What To Do With Vintage Blocks, With Jenny Doan of Missouri Star! (Video Tutorial)


Hi everybody it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got such a fun project for you
today.This is really fun for me. For most of you who don’t know I’m a scavenger. I like to paw through second hand stores and
antique stores and garage sales. I just love it. So every once in awhile you come across something
like this. I got this whole pile of these grandmother
flowers to make a Grandmother’s Flower Garden. They’ve been in my drawer of things to do. I have a drawer actually marked secret projects. It’s not so secret when you mark it that. But anyway I have had this in there forever
and I kept thinking someday I would learn how to make those tiny little hexagons and
put this all together. And then I realized that’s not me, that’s
not who I am. It’s not who I’m about. And so I decided rather than put these all
together normally I would look at this a different way. So what I did was I took a look at them and
I decided to mount these little beautiful flowers on individual squares. So let’s take a look at this quilt behind
me. Isn’t this fun? I mean this is the sweetest thing. It’s beautiful. I love it. I love how it came together. And I didn’t have to cut any tiny hexagons
so, so I really love it. So I want to show you how to do this, what
I did because sometimes when you get these old things or you find something that your
grandmother left you and you don’t just want it to sit in a box. You really want to be able to use it. So this is just a way to do that. So the first thing I did was take a look at
my flowers. And because everything is hand pieced something
what I really want to do is iron it really well. And make sure it’s nice and flat and all
the seams are pressed out. I just want to make sure it’s that. Then what I do once I get this ironed nice
and flat and I have a square all ready cut and ready to go that I want to put it on I’m
going to flip this over. And I’m going to put some, I use this Easy
Steam Too. And it’s just basically little strips of
iron on adhesive. And I want to do it, I want to put some of
it on so that I can hold my square or my flower onto my square. So I’m just going to iron this around here
and you know put, I kind of put it on all the, all the little straight sides like this. Now this is something else I have to tell
you too, hang on a minute, I have to concentrate . It’s hard for me to talk and really concentrate. Ok wait. Alright, hang on. I’ve got to get this, make sure this comes
up there. There we go. Alrighty. Now we’re going to take and we’re going
to scoot these over here. And we’re going to take this square. And you kind of want to iron on your strips
and let them cool a little bit. And then you’ll peel them off. And all the adhesive will be stuck on the
flower and it will enable you to iron it on and iron it down. And then it will stay in place because what
I’m going to do with this is I’m going to sew a blanket stitch around the, around
all the edge of it. You’d think that’s a little more time
consuming than it is but it really isn’t. And I love, I love the relaxation of that. This kind of project is something I do for
myself. You know, if I have enough of these I might
give one to all my jealous children who really want one of these because it’s so cute. But right now it’s something I kind of do
for me. What I do is I try to center it up. Now I can see that this is not quite centered
because it is a little closer over here. And so I’m just going to slide it over a
little bit. Make sure it’s centered on there. And I make sure that I have, this goes three
in a row and it goes in rows of threes like this. And so either this is going to be your top
right here where the little point comes up or the little flat side is going to be your
top. I would suggest deciding which one of those
is going to be your top and then setting your blocks that way. So now what I’m going to do is I’m just
going to press this down again so that my adhesive holds it on there. So then once you get it all nice and ironed
on there we’re going to go to the sewing machine and we are just going to blanket stitch
around this, all around the whole thing. And because, I think, I just use the same
color, creamy kind of, creamy white thread on here and it just blends with it. So I just go around it and stop at every little
turn. Go up the other side. And then stop and go. And then I’m going to go around this whole
thing like this. Honestly I do about four of these a day. It’s something I do for myself because I
love these old blocks. To me that’s one of fun parts of quilting. The older our pieces get, the more we treasure
them. Alright well I think you have the idea and
I have some more of these sewn together. So I’m going to come over here and show
you a finished one. I actually have a little stack of them going
there. And see you can barely see the little stitches
around the edge of these. Then what I did was I just kind of decided
if I wanted this to be a big quilt or several small quilts. And I think you’re going to decide what
you want by the pieces you have. Now there’s one thing that I want to say. These aren’t the only blocks out there. There are lots of awesome little quilt blocks
that sometimes they get put together but they don’t get all put together. You know or all the pieces didn’t get finished,
or you know, I mean I don’t know why people stop with those little blocks but sometimes
they do. But any little piece remember just cut a square
that is a good size for your block. And go ahead and mount it on there. And you’re going to get something completely
different than your grandmother thought of but it’s going to be something really beautiful. And you’re going to preserve one of these
older blocks for another generation. So once I decided how big I wanted my quilt
to be I went ahead and put my blocks like this together. I just sewed them right next to each other. This is also a great time to go ahead and
add a sashing if you want. You know you can do so many things with these
blocks. But I decided to set mine together. I put five across right here and six down
so I used 30 blocks. And then what’s really cool to me is that
these are all old 30’s blocks and we have that reproduction fabric. I mean they make that now. So we can actually put a border on that really
goes with and blends and works with the quilt. And so we put a border on out here. And our border is a six inch border. And it’s the Aunt Grace Floral Pink. And so we were able to just add that border. It looks like the same timeframe and it just
works perfectly with our quilt So I hope if you have some of those old blocks,
this is fun for you, it just, you know gets your mind going and makes you think of some
ways to use them. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on doing
something different with a Vintage Block from the MSQC.

