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Thread: Question about using hankies for quilt.

  1. #1
    LMB
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    Question about using hankies for quilt.

    A friend gave me quite a large stack of her mothers hand embroidered handkerchiefs, and some pretty cotton material. she asked me to make her a quilt as a keepsake, as her mother passed on. My question is this. The handkerchiefs while in good condition and very pretty... are very thin. would it be good to use a stabilizer fabric (maybe an iron on) on the back of them before attempting to put them in a quilt? I don't want to ruin them, but I also don't want to make the quilt so delicate she cant display it either. Thank you for your help.
    Linda
    I never met a quilt I didnt love.

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    A stabilizer or an iron on interfacing would be my choice. I have seen a quilt where the handies were folded into a fan shape and appliqued onto a block. Under the fan was appliqued a ribbon bow and streamers. What do your friend's hankies look like? Are they all white with delicate embroidery in the corner? Lace insets in the corners? Are they the same sizes? My mother carried a very fancy hanky when she got married, I carried the same hanky when I got married, my daughter and granddaughter carried the same hanky when they got married. It was the "something old" I think my GD had it stuck in the waistband of her panties! LOL! If your friend has children she might want to keep one special one out for something like weddings and not put them all in the quilt. Just a suggestion.

  3. #3
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    I have a couple of the hankies that my Grandma made & used. I was planning on folding them like butterflies & appliqué ing them on to a quilt. They are very thin also & if I were using them more like a block in the quilt they would need something to make them more durable. I'm not sure I'd want to iron anything on to them. I don't know the answer so I'll be looking here for suggestions.

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    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    You may try to find this book called Hankie Pankey on line. It may give you ideas also. I am wanting to do this with my Grandmothers hankies also. Good luck with this project. you are very brave.
    Suzanne
    Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.

  5. #5
    LMB
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    All the hankies are old. Once white, now a little yellow with age. Some have crochet edges, some have her initials. Others have flowers embroidered on them. The basic colors with few exceptions are green, pink, and blue...all on white. The material she gave me is also vintage... tiny pick flowers on white, tiny blue flowers on eggshell, and green leaves on cream. I think she thought if we went with pure white it would make the hankies look dingy. She soaked them and washed them herself. You can tell they are clean, but old. She wanted me to use the hankies as blocks with the colored material in between. They are so delicate and the material is heavy cotton. I would be willing to sew a white material to the back of them... I just thought something like a shirt interfacing would work better. Please keep mulling this over for me and help me decide. By the way, she kept 3 of the nice ones out to give to her sons wife if he marries, and her two nieces if they marry. Thanks for all your help... going to look up Hankie Pankey... hope I dont get some porn site. LOL
    I never met a quilt I didnt love.

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    My sister did a hanky quilt. I think the pattern was a Crabapple Hill Design. There were embroidered Tea Pots sitting on the hankies that were folded into triangles, they looked like tableclothes, it was beautiful!

  7. #7
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    There is also a butterfly block that you can make from folding the hankie. A very 1930s style quilt. I love this block but have never collected enough hankies to make on of my own.

    Book: Memory Quilts in the Making

    Edited by: Rhonda Richards

    Oxmoor House publishing & Leisure Arts, Inc. 1999

    Pattern: Flutterbys

    I hope you can find a picture of it. A very cool quilt.
    peace

    It is perfectly ok to iron lightweight interfacing onto the back of these little beauties.

    You can whiten them with Orvis soap or oxiclean but NO NO NO Bleach.
    Last edited by ube quilting; 01-22-2013 at 04:15 PM.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

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    I made a hankie quilt by hand stitching each hankie to a white block then put sashing between the rows. I knotted in the center and each corner or each hankie to hold it in place, it is very pretty. The blocks were white and sashing is light green.
    Jothesewer

  9. #9
    LMB
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    Quote Originally Posted by ube quilting View Post
    There is also a butterfly block that you can make from folding the hankie. A very 1930s style quilt. I love this block but have never collected enough hankies to make on of my own.

    Book: Memory Quilts in the Making

    Edited by: Rhonda Richards

    Oxmoor House publishing & Leisure Arts, Inc. 1999

    Pattern: Flutterbys

    I hope you can find a picture of it. A very cool quilt.
    peace

    It is perfectly ok to iron lightweight interfacing onto the back of these little beauties.

    You can whiten them with Orvis soap or oxiclean but NO NO NO Bleach.
    I found this very helpful, but I have never heard of Orvis soap. Where do you purchase it?
    I never met a quilt I didnt love.

  10. #10
    Super Member Evie's Avatar
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    LMB, if you haven't checked it out, go to littlebitofheaven's post about her beautiful hanky quilt, including a pattern by Moda. This is the pattern I'll be using for my mom's hankies.

    My daughter's hanky quilt including the pattern
    "I keep my end tables full of needlework and quilting so I don't have to dust them." ~ Author Unknown but I agree!

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