Once upon a snowy winter afternoon, in the enchanted cottage overflowing with vintage chenille bedspreads…

img-1397.jpgDisplaying vintage chenille fabric squares in a showy pinwheel design happened on its own one snowy winter afternoon.

Buried deep in snow – and buried in my craft room, too, among piles, boxes and totes of chenille stacked, piled and strewn about – I knew something was out of place, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, to quote one of my mom’s oft-repeated phrases.  Okay, chenille was everywhere, but that was comforting to me.  I loved it all, seeing the colorful bedspreads and fabric pieces, each so unique and whimsical.

I was cutting vintage chenille quilt squares.  Ask any person who chooses fabric carefully, puts in onto a craft mat, measures precisely with a ruler – and slices away – it’s wonderfully relaxing.  It’s as if you’re in your own little snow globe, apart from the world.  Time is meaningless.  Problems and annoyances seem to melt away with every roll of the rotary cutter and a quiet peace settles in.

Those sweet ‘lil vintage chenille quilt squares started piling up.img-0147.jpg

As the plump and colorful tufted chenille quilt squares began to pile up, I stacked them neatly, as I had done so many times before. But this time was different.  Something just didn’t feel right.

It’s as if the vintage florals, plush dots and coin pop chenilles were saying, “Hey, look here.  We’re just too gorgeous to be stacked like something in a warehouse.  With our soft, romantic, bold, sweet and stately hues, we deserve better!”

Ah, they were right. 

About this time, you’re probably thinking that I might be a few tufts short of a perfect chenille bedspread!  But to those who truly love what they’re doing, no matter if you’re a carpenter building a dream home or an artist painting a picture, it’s all an art.

What we’re working on so lovingly speaks to us. Just like the vintage chenille quilt squares spoke up.

Lady Cabin Craft, the Queen of Chenille Bedspreads, Spoke First:

img-1979.jpgI randomly chose a few thickly tufted, flashy and splashy chenille squares.  I folded them in half, like I always did, but it was Cabin Craft who spoke up and said, “Hey, wait a minute.  You’re folding my best flowers underneath!”

Realizing the truth of that statement, I folded them diagonally. Something began to feel right about that.  So I chose another bold splash of vintage chenille and folded it diagonally, too, and started laying each on top of the other.  If a pattern or color didn’t seem to complement each other, I substituted another.  Pretty soon a little pinwheel of vintage chenille was forming, the chenille was smiling, and I was feeling pretty good about the shape of things that were taking place on my craft mat.

Like any work of art (and yes, vintage chenille is a work of art), you just know when it’s complete.img-0901.jpg

When I wrote a story for my local weekly newspaper years ago, I interviewed a well-known and talented artist.  He showed me a collection of his works, and I asked him how did he know when each piece was complete?

He looked at me, rather puzzled, and then simply said, “It’s the same as when you write a story.  You just know when it’s done, when you have your ending.”

How right he was.

That same logic was now proving true to form.  As I folded and placed each unique quilt piece of vintage chenille fabric, a story was unfolding before me.  The colors were so brilliant and bold, it reminded me of the county carnival my parents would take me to when I was a kid.  I remember being enthralled at the endless, dazzling, flashy, vibrant colors that bombarded my eyes.  They were so bewitching, alluring and scintillating that my eyes took in everything.

Vintage chenille fabric just has a magical way of evoking your best memories…

img-0405.jpgSo I named my pinwheel “County Carnival.”  It brought back such pleasant memories…youth, afternoons looking at all the exhibits at the fair, having a picnic lunch with my parents.

But then, the center of the pinwheel looked, well, naked.  Morgan Jones, Cabin Craft, Retrac and a host of other anonymous fabrics spoke up and said, “Hey, put a flower in the middle.”

From scraps of fabric strewn on the floor, I formed a vintage chenille rosette, with a pom-pom cut off from the fringe of a vintage bedspread as the centerpiece.

I placed the chenille rosette in the middle of the pinwheel.  A feeling of completeness came over me, just like the artist so aptly stated – it was the same feeling I had when I wrote an ending to one of my stories.

And so, Charlotte’s Cozy Quilt Squares were born that winter afternoon.

My vintage chenille pinwheel, lovingly put together from vintage chenille bedspreads and fabric pieces, was complete now. 

Each happy color enthusiastically sat next to his neighbor, delighting in its complementing companion.  The middle wasn’t naked anymore.  A plump, four-layer vintage chenille rosette put the finishing touch on the pinwheel.

Each vintage chenille pinwheel is unique, no two are alike.  And yes, copy cats soon saw the beautiful arrays and their own versions of pinwheels began popping up.img-0935.jpg

But artwork is artwork.  Every artist is different.  Everyone sees beauty, color, and textures differently.  And with the endless and delightful beauties of vintage chenille fabrics, a distinct individuality is in every pinwheel.

That’s the gift of vintage chenille.

We’re always creating fun new “pinwheels” to dazzle and delight! Be sure to shop our current selection of Charlotte’s Cozy Quilt Squares now…


How do you know when your project is complete?

“You just know when it’s done…when you have your ending.”

Get inspired for your next project – click to view Charlotte’s Cozy Quilt Squares, or contact us today to request a custom order for that extra special project.