you can afford. Thank you Vicki.

  48. Pamalee says:

    My sister sent me your blog on quilts because we both love sewing quilts together as well as collecting them. When you buy a quilt from a thrift store, garage sale, junk store or flea market, how do you recommend washing the quilt after you bring it home?

    • sbranch says:

      I rarely wash an antique quilt. It has to be something else for me to wash them. If it’s really stained, I just don’t buy them. Usually I just air a new quilt — only a stain I thought I could get off would make me wash a quilt. I don’t take chances. Lukewarm water, the bathtub and a green detergent with no bleach, softeners or fragrance is my preferred choice. But a wet quilt is very heavy. Getting it rinsed is quite the job. I usually take it outside in a large bucket to dry on the lawn.

  49. Celesta Dailely says:

    I am enjoying your quilts and dishes and everything else too. Also love to read the comments that have been posted. This is all so inspiring to me.

  50. Celesta Dailely says:

    I too enjoy quilting, dishes, gardening, decorating my home and family history. Your blog is so inspiring to me. I am enjoying every word and picture. Thank you.

  51. lin rader says:

    Your quilt collection is awesome! I have been quilting for two years, and am totally addicted. My one lament is that I will not be able to live long enough to sew all the things I want to make! If gals like you did not take the time to buy, display and save these remnants of the past, they would still be hidden in old trunks or disintegrating in the back of a musty closet. Quilts, like lovely linens need to be loved and caressed and used for the sheer pleasure they can give. I am snuggled up under a lovely floral one as I write this missive. It is cold here in Michigan….60 degrees yesterday, 32 today! That is Michigan! Time for tea….hope you can take a break from a busy day and join me. Oh, some time back, you had a photo of a lovely blue embroidered draft dodger at your door….I LOVED it. Is it available? Please advise. Thank you SO much.

    Love ya, Girlfriend……Lin

    • sbranch says:

      We had them for a while, but they were the very last the manufacturer had, we bought all of them, and I’m sorry to say, they have sold out. We found a new one recently, it has a cardinal on it and I think it’s embroidered with Welcome Home; if it’s not already in our webstore, it will be soon. They do go beautifully with quilts!

  52. Linda Felkel says:

    Dear Susan,

    so glad I came across your Blog! It’s like stepping into a dreamworld! Thank you for the inspiration!

    Regards from Germany

  53. joanne mckay says:

    LOVE LOVE your blog and all your collections, your art, your story telling…..everything. I’m a addicted quilter and love antiques…….It brings me back to a simpler time with no internet and stay at home moms, home sewing, home cooking, and family gatherings on the lawn with watermelon. I loved your England book, now I want to go soooo bad ! Wish I was your sister, I’d visit you all the time at your cute house on Martha’s Vineyard….Lol. Keep up your wonderful, endearing blog [and work] ! Abbotsford,B.C., Canada Luv Jo

  54. Janice Nelson in Park City, Utah from Boston says:

    I am going to a quilting retreat here in Midway Utah. I really am very new to quilting, but will try. It is a three day quilting retreat at an old farmhouse here. In July.

    My favorite quilt is one my grandmother gave to me that her grandmother made. Over a hundred years old! All by hand.

    Your blog pics have inspired me to collect more. How do you wash them? The vintage ones?

  55. Kelley Cunningham says:

    I would love to see more of the red and white quilt (top of the pile in the 5th picture down) It looks unusual – applique on chenille?

  56. Sheila Fuesting says:

    Oh Susan, I absolutely love your old quilts. They always have a story to tell. I have some from my grandmothers and I treasure them for their memories. I’m an old hand quilter myself from the early 60’s and always have one in the frames, and favor the old everyday, traditional patterns. Thanks for sharing yours.

  57. Alice hanson says:

    oh Susan I too love old quilts. I have 60. I love to imagine their stories. I tried to post pictures but it did not work! Oh well I really enjoyed seeing yours!

  58. Claudia says:

    My great grandmother passed her love down to my grandmother (her daughter in law) and it skipped a generation to me! New quilts are sometimes pretty, but oh how I love the old patterns! I’m all about symmetry, I’m afraid. I love the ones you’ve shared with us, I’ve never seen a grandmothers flower garden set in blue. The red and white and cream quilt on your living room sofa is stunning!

