Saturday, 30 November 2013

Hourglass Star

There are a few duplicate blocks in this signature album quilt as you can see. 

The picture shows the top two rows of the quilt, one third of the whole top.  The last block in the first row is another basket of diamonds, like the first block.  

This block is signed by Onie Mead, an unusual name.  It is a variation of the name Anne and (believe it or not) was popular in the late 1800s in the USA. Onie was living with her husband and two sons when the quilt was made; her sister Lorena also made one of the blocks.

On to the next block.  I can't find a name for this pattern so I've called it an hourglass star.  It's a 16 patch block with a centre hourglass, four flying geese and for half triangle squares for the corners.  With my ten inch blocks each patch is 2.5 inches.

Mrs. Herr was Gussie Selina Herr.  Gussie worked occasionally in the fruit packing sheds and lived to 103.

Malaga is about 6.5 miles away from Wenatchee

Friday, 15 November 2013

Weathervane Block

This week's block is the weathervane.  It's a nine patch block.

In Blockbase it is number 1780.

The Malaga ladies had some issues with the block sizes.  Whoever put the blocks together just trimmed them to fit.

Gladys Hill was 45 years old, a farmer's wife with four children at school.  Gladys had a four year university degree.  She probably waited a while to get married, her first child was born when she was 31 years old.

On the 1940s census form her husband Leo had worked 60 hours in the previous week.  The hours worked by Gladys, occupation 'housework', was blank.  Either her hours did not count, or the hours she worked were countless.  Some things never change.

A weathervane block on a McHenry County, Illinois barn.  See

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Dresden Plate / Aster / Friendship Ring

It would be easiest if each quilt block had one and only one name - but it wouldn't be as much fun!

Nina Elliott Dresden Plate
This block can be called Dresden Plate or Friendship Ring or Aster.  Ruby McKim uses all three names in One Hundred and One Patchwork Patterns.  This Dresden Plate has 16 short petals with rounded ends; McKim's pattern has 20 petals all of different fabrics.  You could buy pre-cuts from the McKim Studios; twenty different prints, all ready cut and sufficient for 20 blocks would cost you $2 in 1927.  Or, you could have a lot of friends and exchange fabrics with them.

Aster flowers

For my pattern I used EQ7's 4 Petal Large Center Dresden Plate.  The center was too large so I reduced it and made the petals longer.  In Blockbase it is 3488a, which has 20 petals and a small centre.  Take your pick.  I machine stitched the petals together, and then hand appliqued the petals to the background and lastly the circle to cover the ends of the petals.

Nina May Elliott was 25 years old in 1937 when she made her block for the Malaga quilt.  She was a school teacher with a three year college degree.  Nina married Merton Love in 1940.  He was twenty years older than Nina and a widower with two children aged 13 and 12.  The witnesses to the wedding ceremony were Nina 's parents.  I wonder what they thought about Nina's choice of husband?

For more information about the Dresden Plate block visit Patterns from History.