September 15, 2015

Missouri Daisy

I received an email query about the name of this quilt block.  I've seen flower blocks with gathered petals before, but usually the gathered pieces are rounded not straight-edged like these.

I did find a block with this shape petals in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns.  It's called either Golden Glow (if it's made in gold and white) or Missouri Daisy.  Both were published in the 1930s. 

The similar block with rounded petals has been published as Missouri Daisy, too, and also as Star Flower, Sunflower, or Star Dahlia.

The range of fabrics looks like the blocks were made from the proverbial "deep scrap bag."  I think I see fabrics from the1930s, maybe even a few from the 1920s, through the 1960s!

The stories this woman was telling me during our discussion were so entertaining that I asked her if she'd like to share them on my blog.  These are her words (several e-mails edited together by me for flow) and her photos. 

My quilting interest was started when at age 10 I was "allowed" up in the bedroom of my grandmother's house to see her working on a quilt in its huge frame!  She made many quilts, I still have one of hers.  

For the 100th anniversary of her birthday I documented as many of her quilts and other handwork as I could find.  Including the wedding dress she made for herself. That was before computers, I sent instamatic cameras to 9 aunts who then took pictures of what they and their children owned.  Gramma made a quilt or pillow cases for every one of the 36 grandchildren, when they graduated from high school.

I bought these quilt blocks on eBay in 2010.  To me they were very unique, I had not seen a block with gathering or sheering in them.  The seller said they came from an estate sale in Indiana, but was not able to give further details.

I wrote to Ann and she helped me identify the pattern and its names.  Thank you Ann!!  I have since found some examples online, but the woman who created these, seems to have created, to me, a wonderful variation. Compared with other blocks, she seems to have exaggerated the angle of the "petals" with their sharp angle rather than a more rounded look.  Her work is precise, consistent and I love her fabrics.  They are all hand pieced with ten tiny stitches to an inch. I can imagine  these scraps as dresses, shirts and aprons.  Nothing wasted!

Further proof my mystery quilter was an expert.  As I said her stitches were tiny and consistent but she also used NO knots, just back stitched and I had a terrible time when taking one of her blocks apart!  These were meant to stay together! Also after washing a few more blocks it is obvious that some fabrics are new, still have crispness to them and some fabrics are from used clothing, limp from washing and thinner.

I wanted this quilt to be hand quilted and use vintage look muslin for the background and sashing.  I attempted to fit plain square blocks into the vintage quilt blocks.  I decided to applique the blocks on foundation fabric because I couldn't fit her points in square blocks and because I was worried about stress on the vintage fabric.  I hand stitched them to a background piece to provide support for the vintage fabrics. I did not have a sample of how to set them in the quilt. This is my version. I see now that most times they were set so that two points came together rather than one point like mine.

I thought a good name for the quilt would be "Hand to Hand" as I wanted to give credit to the creator of the blocks.  I hope by quilting I honor my Grandmother and the unknown woman who worked such beautiful blocks but didn't have the time to make her own quilt.

I took one apart and this is the pattern I figured out.

I usually quilt small items, table runners, Christmas tree skirts, or baby quilts as gifts.  This is my first large quilt, and it is a double bed size.  Most of my quilting is done by hand.  I have tried machine quilting but it doesn't have the same appeal.  For me, the act of hand quilting returns me to thoughts of Gramma Sholly (nee Stella Weber 1901-1974), it is a nice feeling.

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