Guy’s Grandma Walker’s Appliqued Tulips Quilt

One of my “past lives” was as an avid quilter. Family members seemed to like passing on scraps of fabric, miscellaneous quilt squares, and even unquilted patchwork.

The ingredients for this one came from my mother-in-law’s attic.

Her mother, Teresa (Runkle) Walker, had cut out and even basted all the tulip petals, the stems and the leaves. She had appliqued the design on over half the squares, which she’d collected in a stack.

After figuring out how many squares would be needed for a decent-sized quilt, I carefully washed everything and finished appliqueing sprigs of tulips. By then, I’d decided to give it to Guy’s sister Lois, who loves the color blue, so I found a dusty blue fabric for the sashing.

The top was set together in 1991. I hand-quilted it (my favorite part), using a quilting frame, in 1992. That June, we took the quilt to California with us to visit Lois and Dave. Lois uses the quilt on their guest bed in Concord, California.

Lois does tons of sewing on the machine but I guess she hadn’t realized that Grandma Walker and I had done ours all by hand. One of their guests gushed over her hand-made quilt.

The only thing better than an heirloom is one with a story!


  1. A friend I grew up with is an avid quilter. Thinking back when we were kids, I was surprised, but happy to hear it. She now sends me pictures of some of her great work. I wouldn’t know where to start!!

    • If I had the energy, I’d still be at it! (But it led to surgery for carpal tunnel a decade or so ago.) Most quilters these days do it all by machine.

  2. Reminds me of when my Dad would set up the quilting frame in our dining room so Mom could have her annual quilting bee. She would invite several ladies to join her for the day, and they’d spend the whole time quilting, talking, eating. Then after they left and Dad had arrived home from work, she’d walk around the quilt showing him where each person had quilted. Sometimes she had to go back and re-do some sections where the person had stitched too loosely to suit her standards!

  3. You made such a beautiful quilt with those squares of colorful tulips. Gorgeous! Quilters are a special breed of artistic people who are VERY patient. 🙂

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