Patches From the Past
Scraps of Fabric, Sewing & Quilting History

Family Quilt Memories

~ tell your stories of those old quilts you love ~

The love of old quilts is nothing new to Renee' Wall Rongen. She has been collecting old quilts, feed sacks and vintage fabric for years. Not sure what will ever become of her collection, she rotates and displays them prominently in her log home.

Until five years ago, these quilts were someone else's treasures that she acquired as her own. Upon her grandmother's death, Renee' was entrusted with her grandmother's vintage quilt. The quilt she fondly remembers as a child on her grandmother's squeaky bed in an old farmhouse was now her own.

find  this book at

Due to the demise of the quilt's stitches and batting, she searched for a quilter who could repair the tattered family heirloom, so she could restore it and pass down to her own children. It all seemed an exercise in futility as each quilter told her "the quilt is beyond salvaging." Each encouraged her to make a large table runner with the salvageable pieces.

Table runners were not what Renee' had in mind, however with the enlistment of her three children, together they came up with a solution for sharing her grandmother's quilt with everyone in her family. She documented the transformation for her children, so that they may always remember the importance of the heirloom quilt and the woman that created it.

Upon hearing and seeing the transformation, Renee' was encouraged to write not only her memories for her children, but share them with others. Her memories became the basis for her nationally acclaimed book, Grandy's Quilt…A Gift for All Seasons (Expert Publishing, 2004). Since its release in June of 2004, the book has sold nearly 10,000 copies. In addition to the book's release, readers throughout the world requested the pattern for Renee's quilt transformation. The patterns were released two months later.

click here for this pattern collection

Until eight month's ago, Renee' was a quilt collector, however writing the book and speaking about her experiences across the country has inspired her to take up where her grandmother left off. Renee' is not only collecting quilts, but making her own family memories for her friends and family. She purchased her first sewing machine and has taught herself sewing and quilting basics. She is making quilts replicating those of years gone by. She says, "I've got the bug. I'm addicted, collecting fabric whenever I get the chance. My Grandy's quilt has changed my life in so many ways. Her legacy is not only in the quilt's remnants, but in my own stitches."

Renee's book Grandy's Quilt…A Gift for All Seasons and her Heirloom Patterns are available at quilt stores across the country and on her website at She has received numerous stories from readers sharing their experiences of treasured family heirloom quilts. Renee' will be featuring those stories in her upcoming (yet to be titled) book. To include your heirloom quilt story, send it to Renee' at

In addition to author, Renee' is a nationally recognized humorist/inspirational speaker. She shares her message of "Life is Short…Live Your Legacy" with organizations across the country. For more information on Renee's speaking topics and availability for your next association, guild or women's event, please view her website at or contact her at 218-687-2593.

© 2005 Renee' Wall Rongen (do not reproduce this article without permission from the author)

Visit Renee' Wall Rongen's sites:

Living Life From the Inside Out
speaker profile, adoption resources, business & personal development

Grandy's Quit
order her book or the patterns

[ Aurora Colony Quilts | Family Memories | Wedding Dresses | Talking Quilts ]
[ Family Quilting History | Gift of Tradition | Grandmother's Crazy Quilt ]
[ Alliance for American Quilts | Quilters Hall of Fame | Quilt Care |Century of Quilts ]