Ocean Waves is one of those blocks that looks lonely by itself. It's a party block, it feels best when hanging out with friends.
|IQSCM collection dated 1900|
Sandra Starley's blog has another antique Ocean Waves quilt.
Ocean Waves appears in the 1931 catalogue The Patchwork Book. One thing I have found curious in this magazine was the continual references to the colonial women and their patchwork. I don't think American colonial women were making patchwork blocks, the 1700s were too early for patchwork.
Barbara Brackman addresses this issue in her latest blog, Women's Work: Quilts.
In the early to mid-20th century popular quilt writing was valued more for mythology than accuracy. Nostalgia for an imagined colonial and pioneer past fed a sense of national pride. Patchwork quilts were survivors that seemed to support that argument. Curators, popular historians and pattern companies shaped their stories to fit the myth.
The image: An isolated woman working alone, recycling scraps from her ragbag, clever and artistic enough to imagine new patterns named for geese, bears and turkeys as she glanced out her cabin door at the wildlife. Occasionally finding respite from her solitary life in a group quilting bee.
Ahh. So it's the Romance of the Patchwork Quilt (yet another book from the 1930s.)