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Designing a Scottish themed quilt

I have some banners (I think they are called) from my Grandmother and her sister when they were traveling Europe.

I want to make a quilt with them and I am wanting some traditional Scottish quilt blocks to make the quilt with. My grandmother was born in Scotland and I think she would like what I have in mind for her souvenirs.

Can you help me?


I LOVE this kind of quilt project! It really gets the creative juices flowing!

I'm a little confused on what a 'banner' is. (I'm chalking that up to not enough coffee and being born both blonde and joke, of course!) If it's the same weight and texture as quilting fabric...or close to it...then I don't see a problem with a traditional quilt pattern (meaning three layers--top, batting and backing).

However, if the banner is much thicker you might want to use larger seam allowances, maybe simpler piecing/quilt blocks then you originally thought (kind of like what we do with flannel quilts.)

My dad's family comes from Scotland a couple of generations I'm personally interested in this project!

Ideas for the surrounding blocks...

Do you know the tartan (the family plaid design) of you and your grandmother's clan? You could actually make a pieced quilt pattern of that and then piece the banners into it. Your grandmother would easily recognize what it is. Unless it is a very intricate plaid, it would be pretty straight forward to draft the design. Piecing would be all straight there's no applique.

Scottish Cross quilt block
Scottish Cross quilt block
As to blocks, I'll take a look through some of my block books and see what I come up with that are Scottish related. Scottish flowers, places and sayings may provide more ideas and inspiration for a Scottish themed quilt.

Readers, your help and suggestions are most appreciated! What blocks would you suggest for such a quilt? How have you represented YOUR heritage in a quilt?

Just use the 'comment' link below to share. Thank you!


Julie Baird

Comments for Designing a Scottish themed quilt

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Scottish theam quilt
by: Susan Marengo

So glad to find this site. Yes, my ancestors were from Scotland and I’ll be visiting Sept 2019. In do my family genealogy I want to incorporate some of the history. I want to have my tartan and Clan motto’s. I have search on line and have been unable to find Clan tartan with the design a bit smaller for quilting purposes. I do like the embroidery ideas. I have found some quilt stores on line in Scotland as well.

Very open to any thoughts and ideas.

Scottish block patterns
by: Sade

I am also trying to find blocks for a Scottish themed quilt. I was born in Scotland but emigated to Canada as a young adult.

scottish quilt
by: Anonymous

I thought the "Milk Thistle" was on the Scottish Flag. A milk thistle is the 'mother' of all thistles. a large beautiful medicinal plant.

by: Glaswegian

I need to respectfully make a correction to Janie's post.

Re: St Andrew's flag

The Saltire, Scotland's national flag, is a white diagonal cross on a field of blue. It symbolizes the crucifixion of the apostle St. Andrew. He is Scotland’s patron saint.

From the Editor: Thank you for that, Glaswegian!

Click here for more information on the Visit Scotland website about this flag.

Family Crest
by: Amanda

I agree that a family crest would make a wonderful quilt. I cross stitched the family crest for both by brothers a few years ago. It would take a little time planning out the patterns but I think if you find the crest and break it down into sections it could be done.

Scottish Cross pattern
by: Dawn McLellen

I am reasonably new to quilting, however I am very much into my scottish heritage and I found a lovely 12" block pattern called "The Scottish Cross". Look it up on google, it is quite beautiful and rather simple in geometric piecing. Your family tartan can be used to add that one personal quality tied to your heritage as well.

Scottish block
by: Janie

It so happens I was born in Scotland many, many years ago.

How about piecing a block using St. Andrews flag which is a blue cross on a white background, then perhaps you could applique a sprig of heather over that.

Blocks with Scottish patterns
by: Anonymous

Hello, I also would like to design a quilt with tradional Scottish designs - using only a few celtic designs. I live in Australia and my father was born in Scotland, therefore making a quilt in this theme would be truly inspirational.
Would appreciate any assistance as I cannot find any designs. Some of the blocks can include embroidery and applique.

Family crest?
by: Sandy

Do you know what your family crest looks like...maybe that might work...or have some design elements you can use. Good luck!

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