Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Ruby McKim

A few posts ago I told you about synchronatic events that happened while I was teaching a workshop on using antique blocks and fabrics to create antique-inspired quilts. I bring quilts samples I have made and ask the students to bring their potential projects to class. We discuss their blocks, fabrics and tops ages and what quilts from their era would have looked like. Then we talk about what they can do, what quilt style, quilt design, binding, and setting using currently available fabrics with their own. (Click on this post's title for more info about this.)

At this workshop I showed my recreation of a Ruby McKim flower block that was both embroidered and appliquéd. I had found an extremely tattered quilt using these blocks with lilac solid color fabric and matching quilting thread. I saved it for many years and finally cut out the best blocks and reused them in a new wall size quilt. You can see the original and new quilt here.
These are some of the blocks I cut out to use.

At the workshop one of the ladies brought this quilt to show and ask about the date. She had no idea is was a sister version of mine that I showed earlier in the class. Her quilt is all embroidered, with no appliqué, but they are the same McKim blocks.

Here is the original pattern from Ruby's "Designs Worth Doing" catalog, 1930-31.

A few of the blocks close-up

How's that for synchronicity? I was thrilled to see Mary's quilt. I knew it was a McKim pattern right away, but putting this together with the other McKim state flower blocks that also showed up at that workshop (I blogged about these in July)it was quite a coincidence and wonderful learning experience for all of us.

If you have any McKim quilts, tops or blocks you would like to share, please put a link to them in the comments.

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Martha Opdahl said...

Some of your readers might be interested in a quilt I made in 1977 for a Flower Garden Quilt contest--based on Ruby McKim's patterns- sponsored by The Indianapolis Star.It was a juried show with three well-known and respected jurors of needlework. The aim of the contest was for quilters to produce a contemporary interpretation of McKim's designs.I was fortunate to win first place, a decision that was not well-received among many according to write-ups in the paper.I did receive many compliments though. A picture of my quilt appears in my September posting at
I thought you might find this interesting.
Martha Opdahl might receive another version of this post which I tried to Preview, but then my comment disappeared and I cldn't retrieve it... so I posted again with additions.

Kimberly Wulfert, PhD said...

From Pat in VA-
All this Ruby McKim talk hit me big time. About 15 years ago I found a quilt in a little antique store in Arkansas. The gate in the fence called to me since the colors and style weren't my first love. They had no information on the quilt, but I bought it. For years it has been roated in and out and right now hangs over a banister upstairs. It was your blog about Ruby and a trip up the stairs that said............HEY! What fun to learn something when I wasn't even looking!

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