A Handful of Nuggets
April, 1998
16 in HIGH x 16 in WIDE
(40.64 cm HIGH x 40.64 cm WIDE)
Gift of Kaiser Elementary School, Tom Rust, teacher

This quilt Block was the Grand Prize winner in the P & B Textiles/Oakland Museum of California Quilt Block Competition for students (K-12) in Alameda County, 1998. The block is titled: "A Hanful Of Nuggets", made at Kaiser Elementary School, Oakland, Tom Rust, teacher. The creative 4th grade students who made the block are Drew Watkins and Charles Smith. The three P & B Textiles/Oakland Museum of California fabrics used are a blue quatrefoil, a yellow, green and soft red geometric print, and a yellow fabric printed with light red and red acorns and oak leaves. The red and yellow and blue and blue prints are used as background blocks. The geometric pattern is used as a "sun" beating down on a miner carrying a large gold nugget, leading his mule with a metallic gold cord; both of the figures are in silhouette, done in black flocked cloth, the mule has a lavender flocked mane, and is decorated with a metalic silver floral button. The young artists explained their work: "We started with 3 - 18 x 11 1/2 inch pieces of fabric. Then we cut out 6 - 9 x 5 1/2 inch rectangles. We cut out a horse, a miner and sun. We stuffed the sun with cotton. It took us 5 hours to make the quilt [block]. We got this idea from when my friend and I were doing gold rush stuff at the Oakland Museum and when we are studying the gold rush history in class. That's what inspired our quilt. The name of our quilt is 'A HANDFUL OF NUGGETS'. This is the story for our quilt: A miner spent many days working very hard panning for gold. Every morning he would get up with the sun and he would see nothing but nuggets everywhere. It was always his dream to strike it rich and he was determined to find gold somewhere. Even the sun looked like a big chunk of gold to him. He would dig and sometimes he would find fools gold, but he would keep right on digging and looking at the sun! 'That big chunk of gold.' And he would say to himself 'I know there is gold in these here mountains' Well one day, he was returning from the gold fields with a big smile on his face. He was going to the assay's office to weigh his big beautiful gold nuggets with his horse whose name was Nugget." "We learned how to measure, and how to divide our material up into even pieces, and we learned how to lay out and plan things. We put a lot of thinking into our quilt and how we wanted it to look. We learned how to sew even better than we did before and the most important thing we learned is how to work together."

Used: competition | P & B Textiles | Oakland Museum of California | Quilt Block Competition

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