  59. Carolyn says:


    My Mother game me some quilts that my grandmother and my great- grandmother made over 75+ years ago. I have about 10 quilts from that collection and I have kept most of them put up for a long time. I have 4 that I have used and enjoy tremendously. My mother had taught me to store them in a cotton pillow case and to take them out and air them out and refold them so that they have different folds in them, which I do regularly.
    What brought me to your sight was that I am looking for the names of the quilt patterns so I know a little more about each quilt.
    I have found a few, but there are many I don’t know.
    Is there anyway that I can send you some pictures and maybe you can help me?? You probably know some if not all of the patterns?
    I have one that I think is “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” but it has some more designs and beautiful work, so I would love to know more..

    Thank you for your website and insight into these beautiful quilts.
    PS. I have two beautiful quilts that my Mother made me, but due to my dogs, I am not able to put them out (at least not yet).


    • sbranch says:

      Go online and Google “quilt patterns” — then press “Images” — you’ll find more than you ever dreamed of!

  60. Robin DuBay says:

    I am just a beginning quilter and am enjoying the beautiful quilts in your photos. I am making mostly patchwork quilts , I love mixing and matching the colors; each fabric scrap reminds me of the original project!

    • sbranch says:

      My first (and only, because painting came along and took me away) quilts were all patchwork too. It’s such a rewarding hobby! You get a quilt when it’s done!

  61. Suzette Shoulders says:

    I have been a quilter for 40 years, and I just LOVE quilts! I taught quilting classes at ‘Daisy Kingdom’ in Portland, Oregon, and there I found YOUR fabrics, and some wonderful stationery and notecards you had designed, too! I have used your fabrics in some of the scrap quilts I have made, but still have some, and love to look at them. Might you design a line of fabrics again someday? Suzette in Oregon, where it is getting very cold!

  62. Marilyn Young says:

    Wow Susan, you brought back memories of when I was a young gal with a baby daughter and her great-grandmother in Arroyo Grande made her a Sunbonnet Sue Quilt. I divorced, moved away and lost contact with this lovely woman, but always admired and hung on to that quilt. My little girl used it on her bed for years and treasures it. Then when I was in my 60s, I started quilting and now I’m 82 and going strong, loving every quilt I see or make. This is an exciting year and I’ve sold my first quilt! I’ve also given away my first quilt for a raffle for the ACS here in town. What a thrill to sell one and to be able to part with another for a worthy cause! I’ve made one for each of my children and every grandchild that has gotten married and every one of the 14 greats that have now been born. I’m making some ahead so the babies that come long after I leave will have a little piece of me. I love love love quilting and looking at them, feeling them, draping them over a bed or a chair, is such a thrill. Thank you for loving quilts like you do and making them an important part of your life.

  63. Evie Tong says:

    Susan … I mentioned in an earlier email that I have started a vintage quilt collection and loving it so much!! When I’m especially reading your book(s) I pile several at the end of the bed (I read on the bed!) … and it’s a cozy heart-warming niche to “feel” your words and thoughts! I read through this blog and was hoping to find something of what laundry detergent do you prefer? I was told my my quilter-girlfriend to never use Woolite so I don’t. What do you consider a mild,
    gentle soap/detergent? Please advise!! I know you’re on the road and it may be a while before you check emails under this blog .. thank you in advance…Mahalo!
    With Always Love and Aloha, Evie in San Diego

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I’m on the road, trying to remember what I use for quilts . . . I think it was Biz. Or maybe it was Oxi Clean, and maybe some vinegar. I have it written down at home. Just Google How to wash a vintage quilt, and you’ll get lots of really good advice. Hope this helps Evie!

  64. Marilyn Young says:

    Oh my, I want to curl up in every single one of the quilts you showed here. How I love quilts. I got a late start quilting, but I’ve been making up for it ever since. The best thing is a simple quilt, Log Cabin, Nine Patch, Sunbonnet Sue, the Wedding Ring Quilt, all of them treasures. Thanks for these pictures and ideas to decorate with them. I’m trying to find an old ladder that needs paint and then I’ll put it up next to a wall, let it lean there and show off my quilts in my sewing room. So far, I’ve made each of my adult children a quilt, my 10 grandkids a quilt when they get married and each of my 13 greats a baby quilt.

