Thursday, September 22, 2011

Grandma Lavelle's Dresden Plate Quilt

My grandmother, Lavelle Pyper Wallace, was renowned for her thrifty Scottish nature and her impressive baking and homemaking skills (I've talked about her before, here). When Grandma Wallace passed away, my mother inherited a "day old" bread bag filled with dresden plate quilt squares my grandmother was in the process of making.
For almost fifty years, my mother has kept these treasured quilt squares tucked away, still in the old bread bag, until she could finish the quilt her mother-in-law started.
My grandmother had sewn some of the dresden plates onto squares of muslin, but not all, so my mother carefully unattached them, sewed all the plates onto new cotton, and finished the quilt top. She just had the top machine quilted and will soon finish the binding.
All the dresden plates are different, and were made with whatever scraps of fabric my grandmother had on hand. Remnants from other projects, scraps from old clothing, or fabrics that she found at a discount or that were given to her were turned into something beautiful and useful.

I think it's amazing, Mom! Thank you for preserving and finishing what will be a new family treasure!


  1. These photos are beautiful. What an amazing piece of history and link to another generation. x

  2. What a beautiful quilt! I love the combination of old and new. You have such a great quilting heritage in your family!

  3. Oh my goodness, this quilt is beyond words! What a treasure! It is so beautiful. This was really a labor of love for your Mom. You guys should stitch some history to applique to the backside. The story is amazing!

  4. Lu, that's a great idea! I'll tell Mom and we'll work on something to put on the back.

  5. This quilting is wonderful ! Did you have it professionally quilted ? If so, could you give me a link ? I have put quite a bit into my dresden, and would love to have it quilted as such! Thanks !

  6. How large is the quilt? And how many Dreden's are there? It's beautiful!I just fished sewing together 25 of them for a large quilt. I plan on quilting it myself. Love the swirls you chose

  7. That's a beautiful quilt! I bet it took a long time to piece together the individual pieces. Luckily, it sounds like you got the completed squares :)

  8. Omg...this is my story. I too inherited Dresden plate, but blocks, not just plates. I have kept them in a cedar chest all this time and now retired I thought I would tackle it. I am not a quilter and so here it is 44 years later and i am searching for ideas on how to quilt these blocks when I came upon this post. Mine are on different backgrounds, 5 lilac, 5 yellow, 5 pale green and 5 light blue. They have been ‘blanket’ stitched in embroidery thread. I love the way your mom sashed hers and the white background. Mine being multi coloured I am thinking of not sashing and adding boarders to make it larger. Mine are 15”..not sure yet how to proceed but after all the research I have been doing I have to admire all you quilters out there. I hope I can do as good a job as your mom..I will get practicing and practicing lol hope to get it done before another 44 years go by? If anyone has suggestions I would welcome them.
    PS you posted on my birthday lol


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