What To Do With Vintage Hankies!

Customer Quilts | August 24, 2015 | By

Quilt them, of course! This is the first in a series of “What do I do with my grandma’s hankies?” I’ve got a few ideas for you. YES, this began as a hankie! Tucked away in the drawer of a dear friend. Don’t we all have them?


This original hankie came from my good friend, Susan. She had saved a bunch of hankies from her grandmother, so I’m guessing this to be about 100 years old. After doing a bit of research, I think it is Irish lace. If anyone knows anything different, I would love for you to comment!




It’s about 12″ square and in perfect condition! I knew it would become a pillow with some beautiful satin shining through the lace.


I used two layers of batting and then put the champagne colored satin on top, ready for quilting!


I outlined the pillow size I wanted, about 15″ square. On one side I did an all over texture that will be the pillow back. I then stitched down the middle square on the right side.


Here is a GREAT view of the two together! I LOVE the texture for the back. I used a computer design for the back and also for the triangle corners of the pillow top.


I stitched around the perimeter of the lace and then did some straight line stitching around the whole square. Then I added the corner designs with the computer.


The middle square is also from the computer library. I also added the string of pearls. Wouldn’t all of our grandmothers have had pearls?!


I am in LOVE with this pillow, every little bit of it! So much so, I happened to find the SAME hankie on Ebay this week. Coming to me from Australia, for $6!!! Susan and I will have twin pillows, but hers will be very sentimental and I’m sure she will think of her grandmother every time she makes her bed.


Enjoy both sides! It is an absolutely luscious pillow. I always wish we had feel-a-vision with beauties like this!



  1. Leave a Reply

    August 24, 2015

    You just keep getting better and better. This is lovely!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Terry Rowland
    August 25, 2015

    Your work is inspiring Kelly. Thank-you for sharing your process

  3. Leave a Reply

    August 25, 2015

    What a lovely pillow. The combination of satin, lace and pearls.is so elegant.

  4. Leave a Reply

    August 26, 2015

    I love your work. You are a great source for inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Nancy Cobler
    August 28, 2015

    Hi Kelly! This hankie is French Handsewn. That little square picot that is between the lace and the solid center fabric acts as a connecting bridge and is called entredeax. It comes with solid fabric on either side which is carefully trimmed away then butted up to the edge of the fabric or lace that it is being attached to. The remaining edge is still intact so that you have something to hold onto as you handstitch or feed it through your machine which is set to have the needle hit those itty bitty holes exactly. So chances are this hankie has either French or Southern US origins! It is a really fun technique to try!

  6. Leave a Reply

    August 29, 2015

    Gorgeous! Another creative idea from Kelly.
    …maybe I should fish out some of my old handkerchiefs…
    The lace looks like Hardanger to me, anyone else?

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