This week's puzzle was created by Ida W. Beck between 1952 and 1954.  Ida Beck was a shut-in and did needlework and monogramming, which was her speciality.  She spent several years planning and making the Rainbow Monogram and Initial quilt.

In the center of the quilt is a fully entwined alphabet monogram which is 14" x 24".  There are 9 other alphabets in different scripts and fonts included on the quilt.  Each of the scalloped border sections is a month of the year along with its gemstone,  holiday, and flower.  There are approximately 400 letters, 50 flowers and a dazzling array of birds and butterflies which are worked in embroidery or button-hole stitch applique.  It is handquilted with feathers, diamonds, and diagonal lines.  The quilt measures 94" x 90" and is in the collection of the Shelburne Museum.

Rainbow1 - 100 pieces non-rotating

Rainbow2 - 100 pieces rotating



For the puzzle this week, we choose one of Sue Spargo's quilts, Silk Road.  This quilt was inspired by a colorful flower garden.  She used hand dyed eggplant wool of different textures for the background.  The appliqued flowers are a combination of wools, cottons, taffeta silks, and hand dyed velvet.  The pattern can be found in Sue's book, Contemporary Folk, published by Quiltmania magazine in France.  For more information, go to Sue's Website.

Silk Road 1 - 100 pieces non-rotating.

Silk Road 2 - 100 pieces rotating.

To watch Sue's show, Episode 811, Folk Art in Fabric, Inspirations and Techniques, click here.




This is Grace McCance Synder's most famous quilt, Flower Basket Petit Point.  She asked permission from German artist Wendelin Grossman if she could copy the pattern she found on a china plate.  The China was made by the Salem China Company in Salem, Ohio.  It took Grace 16 months and 85,875 patches.  Each of these patches is a triangle or square and when sewn together are about the size of a postage stamp.

One of Grace's wishes, that she told her daughter Nellie Synder Yost, was "I wished that I might grow up to make the most beautiful quilts in the world, to marry a cowboy, and to look down on the top of a cloud."  

Grace wrote about her life growing up in a soddy on the plains of Nebraska in the book, No Time On My Hands.

The quilt is 94" x 92" and was made 1942-1943.  It is in the collection of the Nebraska State Historical Society, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln.

Flower Basket 1 - 110 pieces - non rotating

Flower Basket 2 - 100 pieces rotating




This beautiful quilt was appliqued by Katurah Elisabeth Tooley in 1938.  Unfortunately, the quilter is unknown. Red Birds (or The Garden)  was inspired by Arsinoe Kelsey Bowen's 1857 quilt in Ruth Finley's Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them.

Prior to 1943, when a commercial pattern was published for the quilt in Women's Day, each quiltmaker had to come up with her own way to create it.  Katurah's husband figured out a way to project the image and then Katurah traced it.  She stayed true to Bowen's design, including bright cardinals surrounding the cabled swags, hence the name, Red Birds

Red Birds 1 - 100 pieces non-rotating

Red Birds 2 - 100 pieces rotating



The Heritage Quilt was created by Mary Pemble Barton from 1966-1976.  Her research into her heritage and the beauty of this quilt landed Mary a place in the Quilters Hall of Fame in 1984. The quilt tells the story of her family as they cross the United States and settle in Iowa.

Each part of the quilt has significance, including an 1869 newspaper item which relates the pioneer's story in the lower left corner, pioneer women in dresses composed of some fabrics over 100 years old, and miniature quilt patterns.  The center of the quilt is significant in that it portrays the center of the settler's lives, their churches.  The eagle is the symbol of their new-found homeland.

The quilt is made of cottons, hand-pieced, appliqued, embroidered and quilted.  It is in the collection of the Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines.

Heritage 1 - 90 pieces non-rotating

Heritage 2 - 90 pieces rotating



Herbert Hoover's quote "prosperity is just around the corner," inspired this wonderful humorous quilt created by Fannie B. Shaw between 1930-1932.  It is 72" x 86" and is hand appliqued, pieced, and quilted.

In her Prosperity Quilt, she has her applique figures depicting women, businessmen, baseball players, a farmer, a cowboy, and more peeking around the corner expectantly. Mrs. Shaw even included herself in her hallmark apron.  She used a variation of the attic windows pattern and quilted footprints in the sashing to show movement and the search for jobs.  This quilt sent a powerful message that spoke for the whole nation.

Around the Corner 1 - 99 pieces non-rotating

Around the Corner 2 - 99 pieces rotating


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