Personalized Jewelry: Grandma’s Quilt

Many years ago, my sweet, late Aunt Erma, gave to me a very old and tattered quilt. She told me that it was made by my grandmother while pregnant with my father. That would have been in 1930, when my aunt was only 8, a time when women used what they had on hand to quilt with. She pointed to a few of the bright red-checked sections of one of the Dresden plate patterns and told me that was cut from her favorite out-grown dress. The quilt immediately became one of my most precious possessions.Recently, I went about photographing some of the beautiful plate design sections with plans to reproduce them into something special that I could use or display. I rigged my own camera set-up using upside-down stools, books and a modified book rack to hold my camera in the exact same place and distance from each quilt section to photograph.I decided a charm necklace would be a great idea for starters. And for a project like this, PhotoJewelryMaking.com, one of my awesome blog sponsors, has many options for photo frames or bezels to work with. But I’d been wanting to dig into my stash of vintage drapery rings ever since THIS post and thought the quilt images and the rings would be a perfect combination.I cropped the plate images to circles for cutting guides and sized them to fit the 5/8″ brass rings.
I went about creating charms similar to my decal penny project that you can find instructions to HERE.Using Amazing Glaze embossing powder and my little toaster oven I was able to create the quilt charms. When working with Amazing Glaze and paper, there’s a bit of trial and error, especially when your main jewelry piece does not have a backing to catch melting resin. But Amazing Glaze is also quite forgiving and you can usually make corrections by re-heating and re-glazing the same piece. I think my charm necklace turned out pretty sweet.
I made this solitary pendant using a larger brass curtain ring with shabby paint splatters left on it to hold my favorite Dresden plate image that I cut out using my Martha Stewart 1″ scalloped circle punch.
For even MORE fun ideas crafting outside the box, check out my Personalized Jewelry post over on SC Johnson!

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60 Responses to Personalized Jewelry: Grandma’s Quilt

  1. #1 - Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage says:

    Wow! Great quilt and what a great idea!!

  2. #2 - Liszha says:

    super precious story and lovely necklAce!

  3. #3 - christine agostini says:

    beautiful !!!

  4. #4 - deanna7trees says:

    wonderful idea. great way to preserve a memory.

  5. #5 - Elizabeth says:

    Oh my goodness!!! My mom was a quilter and I can't wait to make this type of necklace for all of us in the family from some of her quilts. What great Christmas gifts! Thank you for yet another wonderful idea! xo

  6. #6 - Anonymous says:

    what a charming (no pun intended) idea!

  7. #7 - homespun1 says:

    This is the most charming idea..and to think you are wearing a bit of history so close to your heart!

  8. #8 - Christie Cottage says:

    I love it! Great idea!

    Thanks for sharing :-)

    <><

  9. #9 - Annie Rose says:

    So cute! Im a bit jealous tho – I recently went to my local craft store for some of the powder glaze and the woman told me it didnt exist and looked at me like I was crazy!

  10. #10 - Cathe Holden says:

    Annie Rose, I've never found Amazing Glaze in the stores. Only online, there's a link in the text to purchase it through ornamentea.com

    You are NOT crazy, I'm sure!

  11. #11 - Kim~HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs says:

    What a precious way to preserve and share the quilt…I ♥ it!

  12. #12 - I LOVE color! says:

    lWhat a great idea. I have some treasue quilt squares. You are sooooo cleaver. Be Blessed

  13. #13 - Amy says:

    That is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  14. #14 - Creative Grammie says:

    What a great idea Cathe! So charming, can't wait to try it; thanks for sharing.

  15. #15 - Kimberly Jones says:

    I am always left in awe by your creativity! What a wonderful way to preserve your Grandma's quilt. I come from 3 previous generations of quilters myself, so I know how precious a quilt can be. Thanks for sharing!

  16. #16 - Elise says:

    These are SUCH great tips on SO many levels, it isn't even funny! What a great project and HOT use of photography ideas! Yipeeeee! Thanks, Cathe!

  17. #17 - ~L~ says:

    Such a cute idea.

  18. #18 - Mimi Cross says:

    What a heart touching project! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had remnants from our family past to move forward through time via our art?

  19. #19 - Sue at Dollytub Cottage says:

    What a clever idea! SueXXX

  20. #20 - Createology says:

    What a wonderful way to honor your heirloom quilt as jewelry charms to wear and enjoy always. Happy week ahead to you…

  21. #21 - Sandy says:

    You see things in a way a whole lot of us don't….I am always amazed! This is a wonderful way to honor your grandmother…..just beautiful….

  22. #22 - Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives says:

    These charms are so wonderful…wearing a legacy on a special chain. Thank you for sharing this delightful process. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  23. #23 - Amanda says:

    What a beautiful necklace! you are so creative, how do you come up with all these great ideas? keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing it with all of us!

  24. #24 - Lisa Madden Bass says:

    Cathe,
    I am just speechless, these are beautiful!

    Lisa

  25. #26 - Laura @ Ms Smartie Pants says:

    I love that idea! A great way to keep that quilt a keepsake forever. How creative you are!!!

  26. #27 - Kristen @ ladybug-blessings.com says:

    that is AWESOME! I love that!

  27. #28 - jerriann says:

    Hi, I found your blog through another bloggers sidebar, "granny smith green" and I am so glad that I did. YOur are an amazing creative talented artist.

    I loved my time I spent here, thank you for all the things your shared and I especially appreciated your more serious moment. There was some real wisdom there, thank you for sharing your pain so that others might make it through their hard times easier.

