It’s an Odd-fellow

My Mom had one quilt that she always called her “Odd-fellow” quilt. I never knew the reason for the name but assumed it was because of the large number of fabrics involved. Officially, I think that an Odd-fellow quilt should not have any fabrics repeated in the quilt and that wasn’t the case here.

But….it still was a fun quilt……

The elongated hexagons made the perfect pattern for this quilt which Mom hand pieced and quilted…probably in the early 1940’s.

The quilt was well used and definitely is showing signs of the love…..

The batting is actual cotton that Mom picked from the field across from her house. They cleaned it and carded it and then laid it out on the backing fabric waiting for quilting!! It sure reminds me of just how spoiled I am!!

The binding was also special. As you can see in the previous photo, the top and bottom were straight bound, but on the sides Mom added a little touch…..

The full quilt is quilt colorful…..

….and in this larger photo, you can see the hand- quilted Baptist-Fans. I love to look at this particular quilt and think about the many nights that it was used to keep a family member warm and, it helps me to remember the quilting heritage that I come from!!!

The Beautiful Boston Commons Quilt

As we get close to Christmas, our thoughts often turn to things of beauty and comfort and, naturally, my thoughts turn to quilts!!!

The quilt that I am sharing today is another one made by my Mom (Lois Swinson). I have shared a number of her quilts before and am happy to say that this one is a true favorite. It was the last of the “hope chest” quilts that she made for me and I have fond memories of her working on it.

Boston Commons

The quilt design is called “Boston Commons” and, like most of the other hope-chest quilts, is made from fabrics in her scrap basket.

The design itself is fairly simple.. made entirely of squares. I like the fact that Mom added interest by using solid fabrics on all of the outside edges. It gives a bit of continuity to the piecing…..

If you look closely at the fabrics, you will see some that were included in last week’s post of the Balloon Girl quilt!!

But, the best thing about this quilt is the AMAZING hand quilting. Mom loved to quilt…..

…and spent many happy hours sitting at her frame!!!

She meticulously quilted feathers and 1 inch grids into all of the white areas of the quilt….

My favorite memory of this quilt was when she stood the frame up on end to store it during a quilting break. There was a large window behind it and the colors shone like stained-glass… was mesmerizing!!!

I always enjoyed when this quilt was on my bed and am sad that we have moved on to bigger mattresses and can’t use this full-size quilt to snuggle under at night.

I guess that I need to find a way to decorate with it….that shouldn’t be too hard to do!!!

Bring on the Balloons….

As I have mentioned in this blog before, my Mom was an amazing quilter. When she returned to the art in the early 1970’s, she started making quilts for my “hope chest”.

This was the first quilt that she made……

It is a fun quilt for me to look at because ALL of the clothes were made from scraps leftover from MY clothes. I remember her happily picking out the fabrics and spending hours trying to decide which trim to put on which dress.

Each of the blocks was unique……

It has been well used over the years and is a fun, fun reminder of a simpler time!!!

The Thursday Quilters….

As I have mentioned before, my Mom was a prolific quilter and the queen of scrap quilting. Seldom did ANY piece of fabric get thrown away, whether it was cotton, polyester or even knit!!!

One of the joys of her life was ‘The Thursday Quilters” group. Two times each month, a group of 4 to 10 quilters would meet to work on projects….either their own personal project, a “group project or a joint quilt for charity. Their favorite charity was the West Texas Rehabilitation Center and, as I cleaned out Mom’s house, I found many photos of her and her friends, proudly standing in front of their offering…..

This quilt was made as a result of one of their group projects. Each person made a certain number of blocks and then they were shuffled around and redistributed to each participant. The result was a large number of very interesting fabrics…..

…. some of the most unusual (but effective) fabrics that I have ever seen……

Mom LOVED applique so this project would have been right up her alley!!!

I am happy that I have my own group of “Thursday Quilters”!! We may not meet on a regular basis, but we have got each other’s backs….and tops…..and batting….and quilting……….!!

TBT – Grandmother’s Flower Garden

Another of the 5 quilts that Mom made for my Hope Chest was a Grandmother’s Flower Garden.

Grandmother’s Flower Garden

She made this in the late 1970’s and it is entirely hand-made using English Paper Piecing and hand quilting.

When I talk to kid’s groups about quilts I use this quilt to show repetition and how it helps in design. In this quilt, Mom used the same fabric for each flower center. She used a solid fabric for each of the first rounds and then she bordered each flower with white. Those elements make it an enjoyable quilt to look at!!!

I particularly enjoyed these two blocks as I had favorite clothing made from the print fabrics…..

The brown was a fun shirt (NOT a cotton fabric) and the blue flowered was a cute short dress with capped sleeves and a sash….remember it was the 1970’s!!!

I remember her agonizing over how to finish the edges of the quilt and believe that she ended up appliquéing the flower sides to the border…..

One thing that I notice in this photo is that the red fabric has bled!!! This quilt has been well used and washed many times so this isn’t surprising. It was the only quilt that we carried when we moved to Australia in 1981 and it was used daily for almost 6 years!!

She kept the quilting fairly simple, stitching inside each of the hexagons and then adding a fun clam shell border to the top and bottom…..

As I said, this was a much loved and used quilt and I still enjoy snuggling under it today!!!