I "inherited" 21 of them, from the same source as the antique Dresden blocks. They are hand-stitched, under who knows what conditions; the puckering in the piece above was common to pretty much all the blocks. The shapes and the French blue color somehow remind me of war, peace, and Europe.
However, the stitcher had another weighty issue on her mind: drunkenness and the damage it did to women's lives. According to librarian/quilter Nann, who left a comment below, and verified in this article by Barbara Brackman, this is the 4-T or "Capital T" block standing for temperance. The recipient of the quilt will love it! The only aesthetic preferences he gave were "not too much of anything." How perfect!
How to make them into a quilt? My first priority is to combine the blocks with this very sweet Dianthus print I picked up at Joann's at a steep discount. I bought 5 yards at less than $4 a yard (using a 25%-off-my-entire-purchase coupon, on top of a 30% discount on calicos! If you sewists out there missed that deal, you were sleeping!)
But how to match the "outspoken" block with the rather delicate print? Here's a layout I've come up with. I have an idea for the central cross section (more flying geese?) and for the five remaining blocks, but I'm letting it rest for the moment (for one thing, I need a source for antique white fabric!--I'm about to use up the old pillowcase I've been using). Do you think I need something more, an applique, in the white space around the peach center squares--or will fancy quilting fill the role?
Meanwhile, on my design wall (as opposed to my design floor), I have this crazy quilt beginning, measuring about 40" by 40"
My mom thinks it looks like a story quilt, as it has "narrative" elements like this toile lovers' scene
and this Japanese scene (my mom once had a dress made of this fabric):