I am sharing the pattern for a quilt that my great grandmother, Hanna Balster, made (see the picture below). I have never been able to find this exact pattern but was able to draft it using EQ6.
The names people have suggested for the pattern are Wedding Ring Nine Patch and Glorified Nine Patch. Of course my great grandmother might well have called it something different.
A more circular version of this quilt is found in Brackman's book, "The Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns". She gives it the following names; Improved Nine Patch, Circle Upon Circle, Four Leaf Clover, Nine Patch Variation and Bailey Nine Patch. 2
I've changed the pattern slightly so that it will be easier to make using a sewing machine. By dividing the pattern into blocks with the two halves of the curved block edges sewn together it will be easier to piece. I have seen similar quilts done with this seam.
You will be cutting your fabric piece by piece using templates just like our ancestors did. There is really no quick way to do it. You will find the templates for a 12 inch version of this quilt at Hanna's Quilt.
If you decide to do this quilt by hand you might want to use the full biconvex shape like Hanna did. Find the template here.
In my example to the right I've put a straight border on the quilt. An advanced quilter could make it with the scallops like my great grandmother did.
I know that family quilts mean a great deal to many of you for I often get email inquiring about the name of a family quilt. You can see from this article why I can never be sure but it is fun see what I can find. I will never know what my great grandmother called her quilt but for me it will always be Hanna's Quilt.
I suggest you add a label to the back of these precious quilt because it will be sewn on and will never be lost like an envelope or sheet of paper can be. I've used the computer and printable fabric and have printed out information about the quilt maker as well as the quilt for each of my family quilts.
Above is a four generation picture with Hanna (the oldest) and me (the youngest). How long ago that was.
© 2008 Judy Anne Breneman (For your personal use only. Please write to me for permission before you copy this for others.)
Questions? Contact Judy Anne
If anyone has heard of other names for Hanna's quilt please write and let me know.
1 p 4 and 2 p 60 "The Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns" by Barbara Brackman