Monday, September 21, 2020

Bouquet in a Fan & Relatives

An odd quilt but familiar to fans of Kansas City Star designs.

#1399.6 Bouquet in a Fan by Edna Marie Dunn in 1933

Dunn did most of the Star patterns in the mid-20th century but she did not
sign many. This might have been one of her original designs.

A year earlier the Star had published Nosegay with a nine patch.

Farm Journal published it too
but even though the design was widely in print

very few quilters attempted it

On line auction

From the Indiana project & the Quilt Index

Twenty-year old Olive Weber Spiegel of Sumiria, Indiana worked with her parents on this quilt in 1938; her father John Weber helped with the design and her mother Lillian Weber quilted it.

The problem may be the basic pattern---whether there's a star or a ninepatch in the center---It just isn't that graceful.

Unless you set in groups of four.

A variation offered by Nancy Cabot
in the Chicago Tribune. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Lovers Knot

Barbara R sends pictures of a quilt top partially quilted
that she inherited from her mother. She's thinking her
mom might have purchased it.

 74” x 86”

She knew it was a Laura Wheeler pattern Lover's Knot

3010 in BlockBase in a page of similar hard-to-piece blocks.

Not often made. This one is from an online auction

Here's a clipping from the Pottstown Mercury in 1933 or 1934.

Easy to Make in the best traditions of the Colonial needlewoman.

Here's an updated version for a red & white version from Lovelli Quilts.

I recolored the BlockBase drawing to make it look more
like the original and I see I thought that there was an
extra seam in the long ribbons extending into the corners.
That would make it easier to piece.

The original pattern was a little hard to figure out from the sketch
and I see my proportions are off too.

I revised it a little. Print this 8-inch pattern out at 150%.
And as with most Laura Wheeler designs....good luck.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Organizing a String Quilt


String quilts are often a explosion of color with fabrics placed rather randomly as they come out of the scrap bag. We've been looking at some great examples over at the QuiltHistorySouth Facebook group.


Dark, light, dark light---some thought given to contrast.

A few follow a different rule---place a consistent color in one strip and you get a more organized effect.

The Louisiana Folk Life project recorded this string design
 based on triangles by Sallie McKinnie Graves ( 1886-1968)

Here's another in a similar pattern by Ruth Eubanks
from the North Carolina project.

One way to look at Ruth's triangular unit and block.
Little Boy's Britches by Sally Anna Ingraham Parker, Haynesville, Arkansas
Collection of the Old State House Museum in Arkansas

Sally's quilt organizes the view by piecing a consistent
color in the center strip of each triangle.

It's a simple way of organizing a string quilt (if one
wanted to organize a string quilt.)

I've been fascinated by this pattern which is just a string pieced diamond
with a consistent black strip in the center.

I called it a Victorian Puzzle

I recently found the pattern in the very influential Comfort magazine,
published in October 1911, a decade or more after the Victorian era.

Or make the dark strip go the other way.

Marjorie Childress Collection

Here's an unusual top, a fan block but rectangular and both fan and background
are pieced. Each fan has a pink strip in the center

As a square block

Monday, August 31, 2020

Mystery Solved

An unknown pattern.
Kind of thing that drives me nuts.
It looks familiar.

The block? A Four Patch
But couldn't find it in BlockBase.
I posted it on the Facebook page Quilts Vintage & Antique.
They all admired it. Laura suggested I look at it as a star.

Not in BlockBase in the Four Patches: Stars

Jocelyne posted blocks she'd made from a picture she saw online
(maybe the same picture I had) but most of us agreed it had to be
a published pattern. It was so complex.

I drew it up in EQ8
And made a pattern for a 12" block by dividing it in quarters.

Print this out at 6". Add seams.

And then I remembered where I'd seen it before.

Nancy Page showed it as a quarter of the block. It's odd, filed in the Two-Patch
patterns divided diagonally.

I looked up Allentown Nancy Page in Newspapers.com.

Found it in 1935.
Too bad Nancy didn't show the whole four-patch.
A lot more people would have stitched it.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Hollyhock Wreath

Mid-20th century applique

A modern take on traditional pattern, probably drawn from a Ruby Short McKim pattern.

 She included Hollyhock Wreath in her booklet Designs Worth Doing (ca. 1930) and may have published it first in the Kansas City Star in the late 1920s.

It was novel yet Colonial (as she might have said), a take on the wreath design that had been popular with applique artists since the 1840s (not the least bit Colonial.) McKim often copied or updated old quilts but she indicated this one is her idea. For her 16" square block she abstracted the usual flowers and leaves to basic geometry, a hallmark of modernism. The long leaves stretch the block out into the corners, filling the square.

Hollyhock Wreath June 14, 1933
No good idea went uncopied and in 1933 the Nancy Cabot column in the Chicago Tribune did a version.

It's 2.53 in my Encyclopedia of Applique

See a pattern here:

This quilt with its square flowers---is that reverse applique in the leaves?--- may be a new quilt rather than vintage. I found the photo floating around on the internet
from a magazine page with no I.D.

A version of this variation patterned in a Spool Cotton pamphlet from Coats & Clark thread company in the 1950s? Quilt dealer and author Florence Peto contributed to this catalog and I wouldn't be surprised if the Hollyhock Wreath made in 1936 was not one of hers.

This pattern told you to cut an 11" background square.

It's a lot like McKim's but set with an alternate appliqued block. The pattern indicates it was copied from an old New York quilt---unlikely.

The next incarnation is in the 1950s & '60s when the same photo was widely distributed in syndicated needlework columns like this one from "Nancy Baxter." I have no Nancy Baxter file so it will be fun to see what I can find in Newspapers.com.

I was surprised to find only two versions at the Quilt Index,
above from the Wyoming Project, below from New York's.
No information but they look 1960- till recently.

A rather free-form version, perhaps from one
of those newspaper patterns in the 1960s--- a little squarer than
the usual, but eye-catching.