Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gold Nuggets Quilt Block

This 12" Gold Nuggets quilt block is the sixth block of my Irish Great Grandfather Sampler Quilt.  I found the pattern for it at Block Base.  A note said that the center should be yellow.  There are four Y seams in this block, so I hesitated making it.  I'm glad I did, though.  It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be.  I sewed all four green diagonal seams first and then stitched around all four sides of the yellow square.   

While my maternal grandmother was still in high school, she interviewed her father, James Lynch, at the urging of her older brother Will, who was living in China at the time.  (Read his letter to her here.)  Later, she wrote a biography of her father from the notes she'd taken during the interview.  Following is the sixth part of this biography:

"They (James and brothers Thomas and Patrick) panned gold around Sutter's Mill (Coloma), Yuba City and Marysville.  Life was dangerous, and robbing and killing for gold were common.  Supplies were scarce and expensive.  A plug of tobacco was five dollars and boots fifteen dollars.  Gamblers took over.  James panned almost $2000 in gold nuggets and gravel.  He kept it in a leather pouch tied around his waist at all times.  His brothers had almost as much as he did but lost it all when the bank president left for New York with all the depositors' money.

"In 1859, James and his brothers returned by the same route to New York.  James then went to Illinois where he got work as a farm hand."

  - by Hazel Lynch Skonberg, James Lynch's daughter
 Are you interested in reading more about my Irish Great-Grandpa Sampler Quilt?  You'll find it all right here.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.


  1. The block is very nice. I really like the 4 greens. It is so sad to read about the bank manager robbing the two brothers after surviving the streets so to speak from the other bad guys.

  2. Love the block, the fabrics are gorgeous. I tend to do y-seam blocks by hand as I find that easier. Another interesting tale from your family history, love it.

  3. Very pretty. I have never made a Y seam, so maybe I'll try this.

  4. They certainly were adventurous & brave. A reminder to live life to the fullest! Love the block, thanks!

  5. This block is just beautiful! And perfect for the one to represent the gold panning done by the brothers.

  6. I did y seams for bow tie blocks, long before I knew what a y seam was (I was too ignorant to know that they were more difficult). They are a lot like mitered borders. I'm going over to a lady in my quilt guild tomorrow to help her learn how to do mitered borders.

  7. What interesting lives! They certainly lived life to the fullest! I'm going to have to get busy building a stash of green fabrics since I realize I don't have nearly enough variety of greens for this quilt.


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