Monday, January 30, 2017

Nine Patches: BlockBase 1601-1621

Nine Patches
Equal proportions in the three strips that make up a nine-patch

Ella Hapgood Ward, Date-inscribed 1859
Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
Mass Quilt Project & the Quilt Index

BlockBase #1601 b

Nine Patch by Elizabeth Nace
Date-inscribed 1786 From Lancaster County Heritage collection
BlockBase #1601a

It's one of the oldest American patchwork designs.

From the Rhode Island Project and the Quilt Index.
Set in strips of chintz.

The shading makes the patterns look different although
they are the same block, equal-sized squares.

This mid-20th-century quiltmaker ignored shading in the
blocks but carefully shaded the setting squares.

Four Patches in a Nine Patch---Five to a Block
So basic nobody ever published it with a name.

Also Four Patches in a Nine Patch
but only four to a block.
Again, no number

Alternating blocks

Nine Patches in a Nine Patch
BlockBase #1606a

Marie Webster called this Double Nine Patch in 1915 and
we'd probably call it that today.

Above and Below
BlockBase #1612

The pattern was published as Building Blocks
in the Household Magazine in 1929

You could also put another nine-patch in the center.
This design has no BlockBase number but it should be 1612.5.

Some of the most basic patchwork designs.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A New York Tulip: Rather Random Thoughts

This week we begin the 2017 Civil War Quilts BOM, an appliqued and pieced Yankee Diary. We'll start with a simple applique floral inspired by a block quite popular in New York about the time of the Civil War.
Here's a link to the pattern:

Block from a Sampler dated 1851
(That date done in cross-stitch-style piecing makes me think it's from New York.)

Here's one dated 1868 from dealer Stella Rubin.

The single floral blocks are found beyond New York. The above example was auctioned in Pennsylvania.

Sold in Maryland in 2006.

From the Van Benschoten  family, auctioned in New York. 
Regional NY tree border.

Perhaps the above was the second best quilt by W Van Benschoten, mentioned at the New York State Fair in 1867.

 New Yorkers seemed to think it an important pattern.

Quilt date-inscribed 1858, made by Amanda Birdsell and others for Sarah. Note 3 variations of the simple floral.

Dated 1863, Cowell Family from Schenectedy.
Four  Three  variations in this NY sampler too.

It's so common in New York album sampler quilts that it's a clue to a possible New York origin like a triple white rose is a clue to a Baltimore Album.

Detail of what is now called the Reconciliation Quilt.
International Quilt Study Center & Museum

The ultimate New York sampler is by Lucinda Honstain of Brooklyn, who included a pair of  flowers with a butterfly and birds in her quilt dated 1867.
To see the whole quilt go to the IQSC search page and do a search for Honstain.

Lucinda's double floral would not be remarkable but for two things:
One is that there are two quilts attributed to Lucinda Honstain at IQSC.
Her other quilt is a repeat block of the same flower alternated with a leaf block.

The second remarkable thing is another double floral and butterfly block in a New York sampler. This one dated 1861.

That quilt, made in Westchester County, NY, is in the collection of the American Museum of Folk Art.

The Westchester County quilt has three variations of the unnamed flower.

The pattern type is #28.44---unnamed traditional block in my Encyclopedia of Applique 

Lucinda's florals look a lot like tulips with those elongated leaves and that's what most of us would call it.
In 1959  Marguerite Ickis showed a variation in her book The Standard Book of Quilt Making.

But it could be a lily or perhaps a peony...

In 1846 Mrs A. A. Hosmer of Riga New York won $2 at the Monroe County Fair for 1 quilt (peony figure.)

The Quilts in the Ladies Department must have been interesting.  Mrs. C. Cogwell of Rochester won $1 for "1 piece patch work (4000 pieces)" and Mrs. H.B. Martin of Clarkson won mention for a "silk quilt---quite novel."

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Tulip Pattern in High Colors

"Flower of Spring"
or "A Tulip Pattern in High Colors"

or "Floral Patchwork"

Or "Wild Rose."
It is amazing how many of these pieced flowers from
the 1930-1970 period are out there.

Not an easy pattern to piece.

Especially since the patterns I've found weren't very good

Including mine in BlockBase which is pretty lame.
It wasn't so badly drawn in my original Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
It looks a lot like the original but it didn't digitize well at all.

"A Tulip Pattern in High Colors"
Kansas City Star 1949
This might be the pattern people used.

"Flower of Spring" Kansas City Star 1936
Different proportions...Are there enough pieces?

And "Wild Rose" from the Laura Wheeler syndicated column in 1936---similar.

But somehow people made the quilt.

This is the best I can do for a pattern today.
Print this out 8" square. Draw some lines.
Good luck.