  28. #29 - EmandaJ says:

    What a wonderful idea. The Dresden Plate quilt my grandmother was working on when she died (when mom was 8) is what got me started quilting. I learned so much about my grandmother just by looking at her handiwork. Thanks for the wonderful idea.

    Emanda
    ArtemisiaStudio.blogspot.com

  29. #30 - gm glimmerglass says:

    Hi Cathe –

    I love your pendant ideas! I made your penny pendants, except with nickels, for my atc charm swap. Big hit!

    I also just discovered something called Ice Resin. Have you seen this stuff? It is "self-doming" for pendants.

    :-)

    Thanks!

  30. #31 - Ann says:

    Cathe you are brilliant – love that camera frame! Your quilt is beautiful and what a precious family heirloom. Trust you to think of such an original way of using it as a resource! I want to try this.

  31. #32 - Donna VW says:

    I love this idea – thanks for sharing it.

  32. #33 - Sheri Howard says:

    So sweet. How fun to have a bit of your grandmother's quilt next to your heart!

  33. #34 - Deb says:

    Love, love, LOVE this idea!!!

  34. #35 - Anna says:

    How cute! I recently made a Morocco styled bean bag pouf from cut up jeans that has the same flower design on top and bottom. (It's what happens when i get sick and am stuck at home alone for three days). I love your idea of capturing the quilt pattern in jewelry. Lovely!

  35. #36 - Valley Girl says:

    I LOVE this. I am a huge sucker for sentimental stuff like this. You have created such a treasure that will make that quilt live on. I made a bracelet for my husband's aunt one Christmas that was something like this. My husband name is Newton Harrison Zanes IV. That means that there have been three other "Newton Harrison Zanes" that have come before him. I made photo charms of each of the "Newts" (his aunt's father was Newt II, her brother Newt III) for his aunt mixed in with some pearls. She cried when she say it. Love stuff like that which is just so meaningful.

  36. #37 - Fabulous Pants says:

    Absolutely stunning! You always impress me with your new and innovative designs and ideas! I love this one! It makes me want to do this for the quilt I currently have that is starting to get too loved.

  37. #38 - Gallery32 says:

    Very creative as always :)

  38. #39 - Little Lovables says:

    what a wonderful way to preserve the memory of an heirloom!

  39. #40 - Learning Spanish at 41 says:

    My mother in law would flip for this idea. :)

  40. #41 - marysworkshop says:

    Cathy, this is such a meaningful project using a family heirloom.
    My favorite part, though, is how you rigged up the stand to take your photos. Very ingenious and made me smile!

  41. #42 - José Maria Lobato says:

    Wowwwwwwwwww!!! Brilliant, what a fabulous idea!!! Hugs, Jose

  42. #43 - Carla says:

    What a cool idea, I especially love the modern look of the oversized pendant. Thank you for sharing all your creative ideas!

  43. #44 - Kimberlee says:

    That is a wonderful quilt. I could see using the photos to make charms with too.
    ~Kimberlee
    http://www.TheSpunkyDiva.blogspot.com

  44. #45 - Lisa says:

    What a wonderful way to keep that memory close to your heart! I'll have to try this out!

  45. #46 - Evan's Eclipse says:

    These are lovely. What does the back look like?

  46. #47 - Evan's Eclipse says:

    These are lovely. What does the back look like?

  47. #48 - mosey says:

    wow. what can i say… you're awesome!

  48. #49 - Bonnie says:

    WOW, I love this idea!

  49. #50 - Keely says:

    This is beautiful. I have so many treasures I would love to do the same thing with. If you have the time, I would love some more information on how you used the glaze with the drapery rings.

  50. #51 - Renee says:

    This is so very pretty, Deb! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  51. #52 - Tracelaine says:

    I love your camera rig. If all of your cool and creative projects don't show your ingenuity, that certainly does! Neat results with the baked glaze.

  52. #53 - meg duerksen says:

    THAT is awesome!

  53. #54 - Margaret says:

    I hope you don’t mind, but I linked to your blog entry on my blog. I also used one of your pictures.

  54. #55 - Andi says:

    Brilliant idea!!!!

  55. #56 - Shirley says:

    I loved this idea, the pendant I felt very taken with. I especially loved the fact that you didn’t have to distroy the quilt to make this and you gave step by step instructions on how you did this. Loved the originalty of the whole project. Thanks for sharing

  56. Thanks for this post.I really had a lot of ideas from here..=))

  57. #58 - Victoria Ciolek says:

    this is a super wonderful idea. I am quilt collector. i recently found out that one of my HS classmates is a world renowned quilt maker. I would love to make something like this for her. Since we live in different states and her quilts are on display all over the world, I am going to tell her to take the pictures and I will make them for her. She will go bonkers for this I’m sure. (well maybe not bonkers) but I did! v :)

  58. #59 - Lee McArthur says:

    Where do you get the Amazing glaze from? I live in New Zealand. I also like the jewellery pieces. Can you get this online.
    Love your stuff.
    Lee

  59. #60 - designdreamer says:

    WOW. Just found your blog. Well . . . . . it was a day or so ago, and I’ve been mesmerized ever since!!! Thanks for all the label images, etc.!!! I’m pretty sure I’m going to be using the gorgeous wedding one (with dd’s approval – or maybe I’ll just use them for shower favors and surprise her!) THIS project is stunning! I wonder how many people have asked (I haven’t look at the comments) you where to find vintage drapery rings!!!
    Thanks again!