100 Replies to “What To Do With Vintage Blocks, With Jenny Doan of Missouri Star! (Video Tutorial)”

  1. I just bought 50 of these very same blocks and this method was one of the ways I was thinking of sewing them together — THANKS FOR HELPING ME DECIDE!!

  2. You could always use your grandmothers dollies. Seeing as we don't use them and they are just sitting in a drawer.

  3. I have a pile of very old hankies. I wonder if I could do the same thing with them and if I didn't have enough, incorporate some old doilies as was suggested below?

  4. Very pretty. I have old blocks , not grandmothers, but after seeing yours I'll get them out and put them together.

  5. I have quite a number of 1930's quilts that were given to us by my mother-in-law. One in particular needs repaired where something chewed at a few of the prairie points. I've been looking for fabric that will match it as closely as possible but may end up just using the same color scheme. There are also boxes of quilt pieces. If you're interested in the quilt pieces (and I can still locate them) I'll be more than happy to give them to you as I have no interest in them.

  6. What a fabulous idea! and so pretty too…. I have a bunch of those hexi s I made myself…thinking I may use your shortcut…

  7. I've been seeing these flowers together by hand for years now. They're a good project to take with you. Thanks for sharing how to mount them! I never would've thought of that!!

  8. Hi Jenny, I finished my Sashed Half Hexie as a quilt as you go method. I sent it to you on your contact us page. Hope you like it. Thanks again for all you do. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  9. Thanks for another great idea. I have started some hexie blocks that I take with me. I work on them when I get a few minutes here & there. It takes lots of time but they are adding up. You have showed me what to do with them when I get a few more done! I was wondering how to join them in a nice way that would display them at their best. Love it! I also enjoy your sense of humor & your easy going smile & laugh! You make the world a nicer place, thank you

  10. I inherited blocks just like these from a lady in my moms retirement community, about 90 of them, they were made by her grandmother, and she herself is in her 80's, so they are deffinitely antique and have been well preserved. Thank you for this tutorial!!!!

  11. Brilliant Jenny! Now I have an excuse to start hunting for these old blocks…  Love the tutorial, as always! Cheers from Australia

  12. omg thank you soo much. I was given a stack if these my grandma did. I had no idea how I was gonna finish it.

  13. Just what I do Jenny, I apply them to a background piece…..all by hand, I love hand sewing so much, then I embroider them, applique them, anything that comes to mind…..also same as you I love charity shops (UK) I am well known for that, one of the girls says to me…..what are you going to pull to pieces now!! Such fun. Thank you xxx

  14. That's such a fantastic idea. I've never worked with hexagons but after seeing you do this tutorial Jenny I'm going to give it a try. Plus with the help of Qiulty Box I'll be able to make a very large one. Great video tutorial!!!!! 😃👍👍👍😊

  15. Thank you for the idea! It's so true that we so often mourn these orphaned pieces. Now I won't hesitate to bring them home! Not only are your videos inspirational, but I also love your lovely display of sewing-related treasures.

  16. You make want to go and scavenger myself to see what can I find. Going to Mexico this week, you bet I will hit the markets to see what they have. I am like you I love those blocks but will never make them. Love you Jenny.

  17. Love this idea ! I have 2 grandmothers flower garden quilts, from my grandmother, in need of repair, any suggestions out there? Maybe mount your vintage blocks on green fabric to simulate the garden path of the original style?🤗What fun!

  18. What about durability of patches appliqueed with raw edges and only a blanket stitch? Is it really worth sacrifying such beautifull pieces only to find out after few years of using that they start falling apart?

  19. I am with you on being a scavenger LOL…….I have some of my hubbie's gma hex blocks and now I know what to do with them

    Thanks so much for sharing

  20. Hi Jenny, Loved this block. Would yo tell me please what size the little Hexagon are please? They look maybe 2" hm… Not sure.
    and also the whole hexagon block it self.Thank you and God Bless.

