What does patriotism look like in a time of rising fascism?
I have been thinking about my great grandmother’s Hands Around the World block – a ten inch block with over 50 pieces = because someone saved one of her quilts that was badly damaged and I’m contemplating mending it. I’ve found several variation of the pattern but her scale seems to be unique and that doesn’t surprise me since her quilt is a depression era design probably drafted on boxboard. I have her daughter’s double wedding ring block drafted the same way, so I think she must have mailed the DWR to my grandmother. I have evidence of this in some letters and envelopes she sent to my paternal grandmother than include Nebraska newspaper clippings and patterns in newsprint and boxboard. The first block I made is in modern fabrics and palette but veers off the pattern so much I don’t know how I will fit 8 of these together to repair a badly harmed quilt. But in the meanwhile I can share a baby quilt I made in 2019 from scraps and put on Hands All Around on the back.
I used a lot of Cotton and Steel prints I’ve been unable to stop collecting over the years, but the front is mainly scraps of solids brought together from other projects. The improvisational piecing was therapeutic in the “before time.” My kids have repeatedly suggested time stopped existing when the COVID pandemic began almost exactly a year ago…but this quilt was made when time still existed and I was very very nervous about our incompetent, narcissistic president and his cronies in the Senate.
I hand-stitched in the center of the Hands All Around block and then echoes that at regular intervals followed by a grid quilting. I even marked most of the grid. I’m showing off the detail where clearly the result isn’t “Square” but its even and gives an overall impression of regularity. Everything is fine, move along. I made some little asterisk-like “stars” at some grid intersections. I can’t wait for an excuse to quilt like this again. It was fun and easy and I also just love the orangey pinks in the C&S palette combined with my coral solid.