Part of a mystery solved! I have always been curious about the main block in my mother's yellow quilt. I kept looking at flower names for blocks, but nothing matched it exactly. I have thought about recreating a version of the quilt, and even tried my hand at drafting it in the EQ8 quilt design program.
Recently I purchased the updated BlockBase+ quilt program by Barbara Brackman. I searched for Basket quilts and found the block very quickly! Here is a bit of the information I found in the BlockBase+ program: The top name listed is Basket of Diamonds, published by Kansas City Star 11/11/1936 (it seems like an obvious name!). Other names are Flower Basket, 1935, Cactus Basket, 1930s and Rainbow Cactus from the Mary McElwain Quilt Shop in Walworth, Wisconsin in the 1930s. The Rainbow Cactus version was a mail order pattern that may have been included in batting.
I printed out the pattern for the block from BlockBase+ and plan to try it out in the future. Perhaps I will make a small block before beginning a larger quilt. It was very close to the version I had drafted in EQ8 based on my mom's quilt.
Following are some detail photos from her quilt.
|A detail from a quilt made by my mother - one of my
early quilt inspirations.
My mom's block used a solid fabric at the base of the basket, then added a matching solid underneath the block, which gives it a very different appearance, than when using a contrasting white at the bottom of the block. Perhaps it was the Cactus Basket version? Or something she created herself. Now I have more questions!
It was one of my first quilt inspirations. I believe this quilt was made out of 1930s and 40s fabrics. Yellow was my mother's favorite color. I remember sleeping under it when I was younger and being fascinated by the many small cotton prints on the quilt. I think they may be feedsack or dress prints.
I now have a better idea where the pattern came from. I'm looking forward to trying my hand at sewing this block in the future.
Thank you to Barbara Brackman for her amazing research. You can find the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and the BlockBase+ quilt program on the https://www.electricquilt.com website. They are fun resources! I haven't gotten the Encyclopedia yet, but I am enjoying the BlockBase+ program.
Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk