Sunday, July 05, 2009

A Family Heirloom Quilt

My brother-in-law recently called and said he'd found a quilt my husband's Grandmother had made. It'd been in storage in the barn for many years and he felt I should have it. I was so pleased he thought of me, but didn't let my hopes get up to high. I'd seen another quilt made by Grandma Nora, who died in 1962 when my husband was three, and it wasn't much to write home about.

So I was pleasantly surprised when my BIL Tom gave me this pale, soft, well loved piece of family history.

He told me he remembered using it as a small child and believed Nora made it for him when he was a baby. He had it on his bed until he was in high school when he decided to put it away for safe keeping. This information, along with a look at the fabrics helped me place it in time, circa 1950.

As you can see it is very worn and faded with much use, but I replaced the tattered binding and washed it, and it has a charm of its own. I had to lighten the fabric for the binding in an effort to get it to match.

Does anyone know the name of this pattern? This is the block. They are hand pieced, many of them with red thread that shows through.

The block reminds me of Falling Timbers, but that pattern uses curved Drunkard's Path units sewn four by four and this is set three by three, making a nine inch block. She set them in rows, alternating top to bottom to give it a straight furrows look. But there are variations in the setting and 'mistakes' in some of the blocks that show her human-ness. I know these aren't humility blocks, they just are.

Click to enlarge

I bet this quilt was stunning when the colors were new.


SuBee said...

Oh wow - what a treasure!! And a very thin soft batt too? Beautiful!

Mitzie said...

I looked the pattern up in Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns complied by Barbara Brackman and it is called Chain Quilt -- KC Star 1942 (It is #1455 in this book.) Hope this helps. It is a really neat quilt.

Fabricfaire said...

What a treasure! Your BIL was very generous,lucky you!!