Alberta Quilt Project: My Family Quilts

In May I had volunteered to help with the Alberta Quilt Project, assisting with measuring, photographing, and assessing materials, construction techniques, and condition of quilts from the 1960's, or earlier.

Lucie Heins, Assistant Curator of Western Canadian History at the Alberta Museum in Edmonton, had put out the call for quilts to come to our local museum for this purpose. 

This became mine when I had a yellow room at age 12.

My family quilts were originally made in Saskatchewan by my homesteading ancestors, so I did not heed the call.

Embroidered and coloured - or coloured and then embroidered, more likely.

It had been my (mis)understanding that the quilts were to have originated in Alberta, but as it turns out, they accept all quilts that currently "reside" here.

A quilt top, never finished, found in my grandmother's sewing supplies.

Sometime during the day I mentioned my quilts to Lucie, and made the promise to document and photograph them for her project.

This pastel orange quilt must have seen lots of use.
The cheddar orange binding was added later to cover the original, worn out binding.

That was in May. It is now December.

Each quilt takes about an hour to document. Since there is no deadline for the project, it has been easy to put off doing the work.

It did nag at the back of my brain, however.

ALL of these quilts are machine pieced and bound, and HAND QUILTED!!!

I had photographed the quilts in June to provide visuals to go with the documentation.

My husband made a stand so I could hang the quilts, and my son and his girlfriend helped during the photo session. (Theirs are the helping hands you see in my photos.)

Like brand new. Never used.

I am happy to (finally) say, "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!"

I finished the last form today. Whew.


It feels good to check this task off my list!

Also, most intensively stitched.
Most worn (loved)

The weather has been very frosty over the last week (to say the least), so staying inside and examining quilts seemed especially cozy.

Close up of frost that formed on the outside of a window.

Now to get the forms sent off to Lucie at the Alberta Museum.

Each quilt will receive a special label indicating that it has been documented for the project. Once the labels are stitched in place, my job will be complete.



  1. Wow, You have a great collection there. I have one of my grandma's but it is so tattered and worn.... I'm wondering if it can even be called a quilt anymore.I have it displayed in "My Room".
    When you first put the fern like frosty display on fb, I thought it was a tree with the hoar frost that we've been having. What a wonderful creation Mother Nature gave you and it's great that you were able to photograph it.
    You've had a busy year. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have a quilt my grandma made for me when I was two. It has been loved to shreds, much like your special quilt.

    Grandma left a few straight pins in the layers, and every once in a while one would work its way to the surface and poke me until I could find it and pull it out. Grandma recycled wool garments (tops of hand knit socks, bits of hand knit sweaters...whatever wasn't worn out) to use as batting. I think the pins were hard to keep track of when she was sewing together all the woolen bits and pieces.

    It was the warmest, heaviest, best quilt ever! Like you and your grandma's quilt, I'll never part with it. :)


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