“Somethin’ about this quilt block unsettles me. Why wasn’t it finished? Was Mellie part of a Quilting Bee? Were they makin' a quilt for a friend? For charity? Did one of those fine ladies kick her out? Get a bunch of hens together and all kinds of scratchin’ goes on," Gramma Kakie
Mellie. The name conjures up images of “Gone With the Wind” and the demure Miss Mellie. This sweet, vintage hand-sewn, hand-embroidered quilt block bears the name, “Mellie Pruitt,” on off-white cotton, surrounded by black and white polka dots.
And there is the question, “Who is Mellie Pruitt?” I found a “Mellie Pruitt” from Walnut Grove Township, SC who was born in 1918. She was 22 years old during the 1940 census. A Mellie Pruitt was also born in 1886 in Blytheville, AR. Yet another Mellie was born in Houston, TX in 1873. Could be any Mellie.
All I know is this forgotten quilt block has survived to 2017 and begs to become part of something. It has been in my “I can always make a pillow” stash of fabric and old linens for about 18 years. I think it should be incorporated in something grander than a pillow, after all these years. The quilt block measures about 9 inches square and is in good vintage condition. It has not been exposed to light, so the polka dot fabric is not faded. The original pencil writing is still visible under the embroidery work, so this block has not been washed, either.