My parents live in an area of Tennessee that was under that path of totality for the recent solar eclipse. My husband and I made tentative plans to go visit them for a week, and thankfully we were able to make the trip. I have to admit, getting to view totality was both more than what I expected and not at all what I expected at all: our sun is BRIGHT and even at 99% it was not as dark out as I had anticipated. If you are interested, my husband was able to capture a pretty great image of the sun’s corona from our perspective.
One evening as I getting read to go to sleep, I pulled back the top comforter on the bed and realized we had been sleeping underneath one of my paternal grandmother’s fan quilts. I found it quite the coincidence after having just had Melva ask questions relating to quilting in my family!
We believe that the last quilt Ocie hand quilted was my first pieced quilt top, the twin sized quilt I took with me to college. In my third year at college, she passed away.
My mother told me that when Ocie found a pattern, she would repeat that pattern and make 6 or more quilts using the same pattern before moving on to another design.
I remember going to church with my grandmother as a young girl and having people in her congregation tell me how wonderful her fan quilts were. I am sure I saw them at the time, but getting the opportunity to see it now is something else entirely.
To be honest, I was really surprised at the amount of solid fabrics she used in the quilt top. The center of each fan and 2 of the fan “blades” are both from the same solid fabric in each block.
The background and backing of the quilt are both a white solid fabric.
My mom said Ocie liked to use old sheets, and she thinks most of the solids in this fan quilt are old, cut up sheets.
I have always wondered a little bit if Grandma would like my quilts. The little girl inside me thinks that maybe she really would.
I certainly enjoyed getting to look over her work, and see those neat, tiny stitching lines that are so familiar to me from the quilting she did for me.
The best way to love a quilt is to sleep under it, and it is a joy to know I’ve slept under one of Ocie’s fan quilts.
Do you have any quilts passed down through the generations in your family? I’m thinking that keeping this quilt on a guest bed in my parents home, between sheet and comforter where it won’t see a lot of use is probably a great way to store it.
Linking up with Main Crush Monday.
37 thoughts on “Ocie’s Fan Quilt”
This quilt is so beautiful, how lovely that you have this lovely memory quilt that you can use and love. Unfortunately I don’t have anything like this from my grandmother but I cherish the photos which are a wonderful memory jogger xxx
What an amazing memory to leave behind! Glad you found a place to sometimes have a look what she achieved
My mother only quilted for about 5 years before she passed away in 1979. I have a cathedral window she made with my dress and play clothes scraps and a reversible grandmother’s flower garden.
A beautiful quilt and a lovely memory of your grandmother. I don’t think either of my grandmothers quilted.
What beautiful quilts and so special the memories. I’m the first in my family to quilt but it was my grandmother who taught me to knit and I credit her for my life long pursuit of all things associated with hand-crafting.
Beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing.
Beautiful quilt, thanks for sharing your memories.
What a gorgeous quilt! I especially love all the memories you shared. It’s amazing how we might see something when we are young, but have such a better appreciation for it when we get older. I feel that way about my grandmother’s art too!
What a beautiful quilt and now we know where you got your love of quilting too! It’s amazing how much comfort we get from a quilt, and when it has history behind it…even better! I too was surprised that it didn’t become darker with the eclipse. It was amazing and something I will always remember. I was mesmerized by it!
I am sure your grandmother would love your work, and marvel at the outrageous changes in quilting! It is amazing how fast we can work now and the tools we have available. My grandmother taught me to sew, but was more interested in clothing. Petronella lived through the depression and enjoyed buying things when she could rather than making them!
Your grandmother would love your quilts, and be so proud of the work you do to share your quilting with others. Her quilt is so bright and cheery. What a fun treasure. I do have quilts from my ancestors. I actually have a quilt from my great grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, my sister in law, my daughter and me (of course). I also have quilts from a few aunts. Someday I’m going to write about the quilts in my blog; they all have a story to tell.
Your grandmothers quilt is absolutely gorgeous! There is no one in my family that quilted, but my great grandmother did sew and was such a perfectionist that she turned my mom off of sewing for life. But mom taught me how to crochet and tried to teach me how to knit, she’s right handed and I’m left, so it’s kind of hard. I have a feeling that all of the older quilters would marvel at the new machines and new ways to quilt. Some would probably continue the way they did and others would attempt to try these “new fangled ideas” that have come out in the last 20+ years!
Grandma would have just loved that you took up the quilting “bug”! It meant the world to her that she could quilt a top you pieced. Solids, prints – to her it didn’t matter, it was about how they played together. She loved having a solid to tone down busy prints, though!
Your quilt is a trip down memory lane for me, too. I think I recognize some of the fabrics, or at least the time period. My grandma quilted when she had some time from everyday work life. I had a grandmother’s flower garden doll quilt that she had hand quilted and made from her chicken feed sacks. I cherished that quilt! Grandma pieced and sewed garments on a treadle machine. Other aunts quilted, and I had many of their grandmother’s flower garden quilts. I marveled at the tiny hexagons so carefully pieced–many were fussy cut. Unfortunately, all my family and vintage quilts were lost in a house fire 9 years ago. I cherish the memories of the ladies in my family who quilted before me.
