Monday, November 11, 2019

Grandmother's Pride

Here's the perfect example of ca. 1960 style
Any color goes with any color

In a time of new dyes giving us new colors
quilters embraced every shade with enthusiasm.

The pattern:  A variation on Grandmother's Pride from
the syndicated Laura Wheeler column.

A kind of art-deco update to the fan design.

"Laura" (a fictional human being) showed a triangle at the bottom of
the design...

Which the seamstress ignored in the quilt at the
top of the page. She had some rules though.
Plains in the center patches, prints next and the
squares are all variations of geometrical plaids.

BlockBase #3341
Quilters Newsletter named it Empress in 1978.
It does look like a crown.

The Laura Wheeler patchwork patterns began in the 1930s
and were widely syndicated until the 1970s.

This one seems to have been popular.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Blazing Star of Kentucky

Where this photo came from is a mystery, but it's a lovely quilt,
apparently made in 1918 by Minnie Lee Roberts Mitchell in McCurtain County,
Oklahoma, referred to as Blazing Star of Kentucky.

Minnie Mitchell (1884-1965)
See her file at Find-a-Grave

Minnie lived in southeastern Oklahoma, down by the Arkansas line.

Mary Bird Brooks Logan County,
Kentucky project & the Quilt Index
Same block

They did love those diamond stars in Kentucky
so the name seems quite appropriate. 

An elaborate version also from the Kentucky project
by Minerva Wilson Boardman, Bourbon County---Many diamonds.

And as I can't find an earlier published name Blazing Star of Kentucky is perfect.

You'd think it would be in BlockBase but no---meaning the design wasn't published in any major pattern source before 1970. It should be on this page, right around #3781,

Which the Ladies Art Company published as Blazing Star

Here it is from their 1898 catalog.

But this Blazing Star isn't the same block as Minnie's. The triangles are smaller
in the corners and there are two pieces in the edge triangles.

Carrie Hall's version of #3781, block in the Spencer Museum of
Art at the University of Kansas

And Jinny Beyer's pattern.

By Mary Jane (Jennie) Newsome Pilcher, (1860- 1957) Yadkin County, North Carolina
 from the North Carolina project and the Quilt Index.

It puzzles me that this simple version was never published, but it must have been handed around among Southern quilters. Maybe too plain and common-sense to need a printed pattern.

Jennie's is a classic Southern quilt, lots of chrome orange and the signature triple-strip sashing. Jenny was a professional quiltmaker, sewing this one for bachelor neighbor John Wesley Doub who kept it to pass down.
See a post about Jennie here: 

Martha Norris Fancher (1857-1932), Cocke County, Tennessee.
Tennessee project and the Quilt Index

Monday, October 28, 2019

Flying Bats

Diamonds, squares and triangles.
Flying Bats: Appropriate for Halloween week

Earliest publication probably the Ladies Art Company catalog, which called it Slashed Album.

Here it is in their 1897 catalog.

Other companies picked it up.

Most of these are from online auctions

Sarah Renn Griffin
Tennessee project & the Quilt Index


UPDATE: Last minute addition. I found the pattern as Yankee Charm in a Comfort magazine scrapbook kept by Mildred Dickerson in the Quilt Research Center at the University of Nebraska Libraries. Yankee Charm was sent to the magazine by Mrs. M.A. Sampson of Texas.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Rainbow Fan Variations

I thought I'd collect all my photos of this fan variation.
It wasn't hard.

This one looks to be 1940s-50s

From an online auction
Seems to be the only photo I have of the pattern

The Ladies' Art Company published it as  Rainbow

The Quilt Index has a page with the LAC diagram.

Butterick published a pattern for this fan like Sun-Burst (half a sunburst)
design in 1889.

George Snyder posted this early 20th-century Georgia quilt on
our QuiltHistorySouth Facebook page.

Just three double fans amidst the squares, rectangles & triangles.

Half a plate

A few quilters have used this half a circle set

This one from the Oregon Project and the Quilt Index.
It's a fairly easy way to get a complicated look.

Out of print pattern.

If you rotated every other row and did a half-drop repeat......

Monday, October 14, 2019

Baby Bunting or Rattlesnake?

Baby Bunting is a pretty name for this pretty quilt from the 1930-1950's

Each fan has four spiky purple points

A lot like this Kansas City Star pattern that has 5 points.

There must have been a published source for these two-color quilts with four spikes per arc.

But maybe it wasn't published.

Just handed around in a small region
or sold by an entrepreneur with a pattern business.

The fans with spiky points seem to have been published just as set arrangements, rather than just a block

Variations were popular with pattern publishers in the 1920s and '30s.

#3370 in BlockBase

I'd imagine the Comfort pattern (probably in late 1920s) had
much to do with the design's popularity.

A sketch from pattern collector Mildred Dickerson's scrapbook
in her files at the Quilt Research Center at
the University of Nebraska.

The Nancy Cabot column in the Chicago Tribune saw it as a
Chinese Fan 

A baby bunting is an outdoor wrap for an infant. The connection seems obscure.

Polly Mello owns one the Arkansas family called Oklahoma Snake Ring pictured in the book Southern Quilts. Less obscure.

This quilt looks more 1890-1920 than later

As do the next 3

I'd guess it was a pattern handed around in the Southern states
in the 1880-1920 period, developed out of the Rocky Mountain
or Crown of Thorns design.

Note how many have half blocks along the edge.
Is that a Southern style trait?

Rocky Mountain
From a Tennessee estate 

Willie Yeager, Paris, Texas
Marcia Kaylakie's collection, about 1925

Another way of arranging the blocks; another vernacular pattern, not published until recently. Marcia's the expert on snake quilts. See her chapter in Mary Kerr's Southern Quilts. For those of you who'd like to see more snake quilts:

All the quilts above have spiky points and there are not very many out there.
Far more common is this fan design with spokes with smooth edges.


Commonly called Mohawk Trail.

BlockBase #3369
Ruby McKim was probably the first to publish it with the name Mohawk Trail,
a block for New York in her Patchwork Parade of States in the late 1920s.