  21. I have just been doing this for the past couple weeks with hexagons that my Mum started 40 years ago. She had loads of Laura Ashley fabric and hexagons stashed away, so I am putting it all together in a quilt for her.

  22. I love this! Rescuing old blocks or embroidery and giving them a new life. It makes me feel like I am able to honor the person that started the project and couldn't finish.

  23. Yes !! Thank you so much, a great solution- I do have many of these old blocks, what a great idea. Thanks so much again, Lesley from Kauai, Indulge Retreat

  24. I made some but used lite weight pellon sew all the way around the block cut a slit in back and turned  it out and then sewed to quilt block like the finished edge better I have made   several of the quilt the regular way is not that hard/

  25. OMG, I have over 100 of these I found in my parents closet after they passed. I know I wouldn't be able to match old fabric by joining together. This is the answer for me to get them finished for a great memory quilt. Jenny you are the greatest, finally got to meet you last year at Maysville, KY Quilt Trunk Show. Love your tutorials!

  26. I have blocks of the little girl, I think they are called "Sunbonnet Sue", that were my grandmothers. I told myself when I learn how to quilt I will make a wall hanging out of them. This will be a perfect project for the spring. I had forgotten that I had these blocks and Jenny this quilt reminded me of them, so thank you!!

  27. Love this! From my husband's family, I have vintage blocks and fabric. Are you ready for this!? They still have uncut feed sacks from the 30's! This is a farm family who remembers the Depression! I just about fainted when my mom in law pulled those out. I don't have enough of one style to make a quilt-I don't think- But, you just gave me an idea…a sampler quilt!! I don't know why I haven't thought of it before! Thanks Jenny and MSQC!

  28. GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE! I started hand piecing a Grandmothers Flower Garden quilt using the English paper method over 30 years ago. I got the blocks out again this fall and decided that I will applique them just as you did. However, now to decide if I quilt as I go or sew the top and then quilt in the traditional manner, except FMQ by machine. Decisions, decisions, decisions. I just might have to purchase some of that reproductions fabric for the borders, however. Thanks for sharing!

  29. I made mine into a door curtain to stop the cold coming in! It makes a lovely bright splash in our hallway! Thanks Jennie, from the UK

  30. WOW – you've given us a whole new slant on things (again!). Thank you so much – this is fabulous. Now, I'm going to go look to see if I can find any scraps from Grandma!! 🙂

  31. I just finished a grandmother's flower garden quilt top, by hand. Now I need to sandwich & quilt it. I'm tired of hand sewing! But I see how people get so much money for them…

  32. Thank you! I inherited some blocks from my great grandma and some from a good family friend and they've been sitting in my stash just waiting for something to be done with them.

  33. I also have many of both my grandmother's and my husband's grandmother's handkerchiefs and doilies. I'm thinking this might work to get them out of storage and into something to be remembered and cherished. Thanks, Jenny!

  34. My favorite block of all time! You hit the jackpot on finding those blocks. One of these days I will make a quilt with those blocks. Thank you for showing us how to put it together in a simpler way. Tiny hexagons overwhelm me, but they're so so beautiful. I'm I'm love with this quilt! ❤️

  35. This is the quilt of my dreams!!! i am so so jealous of your find!!! Going to start looking at the Thrift Stores once again…Your idea is brilliant and inspiring!

  36. Love this idea. I just pulled out of my hope chest some vintage unfinished quilt blocks and can't wait to get them in a quilt. I would love to see some more ideas of using and finishing quilts from old blocks. 30's fabric is my fave. Thanks Jenny!

  37. I love this idea! I found 8 point star blocks my great granny had made… not enough for a quilt, so I used reproduction fabrics and made another simple star block and put them together in my "Granny and Me" quilt. I love it. Thanks Jenny.

  38. Jenny, loved this video. I did some grandmothers flowers years ago, pushed them away when I commenced machine quilting, and every now and then, think I must applique them. Your method looks so easy, that maybe in the New Year, they well may be put to use. I love all your video's.Thank you for them all.

  39. I have some fan blocks that my husband's grandmother hand pieced. Not totally sure what to do with them! They are already on a background fabric. Any thoughts? There's less than 20 of them.

