Quilting From the Heart

Quilting from the Heart JillAlexa.com

Quilting From the Heart

What a comfort to know that one doesn’t have to be perfect when quilting. This is something I learned as I went along on my quilting journey. It bothered me if I didn’t get it exactly perfect until it was pointed out to me that the Amish believe that a quilt should not be perfect, as nothing is perfect except the Lord.

Now as long as I am #quiltingfromtheheart, I am satisfied I have done my best and if the stitches are not exactly the same size when doing free motion quilting, it is not a train smash but perfectly normal.

Affiliate disclaimer: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Featured Image Quilt

The quilt featured above is one I made for Skyler, my second granddaughter. What fun it was to make.

Daniel, Lauren and I went out to a Quilting Exhibition in Stellenbosch and as I had been talking of making a quilt for Skyler we were very interested in what the vendors at the Exhibition had on offer.

We came across this pattern book for this quilt and decided that this is what I would make. It was such a different type of quilt to make with all the applique work but it turned out so well and Skyler was delighted with it.

Actually, I would really love to make this pattern again. Perhaps will make one and put it away in case I ever have a great-granddaughter. One never knows!

Made with Love Quilt Label Jill Alexa du PreezIn the Meantime

Am so grateful for the quilting I have been able to do for my family and friends and that for many years after I am no longer with them, they will have a comforting memory of my love for them as they wrap themselves in their quilts. They will be able to recall the hours I spent #quiltingfromtheheart.

The joy I had mulling over the choice of fabrics and the pattern chosen with them in mind. They will also know the immense pleasure I had making the quilt just for them.

Is Quilting going out of Fashion?

The other day, am not sure of who it was, someone said to me that quilts are going out of fashion. I didn’t argue but know that this is not so as I have a lot of dealing with quilters when I interview and write about them and know that the Quilters Guilds certainly in South Africa are going along very well and have a great number of members.

Judging, also from all the people I follow on Pinterest, Facebook and Bloglovin, there is an enormous number of extremely talented quilters in this world of ours. It is such a thrill to see the amazing work done by these wonderful people and not only women. There are also a number of men who are quilters and who practice other crafts.

My First Large Quilt – Free Motion Quilted – Made for Greg and Kelly

Quilt made for son Greg and his wife Kelly by JillAlexa.com
Jacobs Ladder Quilting Pattern JillAlexa.com #QuiltingFromtheHeart
This pattern is called Jacob’s Ladder and I just loved the fabrics I used. The colours are so vibrant.

The backing fabric was also absolutely fabulous. Such a good find.

What I should also have done was written the cleaning instructions onto the label but unfortunately forgot all about that.

Never mind, I know Kelly will know what to do.

When you know a person so well that you know exactly what interests they have and what will bring them joy, it makes choosing the fabric for their quilt so much easier.

That is not to say one doesn’t have to travel far and wide to find exactly the right pieces of fabric, this is all part of the adventure one goes with when preparing to make the quilt as special as you can.

Piece Perfect Piece

My husband, patient soul that he is, would stop at any little far-flung country village if I happened upon a fabric shop. He would wander about while I chatted to the sales staff and picked through the fabrics until I was certain of what to buy. Sometimes I was really fortunate and came across just the right piece but if that was not so, knew that there would be other places to visit. What fun.

Lauren’s 40th Birthday Present

Quilt made for my daughter, Lauren's 40th Birthday. Read more at JillAlexa.com #QuiltingFromTheHeart

When it came to Lauren’s special birthday, I was determined to make her a quilt and chose to make it in blue and white as those are the colours of her bedroom. As she is married and I didn’t want it to be too girly, I chose to use the log cabin pattern and around the border, I appliqued 40 hearts.

Kate’s 16th Birthday Seascape and Dolphin Quilt

Quilt made for my Granddaughter, Kate's 16th Birthday. Read more at JillAlexa.com #QuiltingfromtheHeart

Kate is my eldest Granddaughter and when she turned Sixteen she requested that I make for her a quilt with Dolphins on it. This was easier said than done. Fabric with Dolphins and other fabric I had in my mind for this quilt was not easy to locate.

