Pillow Block Quilt

I was in Wisconsin this past weekend, staying with my parents and visiting with family. One evening, my mom asked me to go into my old bedroom and get a quilt out of the closet. It’s been a while since I opened that closet, and of course, it’s filled with all new things since I left. But I was hit with wave of nostalgia when I saw this quilt that my grandmother—my mom’s mom—had made.

(Sorry for the weird light on the picture—the colors at the top are pretty close to accurate.)

I’m not sure what type of quilt it is, but for my purposes, I’ll call it a pillow block quilt. It’s the quilt I most associate with my Grandma Horvath—she made a bunch of them. Each square is sewn by machine on three sides, then a square of batting is inserted, and the fourth side is hand-sewn to the next piece, closing that fourth side in the process. So the blocks are kind of like individual pillows sewn together to make a quilt.

Over time, and with washings, some of the pieces of batting have gotten wadded up a bit, making those blocks look a little like raviolis. The brown and yellow fabric in the center of the quilt are the leftovers from a blouse my mom made for herself.

Instead of batting, some of the quilts have pieces of nylon stocking in each block. Grandma was using everything she had, and with herself and three daughters, she had a lot of old stockings. Note: quilts stuffed with nylon stockings are super heavy.

After a bit of searching around the house, I found another of these quilts that Grandma made. On this slightly smaller one, she sewed half-square triangles to the outside blocks to get straight edges on the quilt.

While I was in the Grandma Horvath frame of mind, I thought I would take a picture of Grandma glasses, too. My sisters and I fondly remember drinking from these glasses every time we visited Grandma. So when the time came to move Grandma from her apartment to a nursing home, we pretty much insisted Mom take the glasses. I love that the palette of the glasses is almost identical to that of the smaller quilt.

Grandma was probably best known, though, for her braided rugs. I couldn’t find any of those around my parents’ house to show—funny how they seemed to be everywhere at one time. But I’m hoping to track down a few for a future post. For now, I’ll raise my Grandma glass to toast my crafty Grandma Horvath.

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  1. I was wondering why the plastic glasses were in front in the cupboard. A bit of info about the glasses, they came filled with cottage cheese from West’s Dairy, Plover Wi.

  1. Pillow Block Quilt in Progress « Christine Doyle

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