I don't have a Grandmother Oatis, but if I did, this orphan block would be a family heirloom and a treasured piece of needlework. Here's what I know about Grandmother Oatis from this Sunbonnet Sue block:
* The block was intended to be a block in a quilt for Mrs. Oatis' granddaughter.
* It was likely done in the mid to late 1930's from scraps from her own dress.
* The background muslin is more of a gauze and not a desirable fabric for a quilt.
* Grandmother Oatis was not an experienced stitcher.
* This block was left out of the quilt.
Always the optimist, I surely hope Mrs. Oatis made a second block and considered this one a practice piece. I imagine when she compared this first attempt with other more experienced sewers, she realized that her embroidery stitches could be neater and the pencil and ink lines could be followed more closely. I bet on the second one she figured out that three strands of black embroidery floss was easier and neater for stitching lettering, fingers and bows.
My favorite thing about her signature is the way she wrote grandmother as two words...both capitalized. I hope she signed the second one the same way...don't you? As you can see, the gauzy background is fairly transparent and has age spots....I plan to make those spots into flowers. So far, I have trimmed the original block down a bit, added a border of 1930's hexagon flower blocks and am in the process of hand quilting.
I haven't hand quilted in quite a long time and I am enjoying the stitching rhythm and thinking how special it is to have this piece of quilting history. I should write a story. Yep, that's what I'll do. I'll be thinking about it while finishing the hand quilting.
Thank-you Grand Mother Oatis.
It is my pleasure to share your Sunbonnet Sue Album Block on
CollectInTexas Gal's Sixth Blogiversary!