Monday, March 30, 2020


Collection of the New England Quilt Museum
From the Massachusetts project and the Quilt Index
a celebration of buff and blue, the fashionable fabrics
of the 1840s.
The block is sashed with a dress fabric stripe and bordered in a floral chintz.

The pattern is easy to identify:

BlockBase 2704

Jonathan Holstein found an example from the early 20th century,
possibly in Pennsylvania, which he published under the name Kaleidoscope in the
early 1970s and that is probably the name most of us would give it.

Earlier names include Semi-Octagon from the Household Journal, which
may be the earliest publication, early 20th century.

Carrie Hall published it as Semi-Octagon in her 1935 book.
Here's her block in the collection of the Spencer Museum of Art.
Hall was a great seamstress. I bet she took pride in getting those
8 seams to meet in the center.

The Nancy Page pattern column called it Octagons
in 1934.

It's odd that there is no earlier publication as there are
earlier quilts and blocks. Here's someone's pattern block
from 1875-1890 or so.

Early 20th century, from the Indiana Project

Gertrude Andrews Jones
Same time from the Michigan project
These may have been inspired by the Household Journal design.

Mrs. J.W. Dickinson of Tulsa sent her design for Parquetry
to the Kansas City Star, published in 1950. She thought
the skinny triangles should be striped.

The Rhode Island project found this one by Edith Wood Chamillard.
The overall set adds a good deal of complexity to the design.
Her use of pink and red triangles in the corners shows some thought
in her arrangement.

The quilt in the Holstein collection shows the same set.
I remember seeing this in 1971 or so and being quite impressed.

with the secondary stars created with the right shading....

Ebay crib quilt, last quarter 20th century.
I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

Print this out 8-1/2" x 11 and you'll have
a pattern for a 12 inch block.

It's easy enough to make and there are some
interesting shading possibilities.
The only flaw: Those 8 center seams.

Collection of Marti Michell
Of course you can always pop a circle over that busy intersection.
That looks like what is going on here in this one. Marti has a pattern
in her book Kaleidoscope ABC's

And many people would just cut with a ruler today---
no pattern necessary.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Broken Heart

Last year Jill posted a mystery pattern.
Looks, like most Turkey red and white quilts, to
date from about 1880-1925.

This seems to be the block with a red square in the center.
Even figuring out the repeat wasn't easy.
Unknown pattern.

But when I was going through Mildred Dickerson's pattern scrapbooks in the Quilt Research Center at the University of Nebraska Libraries I came across this clipping.

Broken Heart 
Oh, now I see the heart.
From Prairie Farmer magazine.
I'd have thought the quilt was older than that.

It's a nine patch, I guess.

Here it is in BlockBase as #2910, Broken Heart. Didn't see it as a nine patch though. The
seams weren't too clear in the photo.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Golden Glow or Missouri Daisy

A 20th-century designer pattern that was quite popular
after it was published in the Kansas City Star in 1932....

...as Golden Glow, made in gold and white, 
according to designer Eveline Foland.

BlockBase #3426
The Star pattern column published it twice.

Foland was rather innovative and she instructed you
to cut the inner petals large and then gather them.

A rework of the pattern a few years later.

Ann at Ann Quilts picked a block apart to see how it was made and it seems to have been the 1935 Star pattern.

Some have more gathers than others.

Carrie Hall's version in the Spencer Museum of Art
at the University of Kansas

This one, recently quilted, was all appliqued.

The pattern remained popular into the 1960s and '70s.

Eight-sided block set with yellow squares.

You could also piece it without gathering the inner petals.

Which is how Aunt Martha told you to do it.

A variation

MooreAboutNancy has a good drawing:
No gathers.

Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilts published it as Star Dahlia in 1980,
which is the name a lot of people use today.

Here's a link to a $50 set of templates:

Monday, March 9, 2020

Broken Circle or Suspension Bridge

This complex pattern was often done in red and white

International Quilt Museum Collection

The pattern was published several times. Names
from BlockBase (#2663)

The design has many relatives but this
one has a square contrasting with the circle.
Probably first published as Broken Circle by the Hearth & Home
group of magazines in the early 20th century, collected into
the Clara Stone catalog.

Clara Butler sent a picture to
the Nebraska Farm Journal in 1909,
calling it Broken Wheel

Many were made that look to be from the 1900-1925 years

From Bill Volckening's collection

A signature top made for the Rev. Early, Brunswick County.
North Carolina project & the Quilt Index

Sashing eliminates the secondary pattern of circles.

Louise Mace Carr
WV Project & the Quilt Index

By Sally King, Left Hand, West Virginia.
WV Project & the Quilt Index

From Bill Volckening's blog
The Ladies Art Company added it to their catalog in
the twenties, bringing it to a wide audience.
Like many of these designs with spiky points and arcs,
the design probably began in the last half of the 19th century
as a Southern upland pattern.

Helen A Dollar Magraw, Neshoba County, Mississippi
From the book Mississippi Quilts.

Holstein Collection, International Quilt Museum
Pennsylvania or Maryland

Kansas City Star Pattern By Eveline Foland
about 1930.

The look changed with the emphasis on brights and prints

Tim Quilts. Tim has been hand quilting this old top.

Bill Volckening's Collection

Here's a BlockBase pattern for a 12" Block

If you sashed it like a Rocky Mountain quilt
you'd have a Rocky Mountain variation but nobody ever seems to have done it that way.

Here's one with a four patch in the square---looks 1930s or '40s.