Sunday, May 08, 2022

A Sofa Lap Quilt for Mother's Day

My latest Janome project is all about sustainability, reusing textiles, and remaking older quilts into new projects. I found several hand-quilted pieces when my Mom moved out of her townhouse to senior living.  I held onto them because we do NOT throw out handmade goods.

My Mom took up quilting as a hobby when she retired and she only hand stitched the pieces. I probably should say she took up piecing because while I found several of these, none of them were finished. After starting a few of these she stopped because this really wasn't for her.

So she was throwing out the panels because she saw no value in them. I saw their beauty and knew they could become something worthwhile. I knew I needed to update it to become a sofa lap quilt. That journey is documented below.

First though, let me say that I'm not a quilter.  I didn't use a walking foot or engage in any real quilting techniques. I used my dressmaking knowledge to put this together.  So any quilting inaccuracies are solely based upon user error. 

How to Change the Panel into a Lap Quilt

Materials ~

Found quilted top

2.5 yards of 59" wide fleece

8 yards double fold bias binding

Construction ~

Using a "found" or "passed down" patchwork piece, this should take a weekend to finish.

I re-stitched all of the hand stitching on the panel. My Mom used quarter inch seams so it was really easy to just sew over the hand stitching to reinforce the seams.

After the piece was reinforced, I laid the panel and the fleece out, wrong sides together making sure to leave 2-3" of extra fleece around the panel.

Then I pinned the panel and the fleece together. I stitched around the entire outside of the panel to secure it to the fleece using a 4.0 straight stitch.

I stitched the lines down on either side of the main sashing pieces, also. After all those lines were stitched down, I cut off the extra fleece around the piece to prepare it for binding.

I added bias binding to the edges of the lap quilt. Special care was taken to fold the bias binding in at the corners.

This was a quick project so I didn't do a normal miter at the edges. I folded the fabric over the edges using the steps above. It was quick, easy and served its purpose.

I'm giving this to my Mom for Mother's Day. It's a sentimental gift that I know she'll love. We see these unfinished pieces/panels at thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets. I'm encouraging you to pick one up, finish it and add it to your home decor or give as a gift.

I do have two more panels of hers so sooner or later they will show up here reimagined as something else. BTW, a version of this post has already appeared on the Janome blog. always more later!


  1. What a beautiful way to finish the unfinished and honor your mom for Mother's Day!

  2. Happy Mother's Day Carolyn. This is a beautiful and clever gift for your mother, and I love the way you have used a pretty floral fleece to back the quilt. It will wash and wear well and I am sure will be greatly loved.

  3. Thank you for keeping and lovingly remaking. I am a quilter and it pains me to think that someones hard work will just get tossed.

  4. Beautiful, Quilts are useful things meant to be used : )

  5. What a sweet lovely gift. Happy Mother's Day!

  6. I love everything about this. What a beautiful way to honor your mother. g


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