Saturday, September 4, 2010


I have a small collection of old hankies. Believe it or not, it's amazing how many people collect these. While I'm in favor of a Kleenex these days, I can remember when I lived at home and had a cold, my parents said "use a hankie." The cotton cloth was easier on the skin than a paper tissue.

A lot of my hankies are more for show than for blow, but it was nice to have one ready in my purse at the weddings of our girls. Fortunately those hankies were good for wiping a tear rather than a full blown sob :D

I was leaving a quilt shop one day when an elderly woman came in to pick up her just-finished quilt. The shop owner told me to wait to see her quilt. I kind of thought this woman's taste in quilts would be about 180° different than mine, but I hung around just to be polite. Boy was I wrong! She had been a teacher in some of the small area schools years and years ago. Quite often she would receive a pretty hankerchief as a gift at Christmastime (oh for those simpler days). She had taken some of her prettier ones and stitched each to a large square of a quilt fabric and then sewed all the squares to make a quilt. With the intricate machine quilting, the finished quilt was absolutely stunning. To this day, I wish I had a picture of that quilt.

Will I ever put my collection into a quilt like this? I'm not sure. There are tons of other projects in the works right now, but I keep thinking about that quilt. Maybe someday.

If you are a fan of hankies or handwritten notes, check out this link.


Thelma said...

This was the nicest post. I've heard of ladies making quilts from antique hankies but have yet to see one. I remember giving hankies as gifts, I agree, what simpler times!

Those notes are adorable.

Farming On Faith said...

I love hankies~I am heading there!
I woke up to 47 degrees this morning. It sure looks like Fall has come early!
You have a lovely Saturday!

Laura said...

My husband went with me to a conference this summer and he was such a good sport that I told him that we would do whatever he wanted for the whole drive home. One of those things was stopping at antique shops, something I had never really gotten into. Well, he got me hooked! Now, we stop almost whenever we see an antique shop. I am intrigued by very old photos of children and babies, but I did buy a couple of hankies recently and I think that may have started a new collection. Although, my real passion is finding every day items that were mentioned in the Little House books.
What a wonderful quilt idea! It must have been lovely.

Cora said...

I have plans for a hankie quilt. I have collected heirloom type hankies and have them ready to be placed together by my husband's counsin's wife who loves to quilt. I have not gotten the in-between fabric or the backing she is waiting on me for will be beautiful!
I love vintage hankies!

Karen said...

Those cotton hankies are very soothing to a sore nose when you have an awful cold. I used to have a small collection of them but donated them to a fund raiser. Wish I had kept a few of the fancier ones.

Dolores said...

I remember receiving some beautiful little hankies when I was a little girl...... I probably didn't appreciate them like I should have....but I did hang on to them for many, many years..... bring back the good ole days!

Linda Stubbs said...

Love hankies. Have some that was Mr. Phil's Mom. I have seen curtains made up, but never a quilt. Cute idea!Hope life is being good to you!!!It is so busy for me.........enjoyed coming over and enjoying myself catching up!!!!!!

Hugs sweet friend, Linda
Having a giveaway......come over if you like!

Unknown said...

What a lovely story! One of our guild members used hankies skirts for her embroidered ladies. Each block was a different style dress. I wish I had a picture to share with you.

Barb said...

How sweet this is to read, thank you for sharing with us. I have saved Vintage hankies for the purpose of making a quilt, but they are so delicate and fragile I did not know how to proceed! I never thought of backing them for strength! Some belonged to my MIL and I considered making a bedroom throw pillow for each of my adult children, because it would be something belonging to their Grandma, she always carried a cloth hanky in her purse! Have a wonderful week and blessings to you!

Chrissy said...

Saw in a magazine an idea for old hankies. Haven't done it yet but have collected my grandmother's old hankies for the project. Sew two rows together and make into a table runner. The Busy Beaver at

Donna said...

I have been collecting vintage hankies for a quilt! I purchased three more a couple of weeks ago. I have seen several ideas over the last couple of years.
Thanks for sharing!

Sewn With Grace said...

Love hankes, love the quilt idea, love the website. Have a wonderful day!

Windy Meadows Farm said...

So nice...ahhh, for the simpler days.

Hankies are very pretty stitched on aprons as pockets too. Hmmm, you've inspired me!

Angie Berry ~ Berry Homespun Primitives said...

Oh how wonderful! I bet that quilt was beautiful! A quilt is a lovely way to put all those heirloom pieces together.

Christy said...

A Hankie quilt! What a lovely idea. I too have a bit of a collection (mostly gifts from Grandmothers and Great Aunts - but each very precious). Many I use, but others I store carefully and only pull out to look at on occasion. This would be a lovely way to display them all the time - of course, I might be forced to buy more... haha That certainly wouldn't be a drawback. :)