My grandparents always had loads of beautiful quilts. Mostly they had acquired them from local artisans or from thrift store finds. With so much inspiration, my Aunt Julie became a talented quilter. While I appreciate the beauty and the handiwork that goes into handmade quilts, I never learned how to quilt myself. I do harbor a secret love of quilting though! So it is no surprise that I am inspired by Jenny Doan‘s brand new book How to Stitch an American Dream (affiliate link below). She makes quilting easier, more accessible, and friendlier than ever before and her new quilting book reveals the behind-the-scenes story of her success. I am so happy to share that Jenny Doan has written a special post to share with my readers about quilting keepsakes.
Jenny Doan is the woman behind one of the most popular quilting sites, Missouri Star Quilt Company. With over 750,000 YouTube subscribers and more than 230 million views to date, Jenny has sparked enthusiasm for quilting and warmed her viewer’s hearts across the globe. Wondering if you can start quilting keepsakes too? If you are interested in learning how to stitch together simplified quilts full of love and laughter, just tune in to her FREE weekly quilting tutorials at Missouri Star Quilt Co. She will answer all your questions about the best quilt fabrics and quilt patterns. More importantly, she’ll inspire with her enthusiasm and love of quilting.
QUILTS: Keepsakes that Last for Generations
by Jenny Doan
Why We Quilt
After teaching the hows of quilting so frequently, it dawned on me that I need to start talking about the whys of quilting. What drives us to create? Deep down we all have an innate desire to make something, whether it’s an artistic creation, a home cooked meal, a carefully tended garden, or a hand stitched quilt. There are endless ways to be creative and there are a variety of reasons why we do it. Some of us create because we need an outlet for emotion; others create because we want to overcome personal difficulties or long to have beauty in our lives. Perhaps we create to share our talents and donate quilts to those in need, or maybe we quilt because of a family legacy, to carry on a beloved tradition. Most likely, the answer is a combination of many reasons—feelings we have never fully expressed to anyone.
Falling in Love with Quilting
These feelings made tangible in a beautiful quilt become keepsakes that are passed on for generations. Many of us are lucky enough to have a love of quilting instilled in us from a young age. I’ll admit, I wasn’t immediately one of those people. Although my grandmother did beautiful embroidery and I grew up sewing clothing, I didn’t fall in love with quilting until later on in my life. I had been sewing clothing for my family and costumes for the theater, but I didn’t actually learn to quilt until I moved to Missouri and took a class at the nearby Vo-tech school. I wasn’t sure quilting was something I could do, but I was curious.
During that class I made one log cabin quilt after another and the rest is history. I felt the joy that comes from discovering new variations on quilt patterns and that joy has remained with me to this very day. Despite not having a love of quilting passed down from previous generations to myself, I am grateful to see that my love of quilting has been passed down to my children and even my grandchildren. It absolutely thrills me to see what they create. And I know these creations will go on to have a life of their own.
Quilts are Beautiful and Useful
Quilts often outlive their creators. Many of us have quilts in our homes from known and unknown makers that we cherish. Quilts are the epitome of form and function. They are both beautiful and useful. Learning to make a quilt is a very hopeful act. It is expressing love that can be felt by many—and for years to come.
When you see a beautiful, handmade quilt, is your first thought “I could never make something like that.” Well, I’m here to tell you that you absolutely can. That is what I do. I teach people how to make quilts from start to finish. It brings me so much joy to know that the love of quilting is being passed on. Will you join me? I think you’ll be surprised at what you can create. I know I was.
Thanks again to Jenny Doan for sharing with us her personal story about quilting keepsakes. I just love her beautiful, easy quilting patterns.
When she moved with her growing family to Missouri over 20 years ago, Jenny never imagined that someday they’d have a successful quilting business. At first they offered basic quilting supplies and machine quilting services, but business picked up when they started posting videos of Jenny teaching quilting tutorials online. Almost 13 years later, Hamilton, Missouri, has become a quilter’s paradise, attracting visitors from around the world. With the help of Jenny’s husband, Ron, her seven children, and 25 grandchildren, this family business has grown to include an entire community! Read more about Jenny’s fabulous story of how she helped revive her small Missouri town and turn it into a quilting oasis. It’s sure to inspire you.
The uniqueness of quilts lies in that they provide security, comfort and beauty. Quilts often last for generations and they are one of the most special gifts you can receive. Do you have a quilt in your family that has been passed down?