Saturday, October 10, 2015

BETSEY'S BLOCK


I've been in love with this block since it first came to light in 1985 in Linda Otto Lipsett's book, "Remember Me, Women and Their Friendship Quilts".  Ms. Lipsett details the history of this quilt made between 1846 and 1875 by Betsey M. Wright Lee, plus details the struggles Betsey endured during her lifetime.  All of us in my small Wednesday morning quilt group studied and loved this 1800s quilt. When one of our members moved to California in about 1987; we duplicated the friendship quilt for her.   The quilt below is now owned by Tere Simonson.
Below is a quilt top I made in 1989 in a class on civil war quilts taught by Marianne Fons.  We were to bring scraps of fabric and a 6" block pattern reminiscent of the Civil War era.  Of course, I thought of Betsey's block.  I left off the outer triangles for a straight set. This was a great class where I learned so much about fabric of the era.  I enjoyed making this quilt top in class; even though I have never managed to quilt it.
When a member, Laura Kozubik Nagel, of our night-time quilt group moved in the early 1990s; we made her a quilt using Betsey's block, but I think these are four-inch blocks.  The block is great for friendship signatures.
  This is Laura's quilt.
In about 2005, I had an urge to revisit Betsey's block and made this top of 100 three-inch blocks.  Once again, I truly love this quilt; but it has remained unquilted.

I know -- I must have the ten-year itch -- can't help myself -- last week I made another quilt top of 49 three-inch Betsey blocks.  They are so much fun to make without much thought!



Do you think I should get busy and finally quilt up one of my Betsey quilts?  

If you are a quilt history buff, I highly recommend Ms. Lipsett's book.  It contains many wonderful stories that will enrich your quilting life.  This one story about Betsey Lee and her quilt has given me 30 years of enjoyment and thankfulness for the era in which I live and quilt.

I'm joining the following:

Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday
Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social Wednesday
Quarter Inch from the Edge for Throwback Thursday (1st of month)
Quilting Readers Garden for WIPS Be Gone Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday
A Quilted Passion for Whoomp There It Is! Saturday

7 comments:

Bonnie said...

I think I have that book and if it is the same one I remember many days of reading and looking and enjoying. YES, you should quilt ONE of your Betsey quilts. Personally I would quilt the smallest one unless you have a purpose for a larger one. I often store tops unquilted because they take up so much less room. There are only so many places I can show or store a quilt! I'll be pulling that book off the shelf and revisiting it one of these days!

beth s said...

What a great quilt show you have here today. ;) Sounds like a good book!

TheEclecticAbuela said...

The border on the 49 block quilt is gorgeous!

SarahZ said...

How fun! That bit of history has sure made it's own history in your quilting, hasn't it? :) By all means quilt one of these up!!! :) So is this simple 2 HSTs and a Flying goose? It looks like a wonderful block!

desertskyquilts said...

Might be time to quilt one. =) They are all so lovely! A great leader-ender project, too.

Zenia Rene said...

All of your Betsey block flimsies are absolutely stunning! The scrappiness is truly reminiscent of that era. Fabulous!

Quiltpiecer said...

What a great post! These are beautiful. Came by way of A Quilting Reader's Garden and am new to your blog. Will be sure to come back!