Squares on Squares

Good Morning, Quilters!

I have been using this vase quilt on my kitchen table with a vase full of flowers from the Farmers’ Market.  As summer fades away (sigh), it is time to bring out the Halloween-inspired and fall quilts.

Square Flower, Checkerboard QuiltNOTES ABOUT SQUARES ON SQUARES

I stitched Square Flowers in the green blocks using contrasting white thread (Aurifil 28wt).

In order to create depth on this little quilt, I added a vine motif (The Double Loop Vine) in the white blocks that appears to disappear under the green blocks.

To develop design unity, I repeated both motifs in the border and added Grid Pop (repeating the nine patch pieced design).

Square Flower, Checkerboard Quilt



As I packed this away I noticed a plate-sized grease stain!

The risk of using our quilts!

I prefer my quilts get used…so this is the price I pay…(though I am working on a Baltimore Album quilt that will have a velvet rope stand around it–IF I ever finish it!)


Congratulations, Hannah W–YOU are the winner of the I LOVE HOME buttons!  I will contact you for your mailing information!


What about YOU? Do YOU use your quilts?

Have you ever had a stain, tear or other damage?

We’d LOVE to hear!

I’m off to laundry room!


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.

58 thoughts on “Squares on Squares

  1. I use my quilts! When I give a quilt away, I tell the recipient to please use it! Any possible stain or tear gives it character. I also instruct folks to please let me know if the quilt ever needs a repair. When I’m stitching a quilt together, it gives me joy to think about how the quilt may be used when it’s finished. Thanks, Lori, for your inspiration and wonderful tutorials!

  2. I definitely use my quilts. If they get stained or worn from use, it gives me an excuse to make more quilts. LOL!!!

  3. I use my quilts all over the house,
    For years, I watched my grandmother ‘save’ items that she loved and would take out and show me but never use.
    My grandmother died at 99 and I was the recipient of many ‘like new’ things that she loved but never used. I enjoy them all! I would rather flinch and then use Biz as opposed to not enjoying, petting and remembering.

  4. My quilts are definitely used; from our beds to the dogs’ beds! About 2 years ago, I quilted a top that my grandmother had pieced (all by hand and such beautiful stitching) before she passed away (almost 40 years ago), and needless to say, there were some holes beginning to appear. So I just “darned” them, finished the quilt and gave to my daughter. Her first question was, ‘should I use this?’ My grandmother would have been offended if it wasn’t used, so it is getting used everyday and still holding up. Thank you for your blog and inspirations.

  5. Hi Lori. I give my quilts to the children. The children are given in front of the parents. The children love getting something special and of their own. This way the children know it is for them and they do use them all the time. Try to match the quilt design to the child.

  6. Love that Kennedyesque green and white Irish quilt ! Not to tout a product but have been succesful on new and old grease stains with Dawn..blue and pink! Once there was a truck full of greasy products that spilled on a river bridge in Jacksonville, FL. They used dawn to clean it up.

      • Yes, a dab of Dawn on the dry grease spot, rub a bit and wash as usual. It comes out every time! Grease spots on the front of your T-shirt’s too. I keep a bottle in the laundry room. Grease is what it is made for….even on rescued baby ducks!

  7. Yes! I use mine and hope anyone that I make any handmade items for uses them. I just finished making 16 quilts/Afghans for my grandkids/gr. Granddaughter for Christmas. My hope is that they will use them and love them until they are threadbare! I think there is nothing sadder that a beautiful handmade item folded up in the cedar chest.

  8. My thought is use your projects and take a chance on staining or tearing. Life sometimes is messy. Why not enjoy the beauty of your creations. That’s why you made them.