  40. I really wouldn't want to make those little hexagon blocked either, but I would love to find some ‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️ I think 💭 you've made the very best of them 👍👍👍👏👏👏 And it's a great 👍 way to use them isn't it 😀😀😀😀😀

  41. I was just sifting through some of my grandmother's unfinished blocks that i inherited earlier today. And after a good, well-needed cry while watching your video, i went back to that old cedar hope chest and started to sort what was in there (ok, i cried a lot today but in a good way.) Because of your cleverness, i plan to finish and gift about 20 (give or take) quilts to her church for their homeless and families in need programs. She didn't quilt just for her family, she quilted for her community but she mostly quilted for her soul … Thank you, Ms. Jenny… just thank you for being who you are.

  42. Quiltville
    December 25, 2013 ·
    'Twas the night before Christmas,
    And the quilts were not made.
    The threads were all tangled, the cookies delayed.
    The stocking weren't hung, the pantry was bare.
    The poor weary Quilter, was tearing her hair.
    Stacks of fat quarters, tipped over in streams.
    Visions of Log Cabins, had turned into dreams.

    When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
    But a bus full of quilters with all of their gear.
    They went straight to work with just a few mutters,
    Sorting and stitching and brandishing cutters.
    The patterns emerged from all of the clutter,
    Like magic the fabrics arranged in a flutter.
    Log Cabins, Lone Stars, Flying Geese & Bear Tracks
    Each quilt was a beauty-even the backs.

    Her house how it twinkled, her quilts how they glowed.
    The cookies were baking, the stockings were sewed.
    Their work was all done, so they folded their frames,
    And packed up their needles, without giving their names.
    They boarded the bus, and checked the next address.
    More quilts to be made, another quilter in distress.

    She heard one voice echo, as they drove out of sight,
    Happy quilting to all and to all a good night!
    ~Author Unknown

    Merry Merry, Happy Happy, Quilty Quilty Y'all!! <3

  43. Would love for a way to make those hexi's easy to sew together…haven't a clue and don't want to hand stitch.. Thoughts?

  44. I have a stack of these same blocks. Is the blanket stitch going to prevent the edge from fraying? I love this idea, both for ease and my blocks are quite frail so this will add a backing. Thank you!

  45. Hello Jenny. I love all of your tutorials and have made a number of the quilts shown. I am pretty sure that I won't get around to making them all! Please would you do a tutorial on using all the old doilies I have collected and been given over the years? What would you do with the few coloured ones, put them in, leave them out?Looking forward to your answer

  46. I also have many of these and always wondered how they would look. Thanks now I know its great! Cheers! LOVE your good-feel shows! Marietta Brisbane

  47. I have grandmother's flowers made in double knit that my mom put together in the 70s and never finished. There is not enough white fabric to do the whole quilt. I wonder if this would work with those, though, because I'm guessing they can't be ironed and the two different fabrics might cause a problem for sewing due to needing different type needles. What do you think?

  48. Thank you so much for this idea. I have over 120 "flowers" that my great grandma made. This is so much more do-able for this novice quilter.

  49. Hi Jenny, my grandmother's house was set on fire by arsonists while she was in a nursing home, but we were able to rescue some of her quilts. One of them is a yo-yo quilt. I want to use it, but is there a way to put a backing on to make it more sturdy? This project reminded me of that.

  50. Could you do something similar with pieces of crochet work that were never put together? And cold you mount them on pre quilted quilt as you go kind of blocks?

  51. My hexis all have raw edges and I don't have a true blanket stitch on my 40 year old Montgomery Ward machine. Any ideas?

  52. I inherited this type of quilt top when Mom passed. Have been looking at it for15 yrs. She came into quilting late and this is one of the few. Thank for he video. Now I am going to look to see if there are some block.

  53. I have 1930's family blocks of log cabin and basket patterns. Cold I put both in one quilt by alternating the patterns? I am not sure how this would look.

  54. Thank you for this tutorial! I have some of these, though not as many, and like you, they've been stashed away until "someday" I figure out what to do with them… Now I have to find WHERE they're stashed!

  55. I'm so glad I found this tutorial! I have 90 of my great-grandmother's blocks just like this and I've been contemplating how to set them. Thank you so much!!

  56. I just got some of these blocks at a yard sale.I had no idea how to join them until I watched your video.you are so clever!

  57. A tutorial using the hexi template to make a version of grandmother's flower garden would be great!!

  58. A lot of time, these vintage blocks end up in the thrift store because the person who made them has passed away, and the estate doesn't know what to do with them, so they give them away.

  59. Thank you for this video I had inherited some handmade flower pieces like this and wanted to honor her and finish a quilt that will make it so much easier

  60. I already joined those flowers together, but I don’t know how to obtain a straight line of a rectangle to finish it and border it.

  61. Thank you so much. I looked high and low what to do with this lady hand-sewn dresden and sample blocks. This is such a great idea and I don't have to worry about the fabric frailing.

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