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.”

Snowball quilt.

You can see the wedges making up the blocks.

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 …

Adorable pink and blue dog and burro print.

… but there is a lot of this black fabric with a very large-scale pattern of net in a metallic gold.

Faded patterned fabric that looks like a metallic net print.

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.

Printed check fabric for backing, shredded silk on top, raw cotton for batting.

So if you have any ideas, please let me know!

Next we have a lovely top in a Glorified Nine Patch pattern.

Glorified Nine Patch top.

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.

Some blocks from the Glorified Nine Patch.

Here is my favorite fun fabric from that top:

Happy Semaphore Sailor with battleship.

Swab those decks, boys!

This last one is my new favorite.

Flower Snowball quilt top.

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.

This block has 2 sets of fabrics repeated across the quadrants.

Upper left and lower right are the same, but the other quadrants are a mix.

All four quadrants are different, except that the yellow fabric repeats.

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!