I woke up this morning realizing that it was time to make a new signature quilt. My first one made in the mid-90’s is used, well loved, and with nary a spot left to sign.

I woke up this morning realizing that it was time to make a new signature quilt. My first one, Friends and Family, made in the mid-90’s, is used, well loved, and has nary a spot left to sign. Having moved 21 times in 39 years of marriage, it dawned on me that we have a whole new crop of friends and family from whom to collect signatures.

Friends and Family quilt from the mid '90's

Friends and Family quilt from the mid ’90’s.

I suppose the thought was prompted by recent events. My husband had surgery ten days ago and the pathology came back clear just in time for our 39th wedding anniversary tomorrow. My sons are happy and doing well, I have two beloved granddaughters, and for the time being all is well in my world. I awoke feeling tremendously blessed for all the good things in life and the love of the friends and family along the way.

My family

My family


Charlotte and Alexandra

My beautiful granddaughters!

To top it all off, my sister Lisa who has spent the last ten months battling breast cancer (and won!) was married yesterday to a wonderful man, Mark, whom we adore—and I realized I especially need to get his signature as well as a host of others from recent years, but would need a new signature quilt to do so.


Lisa and Mark

My sister and her new husband.

I’ve made several signature quilts over the years for various occasions. The first was the Friends and Family quilt shown above. I made tons of Sawtooth blocks, each from a different print and muslin, and carried them with me everywhere along with a Micron marker. If possible, my friend or family member could choose which block they liked best to sign. I mailed them to my German and French friends as well as to distant friends from previous Army postings. Then I made about 30 extra blocks for future family and friends. Well, that quilt filled fast and so it’s time to make a new one.

The signed block of a friend who has since passed away.

The signed block of a friend who has since                                   passed away.

In addition to a new signature quilt for myself, it’s time to make the wedding signature quilt for my oldest son, Joe, and his wife, Katie. I collected signature blocks at their wedding in 2010 and it’s well past time to get a quilt made. Katie is a quilter too and loves thirties prints. I’ve been waiting for my friend Barb Eikmeier’s Vintage 30’s Ruby’s Treasures collection to make its debut at spring market last week. Her prints are perfect for their quilt.

Fabrics for Joe and Katie's quilt. Vintage 30's Ruby's Favorites by Barb Eikmeier

Fabrics for Joe and Katie’s quilt. Vintage 30’s              Ruby’s Treasures by Barb Eikmeier

Years ago I labored long and hard designing and making a wedding signature quilt for my younger son and his wife. Unfortunately the marriage didn’t last but I did get the quilt back. There may be signatures on there that are meaningless to us now but there are plenty of others that are still very important. One is the signature of a college friend of Pete’s who was killed in Iraq not too long after they all went off to serve.

wedding signature quilt

I put the signatures in the muslin sashing pieces                      between the heart blocks.


Signatures are in the pieced sashing.

In memory of Nate


Each heart is hand appliquéd from a different print.

Each heart is hand appliquéd from a different                                         print.


The Wedding Signature quilt

The Wedding Signature quilt

So what block to use for my new Friends and Family II signature quilt? Well, there’s a quilt, Boxes and Bows, from my book On-Point Patchwork that should be perfect. The signed squares from the wedding could easily replace the print in the center square of the block, making it perfect for a signature quilt. The blocks are super simple to make and just like before, I’ll make each one from different fabrics. And the name Boxes and Bows is the perfect symbol for friends and family—precious gifts every one.

Boxes and Bows

Boxes and Bows from On-Point Patchwork


Boxes and Bows block

It would be easy to replace the block center with a signature block.

I guess I better get started cutting lots of those center squares, buy some marking pens, and get to work. This signature quilt may end up being huge but that’s okay—that means life has been good to us–a true labor of love.

Have you ever made a celebratory signature quilt? Leave a message below and tell me about it. Attach a picture if you have one. I’d love to see all the creative ways you’ve memorialized your friends, family and life events.

Til next time~