Monday, August 22, 2016

Not Square Blocks: Diamond Shaped Blocks 1

Guide Post pattern, based on a diamond-shaped
block, from Mountain Mist.
I'm looking for an actual quilt in every pattern
indexed in my BlockBase program. Above is
one for #231a, one the few diamond blocks I can match up.
Quilt + Published History.

The diamond grids are not very common, but I have duplicates of several variations.

A detail of a fabulous quilt in the United Notions/Moda
collection---maybe 1830-1850.

The pattern and many of the fabrics were copied in this
kit sold last year in the Collections for a Cause:Community line.

Detail of Tammy Vonderschmitt's mini-repro

The example above (perhaps from 1870-1890) is from Laura Fisher Quilts.
The design is BlockBase #231b

I included the first published instance of a name in my Encyclopedia/BlockBase index so the Nancy Page newspaper column gets credit for Diamonds in 1933.

The Nancy Cabot column published it January 23, 1935.
You can shade it in a variety of ways and get variations
on argyle and harlequin designs.

Argyle sweater vest

This quilt of navy blue prints and yellow is about 1900.

Bright red sashing rather overwhelms this
four-patch diamond from the mid-20th-century.
The diagonal set adds to the drama.

A nine-patch in a diamond shape is another old pattern. The earliest version of #232 I've seen
is from the Massachusetts project on the Quilt Index.

Nine-patches alternate with a red and yellow chintz.
The maker gave some thought to alternating high contrast
and low contrast blocks, giving an argyle look.

I found several 19th-century "diamond nine-patches"
or "nine-patch diamonds" in the Massachusetts files.
Above the diamonds must be fairly small to focus on the dog's head conversational print.

Mid-19th century

A signature quilt from the Connecticut project,
also mid-19th century.
This one from an auction is about the same age.
The nine-patches above are all #232a, set point to point.

Another set: #232b with the diamonds stacked up.

#232 variation

I couldn't find an actual quilt alternating plain blocks
but here's one from about 1900 with the diamond blocks side by side.

BlockBase will print templates for these various diamond shaped blocks in any size.

Top from the mid-20th-century from Susan
at Sunrise Studios.

25 diamonds in a diamond block.

From Willy Wonky Quilts
25 but the black lines are pieced of diamonds too.

A spectacular Amish version from the
Faith and Stephen Brown collection.

I haven't found names or published design for these version with many diamonds per block. This one has 36 diamonds...

The quilt looks to be about 1900 with all those black and wine-colored prints.

Same block, set side by side from the Connecticut files.

Here's 16 diamonds with a great chintz border
from the Oaks Plantation in Anson County, North Carolina
on an online auction last spring.

49 diamonds in a diamond block.
The pieces are large enough here that only two fit across the
quilt top. The picture is from the Michigan project files.

It is quite possible that someone started out with this
in mind

Or this...
 but went to plan B.

You know how it goes.
If it won't sit flat as a star maybe.....

Monday, August 15, 2016

Golden Wedding Ring BlockBase #313

Mandy sent me this photo of a Golden Wedding Ring quilt in the collection of the Museum of American Folk Art, a gift of Robert Bishop who was the authority on wedding ring quilts.

She wanted to know more about the pattern. It's a fairly easy pattern to document as it's what I call a "designer pattern" rather than a traditional pattern, meaning a 20th- (or 21st-) century artist drew it and published it. No one made quilts in the design before the 1930s.

Here's an example I found online by Geneva Rankin Snowes, probably done in the 1970s.

It's #313 in BlockBase, designed by the Iowan Hubert VerMehren in the early 1930s.

VerMehren was quite a draftsman and he took
the plain old Double Wedding Ring and made it more complex.

Two for sale online a while ago

You can see there is some variation in the proportions.

Well, I know the next question is going to be:
Where can I get a pattern?

Not from me. I can't draw that well and the evidence is in BlockBase.
I wouldn't use that particular pattern.
But here is why the internet is so great.
Corrine at MustLoveQuilts is making one and she talked about her search for a pattern.

She found it in Georgia Bonesteel's book/package/club
Spinning Spools, published in the early 1990s.

Golden Wedding Ring from Spinning Spools Frills and Finery #6

And here's why books are so great: Spinning Spools included plastic templates. And it's still around  although long out of print.

Now all you have to do is find that pattern in the right notebook (there are 3). I bet somebody in your guild has it.

Mandy found templates for a variation for sale in Australia.

See the comments where we find that "The pattern was also published in Oxmoor House's Great American Quilts 1991 (Sandra O'Brien, ed.) pp. 82-85," which is very inexpensive in the used book market. Thanks, commenters.

I've seen references to the pattern lately as
"Triple Wedding Ring," but that smacks of a menage a trois,
which historically has not been proven to make anyone happy.
I think Golden Wedding Ring is preferred.

Here's a relative, but a different pattern.

with alas no BlockBase number.