I couldn’t wait to show you all these blocks!They have such character! In my family, if we say something has character (or likewise, that someone is a character), it usually means that it, or they, might be just a tad odd. I use the term as a compliment.
They’re a fairly recent eBay find, and I’ve not yet done any research on them, but they already give a lot of information. There are 21 in the set, and they are in very good condition. Sadly, they were never made into a quilt. I’m still debating what I want to do with them, but I wanted you all to see them anyway. Enjoy the photos!
These are interesting for a number of reasons, but here is what I know just from looking at them. Of the 21 blocks, nine of them have no location noted, eight note Viroqua, Wisconsin; one is from Tulsa, Oklahoma; one, Lynxville, Wisconsin (about 30 miles from Viroqua); and one from Timber Lake, South Dakota. All but two include the name of the maker, or at least a first name and an initial for the last name. One that has no name at all is stitched with the group name, “The So and Sew Club.” One block indicates that the So and Sew Club was a 4H group. Several bear dates indicating that they were created in the summer of 1931.
The block pattern is one that crops up a lot in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. That doesn’t mean that we don’t see it in other places, but those states are where most of them I’ve seen have originated. You might argue that since I live in the Midwest, those states are nearby. That’s true, but I had formed that hypothesis even when I lived in Florida. Marcia Kaylakie, an appraiser in Texas, has done quite a bit of research on the pattern. Her hypothesis is that the block originated in Texas. Unfortunately, none of us has done definitive research to prove anything.
They are all of cotton, of course, and are hand-appliqued, and hand-embroidered. And what embroidery it is! Many of the motifs show the lines from a transfer pattern, but some are clearly right out of the maker’s imagination. I can’t tell you how much I love that.
I can’t help but wonder what kind of characters these women were who made these blocks. Many of them are rather plain, but those that aren’t, really aren’t. They were obviously having fun, and isn’t that what we make things for?
Do you allow your joy to show through in your quilts?