Grandmother's Flower Garden?

Remember me telling you about all my wonderful heirlooms I got from my aunt a while back? I'd like to show you another one - and the best one! This is a quilt my Grandmother made. (Not the Grandma I wrote my first book about, the other Grandma!) As far as I know, this is the only quilt that she completed, or at least the only one that survived.

Grandma's Quilt. Does anyone know the name?
My mom remembers Grandma working on this when she was a child, which would have been in the 40s. My aunt, who is 10 years younger remembers her working on this as a child, which would have been in the 50s! No one remembers when it was finished.

See how some of the blocks are upside down? I've been noticing this a lot on antique quilts and I've even done it on some of my quilts. I am in perpetual search for why this was done. Some say that they made quilts to look good on the bed when you walk in the room. Well, that doesn't quite fit this scenario. The ribbon blocks are upside down on the top and right side up on the bottom. I wouldn't think that would look good on the bed. My Grandma was a perfectionist of the highest order - more than me even! She would have planned this to the last detail. Or she would have followed the pattern exactly, which is what I suspect. I wish I could ask her.

Detail - Beautiful embroidery!

Detail of the detail.

Another detail - Wreath block.

Last detail - Tulip block.

Mom thinks Grandma bought this as a kit - probably from Emery, Bird, Thayer in Kansas City. It's definitely 1930s based on the pastels and the applique shapes. I love that it's done in all solids. I'm currently into solids - almost obsessively so! Funny how things come back around. I didn't think I'd ever like solids - near solids have been my thing since I started quilting. (Near solids are like Moda Marbles - almost a solid but with a bit of texture.) But now I notice solids everywhere!


  1. I would imagine the ribbon blocks are turned so that the quilt could also be turned to give even wear on both long ends, The flowers could be either up or down without looking odd. Noticed the center ribbons have diferent "tails"

  2. Hi Clem,
    That's the only conclusion I have drawn as well - it's for even wear. Our fore-mothers were very smart ladies!

  3. Great post! Clem's thought makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

  4. I love solids with applique. Could the reason why some are upside down is so that when you lay it across at the foot of the bed, it looks right?

  5. Interesting. That's exactly what my aunt did with it while it was in her care! But did they do that in the 1930s? I don't know!


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