Monday, July 29, 2019

Rose Cross

Mid-20th-century applique quilt stitched with black embroidery
thread in a blanket stitch.

It's  #12.18 in my Encyclopedia of Applique, Rose Cross from Ruby Short McKim

Published in the Kansas City Star about 1930

A better view from McKim's book 101 Quilt Patterns in which she
 collected her newspaper designs.
One of these McKim sources must have been the inspiration for the quilt at the top of the page.
Her drawing is better than mine.

McKim's pattern is based on traditional applique.

Central flower with four buds

Here's a related design that fits tightly in the block.
From an Ohio quilt in the James Collection at the
International Study Center and Museum.


Q is for Quilter has a free pattern with a little redrawing:

Monday, July 22, 2019

Bowtie Pieced in Strips: Strange Fashion

Strip quilt in an unfamiliar design.
Looks to be early 20th century.

It's obviously a bowtie.
But constructed in strange fashion

A square, two long hexagons
and then two truncated triangles on the sides.

Paper piecers?

Monday, July 15, 2019

Unknown Pattern: Wicker Park

A complex pattern in a 20th-century top from an online auction.

It hasn't got a name.
How about Wicker Park for a Chicago neighborhood?

Wicker Park

How to even figure out the repeat?
You might construct it as a strip quilt.
Above on the right: a narrow vertical strip of squares and rectangles B.
On the left: A wider series of rectangular blocks 

The rectangular block

Rectangle B is twice as long a the square
Rectangle C 3 x
If you were using precuts
A 2-1/2" squares
B 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles
C 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles

Easy to cut and piece.
Hard to keep it all straight.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Child's Picture Patch Quilt

Figurative crib quilt 
from a 1929 McCall's needlework catalog

McCall’s Designs for Needlework and Decorative Arts.

No real name:
"Design for Child's Picture Patch Quilt"

One could buy the pattern transfers for 50 cents.

Karey Bresenhan Collection

And many people did.

The pattern doesn't tell us but it looks like a circus quilt with a circus train engine, a giraffe, an elephant and a tiger. The human figures may be Chinese acrobats and perhaps in the lower left here clowns with pointy hats.

Pierrot figure with a cone-shaped hat.

A little insidious racial stereotyping

Chinese acrobats in a 1906 poster

Lynn Evans Miller Collection

A fancy border and edge

From Karen Alexander's collection
The McCall's pattern gave you six blocks.

See the diagrams at Q is for Quilter

And you could make up your own if you wanted a bigger quilt.

The McCall's pattern gave no designer's name but it may have been the work of Ruth Oppenheimer and Wilhelmine Haas who a year or so earlier published a similar pattern in Needlecraft Magazine (March, 1928): "For the Very Young Comes Patchwork in a New Form"

Oppenheimer & Haas seem to have specialized in these gridded
puzzle patchworks of animals and people.

Figures dressed in the aprons and large hats traditionally worn
in Normandy, France.

There was a mid-20th century fashion for classifying the people of the world by racial features and traditional costume. The artists seem to have been fond of their Chinese stereotype.

A figure in Chinese costume, a kite and a Chow dog.

BlockBase #940.42 at the top right

Why Chinese?  Marin Hanson, Curator at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, gives the question some thought in this article: "Exotic Quilt Patterns and Pattern Names in the 1920s and 1930s". See a PDF here:

Similar idea: Circus animals on train cars
with the square wheels.

I haven't been able to find a thing out about who Ruth Oppenheimer and Wilhelmine Haas were, perhaps free-lance writers on needlework.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Hospital Sketches Block #6: Laurel Leaf

A simple block of compound leaves...

many variations within its narrow definition---
 Four repeating diagonal arms, crossed stems, simple leaf shapes repeated

In my Encyclopedia of Applique two versions #5.54 and 5.55. For more about #5.55 see this post:

Another option has an empty center, a place for an inscription.

Mountain Laurel for Hospital Sketches by Mark Lauer

That's the one we're doing in the Hospital Sketches BOM this month. See a post here:

I might ink some kind of label in the center here.

Mary Jane Shoemaker, dated 1849, Virginia
from Jeffrey Evans Auctions

Another from Jeffrey Evans Auctions, just sold.

Jeanne Arnieri's reproduction #6 for Hospital Sketches

What to call it? It has a few published names.

Wilene Smith posted this article by Bessie Freeman
in the Arkansas Gazette
in which Bessie called it Cornflower Quilt.

But the standard today is Laurel Leaf, thanks to the Shelburne Museum catalog. That name for the pattern may go back to the 1840s and '50s when the design first appeared. I found an 1846 Maryland reference to a Laurel Leaf quilt.

In 1846 Mary T. Wood of Friendship, 
Maryland sent a "Laurel leaf quilt" to Washington's
Great National Fair. Mrs. Martin of Washington City sent an "Album Quilt."

At an 1888 California fair "Mrs. T. Doyle showed a Laurel Leaf Quilt, 
the design being very prettily delineated."

Album dated 1861, attributed to Fulton County, Pennsylvania
Collection of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum #2008.040.0136

The sampler includes several of the popular blocks we're making this year including wreaths (#1),
Cockscomb (#2) and a Laurel (#6) and a leafy vine border.

More examples for inspiration:

That faded green print looks early, maybe an 1840s example.
Hearts are a nice addition.

Bunching up the leaves
Date? 20th century?

It's probably more commonly done with four more leaves in the center

And maybe a circle. This one from the Connecticut Project
and the Quilt Index

Betsy Nims
Another New England quilt, this one from the Massachusetts project.

Dated 1898, also from Massachusetts

Worcester Historical Society,

A different leaf shape

More addition from the Indiana project.

The consistency in red coloring at the end of the stems
is interesting. There seems to be a rule.


A small quilt.
Rules not always followed.

More on the name in this post: