Monday, November 26, 2018

Radio Windmill from The Kansas City Star Quilts Sampler


C&T Publishing has just published the Kansas City Star Quilts Sampler with some 20th-century quilt history by me. 

Debbie Rodgers designed the sampler with over 60 blocks, stitched by staff. The 264-page book includes rotary cutting instructions for each block but also TEMPLATES! for piecing, a luxury in this day and age. Here's a template-worthy pattern from the cover.
I Photoshopped their block into a grid of 4.
The pattern in the book is 12" or 6" if you look at each unit as a block.

The unusual design was published in the Kansas City Star in 1941 as The Radio Windmill. I gave all my Kansas City Star original patterns to the International Quilt Study Center when I moved so I cannot look it up but the book gives us information from the original pattern in the Star and tells us that Anna Killillay of Pleasanton, Iowa mailed in the design.

It also (according to me) appeared in the Chicago Tribune's quilt column, Nancy Cabot.

It's BlockBase #2560

I did a Quick Quilt in BlockBase and this is how it looks set all over
each block shaded the same. Interesting but you could get the same look
easier with squares and recatangles.

I imported the BlockBase design to Electric Quilt 8. 
Scrappy with controlled shading might be quite cool. 

Changed the shading,
two different alternating blocks.

Same thing---kind of reads as Z's or pinwheels.

Inverted the color in Photoshop for more drama. 
One shading, alternate block rotated 

Did a screen capture here of a EQ quilt without any lines. A nice graphic and maybe my favorite among my color experiments. Three shades: medium, light and dark.

I'd show you some vintage examples of the Radio Windmill but I couldn't find any---not even on the Quilt Index. It's a neglected pattern but now we have templates in the book.

UPDATE: I found another name and publisher for the pattern. H. Ver Mehren's Colonial Quilt catalog apparently included it as Windmills of Amsterdam, here advertised in the Detroit Free Press.

See a review of the book at Publishers' Weekly here:

Monday, November 19, 2018


This airplane quilt was supposedly found after flying around in the tornado in Joplin, Missouri a few years ago. Let's hope it's been re-united with its owner by now.

Ragi Marino who has written the book on airplane quilts Flying High: The Airplane in Quilts used the same pattern when she made a copy of a crib quilt in her collection for the 2012 AQSG Quilt Study on Colonial Revival Quilts. Her pattern may have been the earliest of the patchwork airplanes, The Lone Eagle Quilt, designed by Emma S. Tyrrell for Successful Farming in January, 1929. The alternate block with the eagle has been done in embroidery and quilting.

Stella Rubin has one for sale with the quilted eagle.

Collector Joanna Rose showed one in her Infinite Variety show
a few years ago. It's hard to see the eagle in the quilting but it's there.

The New England Quilt Museum's airplane quilt also looks to have that quilting
but again it's hard to see.

In 1933 the Aunt Martha pattern company offered a pattern just for the plane in their catalog The Quilt Fair Comes To You. They called it Aeroplane and said "This shows the modern trend and explains how many designs originate." Copying patterns? I doubt that's what they meant but that airplane was such a good idea many pattern companies copied it.

Laura Fisher's Inventory

This pattern (with propeller in various places)
was quite popular

An all appliqued version honoring famous pilots was
sold as a block collection in an online auction a few years ago.

There's a subcategory

Kansas Project & the Quilt Index

Airplanes with circles and/or stars on the wings

International Quilt Study Center & Museum collection

From the Minnesota project & the Quilt Index
Must have been made during World War II,

From the Detroit News in the 1930s
Sent in by a reader of their pattern feature.

The News had their own pattern for
their quilt club, a fat little plane with a triangular tail.

This design (BlockBase #902) was published by
several sources.

With its nine-patch format it was a popular pattern.

Add a wide white sashing and blue corner squares
to create nine patches.

Texas project & the Quilt Index
Friends of  Ophelia Parker Bloys signed blocks with appliqued propellers for
a bridal shower quilt in 1939.

From Julie Silber's inventory. Blocks on the diagonal.

Massachusetts project & the Quilt Index
Planes on the diagonal, blocks on the straight.

Capper's Weekly published this pattern with a pieced propeller in 1930.
BlockBase #903.

 The Kansas City Star copied it in 1940.
This is one of the first quilts I made, and an article about airplane patterns is one of the first I published for Quilters' Newsletter in the 1970s.

A friendship quilt from 1933-1937 Claudell Grade School

Monday, November 12, 2018

Under-Represented Floral Design

Bouquet: Triple Flower on a stem, Roundish floral

Does it have an Encyclopedia of Applique Number?
Bettina has brought this to my attention with her question:

Pattern name?

Not in the book.

Although it is such a basic pattern structure it should be.

I recently came across a 1928 pattern by Emma S. Tyrrell in Wallace's Farmer. She called it Lily and said she'd drawn the pattern from an old quilt that had been used as a mattress pad.

And here it is as Cosmos in Woman's World with several other applique designs.

From Benoni Pearce's 1850 sampler in the Smithsonian

The all-appliqued version is related to the pieced/appliqued
Cleveland Lily types, which were far more common.

From the Flack collection

Pepper Cory owns this one with a variegated star/flower.
Place to stick in some extra chrome orange.

Ebay and online

Well, here's a discovery. Twin quilts---fraternal not identical
Note borders & 5-lobed florals

Great variation in Terry Thompson's collection

You see a lot more of the bouquets with a central floral
focus. There are plenty of these and they have a number:

#31.52 Rose of Sharon from Carrie Hall & Rose Kretsinger's book.

So, Bettina, not much information on the pattern.
But a good excuse to look at some red and green applique.