Monday, May 3, 2021

Floating Fans


Cover of the current QuiltMania 

Fabulous pattern!

Seems to be the only one in the picture files. A pair of fans or wedding ring arcs.
Have a relative in the picture files. In this one the arcs look appliqued to a white background.

Left over parts ...

Looks about 1940-1960 for the fans.

The cover quilt looks older, maybe 1900-1930.
It might be pieced or appliqued or both.

Well, you could piece it, but it's not in BlockBase+. I need practice in EQ and Photoshop so I spent some time drawing a pattern---not well but here it is.

Monday, April 26, 2021

A Stunning Quilt: New to BlockBase+


I had this small photocopy of a quilt pattern--- not much information, "A Stunning Quilt" read the headline and it looked like an Alice Brooks/Laura Wheeler syndicated design. 

I sent it to the programmers at Electric Quilt.


Now that it's in the new BlockBase+  you can print it any size.
 #3369 would seem to be perfect for EPP, making
a paper template for each piece, etc.

Here BlockBase+ has drawn the patterns for a 9" block. It's a circle in a square with a six-sided shape in the center. The algorithm gives us a template for every piece. I think of Al Gorithm as a human in the back room to whom I must explain everything. Al usually wins as I have no idea what I am talking about.

But here I am going to email Al and ask if the corner pieces are not the same and could thus be one template, etc.

When I first started working for EQ I was explaining (trying to explain) the seam allowance concept to the chief programmer. Suddenly a light bulb went off linking sewing land to programming land. "Oh. A simple algorithm!" says he. Me, I says, "Whatever," and went home and looked up the word algorithm (a formula to shorten programs.)

And now we have a simple algorithm called Quilt Layout which gives you a variety of sets for each block.

Here is the block set all over in a grid.

And on point.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Rags & Tatters


In 1933 the Detroit News offered a patchwork pattern
called Rags & Tatters... 

which was not in the old Encyclopedia or BlockBase
so I added it to the new editions (#2005.5). I found the pattern at the Quilt Index
which has a picture of a sheet with a setting and shading suggestion.

I exported the BlockBase+ file to EQ8 where I could match original shading suggestion by turning every other block and shading in counterchange fashion. What's light in one block is dark in the next.

A lot going on visually.

I don't know much about the Detroit News as I haven't had access to many clippings over the years. They competed with a bigger needlework operation in the Detroit Free Press.

Rags & Tatters is an interesting combination of a Jacob's Ladder sort of 4-patch
with a frame. Here's a BlockBase+ Quilt Layout that shows how
it looks set side by side.
And on point.

Monday, April 12, 2021

T or Tea


1898.5 T or Tea Quilt
from Comfort magazine

Here's a nine patch I found in Comfort magazine
and added to the third edition of the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns
and BlockBase+. Published in 1911. Found the pattern in Villa Nova University's
periodical collection.

Figured out the seams and sent it to the programmers
at Electric Quilt.

Comfort was a women's magazine, quite popular in its day.
It published many quilt patterns in the 1890-1940 years...

usually picturing the small diagrams used at the time,
this often repeated page published in 1938

And many times, a bad photo of a block
a reader had sent in.

Some better than others, 1910.

But the editors knew what they were doing. Comfort
was the first magazine to have over 1,000,000 subscribers.

It's not that exciting a block but I thought the name
T or Tea was important to include as it is a possible
reference to the Temperance movement.

I thought I'd do some shading in EQ8 so I exported the design and shaded it with some Ladies' Legacy fabrics.

Here it is with 3-inch sashing, the same size
as the center cross in a 12" block.

Then I set blocks all over, block to block.
It makes its own sashing
as these 9-patch blocks with a cross in center often do.

It then becomes a version of this other nine patch---the much more popular Capital T block---with more seams.


So in your Encyclopedia book under #1660 write, See #1898.5 (and vice versa.)
Sometimes it helps to see the big picture.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Wreath of Pomegranates


Small quilt from an online auction. Looks to be 20th-century.
A pomegranate wreath.

There are a lot of wreaths in my Encyclopedia of Applique
but not this one.

Here's another, 1930-1960?, one of a pair of blocks
40" square.

I'd guess this was a pattern passed around in a small community
in Pennsylvania.

An 8" digital picture for a pattern.

We've been looking at pomegranates over at the Quilt History South Facebook page. Not really a Southern regional pattern. It's actually a classic of design that goes back centuries. Fun to see how quilters used it.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Queen's Parasol

Among the dozens of new blocks in the new Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns
is this show-off pieced block:
Queen's Parasol. Twelve seams meeting in the middle.
It's in the category Four Patch with Curves

Workbasket magazine published the pattern in June, 1940, long before Queen Elizabeth thought about parachute jumping to open the Olympics.

(Conspiracy theorists---You are right; that is NOT the real Queen.)

As I recall Workbasket, a small inexpensive and quite popular magazine,
had a centerfold quilt pattern each issue.

It was published in Kansas City, had once been a periodical from Aunt Martha patterns, but they sold the magazine in the 1940s. I interviewed a few people from the magazine and the pattern company 40 years ago and they told me they liked to design new patterns as they worried about copyright issues.
I haven't any photos of any quilts made in the pattern. The closest is pretty tame compared to Queen's Parasol.

Sometimes you get the feeling the Workbasket designers didn't
consider all the angles when planning for actual sewing.
12 seams in the center.

There is no reason you couldn't applique a dot over those 12 seams.
Because it is in the Encyclopedia 3rd edition it is also in BlockBase+.

You would want to piece this template style. Christine at EQ shows you
how to print templates here:

I printed a 9" pattern so everything would
fit on one sheet of paper.
I manipulate the pattern pieces to get them onto one sheet
with that blue arrow at the top right.

The I grab a screen shot and fit it onto an 8-1/2" x 11" inch jpg.

When I talk about templates I have always meant paper shapes that one could trace onto plastic sheeting. But now in the 21st Century EQ tells me you can actually print 3-D plastic templates if you have a 3-D printer. See the blog post here:

"The ability to export SVG files is one of the best features of BlockBase+ and it’s so exciting to learn the creative ways it can be used!" they tell me. Note to self: