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.

http://weddingdressblue.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/tutorial-fading-charms-quilt/

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