A Quilt Inspired Wooden Chair and a Childhood Story

My family is full of gifted quilters.  I have one aunt that owned a wonderful quilt store for many years, and some day I’m going to coax her into letting me do a blog post about her many quilts (hint, hint, Aunt Lil).  I have another aunt that sews beautiful quilted handbags (well, she did before she became a full-time teacher).  My mother is a gifted seamstress, who has also sewn beautiful quilts.
And then there’s me.
Without constant supervision, and a whole lot of preschool-level instruction, I can’t quilt.  The closest I’ve come, is piecing a beautiful tree skirt, but I took a class at my aunt’s quilt store, and received a lot of preschool old level instruction – otherwise I never could have completed it.
I adore pieced quilts though, and making a quilt is on my bucket list.

In the meantime…
I brought home a cute, sturdy, and simple antique chair from the auction last month.  It was missing one screw, but beyond that, there was nothing wrong with it, aside from the fact that it showed a lot of wear.
At the same auction, I bought a big box full of books.  Some of them were antique books, some of them were old college textbooks, and the rest were a random assortment of other books.  Among them was a book about the history and designs used in quilting.  A light bulb went on in my head.
I may not be able to sew a quilt without constant supervision, but I can paint one, and this little chair was to became my quilt block.

I scanned one of the quilt block designs from the book, then opened it up in my Silhouette software, and cut a stencil for it.  You can also search, “black and white quilt blocks” to come up with an image to do the same.  I painted the image with chalkboard paint, because I like the matte look it has. I distressed over the image once it dried.

I felt like the back rest needed something too, so I scanned another image from the book that gave stitching lines hand-quilters use to sew the pieced tops to the batting and bottom fabric of quilts.

And since handmade quilts have so much history sewn up in them, I made another stencil to paint the words, “Quilting…A Stitch In Time”, on the top of the chair.  I waxed all the painted designs, for added protection.

So…I  made my first “quilt”, and it’s already well-worn…just how I like them!
It’s available in my shop here, but if it doesn’t sell, I won’t mind finding someplace to use it in my home.

Now, for the childhood story…
When I was a child, there was a elderly man who lived across the street from me.  His name was Joe.  Joe was my summertime companion.  I went to his house every morning and helped him feed his yard full of chickens and ducks, and his old dog, “Beagle” (yes, it was a beagle named, “Beagle”).  After all the animals were fed, we went inside and every day he made a batch of pancakes, which the two of us ate together.  As soon as he finished cooking the last pancake, he’d quickly put the cast iron skillet under the faucet, it would sizzle up, and he’d wipe it clean with a towel, and put it away to use the next day.

What does that have to do with quilts, you might ask (or not)?
Joe’s sister, Anna came to live with him when she was no longer able to live by herself.  I wasn’t too crazy about there being another woman in the kitchen with us, but the one thing I loved about Anna is that she quilted.  She set up her quilt frame in the living room, and had bunches of cut quilt pieces laying in neat stacks.  Anna often gave me the scraps she wasn’t using, and I took them home, and pretended to make a quilt with them.  If Anna only knew, that I’m still pretending to make a quilt…she’d probably wonder why she bothered giving me her scraps!

Joe and Anna both passed away many, many years ago, but they are a special part of my sweetest childhood memories.  They are a “stitch” in my life time.


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  1. Love it Angie! This looks so wonderful.

    leelee @ paperbagstyling

  2. I loved your story, Angie…and the chair is wonderful!

  3. What a sweet childhood memory, Angie. I love your chair. It reminds me to get out a scrap quilt I sewed years ago and started to hand quilt. I really should finish it but with so many seams, the hand quilting is not a lot of fun, sigh.

  4. Love the chair. I know what you mean about quilting, my sister is a beautiful quilter who makes it look all so easy. I work with paper, fun how each of us has our own gifts. I would watch our babysitter hand quilt, that always amazed me. She gifted me with a quilt (over 55 yrs ago) and it’s a treasure to me. Thank you for sharing your amazing gifts. Love the “Joe” story, what wonderful memories for you. Peggy P White Bear Lake, MN

  5. I love that chair and your sweet words. YOU always have a beautiful way of speaking to your readers. I loved it all and I always enjoy scripture at the end xoxxo HUGS

  6. sweet story of Anna and the old man neighbor.
    your child quilt looks great.
    I quilted once and decided it’s not for me ,takes way to long to complete a quilt.I like instant gratification maybe 2 days project

  7. Beautiful memories Angie. Thanks for sharing. Love how your quilt chair turned out.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  8. Oh I am sure that Anna knows by looking down from Heaven. Lovely little chair, but I want to know more about your floor! Did you do a post on that?

  9. wonderful, the stories and the chair. I wonder if we realize the influence we have on the kids around us today?

  10. The chair is a true “treasure” and would be beautiful anywhere!!! And the story of Joe…well, I can’t even begin to tell you how touching it is. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories with us.

  11. Angie
    Wonderful story! I have a couple of people like that in my lifetime that gave me fond memories- I would hope everyone does.
    So sweet! I also like the chair it is adorable!
    Now I know your post wasn’t about your floor – but it looks like a paper bag floor, is it? And if so, did you write a post about it?
    As you know – probably, I’ve put paper in my bathroom on my floor- it fascinates me. I love seeing all the different patterns and styles of paper floors. Kind of like the quilts.
    Blessings , Pat

  12. This is delightful, Angie!

  13. What a fun childhood time for you. I love the quilt square stencil. It’s a perfect match for that chair.

  14. I love the chair! So sweet!

  15. What a fabulous little chair, being a keen quilter I LOVE it, and might steal your idea at some time in the future for a chair in my craft room, if of course you don’t mind?

    As for the lovely story about your childhood, how sweet life was in those days. Sadly, if we were to hear of an old man inviting a young girl into his home and making food for her these days, the vast majority of us would be suspicious, how SAD a reflection on society of today.

    • You are more than welcome to use the idea on a chair of your own, Judi! You are right, it is so sad that we can’t just trust our neighbors and not worry about their motives today.

  16. I have the twin to that chair, without the stencils of course, and maybe not quite so used, but otherwise identical. It switches from seating to holding plants. May have to add something more to it.

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