Ruby Neal’s Quilts

Ruby Neal was famous for her quilts. Dozens of the hand-sewn beauties have been handed down to her descendants. She had favorite patterns–Dahlia Star, Double Wedding Ring, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, Periwinkle, Six-Pointed Star.

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An early display–at the Dexter Library Hall–of some of the hobbies of Ruby Neal. She did quilting, sewing, crocheting, crewelwork, and more.
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Ruby Neal enjoying a display of her quilts.

Dahlia Star

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The solid color fabrics in Dahlia Star are gathered at the circle, adding a 3-D effect.

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40th Wedding Anniversary–Kenneth and Ruby Neal

Double Wedding Ring

Double Wedding Rig is challenging to set together because of the curves. It’s interesting to see it made in newer fabrics, and one of the precious older ones.

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Ruby and Kenneth Neal

Grandmother’s Flower Garden

Grandmother’s Flower Garden is made up of all hexagons.

Periwinkle

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Periwinkle is an example of a dear “charm quilt.” A charming way to use up fabrics left over from other garments.

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Kenneth and Ruby Neal, Golden Wedding anniversary, November 1966.

Six-Pointed Star

And old one next to one from newer fabrics. The more little points meet at the center of a star, the more challenging it is. Six-Pointed Star is a classic quilt pattern.

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Jacque Johnson, one of Ruby Neal’s granddaughters, owned Adel Quilting & Dry Goods for several years, also known as the “Little Quilt Shop on the Prairie”. She holds classes and events, and has a website with an active blog–about all things quilting.

What a delightful way to carry on a hobby of her mother, Marian (Neal) Beaman, and also of her grandmother (and ours), Ruby (Blohm) Neal.

Jacque

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Jacque Johnson

13 comments

  1. Joy, what beautiful quilts. Ruby Neal was sure a talented lady. Thank you for sharing another great story and family history.

  2. Looks like Ruby did beautiful work on those challenging patterns. I live in Texas and visit Adel Quilting and Dry Goods every time I go see my mom in Stuart. Nice shop!

    • I wish I’d learned to quilt from her! I did work on a Double Wedding Ring quilt later and was surprised at how challenging it was. Next time you’re at Jacque’s shop, ask about her “antiques.” She displays things on my highchair from the 1940s. But after Mom was done having children, Aunt Marian had four, so it was also Jacque’s highchair!

  3. Thank you for sharing Ruby’s quilts with us. They’re beautiful, but at the same time, I’ll bet that my laptop doesn’t do them justice. I so admire the artistry and skill of accomplished quilters. I also read the article about charm quilts. I’d never heard of them before!

    • I eventually learned to quilt, and was surprised that my favorite part was watching the lovely shading dimension the actual quilting added to the design. Doesn’t show up in the photos, but I still enjoy the colors, fabrics, and Grandma’s favorite patterns.

  4. Oh I just loved this posting as I am a hand quilter myself. All of them a true treasure and a story into your past. They are truly gorgeous! ~ I love Ruby and I wish I was in texas to visit Jacque shop – it looks darling!

    • I enjoy quilting more than piecing or applique, but developed carpal tunnel syndrome. I’ve had the surgery but quilting is a past chapter for me. I did do one for our one and only grandbaby!

      Jacque’s shop is in Iowa, just half an hour from me. If I were still quilting I’d get in on a lot of the activities she offers there. Quilters travel there quite a lot, especially when Iowa’s weather improves!

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