Fortunately, we had a holiday planned and it was such a pleasure venturing into all the quilting shops along the way with Kate’s special seascape quilt in mind. There is something so special to wander around a shop filled with wonderful fabrics and one can get carried away. It is a good thing to go with what you really need, in mind. Despite this, it is still so easy to buy just in case it might come in handy sometime.

This is not only a problem I have. After speaking to so many quilters, I find it is a common problem and a lot of them say they don’t go shopping for fabric with their husbands as they just don’t understand.

Kate’s quilt was finished in time for her birthday and she was delighted with it.

This is the border of Kate’s quilt.

Quilt Border - Made with Love for Granddaughter, Kate by Jill Alexa du Preez #QuiltingfromtheHeart

When we moved from the house to the retirement village it was such a wrench for me to part with bags and bags of fabric, patterns, lace, trimmings etc. What made it easier was the fact that it was making the recipients so happy to receive this bounty. Although I had to get rid of so much I was determined to hang on to my stash of quilting fabric and I am so glad that I did.

However, I did have a slight wobbly, a couple of weeks ago and thought I should just give the lot away. I even packed each piece into bags marked quarter, half, meter, one and a half meters, and 2meters and more in preparation of getting rid of it all. Went into a bit of a depression but thankfully came out the other side and still have the fabric.

Flights of Fancy

Fairy Quilt Made with Love by Jill Alexa du Preez for Kiara #QuiltingfromtheHeart

Have an order to make a little girl quilt for Alice and am so happy as I have just the right fabric which will make her very happy. She wants a fairy quilt as this is the quilt I made one for her sister, Kiara.

Creativity Breeds Content

My Bernina is in for a service at present and will be away for approximately two weeks so have time to plan the quilt and have the quilt plan ready and fabric ready to prepare, when it comes back.  Joy of joys.

Besides the handmade quilts and cushions, I did many years ago, it was only once I began making quilts for a charity and the Church that I became hooked on quilting again. So many other things had occupied me during the intervening years.

Smaller but still a pleasure

Now that my husband is being cared for and that I am essentially on my own, I can spend time and also spread myself out a little to make smaller quilts. Being assured that he is being well cared for gives me comfort and by keeping busy quilting and blogging am able to refocus my mind from worry about creativity.

No longer the King size and Queen size quilts I made for the family and for orders. That was easier when I had more space and also a carpet on which to pin the backing.

I would love to hear of the lasting memories  “from the heart”  that you are planning to leave for your loved ones.

Jill Alexa

Jill of all Trades. Master of Many. Too busy to die.


  1. This site brought back many memories my mom was a quilter and I have many of hers she passed away on the 30 of August. And my dad was. Quilter of course he thought I would never tell. And I didn’t while he was living both of there are now priceless to me.
    I love this site and will revisit I think it is beautifully done and easy to navigate.

  2. I believe that it is so amazing when a person can sit down and with their imagination produce something as beautiful as a quilt. I think this is just so amazing and as far as quilting being outdated this is here to stay because i love quilt and so do many other people. This for sharing this informative post on quilt.

    • Hi Norman,

      Thank you for the lovely comments. It was a great pleasure to share these with you.

      Kind Regards,


  3. This post reminds me of my grandmother. I would love to sit with her whike she quilted. Me being a guy, I never wanted to quilt with her. (I guess that was just me trying to appear tough) But those are some of my favorite memories of her. And the quilts you have made and pictured on your post are absolutely stunning. Keep up the good work.

    All the best,


    • Hi Andrew, What wonderful memories to cherish of your grandmother. I know of quite a few men who quilt and knit too. Years ago, I recall meeting a man who had knitted a huge piece of knitted cloth and covered his lounge suite with it. It looked great.

      All the best, and thank you for the lovely comments,


  4. Hi,  Jill.  What a lovely post.  Your granddauhter is very lucky to have such an attentive granny.  It is great that perfection is not a must in knitting.  So you can do it without too much stress.  Your daughter and granddaughter will not count the flaw.  They will only see how much your love who give your time to create a gift for them.  Time is the greatest gift for the love one. 

