Carol Osterholm is a member of my Redwork Club. Some time ago, she brought in a stack of blocks that her mother, Dorothy, had made in the 1930’s. She was wanting some advice on how to put them together. The blocks were adorable–cats, pigs, dogs, elephants…. Some were familiar to me, and others I’d never seen. The prints in the appliques were very nice, too. ”Hmmmm,” I mused. ”These would make a great fabric line. Would you mind?” Carol said she wouldn’t mind, Timeless Treasures Fabrics loved the idea, and now the fabric is here!
First, the fabrics. I always like to have a large scale print in my lines. Of course large scale in the Thirties is different than, say, Joel Dewberry large scale.
There was a great large scale print in the elephant block, but it was a small piece, and not really big enough to see the repeat.
I had the perfect substitute–this laundry bag. Isn’t it fabulous. Every laundry bag should have feet! This, and Dorothy’s original blocks, served as the inspiration for the color palette. The green is a great Thirties green, the pink is very raspberry and the orange, which is in this print and the little boy block of Dorothy’s, is a very muted orange, like it’s been washed and washed. The yellow in the blocks is very buttery, and the blue is a clear, sky blue. I just love the way they work together.
I wanted a medium floral print, and the duck block provided that.
I always like a monochromatic print, and there was one in the bunny block that I fell in love with.
And what would a line be without a dot! The kitty block had a great dot. So, there you have it! Those are the fabrics in the line.
Now for the blocks. I think Timeless Treasures did a fantastic job with the artwork on the panel. The printed blocks look just like they’ve been stitched around. Below are the different blocks, first, Dorothy’s original, then the reproduction under it.
For the elephant, we changed his trunk, because an upturned trunk is the sign of a happy elephant!
I’ve seen this cat with the big ribbon in other old quilts, but we took away part of the ribbon for our version.
We didn’t need to do a thing to the dog.
I’m not a big pig fan, but I have to admit, this one is pretty cute.
I think the bunny is my favorite, both the animal and the print.
Here’s the duck. I’m not sure why we closed his mouth!
There was a cute Sunbonnet Sue, but to me, there’s only one Sunbonnet Sue–the one my Grandma Kennedy made, so we substituted her. I hope Dorothy understands.
And I loved this boy. His hat reminds me of a sombrero.
When Carol saw the original blocks among her mother’s things, she asked if she could have them. Her mother referred to them as, “Oh, these old things!” I wonder what she’d think of them now.
Here are Dorothy’s original blocks up on my design wall. Carol is putting them together now, and I’ll share a photo of her finished quilt when it’s complete.
Here’s the panel. I designed it so it could be used just as it is, or the blocks could be cut apart and set together differently.
Here’s how I chose to put them together after I cut a panel apart. The free pattern for this is up on my web site.
So, Dear Dorothy, and Dear Carol, too, THANK YOU FOR YOUR INSPIRATION AND GENEROUS SPIRITS!