It was fascinating to see the careful placement of the solid blades in each fan. My mother was always precise with her placement as well. It was very difficult for her to do “scrap” or unplanned. So many of the old “scrap” quilts are very carefully planned–another example is the fans of one colorway in your grandma’s quilt. Vintage quilts are so much fun. I enjoy handling them and thinking of the woman who quilted them even if I had no idea who the lady was. Each was an artist.
This is gorgeous. I loved all the close-ups you shared. My mom has a couple quilts that my grandmothers made. I have a quilt I finished that my great grandmother pieced the blocks. I love it.
I am sure your Grandma would love your quilts. Grandmas love to share hobbies with grandchildren. I am sure she would be so proud of your accomplishments!
What a sweet and lovely treasure!!
I love your Grandmother’s fan quilt pictures. Thanks for sharing. I am sure she would be amazed at your quilts. She would smile on them and you would be a happy little girl again. Grandmother’s approval is BIG! I must say that my husband’s uncle was named Ocie. He was from East Texas and ended up living most of his life in California, his is an amazing story. Family originally from Georgia and North Carolina. He was one of the kindest, smartest people I have ever known. I’ve never known of anyone else named Ocie, so your grandmother is special to me, too. 🙂 AND your stories and posting of her quilts have reminded me that it would be a good idea to do the same with mine. Thank you again. 🙂
It’s a beautiful quilt Yvonne. It’s very colourful and I can see where you get your eye for colour! There is some rainbow goodness going on there.
The reason I began quilting was my mother-in-law had several quilt tops made by her aunt, and gave one to hubby and I shortly after we were married. Of course I needed to learn to quilt so I could finish it! I also finished one for my mil and when she passed, I was able to bring it home with us. Lastly, I had no idea my grandparents had a quilt that that had received as a gift when they left a parish (my granddad was a pastor)….it was an autograph quilt, with church member names on it – including my dad and his family. Well I saw it at my cousin’s house once – was so surprised I had never known it existed – and several weeks later, my cousin sent it to me. I am thrilled to have that one!!
Here I answered your question w/o commenting on YOUR quilt experience – which was lovely in fact – what a nice surprise!
Hello Yvonne; Such a beautiful quilt to get to sleep under and be able to really explore up close also. This is a pattern I have wanted to make myself and seeing your Grandmother’s lovely fans just brings that desire right to the forefront. Thank you for sharing one of your Grandmother’s quilts with us. Plus, Yvonne, I am pretty certain without even knowing your Grandma at all (hee,hee,) she would be so proud of all of your spectacular quilts and all of the fabulous work that you have done in the quilting business she would be Beaming From Ear to Ear and Telling Every One About Her Special Granddaughter! Have a great day!
What a wonderful post! How great that you got to sleep under and enjoy your grandmother’s quilt. I am 100% sure she would love you quilts as much as she loved you, and would be so proud that you find comfort and success with this handcraft. She would love that she passed on the skill. ~smile~ Roseanne
Stories like this are so special and I just love yours. Ocie’s quilts are beautiful as are yours.
The quilt looks so fresh it could have been made yesterday . It also has a surprisingly modern look to it too
Beautiful quilts and beautiful memories. I also have quilts that have been handed down that my grandmother and great grandmothers made. Such a treasure.
Thanks for sharing. How awesome that you were able to sleep under one of her quilts. I don’t have any quilts that have been passed down.
Oh, thank you for taking the time to photograph the blocks in detail. I can only imagine how special this quilt is to you and your family! Now, I feel a little guilty making one quilt from a pattern and moving on to the next pattern when she make several from one pattern.
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Her quilt is beautiful and she’d be so proud of you. I have one top that my grandmother’s grandmother pieced. My intentions are to someday back it and hand quilt it. Someday!
What a special quilt! It’s really beautiful. I recently inherited a quilt made by my great-grandmother and haven’t done anything with it — eek. It has some stains and I’m trying to figure out the best way to wash it. Any ideas?
This is lovely. I have a quilt top that was passed down that was probably made in the 30s–I boldly separated out 6 of the blocks to make a toddler size quilt for my daughter, and will use the remaining blocks to make baby quilts for my niece’s and nephew’s kids (once they start having kids, in a few years).
No quilters amongst my forebears, sadly. How lovely that you found yourself sleeping under this and had a chance to get a really good look.
What a beautiful treasure. My grandmother was a quilter. I have several of my quilts that she hand quilted. I used them so much I wore 2 of them out, but they are still safely stored in acid free boxes. I wish I had taken better care of them, but I think she was happy they were well used.
What a wonderful story of family and quilts woven together Yvonne. I am sure your Grandmother would absolutely love your quilts no question.
THats so cool to be able to sleep under your grandmothers quilt! and it is a beautiful quilt. My grandma used lots of solids too – I think they could just find beauty in everything 😉
It’s so wonderful to be able to sleep under a quilt made by a loving family member! My Memaw made quilts & I had one for years. It was badly damaged from improper washing, since it was only hand tied. I had to cut it apart & sew together what I could salvage. Not an easy thing to do! Currently I’m working on patching some of the bare spots. I have one other quilt she made, with help, for my son. She only had the use of one hand at the time, so it’s very special to me. Your grandmother’s quilt is beautiful!
My grandson had a quilt that had that pattern. This dog got a hold of it and I was able to save one fan pattern. I wrote him a story about his blanket ( his BB) and he loved it. He would love to have another BB. Do you know of any for sale.