Monday, September 18, 2017

Bouquet Quilt Block

I've been pinning pictures of quilts date-inscribed 1853 and
came across this pretty applique quilt from an eBay post in the last year.

It's a beautiful quilt in worn condition.

The embroidered inscription says 
"Margaret Stambaugh
Israel Stambaugh

Unusual border with dots and tear drops echoing the
smaller block in the main part of the quilt.

UPDATE: Laurette Carroll tells me she was the lucky bidder on
this quilt.

The unusual main block works in negative and positive fashion.
Is it a star?
Is it a ring of 8 flowers?

It does have an Encyclopedia of Applique number
A Traditional Block published in the magazine Comfort
as Bouquet Quilt Block. 
Probably published about 1910 with that name.
It's a lot cooler block than it looks in the drawing because of that negative/positive aspect.

This pink & white version (once Turkey red and white)
also shows the ambiguous nature of the design

The negative/positive action works better in the top block
because the flowers
actually touch.

Here's a terrible snapshot of another mid-19th-century version.

These are the only three examples I have.

A 1935 issue of Comfort
The magazine had a high circulation about 1910 and
was an important source for quilt patterns, but
this pattern is a generation or two older than the magazine.
Wish I knew what Margaret Stambaugh called it.

I did find a fourth similar quilt---offered on eBay this summer:

Looks mid-19th century-maybe 1850 - 1880?

And this pieced variation from Augusta Auctions
a couple of years ago.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ocean Wave: Category Five

An Amish version of the Ocean Wave

While watching storm coverage during this horrid hurricane season some of us quilt nuts have been posting pictures of Ocean Wave quilts on a social site.

Questions include just what is an Ocean Wave.
I always have an opinion and here's what I think.
The pattern appeared about 1875 and was quite popular during that era of scrappy calicoes.

About 1900
The large squares could be set on the straight

From Laura Fisher's inventory

About 1900
Or on the diagonal.

Fifty years later Ruby McKim defined the design and name in the late 1920s. She showed it 
as a block but you can see by her dotted lines that she was a little iffy as to whether that was the best way to show you how to make one.

If you made it as a square like McKim showed it
you'd have a nice enough design but the traditional quilts were not constructed like this.

This one might have been made from McKim's block with the corner
triangles in green making another square as a secondary design.
But there are no seams in those green squares.

Everybody knew it wasn't a traditional square block.

After 1880

That unpieced white square was a good place to put some feather wreaths.


It is a hexagonal block---a long six-sided shape.

The standard Category 1 Ocean Wave blocks have 24 half-square 
triangles like McKim's sketch .

Set with squares.

Mary Madden holding up one from the collection
of the Kansas Museum of History.

Many quiltmakers used a strong dark/light shading pattern for those 24
triangles whether they were using scraps or a
two-color palette.

From Buckboard Antiques

You could vary the shading to get different effects.

Two quilts that look to be from Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Pinwheels in the waves.

So 24 triangles seems to be the standard.
But there are other categories....

Category 2 
 42 triangles per six-sided block. 
Square smaller in proportion

Category 3--lotsa triangles

I gave up counting

Category 4 - More triangles.  Notice the pink pinwheels in the center of each X

Category 5
Susan McCord's version in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum

Here's the scale.

Annette Curran Ratzenberger made one inspired by McCord's.

She says it has over 10,000 pieces.
Category 5.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Square in a Square Blocks

A quilt from about 1880 shown in Roberta Horton's book Scrap Quilts

BlockBase #2470

The pattern's been published several times with the uninspired name of
Mosaic---perhaps derived from a floor tile. 

A slightly different proportion, a different number:
"The Road to Paris"
It wasn't a popular design.

But add more pieces to the center:

And it's easier to find examples made about 1900.
Earliest name is probably Jack in the Pulpit from Clara Stone
or Double Squares from the Ladies Art Company.


Different proportion, different number
This one was named The Dewey for Admiral George Dewey
who defeated the Philippine navy in 1898.

Dewey was so popular that BlockBase has
5 patterns named for him.
But we've forgotten him---so much for cultural memory.
Most of us would
call the pattern Jack in the Pulpit

Pattern from Clara Stone catalog,
I found this picture at the Quilt Index, which also 
included the copy:
"May be in two or three colors, as one happens to have the pieces. It is a nice pattern for an album quilt, writing name, town, county and State in the white half-squares surrounding the center block. It is prettiest all of pieced work, but may be set with plain squares of white or light goods, with strips, or in diagonal sash-work. C. A. S. Holliston, Mass."

A signature version. I bet they got the pattern from C.A.Stone.

Mary E. Beardslee Durkee, about 1870. Collection of the 
Museum at Michigan State University. # 1999:12.6


In BlockBase you can right-click on the block and
choose Quick Quilt. The program shows you
how it would look set all over.

Mid-20th century