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.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Spiky Fans

I've been going through my fan pictures and I'm surprised to find how few published patterns featured these fans with triangular points.

I've got several in BlockBase but they are not 19th century publications.

This is a late arrival in the Ladies's Art Company catalog,
in the 1928 version but not the 1898 edition.

Spiky-edged fans were certainly being made
in the mid-to-late 19th century. This one from a Jeffrey Evans Auction.

You just have to know where to look for them....

The quilt with its Portuguese striped chintz border looks to be 1840s

...In Rocky Mountain quilts with pieced sashing.

Shephard family, 1880-1920
Arkansas, Collection Arkansas State Museum

Not that the pattern for the block and the set was published until the mid-20th century

when Mountain Mist published it as New York Beauty.

Which probably horrified more than one Southern quilter
who considered it a regional design: Crown of Thorns or Rocky Mountain.

One interesting detail about these spiky fan designs before 1920 or so is that the fans are in the corners, not divided into quarters as most regular old fan blocks were constructed.

A regular old fan

Julie Silber's inventory 1860-1900
You also see this version of double spikes in the mid- to late-19th century but there is no published source for a fan design like this.

See a post on Whig's Defeat quilts constructed like this:

Whig's Defeat quilts were also constructed like the Rocky Mountain with
a patchwork sashing.

Source? Looks like early 20th century?

The rules seem to have been:
Single spikes for Rocky Mountain
Double spikes for Whig's Defeat

Patterns scarce until recently when innovative quilters started digitally designing and printing of these challenging blocks.

I was going to add some Mohawk Trail/Baby Bunting quilts but they are going to have to wait till next week.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Hospital Sketches # 9: Star of the East

Jeanne Arnieri's ready to stitch Block #9, Star of the East,
 the last in our Hospital Sketches BOM for 2019.
See the pattern here:

Worn version of a classic

Angela Steiner's is more like the antique version here.
Encyclopedia of Applique
The block was popular; it fills the square well and hasn't any difficult shapes. 
Ladies's Art Company's Mexican Rose

The common name today is Mexican Rose because that's what the Ladies' Art Company called it when they started selling a pattern in the 1890s, but the block is older.

Esther Matthews named her block the Star of the East in
her 1858 Shenandoah Sampler quilt.
Aunt Martha published it as Columbine in 1933

Mexican Rose in The Farmer's Guide quilt booklet
from the Quilt Index

Quiltmakers filled the corners with many florals,
this one from the 1930s.

Quilt dated 1853 by Ann Laughinghouse in Pitt County,
 documented in the North Carolina project.

Sampler attributed to North Carolina

Maybe 1800-1920

Extra Leaves

Looking for an applique border?

Collection of the Benton County Museum in Oregon

Star of the East by Mark Lauer

Read more about the Mexican Rose here:

Sampler with an unusual version of Block 9 at top right along with
variations of Whig Rose, Coxcombs & Currants, Pineapple and Mountain Laurel

Peggy Sandfort's version of #9


Here's one Wendy Caton Reed did for her Noah & Matilda reproduction quilt.