Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Full Blown Tulip Catches My Eye

When this adventure began, I had no idea what that interesting block I noticed in Nancy Rink's quilt, Cocheco Star of Bethlehem, was called. The quilt was hanging in the IQF Spring show in Chicago, as part of the exhibit, In the American Tradition IV. The notes said that the design source was an antique quilt featured in QNM that caught her eye. What caught my eye was this interesting block design.

I knew the quilters in the hand-piecing discussion on the Quilting Forum on would be interested, too. So I shared these photos.

Becky almost immediately identified it as the block known as Full Blown Tulip and before long had drafted the block and templates. Here's her first outline drawing and a link to her sample block in her WebShots album.

Gail shared a link to an antique quilt with a similar block, which prompted me to google for more. I found a quilt with another variation of the block on the Quilt Collection page of the Rochester Museum and Science Center web site and another on a quilter's blog, Scraps and Threadtales. I even found templates online for the Full Blown Template block, also known as the Strawberry here.

I even found an excerpt from the out-of-print, 1929 book, Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them, on Amazon. The author, Ruth E. Finley is quoted in one of the customer supplied reviews:

Describing Pennsylvania Dutch quilts within the context of the drabness of the Pennsylvania Dutch woman's existence she says, may have been some unconsciously craved compensation for the drab monotony of their days that caused the women of these households to evolve quilt patterns so intricate. Only a soul in desperate need of nervous outlet could have conceived and executed, for instance, the "Full Blown Tulip"...It is a perfect accomplishment from a needlework standpoint, yet hideous (she describes it in detail and goes on): This green-red-lemon-orange combination is enough to set a blind man's teeth on edge...

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