Welcome to the Quilting Board!
My MIL crocheted and quilted, she backed her crochet blankets with quilts, and sort of did her own type of joined them together with hand stitching in large meandering squares with embroidery and pearl cotton. I have saved one that she had upstairs, as the ones she stored in the basement got attacked by silverfish and stink bugs. she cut old squares out of old ladies pants (all types of fabrics) and made crocheted quilts to keep warm while she watched tv and read. she also would wrap herself in her creations and sit outside and read in the winter sun. She was very creative with colors, I wish I appreciated her skills years ago.
If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.
Since you said blankets, I assume that they are made with yarn? If you would like to make a pillow: decide on the size of the pillow. Mark a long strip, as you want to make as few seams as possible. You will then need to serge on your mark, on a baby lock as this will hold the stitches. The baby lock will cut and serge at the same time, so as soon as you have serged that part out, go back and serge the seam that is left on the rest of the blanket to keep the seam secure.
You can then fold your strip up and machine sew both sides and finish your pillow. You can line or not, depending on what your pillow form is made of.
I can understand you wanting to create something else if you have so many of them. I can't think of anything else. I have given away some I had as I can't see keeping them in a box, when they were meant to be used. I would donate the ones you won't use to shelters etc....
The question is what are they made of: yarn or crochet cotton. Yarn - you can just use as a blanket, crochet cotton would be nice tacked to a solid color background and used as a bed spread. But if you cut them into pieces, either will unravel. If you have so many, why not consider donating some of them to a charity.
If you want to fashion the crochet into a sewed item I would prepare the crochet before I cut. Determine the size of say the pillow you'd like to make. Then using some light weight sew in interfacing sew the interfacing to both sides of the crochet at your predetermined measurement. You should then be able to cut the crochet beyond the interfacing and treat the crochet as fabric.
If you are not comfortable trying this on your Mother's items first, use something you've made or an item from a thrift store. Let us know how it turns out.
Depending on how attached you are to them, you could donate them to palliative care or nursing home. That's the sort of thing people in my area make for palliative care.
If you want to keep them, I suggest you don't cut them. Use them as you would use a blanket of course.
if you aren't going to use them then there are a lot of organizations that will give them to the homeless or to veterans. Don't keep them in a box give them to someone who could use them.
If you do not want them and family members have enough, then wash them and donate them to a shelter or nursing home. There are places out there that would be so grateful to have them.
I too inherited my mother's prolific stash of completed afghans, many, many baby afghans. She passed away in 1998. I kept them all and as granddaughters married and now great grands are getting married or setting up homes they are gifted with an afghan, note and picture of their GRANDmother.
With care these afghans last forever it seems. My husband and I still sleep every night, under the one she crocheted and gave to us when we were married nearly 45 years ago.
In these difficult economic times, you and your heirs or someone within the family may need money....they could also be advertised for sale if you are not comfortable donating them....No harm in that should someone need the money IMHO.
Smiles from Idaho,
"What if you woke up today with only the things you had thanked God for yesterday?" ~ Michael Hyatt
share them...there are sooo many people in need and would appreciate them........