Funky, Funkier, Funkiest
Here are some recent finds, and they are all a little bright and crazy.
This first one has me utterly befuddled. I can’t find the exact pattern in Maggie Malone’s 5500 Quilt Block Designs. It looks a lot like Illinois Snowball, but these snowballs and the backgrounds are each made of 8 wedges instead of solid pieces, so if it was me, I would call it “Snowball Pinwheel” or “Snowball Pie.”
But I am very confused as to what date it could be from. The bright dog and burro print says 1930s to 1950s to me …
… but there is a lot of this black fabric with a very large-scale pattern of net in a metallic gold.
So that would suggest 1980s to me. (I can just see Melanie Griffith in a shoulder-padded suit of this stuff in Working Girl.) It’s possible someone made the quilt in the ’80s, but used earlier fabric, BUT it is all hand-pieced and hand-quilted, and the batting is cotton — de-seeded, but otherwise right off the bush. It doesn’t look like it was even carded. Washing could make the cotton lumpy again, but this is all in its little original boll clumps, not blended and brushed out.
So if you have any ideas, please let me know!
Next we have a lovely top in a Glorified Nine Patch pattern.
My husband wanted sunglasses before looking at this top, but I love it!
Back at the end of 2015, I found a finished quilt in the same pattern at a local resale shop. I bought this top from our Little Quilt Shop owner at an antique festival this weekend, and she mentioned that someone had left her 5 huge tubs of tops! I am going to go back to her with the similar one I bought in 2015, and see if it originally came from her, and if she even knew it was at that resale shop.
Here is my favorite fun fabric from that top:
This last one is my new favorite.
Maggie Malone shows this pattern as Flower Snowball from Old Chelsea Station patterns. I didn’t know anything about Old Chelsea Station, but I was able to find this information from Barbara Brackman’s book Women of Design: Quilts in the Newspaper, and then some further information, a list of Old Chelsea Station ephemera at the Quilt Index.
The Quilt Index has one example, in red and white, dated 1930 – 1949. Looking around, I see that a lot of what is on Pinterest as a Flower Snowball is a much different pattern. I haven’t been able to find any more like this one. It is hand-pieced, and I would think a lot of the fabrics are from the 1960s. I just love the mix of fabrics.
In my own quilting life, I am currently stalled out on a Nine Patch variation. The blocks are all up on my design wall and I keep shifting those in the lower three rows. It has taken me hours and I am still not happy. Maybe that is why I get such joy from looking at finished tops and quilts, where someone has made all those design choices and set them in stitches!
D > the snowball quit is SO impressive!
Yes, don’t you just love it? I have grown to love those wild patterns of the 60s and 70s.
These are all great–I love the random quirkiness of them! For your own quilt, maybe you need to try random quirkiness, too, and stop thinking so much?
Well usually I am the Queen of Randomness, but this time I am just having trouble. I want to be randomly quirky but still balanced! I need to just go ahead and put it together, and trust that the quilting will bring some unity.
Dating quilts and identifying the pattern used is indeed tricky. As you say, sometimes a quilt is made of fabrics saved up over several decades. The batting on your first quilt does indeed look old, and the hand stitching would suggest an earlier date, but… no matter, I love the way the directional fabrics go every which way. The flower snowball one is pieced/appliqued intriguingly.There’s an interesting fabric insertion in the upper left corner of your first detail photo. It looks like the maker had to stretch her fabric. As always, you have great luck finding interesting old quilts.
I love the every-which-wayness too. I wish I could tell those quilters what a fabulous job they did!
those are some interesting quilts, but I’m afraid I have nothing to contribute about their potential provenance. good luck!
Just another thing for me to research as I can, “when did metallic inks/dyes become popular on printed fabrics?” 🙂
I love that last one. The yellow one would prevent sleeping! 🙂
Brenda, I read your comment on my tablet and then didn’t respond when I got on the real computer! Sorry!
The last one is my favorite too (at least today), but for the bright yellow one, I am imagining a very plain bedroom in an old farmhouse, and the quilter trying to update it by bringing some cheerful color in. I think if it was in a room with wooden floors, white walls, white curtains, and one of those old iron bedsteads, it would look at home. That is the story that pops up in my mind! 🙂
It would look amazing in such a room. 🙂
These are all amazing. I love the glorified 9-patch. They look so exotic, don’t they? Fun to see these — must be fun for you to find them.
Yes, it is so much fun to find them! I can never keep my poker face, I think the dealers must be able to tell I am going to get them! 🙂
I would be way too excited to be straight-faced. I totally get that.
mom used make nine-patch quilts … easy and always pretty.
Do you still have any of them?
Yes. She made one for each child and grandchild. Mine has pretty yellow patches. Mom used mostly old clothing for cloth so I can find familiar bits throughout!
Those are the best quilts! For the ones I buy, I just have to guess and/or make up the memories that went with them. 🙂
That yellow/orange quilt makes me heart go pitter patter 🙂 I don’t have anything to offer as to the first quilt either. Interesting.
I do love that yellow orange quilt. So different than most backgrounds! But it seems very polarizing, people either love it or they’re scared to be in the same room as it! 🙂
Bahaha! It’s vibrant and happy. I guess that puts me in the “love it” camp too!
I should make up a personality quiz based on these quilt tops! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Like the snowball quilt.