Monday, June 26, 2017

Cross Roads

It's hard to see the repeat here.

This is the block.

It's BlockBase #2946

The first publication was by Clara Stone about 1910, who called it
Cross Roads to Bachelor's Hall, 
but she ran a fairly obscure New England pattern company.

The Kansas City Star made it popular by publishing it three
times at least---first under the name Cross Roads in the '30s
Then as Wagon Wheels in the '40s
And also as Broken Circle in the '50s.

Many of the 1930s quilts were probably made
from Eveline Foland's Star pattern about 1930.

The basic design is older than the published patterns.
The Tennessee project found this dramatic red and green version.

Made by an unknown woman about 1890 in Winchester, Tennessee.

A variation with more pieces, again from Quilts of Tennessee.
Made by Eliza Hensley Johnson,1875-1900.

The gray colored shapes are the extra pieces

Online auction. 1890-1920?

You can make a Quick Quilt in BlockBase to show how
the block repeats. The secondary designs certainly offer
a lot of design potential.

A scrappy thirties look

There's also a variation numbered 2947.

Pattern designer Hubert Ver Mehren added an extra square in the arc in the mid-1930s(although it's really not square.) He may have noticed the Star version and decided to change it a little.

An ad for his Colonial Quilt Book

An impressive version of #2947 Cross Roads
from the New England Quilt Museum's collection.

One difference between these patterns is the proportion of
arc to the squeezed, curved, 4-sided shape (gray here).
Ver Mehren showed the squeezed shape as rather wide.

Foland's version also shows it as wide at the point,
but in some it's quite narrow, finishing in a sharp point.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Carol's Scrap Time Quilt #2404

An interesting top from about 1880
The block is not what it first looks to be

It's a square inside a square.
BlockBase #2404,
which was first published (according to me) as Carol's Scrap Time Quilt
in a pattern magazine in 1964.
It must have been published before that.

Here's a variation
that looks last half of the 19th century.

A 2404 block from about 1910

Set at a half drop  (each strip is dropped a half a block),
which gives you a whole different look.


And here's another from about 1880---maybe a little earlier. 
Half drop repeat.
Less color organization in the corners.

BlockBase will draw you any pattern any size.
I did it for you.
#2404 as a 12" block.
You need 1 square cut 9"
And 36 half-square triangles cut from 18 squares cut 2-7/8"

Monday, June 12, 2017

Philadelphia Beauty or Four Frogs

The primary block in a remarkable quilt dated 1842
is this variation of a fleur-de-lis applique.

The quilt features a mourning block.

"Abby Leaming Forepaugh.
She is now dead. She cannot stir. 
Her lips are like the faded rose.
Which of us next must follow her
The Lord Almighty only knows.
Expired Jany 19, 1842
in the morning."

Abigail was 5 years old when she died, the daughter of Philadelphians John F. & Jane Leaming Forepaugh.

See more photos of this quilt in Stella Rubin's shop at 1stDibs.

The pattern was published as Philadelphia Beauty by the Ladies Art Company at the end of the 19th century.

The circular center was a perfect spot for a signature,

From Marilyn Woodin's collection

Quilt made for William Bryant Stewart and Elizabeth Sheppard Stewart,
 Plainfield, New Jersey.
 Newark Museum

The Stewarts' quilt features a similar block in the center and another variation in each of the corners. Rather than being cut from one piece each of the fleur-de-lis, each corner shape is cut as a single piece in two different fabrics - red and green.

Much like this version...

...in a sampler that was sold in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
about ten years ago. The shapes in the border
seem related to fleur-de-lis too.

Quilt dated 1852

Ruby McKim about 1930 was the first to publish the design as Fleur de Lis, French for lily. The single flower is a standardized image that once represented French royalty,

which is traditionally repeated in a half-drop set
forming a diagonal grid.

From an 1869 quilt made in Illinois

The four-way mirror image repeat design we see in American quilts went beyond Philadelphia.

Baltimore Album Quilt in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art

Contributors used a variety of geometries, all based on the four-way symmetry. 

Baltimore Album top dated 1844 made for Susan & Henry Underwood,
Smithsonian Institution.

The Ladies Art Company published a couple of related designs.
If it's green it might be Four Frogs.

If it's red---
Lobster according to Florence Peto and Delores Hinson.


Blocks might have no central shape.

Add an extra dot in the center.

Or cut stars for a central shape.

From the collection of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum.

And in this unusual block that looks to be about 1900:
Four hearts.

Print this out at 8", fold an 18" square of fabric into
quarters and cut out an applique to fit on a block 20" or larger.

It seems many people cut their own pattern.

The Criswell Quilt from the
 Chester County (PA) Historical Society's collection.