Saturday, March 10, 2018

Kitchen table quilts

I really love a kitchen table quilt. To me it says, “Sit a spell, sip some coffee, share your news with me.” I don’t think we do enough of that these days, but we used to.  Some of my best memories of my Grandma Arlene include sitting at her kitchen table, where we would all gather and eat cookies and talk. We would beg Grandpa Ed to take out his dentures and talk funny to us.  Grandma would make tea on the stove top and stir in a teaspoon of Orange Tang to give it some zest. And I remember her hands, always lotion-soft.

So I wanted to share with you my newest make, a kitchen table quilt featuring lovely fabric by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique. I’ve combined two of my favorite collections by Vanessa: Farmer’s Daughter and Olive’s Flower Market. These fabrics speak right to my heart, reminding me of days long ago when life seemed simpler.

For this project I followed a wonderful free “Lone Star” tutorial by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter. The quilt finishes at 39” square, making it great size for a table topper. This project is an easy make and lends itself to using 10” layer cake squares. Thank you, Amy!

I chose to work from yardage instead of a layer cake, as I wanted to use the same background fabric throughout. In this close up picture you can see why. Vanessa’s text print from the Farmer’s Daughter collection includes snippets of lessons and phrases she remembers from her own childhood: Keep your ears wide open and be kind; Tell the truth; Give thanks for all your blessings; Take care of each other; Listen and always do your best; and Love, love and above all else, love. What wonderful reminders to have on the kitchen table!

I felt like the quilting on this piece needed to be simple and carefree, so my longarm quilter friend Barb (Quilts on Broadway) and I chose this sweet loop-de-loop pattern.  It adds nice dimension but doesn’t take away from the fabrics or oversized, graphic design of this pattern.

While my Grandma Arlene wasn’t a quilter, I’m pretty sure she would appreciate my love of quilting and the things I make. I wish she were still here.  She struggled with illness most of her life, but when she was feeling well, she was so fun to visit with.  I would love to have her at my kitchen table so we could sit a spell and drink some coffee or tea. I would ask her to yodel and tell me about her days as a South Dakota farm girl.

Arlene Bleeker Wollmuth, 1943

Thanks for letting me share this make with you, along with my ramblings. Very often it’s these simple projects that, for one reason or another, speak to my heart and bring me the most quilting joy. I’m wishing that same quilting joy for you!



  1. This is a beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing your story. It is always good to reflect back and enjoy those memories.

  2. It's a very pretty table cloth for sure, love the colors. Enjoyed the story of your past days with Gramma.

  3. Thank you for the walk down memory lane. My grandma turned 90 last week and so I have been lately thinking over all the wonderful memories I have with her and my papa, many of them are around the kitchen table. How blessed we are to have grown up with grandparents.

  4. What a beautiful table topper and I loved you sharing your stories of your Grandparents with us. Those wonderful visits with our Grandparents stay in our hearts forever and make us smile. 💕

  5. Such a sweet sweet memory of Grandma Arlene!! I love your stories and the nostalgic feeling they bring of my own "Abuelita". Who doesn't love some good tea. Your table topper is so pretty. Vanessa Goertzen always hits it out of the ballpark with her fabric lines. Looking forward to seeing what you can do with her Nest line cause that one is a stunner!! xoxo

  6. What sweet memories you have Taunja - and you are so right in that it is often these wonderful memories that inspire us while creating. Your kitchen table quilt is so pretty and inviting to come sit awhile. I especially love the text print you used for the background fabric!

  7. What a wonderful story that so many of us can relate to! I remember snapping beans, rolling pie dough, making applesauce from the apple trees in her yard💕. Such sweet memories. I could go on and on.... that photo of your grandmother is priceless😊. Now about this lovely table quilt, I am going to make an exact duplicate to remind me of my table talks. I hope my grandchildren have memories of me like that someday😊


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