"Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy

The Short Story of One Quilt's Long Journey to Completion

James Robert Brunk, grandfather of Billy Brunk Moody, had a housekeeper named Mary who appliqued and embroidered the blocks for this quilt.  She passed away when Billy was 10 or 12 years old and he received the blocks at that time.  Billy subsequently gave them to his daughter, Sherry (Moody) Tracy.  The raw blocks were approximately 16" - 17" square. 

Sherry commissioned Wanda Gard of Kansas City, Missouri to join the blocks and make into a queen-sized quilt.  Wanda designed the setting, picked setting, border and backing fabrics, machine-pieced the top, designed and marked the quilting, and did all the quilting by hand.  It took Wanda approximately 8 months to complete (finished in April 2010).

According to "Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Applique"  (published in 2009), the 6 different designs of the 12 blocks made up a set named "Colonial Belles" and the pattern was published in Capper's Weekly.  The exact date is not known, but the fabrics used in the applique suggest the blocks may have been made during the 1930's or 1940's.

The attached photo shows Sherry Tracy and her father, Billy Brunk Moody, holding their "new" family heirloom.


Comments

Kathy D wrote re: "Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy
on Monday, 31 May 2010, 9:28 PM

Truly magnificent.  Wanda did a great job with designing how to best make the 'belle's' shine.  Sherry, you have inherited a fantastic heirloom.

Nana wrote re: "Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy
on Monday, 31 May 2010, 10:22 PM

Beautiful quilt and an awesome history.  Thanks for sharing.

Kris wrote re: "Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy
on Tuesday, 1 June 2010, 1:13 AM

What a great story. The quilt is wonderful. What a treasure.

Patti wrote re: "Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy
on Tuesday, 1 June 2010, 8:31 AM

What an amazing unusual quilt.  Great history.

Wanda Gard wrote re: "Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy
on Wednesday, 2 June 2010, 8:10 PM

Thanks for the kind words! I loved every minute of making this quilt and when I got ready to deliver it to Sherry, my son reminded me to "let go" when I handed it over!  I knew the only way to get over missing it was to start another quilt, which I have.

gini wrote re: "Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy
on Thursday, 3 June 2010, 12:29 AM

beautiful quilt , and what a wonderful story to go with it      thanks for sharing   gini

Char wrote re: "Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy
on Sunday, 6 June 2010, 5:36 PM

Sherry,

What a wonderful treasure!

Wanda,

Beautiful work! I can see why you didnt want to let go!

Char

jay-marie wrote re: "Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy
on Monday, 21 June 2010, 4:04 PM

Wanda beautiful work it must be wonderful to complete this quilt after hearing it's history.

Sherry does it make you want to make a quilt too?

Wanda Gard wrote re: "Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy
on Wednesday, 11 August 2010, 5:18 AM

What a surprise and honor to see the "Colonial Belles" story in the Fall 2010 issue of Fons & Porter's "Easy Quilts" magazine!  Glad I was sitting down when I flipped to page 9 and saw the picture! My son was even impressed, and that's not an easy thing to do.  Thanks to QCA for providing this forum to share our projects!

Barbara wrote re: "Colonial Belles" by Sherry Tracy
on Wednesday, 11 August 2010, 7:04 AM

Beautiful quilt,and amazing story. Thank you for sharing ..Barbara

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