Monday, June 24, 2019

True Blue or Prairie Queen

Sorting my nine-patch pictures I came across this vintage quilt in BlockBase pattern #1656

The pattern was published with two names, the first in the magazine Hearth and Home
in the first decades of the 20th century. I shaded the block in BlockBase as I found it in Ruth Finley's book.

Early 20th-century top quilted in the late 20th-century.
Connecticut project & the Quilt Index

In her 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts and The Women Who Made Them, Finley classed it with several "Simple but widely used nine-patches that every person interested in quilts should know..." Readers (like me) inferred that the pattern was decades old but I doubt that now. It probably originated with Hearth and Home and was popularized by Finley's book. I love the neat little block sketches in Finley's book, but I think the shading is wrong in #42 Prairie Queen.
It should be more symmetrical.

When the Nancy Cabot column in the Chicago Tribune copied the pattern in 1933
the shading was just like Finley's.

See a shading discussion here at Moore About Nancy:

Spencer Museum of Art
Carrie Hall's version of Finley's with the shading changed
to give a more circular format.

Hall's block in her 1935 book The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt
may have inspired this quilt from the 1940-1980 years.


It takes some skill in spatial relations to get all the pieces rotating the way you intended.

Different shading can emphasize the pattern's directionality.

Laura McDonough Boyd, Indiana project & the Quilt Index
Laura pieced little blocks for the cornerstones.

Rotated blocks 

Top by Ethel Hewitt Bennett, about 1915
New York project & the Quilt Index

Design potential

Roseanne Smith for Civil War Sampler
Here's a pattern from the Civil War Sampler

Monday, June 17, 2019

Ladies' Chain or All Kinds

Block from a quilt in classic 1890-1920 style.

Wine reds, blacks, grays and lots of blue

BlockBase # 3071 & 3072 

The pattern is rather unusual although it was published several times
in those decades. The rectangles extending into the corners can vary in proportion.

From the Ladies's Art Company. They probably modified
an earlier Clara Stone design.

Clara Stone catalog illustration

Here's #3071 as a QuickQuilt from BlockBase set all over.

I was talking to the people at Electric Quilt the other day and they told me that BlockBase, the computer program developed from my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, will soon be out of print. 

The operating system is getting archaic so if you know anyone who would like to have a digital tool for identifying and printing 4,000 patterns they should buy their copy soon as there are only a few left.

Do realize it is only for Windows Operating Systems and it is on a disk
so your PC has to have a disk slot. 
Or as PatA says in the comments:
You can get USB connected CD drives but I've found you should buy one with a separate power cord.
We are working on a new edition with an updated operating system but it will not be done for over a year...re-drawing 4,000 patterns takes time.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Aunt Vina from Richmond

The block is BlockBase #1654 with many names.

The earliest publication I've seen for this pattern is Hearth & Home magazine about 1915 when the editor asked readers to send in patterns named for the state capitals. Richmond is the capital of Virginia.

Aunt Martha in the 1930s published it as Aunt Vina's Favorite.
Perhaps Aunt Vina subscribed to Hearth and Home

 The quilts below from the Quilt Index were probably inspired by the Hearth & Home pattern so would probably date from the teens or early 1920s.

Elizabeth Mead, New York project

Michigan Project

Ruth Owens Davidson, Nebraska project

Style at the time dictated heavy sashing and blocks on the straight.

Arizona Project

Counterchange shading alternating dark on light and light on dark

The block with its checkerboard has some design potential

Becky Brown shaded it so a star is the central image. This block
is from our Civil War Sampler book. It makes interesting secondary designs in an all-over set.

I exported the pattern from BlockBase into EQ8 and tried some other ideas.

Corners shaded opposite. 36 blocks set all over style
12" Block = 72" Square.

The counterchange idea

Blocks on point was an old-fashioned idea in 1915
but this is an interesting way to make the most of the little four-patches.

84" square

Here are links to two different posts I've done on the pattern as Richmond.


Monday, June 3, 2019

Hospital Sketches Block #5: Pineapple

Block #5 in Hospital Sketches
Pineapple by Marty Webster...

This month's Block of the Month over at the Civil War Quilts Blog

Variations on this block may be in the top three standards
for applique albums (#1 & #6 in Hospital Sketches being the other two.)

Virginian Esther Blair Matthews inked the name as two words,
"Pine Apple" in her 1858 Shenandoah Valley Album Quilt.

 Ruth Finley called it a pineapple in her 1929 book and that
is what we call it.

Pineapple variations are classified in my Encyclopedia of Applique,
 page 70, numbered 9.70 to 9.79

From Vermont's Shelburne Museum

Album from Maryland advertised by dealer Bettie Mintz a few decades ago.
Four pineapple blocks are included.

In 1853 V. Cooke of Franklin, North Carolina entered a
 "Pine Apple Quilt" in a fair, winning $2.

Knowing how popular the design was I bet V. Cooke's looked a lot like this.

Rhode Island Project & the Quilt Index

Elizabeth Heldman Walther
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
International Quilt Study Center & Museum

Secondary role between Cleveland Lily blocks.

I'd say those pineapples are upside down---
but there are no rules in applique. 

See more on pineapple blocks in Baltimore album quilts at this post: