Monday, February 18, 2019

Spider's Web: Daredevil Piecing

I've been puzzling over this complex repeat design. It's quite
a successful example of what makes pieced quilts so appealing.

I did find the design in BlockBase:  #1306 Spider's Web from the Laura Wheeler pattern syndicate in the 1930s. They (whoever the artists really were) were so good at creating secondary designs.

Here's the pattern sheet with their shading ideas.

I exported #1306 from BlockBase to EQ8 and recreated
the pink and red shading in the old quilt.

The original had 49 blocks, a grid of 7. Here it is at 25.

The quiltmaker pretty much followed "Laura's" shading idea.

My first thought in looking at piecing this is that it's Daredevil Piecing.
Not only do you have to get the 8 seams to meet in the center, you
have to get 8 seams to meet in the corners.

I think I'll just draw it. You can piece it.
I thought I'd try to emphasize the star, the secondary pattern.

First by making the major pattern two shades of light

Then two shades of dark.
Well, see what you can do.

Print this out on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet and you'll have a pattern for a 12" block.
You can make templates or use it as a triangular paper foundation. For paper foundations
you'll need to print 4 copies. The construction is just like the Stars in Her Crown blocks
we're doing at my Material Culture blog.

Virginia says she would do it this way. Make strips (maybe wider top and bottom strips).
Then cut pie shapes to make an octagon?
Add corners?
Still have to get 8 seams to meet in center and corners.
Not a problem for Virginia.

Missed it by that much.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Turkeys, Hens & Bears

I found this photo of a great top online a few years ago.

Here's a block in the nine-patch pattern.

Turkey Tracks from the Ladies Art Company about 1890.
BlockBase also says Resolutions from the syndicated Nancy Page column in the 1930s...

which is a variation on BlockBase #1883...

 a far more popular design that's been published a lot.

Ruth Finley called it Duck's Foot in the Mud in 1929
or Hand of Friendship. The Ladies Art Company called it Bear's Foot.
Then there's Cat's Paw from Nancy Page 
(I get the feeling Nancy is making up these names.)

It's been an Amish favorite, hence the German name Batsche.

Many versions survive from 1890-1920,
probably inspired by the Ladies' Art Company design.

Here are variations on the nine patch idea from BlockBase.

More triangles and it's Premium Star

Premium Star, again from the Ladies Art Co.

The XYZ club used it as an album block in 1927

Perhaps Southern with that characteristic 9 patch and triple sash set
and solid colors (fading unfortunately.)

And one more variation, also from the Ladies Art: Hens & Chickens

But I still like the Turkey Tracks with the tall triangles the best.

A QuickQuilt from BlockBase

Monday, February 4, 2019

Wreath Blocks from Hospital Sketches

Periwinkle Wreath, Hospital Sketches 
Janet Perkins

We've started a new applique Civil War Block of the Month pattern over at my Civil War Quilts blog. Last Wednesday's post gave the pattern for the first block in Hospital Sketches: A wreath named for Louisa May Alcott, Periwinkle Wreath (her early pen name was Tribulation Perikwinkle).

See the post about LMA and the pattern here:

Becky Brown and I designed the applique as a joint project. The Hospital Sketches blocks are based on the most popular designs seen in Civil-War-era albums and this circular pattern is certainly one of the top ten. We modified the traditional design by basing the floral on a five-lobed periwinkle.

Antique block pictured in a Spool Cotton catalog from the 1940s,
 probably from Florence Peto's collection

I looked at a lot of wreaths and found the most typical structure features four florals at the north/south axes, with leaves and/or buds in the corners. Fits nicely in a square block.

You don't often see the flowers in the corners,
Here's a 20th-century pattern.
Really doesn't fill the block as well.

1945 pattern called Colonial Tile Quilt from
Chatelaine magazine.

Now that fills a block!
Becky teaches a class in how to make traditional applique your own design
so she filled some empty space here beautifully.

A vintage sampler ---all wreaths.

The Hospital Sketches applique is all about addition and subtraction.
Becky adds, but you could subtract.

Dated 1852, from Molly at Fourth Corner Antiques
Toss those buds and just do five leaves in each corner
Marie Webster called it Conventional Rose Wreath in 1915

Or three leaves. Isn't modernism all about minimalism?

Applied geometry, a wonderfully orderly version recorded by
the Massachusetts project and the Quilt Index.

So how old is the appliqued wreath design?
I have several photos from the earliest album samplers with
dates from 1842 - 1844.

A wreath of leaves is the center feature of this 1844 signature quilt from Medford, New Jersey that was in my dear friend Louise Townsend's collection, now in the Briscoe Collection at the University of Texas.

Quilt from the Fish Family, D.A.R. Museum,
dated 1843

The conventional applique wreaths were possibly inspired by the fashion for cut-out chintz wreaths that flourished in the area about the same time.

Classic from an 1845 Baltimore album style sampler,
auctioned at Jeffrey Evans a few years ago.

Sarah Christiann Rauch, Greencastle, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, 1849
Collection of Colonial Williamsburg

The flowers are on the north/south points in the blocks,
which are set on point.
Greencastle is on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border.

Mary J Champlin's, seen above, is one of the earliest block repeats--- 1852..
Her place name Plymouth (Illinois, Indiana ....?)

Add and subtract.