We’re nearing the end of The Star’s 2014 quilt project, “Where Poppies Grow … Remembering Almo.”
The quilt honors those who served in World War I and tells the story of Almo Ebenezer O’Kell. His correspondence and photos have been preserved by his family and provide a rich history of his work as a medic with Field Hospital No. 3 and the First Division under Gen. John J. Pershing of Missouri.
Today, Block 11: “Mother’s Dream.”
Due to his parents’ divorce, O’Kell had spent time in Hamilton, Mo., and Quincy, Ill. He was a congenial man who seemed to be at home wherever his feet were planted. The Army took him from Missouri to Texas, Mexico, Georgia, France and finally Germany. He died there on Jan. 12, 1919.
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O’Kell’s mother, Susie, wasn’t the type to interfere in her grown son’s life. She tended to stay in the shadows until she was needed. In one of his letters he wrote, “Say mama, when we get over across why (don’t) you have the boys send me some smoking as it cost the moon across there.”
He was devoted to his mother and wanted to provide for her before he sailed for Europe: “Well mama, I took out $5,000 worth of insurance for you today.” Once the Armistice was signed and military censorship was relaxed, O’Kell’s letters home became more detailed.
Susie O’Kell received a telegram that her son’s body had reached Hoboken, N.J. His remains arrived in Quincy at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 18, 1919. His funeral was the next day in the family home, and he was buried in Greenmount Cemetery in Quincy.
Sadly, Susie O’Kell had joined the legions of Gold Star Mothers across the nation.
BLOCK 11, ‘MOTHER’S DREAM’
Block size: 14 inches finished
7 inches by 13 inches red fabric
10 inches by 16 inches blue fabric
17 inches by 26 inches background fabric
10 inches by 8 inches green fabric
2 inches square gold fabric
10 inches by 8 inches fusible web
Black embroidery thread, optional
31 inches brown bias strip (previously made)
From the red fabric, cut:
4 (3 1/2-inch by 1 1/2-inch) rectangles (C)
4 (2 5/8-inch) squares (D)
From the blue fabric, cut:
12 (2-inch) squares (B)
1 (2 5/8-inch) square (D)
1 (2-inch) square. Apply fusible web and cut 1 circle from template 2.
From the background fabric, cut:
10 (2 3/8-inch) squares (A). Cut the squares from corner to corner once on the diagonal.
12 (2-inch) squares (B)
2 (3 1/2-inch by 9 1/2-inch) rectangles
2 (3 1/2-inch by 15 1/2-inch) rectangles
From the green fabric, apply fusible web and cut:
34 leaves using template 3
From the gold fabric, apply fusible web and cut:
1 star using template 1
You will need to make 24 blue/background half-square triangle units for this block. To make the half-square triangles, draw a diagonal line on the back of the background B squares. Sew 1/4 inch on both sides of diagonal line. Cut on the drawn line. Open and press toward the blue fabric and trim to 1 1/2 inches.
Sew three half-square triangles together as shown. Press the seams open. Make 8 rows and sew a row to either side of a red C rectangle. Press toward the red. Make 4. See Fig. 1.
Sew background A triangles to opposite sides of a red D square. Press toward the background. Repeat on the other two sides. Make 4 units using a red D square in the center and 1 unit using a blue center D square. See Fig. 2.
Sew the units into rows as shown. Sew the rows together to complete the center of the block. See Fig. 3.
Sew a 3 1/2-inch by 9 1/2-inch background rectangle to the top and bottom of the center block. Press toward the background. Sew a 3 1/2-inch by 15 1/2-inch background rectangle to the sides and press toward the background. See Fig. 4.
DOWNLOADING THIS BLOCK ONLINE
This block will be available as a free download for one week at the online home of Kansas City Star Quilts, PickleDish.com. After that, the pattern will be available as a download for $3.95.
The supply list for the entire quilt and the pattern for the laurel wreath applique will be available as a free download at PickleDish.com throughout the year.
COMING DEC. 21 in H+H: THE FINAL BLOCK AND FINISHING INSTRUCTIONS.