Tuesday 6 February 2024

A quilts journey ...


Welcome February ....the month of love

I have truffled and gathered each little scrap of beautiful vintage fabrics which are worn with time and stories of their own. pieced, snipped, looked at and held with care and with each tiny stitch is a speckle of my heart.

This project has brought peace, tranquility and a smile to my face. I keep thinking about stories that are contained within the layers of this really gorgeous quilt and the snippets of fabrics, words and threads I am adding, which is a wonderful process and is adding to the tales of the cloth therein.

The feeling that I am adding to this quilt and the thought patterns that I have about seasons as well as all sorts of wonderful little things to explore.  Quotes and sayings with flowers embroidered and applique too.

As I have mentioned this quilt is Canadian and I purchased it from Emma of Little Wren Vintage.  She purchased a bundle of them to sell and all but this particular quilt had labels on that they were Red Cross quilts and she is convinced this one is too.

Having done a little research of my own and practically scanning the quilt with a magnifiying glass  I believe it to be as well. So one of the things is I am going to add is a little cross in a bottom corner to honour that piece of kind history.

It was during the second World War that the Red Cross worked on many relief projects to help ease the suffering of so many that were directly impacted by the war.

One of these projects was to send quilts to soldiers or those who lost their homes due to the relentless bombing raids and as a consequence lost their homes and in lots of cases lost family and friends.  These quilts have become very collectable and are known at ' The Red Cross Quilts'

Thousands of these beautiful Canadian quilts were sent to England.  Each quilt were either gifted or indeed made especially and they had a little label attached which read 'Gift of the Canadian Red Cross Society'

The shame ( in my opinion) is the ladies who made them remain anonymous and it was actually forbidden for them to put their names on the quilts they made.  It seems there is no journal or paperwork on actually how many were made or who worked on

them.  A hidden history lays within each and every surviving Canadian quilt.  The history of many families would be enriched by this knowledge I am sure.

We so need these quilts and indeed the women who made these quilts of comfort not to be forgotten, the kindness and the comfort in those dark times needs to live on as those who made them have all but left us and very few if any at all are still alive to tell us their stories which are now hanging by a thread.

I believe this an important part of Canadas and Britain's history as it is thought that over four hundred thousand quilts were made and sent!

For me now it is very important to only add and not take away the tales of this beautiful quilt that I am now a custodian of.  The idea I have had is to make a fabric envelope that I stitch on and to pop in a handwritten little letter inside for future generations.  On it I am going to embroider the words ' Every quilt has a story'.

I would like to applique and embroider a little cottage on there to represent me and a cosy new home that this quilt now lives in and I have spent the last 10 days sketching ideas and words and quotes for ideas to look at.

My decision has been made to stitch bits onto little squares of antique French linen and lay the quilt out on my dinning room table and pin things on it to make sure they look part of this patching of history and plotting where the words may  go as they will be stitched directly onto the quilt.  I do not want to have to unpick anything at all and feel this way is best  This quilt is delicate with some fraying and a few holes that I am not going to mend or cover over... Its battle scares are so important that they should be seen and pondered over as to who it comforted and made to feel safe in such a uncertain time in history.  

This quilt played a part in WW2 and a kind part that should be remembered with pride.

The enjoyment of the sound of the thread pulling through the fabric of the quilt is a sound that is really very hypnotic to me and its part of the mindful process that is slow little stitches.  I will not be rushing this beautiful project and a awful lot of thought on my part has gone into this, not wanting to take away from its beauty and the stunning work of a lady or indeed a few ladies, but to add to its history with care and love of my own.

A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

I really hope you are enjoying going on this quilts journey with me and enjoying my ramblings too.  I have so many thought and ideas and I wonder do you have any ideas? If so please pop them in the comments below I would be very interested on reading your thoughts on it,

Also I have another two smaller projects starting as well that I will show you along the way.  I think it important to leave the quilt for a day sometimes to look at something else and come back and double check that it still looks right in my eyes and then continue on.  I want to add to here and there but not cover another's work with mine as I have said many a time .... to add to NOT take away from.

As always take care and Happy Stitching! 

Sarah XX


  1. Have you listened to the Haptic and Hue podcast all about these Canadian Red Cross quilts?

  2. No I haven’t Jane I must look out for it! Thank you. Sarah

  3. Your passion for vintage treasures and seasonal delights shines through beautifully! Embrace the joy of crafting and treasure hunting. When in need of a helping hand, consider seeking assignment help Dubai to free up time for your creative pursuits.