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.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Kansas Pattern or Apple Pie Ridge Star


An odd pattern, odd in that it is not symmetrical in four-way mirror image repeat
like many of its relations.
Not so odd in that it is unique or even unusual.

Odd as it is, it was a relatively popular applique after 1845 or so.

Used in repeat block albums like this one dated 1844 - 1847
made for Matilda Jones Swope of Liberty, Frederick County, Maryland.
Collection of the DAR Museum

Also seen as a single block in a sampler, this one about the
same time, pictured in William Dunton's book on his Maryland research.

Baltimore album from the collection of the Maryland Historical Society.

From a quilt in the collection of Mary Robare, the
authority on the pattern.

It is a variation of a more symmetrical design, a fleur-de-lis.
This mid-19th-century version of the standard design looks to be cut from one piece
of fabric like a paper snowflake, folded, snipped
and opened up to reveal the design.

And who has not snipped in the wrong place and opened
up their snowflake to reveal a novel design---not quite the

Baltimore Album quilt, collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Some stitchers were very adept at cutting snow-flake style
fleur-de-lis. The variety is impressive.

Quilt dated 1844 for William and Gorgianna Burris Pindle.
From the book A Maryland Album 

It looks like a mistake to me, but this pattern was handed around in some form,
not just one woman's error.

Collection of Debby Cooney
Quilters also added more motifs in the block corners.

Mid-20th century four-block from dealer Mark French's inventory

Quilt attributed to Julia Waldsmith Roseberry, (1819-1892) Ohio
Estimated date 1870-1900

These experiments in cutting with two-way mirror image 
symmetry became a standard into the end of the century.

In Virginia they call it the Apple Pie Ridge Star block
after a neighborhood where it was popular.
Mary Robare's summary:

Karen Alexander also did a post about the pattern, showing
this block with the name in the center
a name published in the Omaha World Herald in 1912.

In 1934 the Nancy Cabot quilt column in the Chicago Tribune
published a reader's design for Conventional Scroll.

Encyclopedia of Applique

Charlotte Jane Whitehill of Emporia, Kansas made a 20th-century version
and called hers "A Kansas Pattern".


See Karen's post on the pattern:

Some late 19th/early 20th century examples, free-hand cut (?) with a variety of results.

Print this out on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet and you'll
have a pattern for a 12" block, but be careful
in doing the snowflake folding and cutting. You could wind up with a new pattern.

I tried it on a 12" square of newspaper.

Michelle has a Pinterest page

Monday, November 9, 2020

Tiny Houses

Sometimes simple is best.

Here's a circa 1910 block with tiny houses.

As we all know, houses can get too big.

Efficient might be better.

I'd never noticed this simple two-patch shaded so it looked like a house.
This could be very useful.

In fact, I have been woefully negligent about the whole pattern.

Here it is shaded to look like an arrow, a quilt from about the same
time from Molly at the Fourth Corner.

Mollie knew where the pattern originated.
A Winner
The Hearth & Home syndicate 1907

It's not in the new Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
and it's too late NOW.
Don't tell Ann and Sara.
As soon as you get your new third edition your are going to have to write in on page 347
under Two Patches Horizontal or Vertical Division
A Winner
Hearth & Home, 1907

Then shade it like a house
and write in From a quilt about 1910.


Well, now I see it is in the new edition of the Encyclopedia
It's 1718.5 as a nine patch.

Arrowhead from Needlecraft Magazine