    • Hi Melani, Thank you so much for reading and the lovely comments on my post. They children and grandchildren know how much love comes to them with each of these quilts.

      I am sure they will cherish them

      Best wishes,


  5. Personally I love home made goodies and you are so right they shouldn’t be perfect if they are made by hand. I have a lace tablecloth that my grandmother made and we used to eat every Christmas dinner at her table with that tablecloth. It is amazing for me to have it since my grandmother passed away when I was 21. 

    The quilts you have made for your grandchildren will be cherished and handed down for generations!

    • Hi Lynne,

      Thanks for these lovely comments. I can just imagine how special that is to have your Christmas table set with that very special cloth. It is things like these that keep the wonderful family traditions going.

      Best wishes,


  6. What beautiful masterpieces you have made! It seems to me a complicated process at all. Most of all I like Kate’s 16th Birthday Seascape and Dolphin Quilt.

     I am not sure but as I remember my nanny did some quilting, but she did it by hand. Anyway, even with the help of modern computerized sewing machines, it must be very difficult. From the other hand, it’s a real pleasure, I guess.

     Great job!

    • Hi Andrejs,

      Wow! Thank you for the lovely comments. I have enjoyed making all the quilts. It is a pity I did not keep a record of the ones I have made for orders. At that time, I had now idea I would one day be a blogger.

      Kind regards,


  7. Hi Jill,

    I always love to come to read your website, and today what a wonderful article you’re sharing.

    I agree with you, when you say quilts don’t need to be perfect, I also heard about why they shouldn’t be perfect, and how old times ladies, when they were making a quilt and it was so perfect, they should do a little mistake here or there so the quilt wan’t perfect.

    What a beautiful quilts you have made, love them all, and all of them show how a great quilter you are!

    I also don’t believe making quilts is an old fashion hobby, every day I can see more and more young and mature quilters keep working on their quilts and sharing them with the rest of the world.

    You can take a look to some quilting groups on Facebook and the group of members can prove there’s an interest from people to keep working on quilts.

    Thanks for sharing a good article to read to know more about quilts and to take a look to some of your beautiful quilts.

    • Hi Alejandra, You are so encouraging in your lovely comments. Thank you so much.

      I am so sorry that I cannot make any of my big quilts any longer as have no space now and also it is too hard on my poor knees and eyesight. Am about to begin another fairy quilt soon. 

      I have met so many wonderful quilters and admire their work so much.

      Best wishes,


  8. Wow these designs are so beautiful. I would be happy to come back home to my bed every day if I have these. Especially the blue one. I feel it is the best. Where can I get it if I am not in America? I hope there is no shipping cost to send to me.

    • Hi Kit, Thank you so much. I also love the blue one. Unfortunately due to my poor eyesight and limited work space, I am no longer making quilts for orders. You would need to source a quilt closer to where you live.

      Best wishes,


  9. Hi Jill

    Thank you so much, a beautiful website,  full of such artwork, love and dedication.

    A beautiful read.

    I have dabbled in quilting, but I am sorry to say not  with the passion that you have.

    We need inspiration,  your pictures, of your beautiful quilting that  you created, that your  children and  your grand children will cherish forever and continue to pass down, is inspiring.



    • Hi Michele,

      I’m afraid quilting can become rather addictive but gives so much pleasure. I hope you give it another go.

      Thanks for you wonderful comments.

      Best wishes,


  10. Oh, how wonderful! I’ve always admired quilts and often thought of making one myself. I know it must take a lot of patience and skill, but I really appreciated your comment that it really doesn’t have to be perfect. I think it’s all part of the process and enjoyment in creating something unique! I particularly loved the blue and white quilt you made for Lauren – it’s stunning. Well done! 

    • Hi Rachael, Thank you for reading my post and the lovely comments. Quilting is enormous fun and so satisfying as you end up with something so beautiful and useful. I also love the quilt I made for Lauren. The blue an white are so striking. 

  11. Omg these quilts are so cool! I remember my mum used to make quilts for us when we were kids and she’d always make the coolest ones too! I think I still have them!Quilts are so creative and expressive, I’ll definatly have to ask my mum where those quilts are because they bring back so many memories!

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