Monday, April 20, 2015

Spinning Ball Quilt

I rotated the hanging quilts.  I thought spring was a good time to bring out The Spinning Ball.
The quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted.

Brackman #3535 credits the pattern to Hall.
Of course I had to pull out my Kretsinger/Hall book.  Plate XCVI shows a red and green Spinning Ball quilt (in blank and white).  "Made of green and red calico in Kentucky about 1850 by Mrs. Mobala Logan.  It is made and quilted with hand spun linen thread made in the Logan home.  The colors are clear and unfaded".

This Spinning Ball example is not as old, probably 50 years newer but still could be 100 years old.

This is the quilt hanging.
The maker pieced the ground fabric of multiple similar prints.

There are 56 spinning balls, most are made from two prints, but a few are multiple prints.

Some are appliqued to the ground fabric, some are inset.

Most of the purples have faded.

Not all of the 'blades' are placed in the same direction.

Facing edge flipped back over a
black and white Spinning Ball block

The quilt edge is finished with facing. Obviously not a technique "invented" by art and modern quilters.
I love this edge finish technique and plan to try it soon.

This facing finishes at a little under 1.5" on the back.

All of the hand quilting is completed with white thread.

No batting is used in the quilt.  When held up to the light, flannel stripe scraps were used as filler.  The quilt is so soft and cuddly.  I can see why it was used.

Here are a few more spinning balls.

Another scrappy one - four prints asymmetrically placed.

Here you can see the ground stripe doesn't always go on the same direction.

The balls aren't all perfectly round - I love that!

This one ball is a wonderful combination of blue chambray with a black/red print.

On the left and right side you can see the seams where the circle was inset.

This ball shows one of the changes in the ground fabric.

Another oval 'spinning ball'.

Tiny hand quilting stitches.

This block is at the edge.

Partially inset and partially applique.

The maker just improvised!  Part of what I think makes this a fantastic quilt.

You can also see the background fabric change in this block.

I hope you like this quilt as much as I do.
Have a great week!


  1. I am so curious about this quilt!! My family name is Logan, and we are from Kentucky...all my relatives were quilters!

    1. I checked the Quilt Index and Kentucky state documentation boo, and don't see the quilt mentioned in Kretsinger/Hall. Have you done any family geneology to see if you have a Mobala Logan from the 1850s?

  2. Love this quilt top! I've been looking at this pattern for quite awhile.:) It looks tough but very fun!

  3. What a great quilt Dawn. I love that it has a sense of fun about it.

  4. What a fun and charming design all spinning around the top. I'm smiling at the oval balls. The quilter must have said that's just the way the balls are going to be! Good for her.

  5. Twice I tried making the spinning blocks and failed twice. I remember I tried two methods. I don't know what I did wrong.

  6. What a beautiful quilt! Just lovely!

  7. What a fabulous quilt. I love everything about it! We too see "facing" or what we call "front to back" edge treatment in a lot of early Maine quilts. Thanks for sharing this treasure.

    1. This is applied facing,not front to back. I'm not sure where it is from. I love all the options to finish the edges! Would love a Maine antique quilt tour someday.

  8. What a great quilt and I love that the maker used different techniques!

  9. I love the "make do" background addition and the wonkiness of some of the blocks. What a feast to study!

  10. What a great quilt - my favorite part is always looking at all of the different fabrics. I also love that the stripes go in different directions - that is how my stripes go too - I refuse to try to match them up!

  11. This was so interesting! I have run into the situation when making quilts wondering if I should inset or applique. I alway lean toward applique since that is easier for me. The last ball was half way inset and then appliqued gave me the biggest smile. Being so close to the edge I wondered if the maker changed her method because she feared how much stretching may happen where the background fabric gets very thin. LOL Such a wonderful quilt and now I feel better about my cogwheel blocks that were not perfectly round. Thanks for sharing!

  12. What a fabulous old quilt!
    So interesting to see the mix of old fabrics and the interesting pattern design.

  13. what a fun fun pattern. I can't imagine how hard it would be to keep the balls round!


Thanks for your comments!