My mother had a wonderful experience living at Watkins Scholarship Hall while she was a student at Kansas University during the 1940's. She began her freshman year in 1945 right at the end of World War II and graduated in 1949. Watkins Hall had regular house meetings, which she and the other residents were required to attend. Although the girls could not read or do homework during these meetings, they could knit and do handwork; so my mother began to embroider these flower blocks during the meetings. The twenty-five patterns of the Flower Garden Quilt were published from 1929-30 by the well-known quilt designer Ruby McKim. One or two of the patterns appeared weekly in newspapers. Women would cut out the patterns, collecting them over the weeks so they could create the quilt.
After my mother graduated from KU, she taught junior high home economics for a year before marrying my father. She had completed embroidering all twenty-five flower blocks and sewn the blocks together by hand. Then she had three daughters, and life got busy! The unfinished quilt top was put away and stored in her hope chest for years until she gave it to me a few years ago.
I finally decided I needed to finish the quilt for my mom. I googled Ruby McKim and discovered that her granddaughter was reviving the patterns and work that her grandmother had done. I ordered a book from her here.
I took the blocks apart and put solid yellow sashing strips between the blocks, with a white, blue, and yellow print for the corner blocks. I used a narrow solid navy border and then a wider border using the corner block fabric. I quilted 1/4" from the sashing seams, using yellow perle cotton and rather large stitches. I wanted to feature the embroidery work my mother had done so many years ago. The quilt now hangs on my parents' living room wall.
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.