Friday, August 23, 2013

Old Signature Blocks

Some of you who have been reading my blog for a few years may remember when I wrote about the signature blocks I received.

In 2011 I gave a presentation to a guild in Peoria, IL. Someone there had brought in 28 signature blocks made by the founding members of the guild that were hand pieced and not only signed, but signed with embroidered letters. At the meeting, they offered them up to anyone who wanted them and no one in the group did! So, Sentimental Me, I took them home. I couldn't bear for them to be tossed out or thrown away.
My collection of 28 signature blocks, signed by women from the recent past I do not even know, LOL - 

The embroidered signatures are just lovely.

Along with the blocks was a newspaper from 1984, which is around the time I assume the blocks were made, so no, they are not that old. An article in the Arts section contains photos of some of the women who made the blocks. Quilt blocks from 1984 certainly do not qualify as antiques, but many of them are so nice and do have an older look.

My Yahoo group is working on signature blocks for 2 different  signature block swaps right now. I've had a very busy summer and have been preoccupied with family and home stuff and so still have to sew quite a few of the 120 blocks I committed to making. Slowly but surely . . . .

I will not be embroidering my name on any of the blocks I'm working on now (Whew! Can you imagine??), just using a Pigma pen to sign them. The geese are finished . . . now I just have to sign the centers and put the blocks together. And then finish the other 60 odd snowball blocks for the other swap . . . They go pretty fast if I can only get enough time to work on them at one sitting without interruption - Hah! Not as easy as that sounds in my house.

The finished blocks will look like these. This quilt is very special to me - it's the Friendship Quilt from my last book The Civil War Sewing Circle, signed with names of some of my friends in my Yahoo group from all over the world (the pattern is in the book). 

I've blogged about my fascination with signature quilts from the past before so these old blocks were right up my alley and I was glad to receive them. Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with them. You know how good I am about finishing unfinished projects . . . . especially ones that are not even mine. Sharon, Rosalie, Betty, Pat or Shirley - if you are still alive and reading this and want your blocks back and promise to make them into a quilt, they are all yours!
See more about the history of friendship quilts and signature blocks here
P.S.:  Notice anything especially cute in this photo below? Yes, I had my own Sentimental Quilter mug made up and I am working on making them available for purchase very soon.  If I can figure out shipping and handling that doesn't cost an arm and a leg (or more than the mug) you may soon be able to have one for your very own too.



Margs Primitive Quilts said...

Lucky you to be in the right place at the right time :) I am a sentimental soul also and could not have let them be tossed either. There is something good to be said for people like us!!
I would consider putting them together with black sashing between each and a small black border.
I never used to sew with black much; but it does show up the blocks nicely.
You have done a wonderful job of putting colors and fabrics together for the other signature blocks too. A very busy ; talented lady for sure!
Have fun however you decide to finish it.I am sure it will be stunning!....Marg

Jean Belle said...

How timely to see your album blocks! I found a similar album quilt made in Yankton, SD and dated 1893 at our local museum last year. They didn't know anything about the women whose names appear on it, so I researched and found at last something on all 32 women & 2 men. I just started making a reproduction of the quilt for a hands-on display. The original is too fragile to be handled. ....Jean at

sue bennett said...

If only those 28 blocks could tell there story. I know you will put them to great use in a quilt top that is deserving to those ladies..

Great looking mug.

Saskia Smit said...

I love the Friendshipquiltblocks. Now i just got the idea what to do with my received siggy's.

Anonymous said...

Bet the ladies would love knowing about the quilt. Hope to hear more about your mug soon.

Christine Gibbons

quiltgrannie said...

Your mug is really cute! I have seen a lot of older signature quilts and I love to imagine who they all were. Such fun!!

marian said...

Those embroidered signatures look wonderful, wouldn't it be great if you hear from someone who knows something about them?
I've just got eight geese blocks left to piece and then i'm done.. yay!!
I love the mug, what a great idea!!

Shuttle, Hook and Needle said...

There is a story somewhere to be told with those blocks and maybe you are the one to find out what it is and tell it since you were gifted the blocks.
Nice mug!

Caroline said...

I also love to finish projects from other quilters. I live in the netherlands. We cannot buy old tops and blocks here. But i bought a few and turned them in to quilts. So i really can imagine the joy of it. Caro

agullainquieta said...

Yo tambiƩn soy muy sentimental y me encantan las cosas antiguas. Reutilizar estos bloques ha sido un homenaje para las que los hicieron. Mis felicitaciones por tu iniciativa!
Un abrazo

Anonymous said...

I'm in line for the mug!!! Sandi S. in San Angelo, TX

Lynn Dykstra said...

The signature blocks are lovely, and it is good for you to give them a home for now.
My mother bought a box of linens at an auction near home and discovered a redwork quilt at the bottom--and her grandmother's signature was on the quilt!

Robin McGuire said...

I used to be a member of that Peoria guild (Gems of the Prairie), so I recognized some of the names. I can't believe none of them wanted the blocks. They still have a website so I'm assuming they are still in operation. The website states the guild formed in 1990; I joined soon after. I seem to remember the blocks being made but not the particulars. It's a small world, right??

Robin in Iowa

Sandy said...

I love signature quilts, although I have to admit I've seen very few in real life. I've been itching to make your friendship quilt from CWSC, and I have just the person in mind to make it for. Now to organize the thing ~ ~ wish me luck!

Judymc said...

Thank goodness you rescued those blocks! I can't believe a guild member didn't want them. I have a friendship quilt from 1987 that I love to cuddle up with--I really cherish it. The friendships and memories are so special.


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