Susan Elinor’s Quilt

We did it! My neighbor Janice and I completed the alphabet quilt started by Janice’s good friend Susan, who did not live long enough to finish it herself. Susan was making this quilt for her baby granddaughter, also named Susan. She had all the letters of the alphabet appliquéd by hand onto 6″ squares of muslin but, sadly, died of ovarian cancer before she could sew the blocks together and finish the quilt. That labor of love fell to Janice, who enlisted my help.

Over the last couple of weeks Janice and I got together to determine a layout for the blocks and to choose sashing and binding fabrics. I wrote about the process in this post and this one.

Allow us to present Susan Elinor’s quilt:

Susan's quilt, front
Susan Elinor’s Quilt, 39″ x 50

Don’t you love how the red binding frames the quilt and draws your eye to the red letters?

In this close-up you can see the simple free-motion design quilted in the border:

Susan's quilt, detail
Quilting and Binding Detail


The back of the quilt features a print from the Dick and Jane early reader books — a playful nod to the alphabet letters on the front and very much in keeping with the vintage calicos Susan had chosen for her appliquéd blocks:

Susan's quilt,back
Back of Susan’s Quilt


The last step was sewing on the label:

Susan's quilt, label
The Label on Susan’s Quilt


Actually, there was one more step. Janice bought some little finger puppets and toys to put in the four blocks on the quilt containing pockets made from clothes Susan’s daughter Lea wore as a little girl. Look how cute these are!

Susan's quilt pockets filled
A Fun Surprise in Every Pocket

This is how the quilt looks with the pockets filled:

Susan Elinor’s Quilt is Extra Special


Susan Elinor is one year old. She will miss the joy of growing up knowing her grandmother but she will have the joy of wrapping herself in a quilt hand-stitched with love by her grandmother. This quilt will be presented tomorrow to Lea and little Susan at the memorial service celebrating Susan’s life.




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11 Responses to Susan Elinor’s Quilt

  1. Diane says:

    Oh Dawn, this is so moving! You and Janice have finished a masterpiece, a lovely tribute to Susan and a treasure for Lea and Susan Elinor. I can only imagine how well this will be received tomorrow. So well done!

  2. Charlie says:

    Really nice and very touching.

  3. Peg says:

    What a wonderful act by you both, I’m sure there will be a few tears tomorrow but also joy when her daughter sees the quilt made for her granddaughter.
    I’m going through my own battle with this awful disease and am in the process of auditioning fabrics to make a quilt for our first great grandchild, a boy, who is due on the 21st January 2015.

    Peg x

    • Dawn says:

      Peg, I am sending good thoughts to you across the Atlantic Ocean. I’m sure you are looking forward to becoming a great grandmother!

  4. kshackabq says:

    What an awesome gift to little Susan. You did a wonderful job completing the quilt. Grandmother Susan will be smiling on you all tomorrow.

  5. Pam Grogan says:

    What a wonderful gift you are giving to little Susan!

  6. Virginia Hammon says:

    Wonderful! You two finished it beautifully. What a lovely gift for Susan Elinor.

  7. Glenda DeMoss says:

    I love the quilt! It is adorable! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Kristi says:

    Beautiful and very sweet.

  9. Jennifer B says:

    Dawn, what a wonderful project! I’m sure little Susan will feel her grandmother’s love through this beautiful quilt.

  10. anna chek says:

    Thanks, Dawn, for showing us the finished project. It is beautiful! Susan Eleanor is a lucky little girl.

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