Vintage Anne Orr Mosaic Rose Quilt Kit

Here is something I really appreciate — for over 80 years, some nice person kept together every item of this quilt in progress. Large pieces of the colored fabrics were included, as well as a tiny illustration from a Lockport leaflet and a hand-colored drawing by the quilter.

Apparently, the quilter had just that tiny clipping as her inspiration, and no instructions. She spent lots of time calculating stuff that I can’t quite make out — probably how many squares of each color she would need and how much yardage to purchase.

She got started hand piecing the little squares together, but she couldn’t seem to figure out a method that worked. There are just a few odd shaped block pieces with lots of seams unpicked. One problem I noticed right away is that she decided to switch from using her sandpaper and cardboard templates to ripping the fabric. I’m sure she got frustrated cutting all those little squares (too bad she didn’t have a rotary cutter!). Of course, her little pile of ripped squares are slightly misshapen and have fuzzy edges, which makes accurate piecing nearly impossible.

Here is a photo I found on ebay of a completed Anne Orr quilt that is very similar, except it has two rows of blue.

Of course, you can tell from the fabric and the pattern that this quilt is from the 1930s, but it’s also nice to have a real date. Isn’t it great that she just happened to use the back of this scrap of paper to make some of her notes. . .

I’m sorry she had a lot of trouble with her quilt project, but, like many of my best finds, her loss is my gain. I’m not sure how many blocks I’m going to be able to make from this fabric, and I don’t intend to try and calculate it — I’ll just start making them and see how it goes. Thank you unknown quilter (and unknown quilter’s family) for preserving this wonderful piece of history for me.

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