Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Quilt squares serve as centerpiece

They cost 50 cents, maybe a dollar, but no more than that. I wasn't even going to buy them - a shoebox full of little four-piece quilt squares - but my sister insisted I'd be able to do something with them and wouldn't let us leave without them.

They are simple and sweet, sewn by hand by someone who had a plan for them at one time. But for the last two years, they've sat undisturbed on the closet shelf.
Until this fall, when the agriculture organization where I serve as director of communications hosted Harvest Fest. We planned how to dress up the rental hall. Someone brought in straw bales and pumpkins, a board member loaned antique farm tools. I mentioned this little shoe box of quilt squares.
My co-worker Sarah is a talented artist. She had the creative idea to use raffia to tie a quilt square onto a mason jar. Here she is working the morning of the party. (I'm also happy to tell you two weeks later she had an adorable 9 pound baby boy.)
At Sarah's suggestion, we put a piece of burlap on each table and added sprigs of rosemary to the jars. These center pieces were both fragrant and charming.
Someday, these scrappy squares may be sewn into a quilt, but I think for now they are lots of fun just like this.

What are your ideas for decorating with quilts or scraps?

~Susan Mires


  1. I think each little square should be signed by family members or messages written on them. One day when you sew the squares together you will have memories of loved ones of past and present.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  2. Susan, I love the jars! They are so cute. Kudos to you and your friend for the super table idea. I love Melanie's idea too. You could use the squares or a shape cut from the squares to cover a hole in your jeans or to repair a favorite blanket. They would look cute appliqued on a pair of curtains too.

    1. Oh - the applique sounds like fun! I hadn't thought about that. Melanie, your idea sounds like a true treasure. I do wonder about the lady who pieced these scraps - did this fabric mean something special to her? Was it an heirloom, or something to keep her busy while she watched TV? Either way, it works

  3. What a fun idea, Susie! A friend of mine has a shower curtain made of quilt squares. (She uses it with a plastic liner, of course.) I used to make little quilts (or doll quilts) and I have several hanging on my walls. The texture breaks up and enhances an arrangement of pictures. Not to mention the fact that I don't have the patience for a real-sized quilt. :P

  4. Lora, the "texture" makes sense - I can see that in my mind. I think it would take more patience for a doll quilt because the pieces are tiny!

  5. I love it Susan. There are not too may things you can buy today that are made by hand. Your friend Sarah was smart on insisting you get these. It would be interesting to see what the original quilter would do with them today, what pattern would be laid out. Love the burlap and rosemary too. Elegant additions.