New York Beauties

A couple of weeks ago, at one of our Guild Sew Days I got an amazing burst of creative energy.  It all started with the fabulous Bill Volkening and his amazing collection of vintage New York Beauty quilts.  Bill is a quilt collector extraordinaire and a collection of his 1970’s quilt hung at QuiltCon last week.

Anyway Bill was showing some of us the roughs for a new book he has done which highlights his amazing collection of New York Beauty quilts from the 1850’s through to modern.  I had never seen such an awe inspiring collection of quilts and I was immediately drawn to the wonderful patterns that were used to make them.  If you are interested in seeing what I am talking about Bill has a fun slide show of 30 of his New York beauties up on line HERE.

Having just conquered my fear of curved piecing I thought I had to give this block a go, just to see if I could do it.  The second part of the inspiration came about 20 minutes later when a friend from PMQG gave me the most amazing gift… a tin of Mirror Ball fat quarters.  It seems Tracey had bought the tin years ago, before I had discovered the magic of Mirror Ball and not used it…she had seen my love of Mirror Ball first hand at the PMQG retreat (I may have drooled over her fabric) and decided to gift me her tin of magic.  I was at first speechless and a little teary.  It was such a generous gift and I do LOVE Mirror Ball.  Anyway a long story short while I was petting my new fabric I stumbled across this colour scheme…

Mirror ball fabric…and my new project/obsession was born.  So this week I have been making New York Beauty blocks…

New York Beauty 1…lots of New York Beauty blocks.,..

New York Beauty 3I found some paper piecing patterns for blocks in my EQ7 program and I have been playing…

New York Beauty 2There has been lots of unpicking and learning but I am having fun.  I am not sure what final layout will be but for now I am just enjoying the fun of making these blocks. Each one is different…each one is unique…each one has sparkle in it.

I am linking up with Lee and Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

30 thoughts on “New York Beauties

  1. What a wonderful block to represent New York! Was it deliberate, inspired by the Statue of Liberty’s crown, or was it named after the block was designed and someone noticed the resemblance?

    • Arielle from what I can gather the term New York Beauty was coined in the 1930s when the pattern was used by the Mountain Mist Company to promote their batting. They revisited an old pattern that dates back to the 18th century but the rename has stuck. The block does scream New York, I think, for the reasons you mentioned.

      • Thanks for the clarification! I saw that the first blocks were from way before the Statue; that’s why I wasn’t sure how they’d gotten their name. I’m not up for curved piecing, so I’ll simply enjoy looking at your blocks 🙂

  2. Oh, you don’t do things by halves, do you? Those are some of the most lavish, loud, gorgeous, fresh, modern and, well, WOMBAT NYB blogs I’ve ever seen. I quite understand your mirror ball fetish, and feel it’s a natural progression from your Pearl Bracelet fetish. I’m now desperate to see what you end up using all those lovely blocks for!

  3. What a great rabbit hole to go down! There are so many variation of NYB; I’m sure you will find most of them. These three are a wonderful start – what a pretty palette!

  4. I love your colours. I’m just in the middle of a NYB quilt myself! I found ten pattern blocks from an old QAL hosted by sew sweetness. Where are your patterns from, if you don’t mind me asking? They are gorgeous.

  5. I had the great pleasure of actually being Bill’s volunteer for his first history tour at QuiltCon. It was a great tour and he had a lot of information. I could image how amazing this was for you guys!!

  6. I am only beginning to learn about New York beauties. They look like fun to make. Enjoy!
    At this rate, you will be a curve pro soon and ready to make a double wedding ring. 🙂 (I made up my own pattern and it used paper piecing, which I know you like ….)

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