A few years ago I entered my “red-and-grey” phase and bought a bunch of — you guessed it — red-and-grey fabric collections. And then I couldn’t figure out a good pattern for them, so they all sat in the stash. Last year, I ran across a vintage block pattern from the 1930s that formed the basis for the Chain Link Quilt. The pattern appeared as part of the “Nancy Page Quilt Club” series, a Depression-era creation of an enterprising home economist named Florence La Ganke Harris (1886-1972). In the original pattern, the block finished at 10.5″ square, but of course the size is easy to manipulate by varying the width of the patterned strips. The block is easy to assemble, and as the author commented in the advertisement, the “over and under effect is both good and unusual.”
I broke into my Etchings by Three Sisters jelly roll, and began to assemble the blocks. And then I got bored. This is why the finished quilt ended up with patches of bright blue, greens, and yellows, most of which came from Mom’s housedresses. She was, after all, born in the early 1930s.
Pattern: Chain Link Quilt, from Florence La Ganke’s Nancy Page Quilt Club.
Fabrics: Etchings, by Three Sisters; various red and greige scraps from the stash; patches from Mom’s housedresses
Modifications: I used 2.5″ strips, so the finished block was somewhere around 14.5″ square
1. I should have planned better for the over-and-under effect, but I piece the same way I knit, more or less on the fly. Oh well.
2. I know some people say that you are not a REAL quilter unless you actually quilt your own work. Well. Fighting words, right? I learned TWO new skills with this project: (1) Quilt-as-you-go, and (2) actual quilting.
For the QAYG, I wasn’t thrilled about any one method out in blogland, so I came up with a combination method that involved a fair amount of hand-sewing. Since I have more than a touch of OCD, it’s all good. As for the actual quilt pattern, I probably should have gone with something curvy/flowy, but at the time I was quite enamored of Anne Bright’s “Square Dance” pattern, so that’s what I went with.
The back, as well the batting, were all scraps; the purple is part of a sheet (c. early 1980s) from Mom’s linen closet.
I love the border fabric. I love all the hand-piecing and hand-sewing I did on this project. And I love Mom being part of this quilt.