Monday, December 28, 2020

String Pieced Lone Star


Polyester String Quilt

I don't know if a pattern has ever been published for this whole top design
 of string-pieced diamonds. But it's a pattern you often come across.

It's one of the new numbers in the third edition of the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
I sent the drafters this sketch.

Source: Common String Quilt

In this edition I added many designs that are common
but do not (yet) have a published source.

Here's their fix from the page proofs.

Amelia Etta Atkins (1879-1965)
from the Tennessee project & the Quilt Index

Most of these are from online auctions.

 Bertha Virginia Riddick from
the Michigan project & the Quilt Index.

Does it have a name?

Variation, not indexed.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Squares in a Triangle


Jane posted this mid-20th-century quilt top in the Facebook group
  Quilts:Vintage & Antique looking for a pattern name.
We were no help.
I did find relatives, however.

The theme is squares in a half-square triangle.
Classified as a two patch with a diagonal seam down the center of the block.
Jane's has six squares.
I found quite a range of dates on the idea, but no published patterns.

1860-1880? top
Three squares

One square

15 Squares in some prints that look to be about 1910

Same time but 6 squares

10 squares from the mid-20th century
maybe 1960-1980?

Monday, December 14, 2020

Conventional Lily

Quilt from the Kuska Collection at the Thomas County, Kansas
Historical Museum

Hard to date.
Close fancy quilting, post-1880s greens fading to khaki or dun color.

From my Encyclopedia of Applique

Could it be as late as 1928 when Comfort magazine
published a pattern?

Comfort was quite influential in maintaining a small
and rather regional fashion for red and green appliques
into the 20th century.

If it's so "Conventional" how come these are the only two references to the pattern I can find?

Monday, December 7, 2020

Addition to the 3rd Edition


Here's an addition in the third edition of my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

Originally, the Encyclopedia was meant to be an index to patterns published and named before 1970 but in the latest edition I added dozens of designs that hadn't been published as far as I could tell, patterns common enough that they NEEDED a number.

Like this one from the Lambertville, New Jersey Historical Society
and the Quilt Index.

It's now got a number: #1527.5

Among its published relatives.

It's a variation on the classic Melon Patch or Orange Peel that goes
way back.

The pattern has close relatives of a slightly different construction.

Many early 19th-century quiltmakers used a variation.

From the Connecticut project & the Quilt Index

But the block and seam lines are different.
This is #1519

Here's one way to look at the quilt above from the 1830's.

But that's not the repeat. There are no seams going through
those large squeezed squares.

When you get your new edition you are going to have to write in on page 178 under 1527.5
"See 1519."
And vice versa.
It's always a work in progress.

You don't have to wait for the new BlockBase to get a pattern. Here's one for
a 15" Four Patch.

Early 19th-c quilt from the Nichols family, Newark, New Jersey,
Newark Museum

UPDATE: Laura Lane at the New England Quilt Museum sent a photo of a mini she made from
a Jo Morton pattern.

And I remembered I'd made an appliqued mini too, interpreting a New England quilt in the Spencer Museum collection for an AQSG Quilt Study.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Path o' Gizzards


Texas Etsy dealer Shelby Anderson had this striking red and white quilt for sale at Shelby's Quilts.

It looks to be early-20th century or maybe late-19th by the prints---not much
to go on here. Is it pieced or appliqued?

Figuring out the repeat:

Here's the basic unit

set alternately dark on light and light on dark,
counterchange shading.

Shelby has called it a Drunkard's Path but it's not; it's more a Hearts & Gizzards
design. #1503 in the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

A post with relatives:

Monday, November 23, 2020

Grandma Dexter's Orange Peel


Pattern name. Found in friend Linda's estate. Merikay looked it up
in my Encyclopedia of Applique and it's not in there.

Hmmm. It's familiar and I stared at it for a while. Who would draw
up a pattern like that ? It should be pieced but it's appliqued.

Grandma Dexter, that's who.

Sure enough, here it is as Orange Peel.
The problem is that it's not in the applique Encyclopedia where
it belongs, but in the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns where
for some obscure reason it is #3539 and it says "applique."

It's related to the many pieced patterns like this but.....

Grandma Dexter did not do the needlework world any good with
her pattern books.

People who had few sewing skills tried to figure out what "she" meant. Her theory was that all you
needed was a few pattern pieces and you could create a variety of blocks by appliqueing what would have been better pieced.

This was an efficient use of paper


And don't be calling in with any questions or complaints.

Jonathan Winters in his slightly terrifying Maude Frickert personality
captures the whole idea of a diabolical art department masquerading
as your Grandma.

1934 Wilmington Delaware News Journal

And to complicate matters I see I have this one "Painted Snowball" indexed as coming from the Nancy
Cabot column in the Chicago Tribune. This is not Nancy Cabot? But who is it? 
UPDATE: Wilene Smith tells me it is Nancy Cabot from one of the syndicated patterns.

If I'd a been working in the art department at Grandma
Dexter's I'd have drawn this up in Electric Quilt and
shown them what it is supposed to look like. Here's an
8" pattern.