How To Make A Vintage Hankie Quilt

Put Your Vintage Hankie Blocks On Point or Not

There are so many different ways to use all those beautiful vintage hankies you’ve been collecting. Make a beautiful quilt made from your grandmother’s hankies and a few added in. To get started you need to decide how many blocks you’re wanting. Not all vintage handkerchiefs are the same size and not all are square.


Once you’ve decided on the number of blocks, sort through your hankies and determine the size of the largest handkerchief, but only after the hankies have been laundered. 13 1/2″ hankies will make a beautiful size block to put on display. Think about how much of the white fabric you want to show around the sides of the handkerchief. 1/4″ of white around a 13 1/2″ hankie, will make up the block to a generous 14 1/2″ square.

vintage hanky quilt


Hankies generally have a lot of white, and the smaller ones even more. The fabric is thin, and attaching the hankie to a solid white background fabric, the design colors and scallops come to life! A medium length stitch super close to the hem of the hankie around all those lovely tiny handkerchief scallops goes much quicker than a tiny zig zag.

Hankerchief quilt tutorial

Rhonda Dort mentions using a 100wt thread to sew your hankies, and in no time they are in the order for stitching. Lay them out to choose placement, however Rhonda wanted the “visually heavier” handkerchiefs to hold the 4 corners. After that, place and move them until you find balance and love the look.

vintage hankies scalloped edges

To construct the top, choose the color sashing. In the feature quilt 1 1/2″ by 14 1/2″ solid soft pink for the strips, with white for cornerstones cut 1 1/2″ square. This hankerchief quilt is powder soft and sure to be treasured for years to come. Choose to add a scalloped flange or not.

You could also choose to turn hankie blocks on point as shown in the feature quilt. When making her daughters quilt, some of Grandma’s hankies are used, with additional purchased hankies to make up enough blocks for this Moda Vintage Hanky quilt. Use less blocks and make a throw, or a mini quilt, to be treasured just the same!

Moda Fabric Vintage Hanky

quilt labels

It is difficult to choose favorites and if you love them all, use them in all of the squares as well as the triangles! Embellish the piano border if you choose, and add a quilt label at the back of your keepsake. Permission was granted by Moda Fabric, and pages of the Vintage Hanky pattern has been kindly posted on Quilting Board by “Little Bit O’ Heaven“.


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