They Were Just 80-Year-Old Handkerchiefs Until Mom Transforms Them Into Beautiful Baby Blanket

by Johanna Silver
Johanna is a writer who lives, works, and volunteers in New York.

As a kid, I loved going through my mom’s closet and exploring all the cool clothing pieces she kept from her parents and her days as a dancer.

Vintage clothing and accessories like this beautiful old travel trunk have a magical air about them that makes them feel so glamorous and opulent.

Self-taught sewer Susan Owens knows the power of pretty vintage pieces, which is why she has been saving her two grandmas’ old handkerchiefs for years.

But after her first great-niece was born, she decided to take a few of the beautiful hankies and make a soft quilt for the new baby.

Though she had never quilted before, Owens got a lot of help from the internet and made sure every detail was filled with love and meaning.

Check below to see how she turned the hankies into a beautiful baby quilt.

[H/T: My Creative Intentions]

All but two of these vintage hankies belonged to Susan Owens’ grandmothers.

And since they were both born in 1905, she estimates that the hankies are anywhere from 70 to 80 years old!

As a gift for her first great-niece, she decided to arrange some of the beautiful hankies together to make a cozy quilt. 

Though she had never made a quilt before, the self-taught sewer got a lot of help online.

“It’s certainly not perfect but it was made with LOTS of love,” she wrote. 

She first arranged the squares, fitting them side by side until they formed the prettiest pattern.

After trimming a few to make them all the same size, she added fusible webbing to make them a bit stiffer.

She then carefully sewed the squares into rows, making sure not to damage the delicate fabric.

“Some of them had been washed so many times throughout the years that they weren’t square anymore so I did the best I could with them!”

After all the rows were sewn together, Susan framed the pattern with pretty pink taffeta.

This part of the quilt actually has a personal twist — it was cut from the dress her daughter wore to her brother’s wedding!

She then sandwiched the batting between her top and backing, pinning everything in place as she went.

Quilting is definitely not as easy as it looks — there is a lot of care and detail that have to be tended to in order to sew all the layers together properly.

Next, all the fabric was sewn together around the edges.

Susan also tied the quilt topping — a traditional quilting method where the top layer is hand-tied to the others using embroidery floss every few inches.

She thought it was an appropriate method for the very vintage quilt.

The finished product looks adorable, and there was so much thought and emotion that went into each stitch.

She even placed her grandmothers’ personally monogrammed hankies in the bottom two corners.

From the super-soft layers to the beautiful handkerchiefs, there is so much love stitched into the quilt.

Susan’s great-niece is going to love snuggling up with the quilt and will surely treasure it for years to come.

If you love getting vintage hand-me-downs from family, make sure to SHARE with friends and family on Facebook.