Fading Charms Quilt

Deanna at Wedding Dress Blue posts wonderful tutorials and her latest is a charm quilt that uses 846 charms (by Deanna’s count – I took her word for it).  The pattern is written for 2-½, 2, and 1-½ inch charms.  Click on the link below to see the tutorial.


I decided to make the quilt of  1-½ inch charms to use the scraps from 10 years of sewing and quilting, stored rather haphazardly in 6 large dresser drawers.  I spent a lot of time cutting the squares and then enlisted the help of my granddaughter to sort them according to color and to count them.  She spent several Sunday afternoons helping me out.

It was nostalgic for me to cut the squares and then sew them one by one into the quilt, remembering the projects and where/when I bought the fabric.  In most cases, I remembered each square very clearly.  There was fabric from the quilt that started my quilting – a baby quilt for my helper granddaughter….

….pieces from my husband’s flannel shirts that he could no longer wear but wanted made into a quilt the year before he passed away; material used in full-sized quilts for my daughters and grandchildren and in baby quilts for my two great-grandchildren; fabric from a 25th anniversary wall hanging for my youngest son and his wife; lots of squares from the countless charity quilts I made for the Linus Project for hospitalized children.  There were pieces from queen-size quilts (two of which won ribbons at the county fair), and quilted jackets (one of them a 2nd prize winner at the Ohio State Fair).

There were squares from potholders, placemats, wall hangings, tablecloths, curtains, clothing for the family, costumes for the grandchildren, holiday and birthday projects,

I also used scraps to piece the backing and for the binding.  The only fabric I bought was for the background.  My label is in the form of a pocket so I can print out this post and keep it with the quilt to describe how special it is.

So many hours of sometimes pleasant and sometimes frustrating sewing over the past 10 years!  Making this memory-filled quilt made me realize I’d like to do something like this every January, using a piece from each project of the preceding year.  It may be a small project like a table runner or pillow cover, depending on how many items I made in a year, but it will be a nice reminder.

My Fading Charms Quilt measures 36×36 inches and there are a few repeats of charms because I wanted to use only fabric that had been in a previous project.  It is a nice size as a topper for my loveseat in a bedroom.  The scrappy quilt goes well with the red walls and lodge theme.

The quilt is also a perfect size for hanging over the loveseat.

This is a good quilt to make whether you’re rummaging through drawers of old scraps or cutting nice, fresh fabric.  I like it very much.

The granddaughter and quilt that started it all

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

15 thoughts on “Fading Charms Quilt”

  1. Oh Lillian! what a beautiful little quilt and a most beautiful granddaughter! such a lovely project to share and I love your idea of the pocket with the note. Yes, making something every year with that years scraps is a splendid idea and might even help keep that scrap box from multiplying all on its own!! (I’m sure mine does!!)

  2. What a lovely quilt! What a charming story behind the quilt! And what a beautiful granddaughter…. you’ve brought a smile to my face on a not-so-hot morning!

  3. You’ve summed up nicely why I love scrap quilts. As silly as it sounds, those fabrics are like old friends when you revisit them. Wonderful quilt!

  4. What a wonderful quilt! It’s so nice to go down memory lane with fabric. I will be checking out that pattern.

  5. Oh, Lillian, I LOVE it! What a beautiful story, and the quilt is great, too. Thank you for sharing your experience with the pattern. I am glad it worked.

    May I add a picture or two to the gallery?

  6. A lovely read Lilian, it does teach me not to throw anything out, I do use my DH shirts too. The quilt is just gorgeous, and your granddaughter seems very happy with it:)) The little faces on the quilt are fabulous. Your scrappy looks so good, thanks for the link:)

  7. I love your post, Lillian. Not only is the quilt wonderful, but your post is a keeper memory. Everything you described spoke to my heart, and I really like the idea of doing a scrappy quilt each year from the projects of that year.

  8. A beautiful quilt, filled with memories. Everytime I am thinking about giving my scraps away, I see what someone else has done with their scraps and I change my mind. In 2000 I did design a quilt as a guild project that had exactly 2000 pieces. That is my memory quilt, but we did trade fabrics so they did not all come from my scrap bag, but I do recognize the majority of them.

  9. Thank you for the story of your lovely quilt. Having the help of your beautiful granddaughter is definitely another special memory. I love the idea of making a project every year from the previous year’s scraps.

  10. Hi Lillian,
    I had been directed to the tutorial a while back and am working on one; I googled to get a link to show a friend and got your site as well as WeddingDressBlue’s. I love your idea of using up scraps. I cheated, so have no stories to tell. Years back I “joined” Keepsake’s quilting “club” in order to sell items there and part of the “membership” each year was two boxes of samples, 1 1/2 inch almost square pieces. I’d saved them thinking someday there would be something to do with them, and decided they were perfect for this project. I am making a couple modifications to end up with a crib quilt. It isn’t ready to be photographed yet, but will be on my blog in a week or so. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. This should make a wonderful crib quilt. I have subscribed to your blog so I’ll be sure to see it when it’s finished. Lillian

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