The other day I met some friends for lunch. On my way back to where I’d parked the car, I saw a quilt. Well, it’s not a quilt yet. But it might be.

A building along the street had painted, rustic wooden siding. Surprisingly, each of the basement windows was covered with a fancy iron grate. I snapped a picture with my phone, and I’ve spent some enjoyable moments thinking about what I might do with the motif. Applique? The center medallion, or the whole thing? Square, or rectangular? Blow it up huge, or make repeat blocks? What about the background? What about colors? Two, or more? I wonder if I can adapt the center medallion and make a continuous-line quilting pattern (look, it already has a pumpkin seed border).
Are you thinking about a quilt now, too? I’d love to hear about it…Jan Magee, The Quilt Life

Is this an applique pattern, a quilting motif, or both?
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Hi Jan, I have something different and perhaps you would email me? Thanks, Edna


Looks like a Cairo quilter design!

Kelly K

This would be the beginnings of a (gorgeous) stained glass quilt for me. . .

sharon ramsay

What about a silk screen to be quilted??

Charli Wetzel

Always have loved grates. For quilting ideas, decorating, as a stencil for a painted wall, a fabric design. And if they aren’t awesome enough, check out your grandma’s treadle sewing machine. The iron patterns there are awesome also.Food for thought, get a good picture square on with the grate, then blow it up and cut it as a stencil. There are websites online that allow you to create and purchase your own fabric designs printed on fabric for you.

Barb S

Love the idea of a applique quilt. Love designs like that.


Looks like a heater grate. It would make a beautiful quilt