Monday, December 30, 2019

At the Depot or Railroad Crossing

An interesting construction. Five squares placed on point.

With strips in four of them.

It's BlockBase 2779,  published in 1906 in the Clara Stone catalog as At the Depot.
Wilene Smith tells me this this catalog of patchwork patterns gathered
some that had been in the magazine Hearth & Home and others published
by the Vickery & Hill company.

These quilts with the characteristic 1900-1920 colors
must have been made from that pattern in the magazines
or the catalog.

The Kansas City Star published it in 1935
as Railroad Crossing.

Editor Edna Marie Dunn noted, "Many quilt fans call [the pattern] a 'straight line quilt' as it has no curved seams."
I hadn't ever heard that term.

Mid-20th-century, probably made from the Star's pattern.

Charlotte recently found this one in Virginia, looks 1960-1990

When Becky Brown and I did the Civil War Sampler she made
a Railroad Crossing Block to recall the first battle of Bull Run/Manasass.

And here's one from the Wyoming Project that's a variation.
Two extra triangles in the center.

And you can change the center stripe to 3 squares

It becomes the Four H Club design:
See a post here:

Monday, December 23, 2019

Dog Star

Here's the perfect photo, Oliver Mills and his dog...

And a quilt.
About 1910
The patchwork design seems a little chaotic but it's not. It's a complex pattern.

With two components.

The center of the block is a simple wheel/star.
I haven't seen that exact design before but I drew it in EQ.
Each of those wheels is framed by diamonds.

You see the diamond frame often although this configuration
doesn't have a BlockBase number. It probably should be 2065.5

When you set the blocks together you get a diamond star
and a large white square with no seams for some fancy quilting.
Quite common in the 19th century.

But you could frame anything with those diamonds.

Creating a very complex design.

The Dog Star?

Monday, December 16, 2019

Milady's Fan

The Arizona project documented this quilt of blocks made mid-20th century
and finished by a family member later on.

It's  an Aunt Martha pattern: Milady's Fans

BlockBase #3340

This one from an online auction. Only have a few.

Not often done, probably because there were a few flaws in Aunt Martha's concept.
Like: How did you construct this?
Pieced? There aren't enough seams.
Applique? Nobody wants to applique those angles.

Although some did. This one has purple rickrack edging the
inside curve.

UPDATE: Found this on ebay.
Four the same, arranged in a wheel. So what if there are 24 seams in the center.
That's why they invented polka dots!

It's a cool design with a modern flair.
QuickQuilt from BlockBase

You would want to add more lines to this pattern and piece it over paper foundations.

Here's an 8-inch pattern.

It would look fabuloso!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Pine Burr or Philadelphia Patch

We've been posting pictures of Pine Burr quilts
over at the QuiltHistorySouth Facebook page.

Some Southern; some could have been made anywhere.
The pattern was quite popular between about 1870 and 1950.

Here's a photo from the pattern book Spinning Spools.

How old is the design?

When Helen Ericson ran Mrs. Danner's Quilts in the 1970s & 80s she sold a pattern called the Mayflower Quilt because she "found a picture just like it listed as a pattern that came over on the Mayflower in 1620."

HIGHLY unlikely.

We can date the quilts from fabrics and style and they look to be after 1870. And we can also look at the published patterns. The design was popular enough that many periodicals and pattern distributors sold examples but all were published in the 20th century beginning with Pine Burr below:

The earliest I've found is from the Practical Needlework series out of Boston, Quilt Patterns by Clara A Stone (who Wilene Smith tells us is a fictional character.) About 1910. The design might have appeared earlier in a periodical as the booklet is a collection of clippings. Clara called it Pine Burr.

UPDATE: Wilene Smith tells me there is an earlier publication of the Pine Burr pattern in Hearth & Home magazine in March, 1898. The Clara Stone catalog, first introduced in 1906, reprinted patterns from Hearth & Home and other Vickery & Hill publications.

In 1916 the Rural New Yorker, an agricultural periodical, published Pine Cone, from Tennessee.
"one of the oldest designs." (NOT!) Their pattern has curves on the outside of the arms or cones. Scan very unclear.

Curves add another level of difficulty to a challenging pattern.
This one done in the fashionable indigo prints of 1890-1930.

From a long-ago Quilt Engagement Calendar, 1900

Is it Southern?  Fan quilting and bold color with brown
as a neutral seem to indicate that. Border of  plain strip
rather unusual in Southern upland style from 1880-1930 though so perhaps
it is a Pennsylvania version.

Comfort magazine from Maine knew how to please its large Southern readership and published the pattern several times. The above Pine Burr block was sent by Mrs. W.E. Collins of Oregon and published in March, 1922.

Mildred Dickerson's scrapbook of Comfort patterns (Quilt Research Collection at the University of Nebraska Libraries) includes two more Pine Burr clippings, one dated May, 1923. The other has curved sides.

The many solid color quilts from the upland South
may have been drawn from those Comfort designs.

From an eBay seller in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

A family member in Minnesota brought this quilt she called Star
of Columbia to be documented. Made in Fort Gaines, Georgia

The Ladies Art Company in St. Louis picked up on the design's popularity and added it to their pattern catalog in the 1920's. They called it the Philadelphia Patch. You could buy a pattern card, instructions or a finished 18" block for $1.00. I'll take 12. (How many people did? And what did they look like?)

All of the patterns above are shown as square blocks but Ruby Short McKim and Edna S. Tyrrell did an article for Better Homes & Gardens magazine in 1932 which sold the pattern without any block seams. Like the related Kaleidosope design the McKim/Tyrrell design was constructed piece by piece.

They called it the Philadelphia Patch, the same name as the Ladies Art Co.

Pattern price 15 cents.
McKim had a thriving quilt business and in her catalog Designs Worth Doing she included a related page with the Philadelphia Patch as a Ready Cut Quilt, a kit. For $3.60 it looks like you would get the fabric "All materials ready-stamped." The kit was red sprig print a  quaint "oil calico" with white.

That Better Homes & Gardens pattern must have been the inspiration for 
many of the examples we see constructed in the all-over fashion.
This one from Cow Hollow antiques. Bet the tan was once green.

In 1932 artist Eveline Foland published a pattern for Pineapple Cactus in
the Kansas City Star. Reader Mrs. C.O. Gray of Leon, Kansas sent in the design.
Curves and more seams in the center.

Here's one made from that Star pattern with prairie points along the edge.

In BlockBase I indexed this block under Miscellaneous: Cocklebur from the Ladies's Art Company #505. Can't find an original picture and it may actually be from the Nancy Cabot column in 1935.

In 1934 The Farmer's Wife magazine published a trendy version in
the latest shades of green as a four patch and called it The Evergreen.
There seem to be seams dividing it into a four-patch.

This one looks to be constructed as a four patch.

"1898 Quilted" by Lucretia Florence Craft (1868-1935) 
& her mother Marthursa Jane Crouse Craft
Putnam County, Indiana
From Quilts of Indiana book, pp 66-7
The only date-inscribed example I've found. 

I liked the Cocklebur but the position in the block is strange so I redrew it. Here is a pattern to fit an 11" block (the largest I could get on an 8-1/2" piece of paper).
Print it out so the line along the top quarter of the block is 5-1/2".