  65. Kathy says:

    So happy to have stumbled on Susan’s website about quilts. I’m searching for the pattern/quilt kit for the “Bridal Bouquet” or “Wedding Bouquet” quilt that
    was given as a wedding gift in 1972. I saw a picture on eBay where it referred to this quilt as ” Vintage Pastel Rose Quilt ” Our quilt was badly damage and it could not be restored. I would like to try to make this quilt. Would you possibly know how I would find the pattern or quilt kit. I have no idea who manufactured it. The original patter/kit I believe was purchased in Illinois. Thank you, Kathy

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sorry, I don’t know Kathy, but what I would do is start Googling “Bridal Bouquet” and “Wedding Bouquet” and not give up… be sure to look at the images supplied with Google, and you might see just what you need. For sure no pattern is “Vintage Pastel Rose Quilt” — that is just what someone called it because they didn’t know the pattern name. There’s a beautiful OLD pattern called “Double Wedding Ring” — you might take a look at that. Good luck!

  66. Rosie Herdman says:

    Hi Susan- my computer was acting up for awhile so I had to re-subscribe to the newsletter. so glad to be back. I love your blog. I too am into quilts 4 granddaughters have more than one the oldst 1st, year in college, took all the quilts to Vermont, some I had made and she slept under them as a little one. the 3 boys also quilts. for a few years I made twin size and set to a place in Utah and they sent them to needy. Back in 2010- I was ask to do a quilt for cancer maroton raffle, I did Jacob:s Ladder, I chose colors and described their meanig, I had it quilted by a longarm professioal. Almost hated to let it go. For about 5 years my hubby and I traveled to Amis country in Pa. from about 2007-to 2012. i have sev beautiful wall hanging quilts and one king size put away when first grandchild gets married. my Mom was a quilter. I have given many away, love Sunbonnet Sue. I so enjoyed all of yous/ did my 4 children quilts when they got married. yes bring them out. Nothing is more comforting, than when you snuggle under an old quilt.. I lreside in Southington, Ct. right now it is snowing. have a great day


    • sbranch says:

      Wonderful collection Rosie, and you add to the beauty by doing your own! They all come with stories, which makes them so much more than just any ordinary blanket. xoxo

  67. James says:

    I have several quilts that my mother made 30-50 years ago. I have them in vacumum bags in our Storage Shed. I live in small home. We can’t use them on bed, because of allergies and dogs. I feel bad about them just being storage. I’d love to display them. I will never have bloodline to pass down to. I thought maybe just sending them to my nieces and nephews. Any suggestions?

    • sbranch says:

      If your family doesn’t want them, gather them up and take them to an antique store and see if they will buy them from you … they will go to good homes and people will treasure them forever.

  68. Shirley says:

    Simply love the quilt that is on the yellow quilt stand, and on your laundry line. Do you happen to know the name of this pattern? After an extensive online search I can’t find it, only on your blog. I am in the process of recreating it, never did a quilt on point yet, so working on that aspect. Would like any information you can provide. Thank you……..love your site and quilts.

  69. Sharon Whittlesey says:

    Loved reading this blog. Quilts are a connection of the past, present and future. I have several old family quilts I treasure. My father quilts and i inherited his quilts when my parents moved to assisted living. About 25 quilts. My mother-in-law passed away in January and several of her quilts came to my house. Plus I am a quilter and have 20+ of my own. But I keep making them, it is an addiction for sure. Thank you for sharing.

  70. Michele says:

    Susan, my sister found a quilt on your site and loved it but did not see a name for it to find the pattern. Do you know the name of the pattern for the quilt that is hanging on the clothes line and also several photos up from it? It had a large white block then a block with four smaller blocks, white block in the center and each corner has triangles with the white and the color. I hope I provided enough to go on to identify it. Our mom would love to make this for my sister if we could get the pattern. Thanks so much and we hope you and your family are well during this time!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry, I don’t know the name of it … I found it in an antique store some years back. It’s a beauty isn’t it? I hope maybe your mom can figure it out! Same to you Michele, stay well!

    • Boo McCready says:

      Michelle, the block you asked about is called “shoo fly”. It’s also assembled ‘on point’.

      Susan, can you tell us what the block size is? My daughter wants me to make this quilt.


  71. Joy Steinecke says:

    I’d love to visit your California store; where is it located?

  72. Ann McKenna says:

    Dear Susan,

    I love old quilts, too, and also new quilts in that I love making quilts and am building quite the collection of the ones I don’t give as gifts. I love them for all the reasons you mentioned; the history of the old ones, imagining those who hand stitched them, the coziness and love they bring to a home, and the comfort and warmth they provide to the lucky person who wraps themselves in one of them. It makes me happy to think that I’m creating something that might last for years and be cherished by more that me and my family or my friends and their families.
    I just love everything you do and so appreciate your sharing your talents with us, your grateful girlfriends. Thank you so much!

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