Monday, February 26, 2018

Nautilus or Monkey Wrench

An unusual design from about 1910 found in the Iowa Project. 
Lucy Kessler Eddy made the quilt. The family name was Friendly Hand

The pattern is BlockBase #2400 and here's a block
from Mary Barton's collection (also from Iowa.)

The block appeared in  the Clara Stone patchwork pattern catalog from about 1910
as Nautilus

A  block from the era

A top with blocks set all over

Alternate plain blocks

The spiral block is a square in a square in a square etc., with
an X in the center.

 But wouldn't it work better as a spiral if the X were shaded differently?

I imported it from Block Base into Electric Quilt and reshaded it.

Ruby McKim must have thought the same thing as she published it about 1930
as Monkey Wrench with a four patch in the center.

BlockBase #2397

Inspiring many quilters

The Freedom Quilting Bee, maybe about 1980

The shading is tricky.

Here's an EQ pattern for Nautilus in a 12" block.
Those numbers are
A - 6-7/8"
B - 3-7/8"
C - 7-1/4"
D - 4-1/4"

And here's how that clever Lucy Kessler Eddy set her blocks. For a 
12" block alternate with a 6 x 12" finished rectangle and offset the repeat.

Another great variation from the Wyoming Project.
The family name was Nautilus.

It's the same red and white square block---
let's say 12", set with a single alternate blue block half
that size---so 6"

The nautilus block is then set at a half-drop---
half way up, stair-stepped.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Minor Pattern Variation=Major Rabbit Hole

Rebecca Haarer had a pattern name question on one of the quilt sites. What would you call this design? We all said Democrat Rose, Whig Rose or Rose of Sharon. It's quite common.

The Rose of Sharon is a good name. This one by Charlotte Raynor
is in the Shelburne Museum's collection.

Democrat Rose from Marie Webster's 1915 book.
The pattern is one of the most popular appliques in the 1840-1880 period.
There are many example in my Encyclopedia of Applique, filed as 4+4 blocks
(Four motifs north/south axis---Four different repeats on the diagonal.)

One of the elements is a comb, a spiky shape.
The Encyclopedia of Applique number is 18

Spice Pink from Ruth Finley's 1929 book

Rebecca said No, and pointed out the center floral---“Conjoined cock’s combs." She wrote:
"I’ve been contemplating the differences. It almost seems as though this maker combined the 'rooster combs' of the Democratic rose into one blossom. Most of the Whig roses don’t have spiky but the more common rounded flower petal shapes."

She's right. I did a little digital altering of Charlotte Raynor's block
to show it with a circle of spiky points rather than 4 separate combs.

It took me a while to find other vintage quilts with the same construction, mainly because I was looking the 4+4 files. With one circular spiky shape in the center it's more like a #12.8xx

Center floral plus 4 identical arms.

EBay seller GB-Best

From the Western Pennsylvania project and the Quilt Index.
There are not a lot of these spiky centers with the rotating arms.

Collection of the International Quilt Study Center
 & Museum #1997_007_0792

Sometimes the difference is subtle between 4 combs or 1 circle.

Late 19th-century variation. 
Guess based on the way the green has faded to tan.

Here's a real beauty. Source?
Found it at the Kansas State Historical Society
By Jane Brooks McCurdy (1834-?) Ohio.

Mid-19th century

Rebecca wanted to know because she is working with a decorator at the Carlisle Inn in Sarasota Florida to name each floor after a quilt block pattern.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Folded Valentine Scherenschnitte

If you are feeling ambitious for Valentine's Day you could do
a little snipping.

And make a Valentine block.

There are quite a few of these scherenschnitte (cut paper) blocks with hearts.

Some are rather difficult to see in samplers. This one fairly simple.

The next one fabulously complex.

WVA project

Quilts Inc

Block from a mid-19th-century sampler album

From the Flack collection by a Pennsylvania Moravian

An ad from dealer Phyllis Haders years ago in the Clarion magazine.
H mmm.

From an article I wrote for Quilters Newsletter years ago.

Monday, February 5, 2018


Quilt from about 1890-1910
in the pattern published as Pyrotechnics
by the Ladies Art Company about 1890.

It's BlockBase #3461,
also published as Wheel or Wheel of Fortune

The 12 refers to the number of spokes in the
published pattern. The center is a hollow wheel or flower.

Surrounded by a single ring of triangular points.
In the Ladies Art drawing and in the BlockBase pattern
 the sunflower fits into a circle with curved shapes.

Straight lines here in this one from about 1880-1900

Indiana Project & the Quilt Index
The ring of triangular shapes sometimes seems to
have a little curve to those triangle sides.

The Newcomb Loom company sold a pattern for the design with curved triangles.

Perhaps the source for...

 Carrie Hall's early 1930s block at the 
Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas.

A top by Mrs. W.M.O. Moss found
in the Louisiana Project

So much like Carrie Hall's block,
which was not published in color until the 1980s.

Which came first the Ladies Art Company pattern or the quilts?

I  have photos of several that look to be older than the
published pattern.

From Jeffrey Evans antiques. Novel shading.

All in red and greens

From Cow Hollow Antiques

And from the Sign of the Whale Antiques

With added applique

Siotha Hibbs Longmire, from the Tennessee Project
This one may be earlier too. It has no hollow circle in the center and
there are 8 spokes.

Here's a great version from Susan Dague's collection.
About 1950

Rather unconventional fabric choices but it works.