  9. I do use my quilts, at least the ones I haven’t given away! When I gift my quilts I also include a note on how to care for them and at the bottom of the note I say something like “please use this quilt, or wrap yourself in this quilt often and think of me, given with all my love”

  10. I use my quilts! And happily give them away too. My daughter has quite a few of them hanging in her home. One morning she woke up and found that my granddog had chewed a large chunk of the border out of one of them! We looked at it and talked about what it would take to repair it, but neither of us has taken the time to fix it – maybe someday… Meanwhile it’s not a tragedy; just one of those things that happens. 🙂

  11. Want the quilts that I make to be used, but not abused. I am careful to make certain that my finished product is one that the recipient really will want. Often letting that person select the pattern and the colors to be used.

  12. I LOVE the look of quilts as table cloths. My friend recently hosted a bridal shower and used a quilt on every table. It was stunning! I recently finished a Judy Niemeyer table runner and have to say that I remove it when we eat. It was my first – but not last – and I just LOVE the way it turned out. I used many of your FMQ techniques and the quilting finished it off perfectly. Thank you for all of the ideas you share with us. You are amazing!!

  13. I just finished a quilt for my friend who is recovering from a TBI. She and her husband keep talking about getting a quilt rack, and I keep saying, “Fine…as long as it gets used!–That was the whole point!!”

  14. Your vase quilt really shows how beautiful machine quilting can elevate the simplest of piecework ( a 9 patch) into a really stunning quilt!
    A wiser, older lady once said to me, “What are you saving it for, the second wife?”—that really helped me get over the “saving it” into the “using and enjoying it” phase.
    I enjoy my quilts and I am really appreciating and using the quilt my family friends gave me for my …th birthday!

  15. When I like (love) someone enough to make them a quilt and I know they admire ones that I own, I ask them if they have a color that they hate. Based on their reply, I make a quilt for them and avoid that color. I love to make scrap quilts, half scrappy and one color is all shades. They take a while to do. I use to hand quilt them , but due to arthritic hands I am taking classes on machine quilting ( Leah Day, Angela Walters, and you). I read your blog daily and practice drawing your designs while I do emails. Thank you for your time and effort.

  16. I make mostly bed quilts, and yes I use them, even with two cats who love them. I change the quilts on the bed about once a month, and wash as needed. I feel if a quit gets too many stains or gets torn, it’s part of that quilts character. When I give a guilt to someone, I expect that person to use it. I would be disappointed if I’ve made a quilt for someone and the only thing they did was store it in the closet. It makes me feel good to go to the home of someone who has received a quilt from me and see the quilts I’ve given in use. Quilts are made of cloth and fiber. Fiber can be washed, and will eventually wear out, but at least the quilt has been loved and brought joy to someone.

  17. Oh yeah, I use them. I use old clothes for my fabrics. Since we’ve all gone to more white I have had a red bleed into the white when I washed them. Four times. A slow learner. I finally test in a sink before I include a strong color. Duh. And I just bought a quart of synthrapol.
    I get caught up in making something and add a fabric without thinking. Think I used dark enough colors for so many years I got away with it before. But no good excuse for being so slow to catch on with newer quilts.
    Yay synthrapol.

  18. I use my quilts and want my family and friends who receive the quilts I make to use them. When I gift a quilt, I always tell the recipient how to wash and care for it, and tell them that I want to know if it needs repairs or attention. I want them to know that the quilt is to be used and loved until it falls apart, and I will be happy to make them another one if it does!

  19. Oh yes, from the cat claw 3-corner tear in a tiny block of my son’s wedding quilt (block replaced by carefully removing the original and ‘appliqueing’ a new one in place) to stains, rips and holes in my daughter’s college quilt. Lots of new bindings added after 15 or 20 years too, but amazingly the hand quilting always holds up!

  20. I opened the first of several seasonal boxes for the Fall the other day to discover mold all over the linens that were in that box….I had packed four small gourds in the middle of the box last year. I “thought” the gourds were dry enough with a shellac coating to be okay. NOT! Washed all of it for several hours in my big washer with borax and vinegar, then a washing scent. Did it work? Not a lot. Hung the table runners and placemats and two pillow shams in the sun. Used Febreze also. Still a hint of mold. Any suggestions on saving my creations? I give away most of the quilting I do with the idea that they will be used and washed. Thankfully, most of my Fall linens were not in this box. ugggg!

  21. I received a table runner in Christmas colors and since I use my own quilts, I used this on my table at the holidays. Alas, it received a gravy stain, so I used the “Dawn” method and cleaned the spot. It was on a white square near the red triangle and sure enough, the red bled into the white. Now what to do? I think I will just wash the whole thing and let it bleed whereever it may. Then at least it won’t be obvious it wasn’t intended!

  22. I use my quilts and always tell the people I give them to that they must use them. What’s the point of putting it in a closet to “save”? I’ve made quilts especially for my cats, who would prefer to lie on a quilt than anything else. The only quilts that my children questioned the use of were a pair of “funeral” quilts for stillborn baby and mom. My daughter couldn’t believe I made the baby’s (which exactly matched the mom’s) knowing it would be cremated.

  23. Definitely use the quilts and admit when I go to my children’s homes, I check to see if they are using the ones I gave them. It tickled me to see my daughter carries a baseball theme one in the car and it attends every game either of my grandboys have played in for a number of years. Loved the comment regarding saving for the second wife! That would definitely be incentive enough for me to use them – LOL!

  24. Not knowing anything about sewing, I decided to make some place mats. My mother asked if I had a pattern. I didn’t and I figured it out as I went. I knew what the finished size was and thought I could cut the fabric like I cut paper. Luckily for me, my boss is a beautiful quilter. She told me how to cut the fabric and after watching a ton of YouTube videos and reading tutorials I made 4 un-perfect but very cute place mats. My husband loves them and they got a lot of use. I think it’s a shame to make something and lock it away to never be used. I have just finished a Halloween table runner that I machine quilted myself. I love your tutorial and how you explain every detail step-by-step. It’s very un-perfect but it’s mine and my first stepping stone on the road to being a great quilter! Thank you for the instruction and the inspiration!

  25. Lovely! I need a new one for my gathering table. Just played the Sewing With Nancy that I’d DVR’d. So nice to see you on there. Good job!

  26. I want my quilts to be used (loved). A stain here or there is ok!
    I am practicing my applique! Someday, I would like to make a Baltimore Album too!!

  27. I use my quilts all over my home on the walk, on tables, draped over stair rails and cupboard doors as well as furniture. I have no children to pass them on to so I try and enjoy each one. Have you tried Ixyclean on your stain? Works great for me.

  28. I have given quilt to all my adult children and told them not to pack them away. I gave my son-in-law his and said the same thing. The next spring he hugs me and said he just loves his quilt. “It covers my tools in the van from getting dusty”. Well at least he is using it, not the way I would have preferred but….

  29. Yes I use my quilts and I expect for the ones I give away to be loved that way too. My Great grandson Nolan cried because his mom thought he was just supposed to look at it before bed. I told her no way it is his let him have it on his bed! Now he is a happy boy! with lots of grands and great grands repairs are just a matter of life!

  30. I also embrace the quilts should be loved and used philosophy. So sometimes accidents happen- anyone had success removing candle wax from a table runner? It soaked through all three layers!

  31. I made my son a quilt–my first quilt. About ten years later, I was visiting him and discovered that it had several holes in it. I covered each hole with a sleeping cat applique. That really brightened up the quilt and made it less boring than it was.

    I made my grandson a quilt–very simple–just large blocks of primary colors. I had it quilted with stars. Well, my daughter brought it to me and it had several large stains that wouldn’t come out. I appliqued stars over the spots and again, it changed the character of the quilt and vastly improved it.

  32. Lori, I love your blog! I’m a “newbie” here but I am finding you have so very much to offer. I have three of my early quilts that I am pulling out of the blanket box and will be used on an daily basis. I began following your blog after I decided to move on past Meandering/Stippling. Thank you for so many options to practise and implement.

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