Monday, March 29, 2021

Queen's Parasol

Among the dozens of new blocks in the new Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns
is this show-off pieced block:
Queen's Parasol. Twelve seams meeting in the middle.
It's in the category Four Patch with Curves

Workbasket magazine published the pattern in June, 1940, long before Queen Elizabeth thought about parachute jumping to open the Olympics.

(Conspiracy theorists---You are right; that is NOT the real Queen.)

As I recall Workbasket, a small inexpensive and quite popular magazine,
had a centerfold quilt pattern each issue.

It was published in Kansas City, had once been a periodical from Aunt Martha patterns, but they sold the magazine in the 1940s. I interviewed a few people from the magazine and the pattern company 40 years ago and they told me they liked to design new patterns as they worried about copyright issues.
I haven't any photos of any quilts made in the pattern. The closest is pretty tame compared to Queen's Parasol.

Sometimes you get the feeling the Workbasket designers didn't
consider all the angles when planning for actual sewing.
12 seams in the center.

There is no reason you couldn't applique a dot over those 12 seams.
Because it is in the Encyclopedia 3rd edition it is also in BlockBase+.

You would want to piece this template style. Christine at EQ shows you
how to print templates here:

I printed a 9" pattern so everything would
fit on one sheet of paper.
I manipulate the pattern pieces to get them onto one sheet
with that blue arrow at the top right.

The I grab a screen shot and fit it onto an 8-1/2" x 11" inch jpg.

When I talk about templates I have always meant paper shapes that one could trace onto plastic sheeting. But now in the 21st Century EQ tells me you can actually print 3-D plastic templates if you have a 3-D printer. See the blog post here:

"The ability to export SVG files is one of the best features of BlockBase+ and it’s so exciting to learn the creative ways it can be used!" they tell me. Note to self: 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Rectangular Block to Drive One Nuts


A quilt top from an online auction with a pattern to drive a person crazy.
(A person trying to figure out the pattern structure---one already a bit nuts as it is.)

Here's another!

And a third from Jayne's blog on a Wayback Wednesday.

I spent too much time trying to figure out the block, drawing it as a square block...

...Which it is not

If it were square it would be made up of rectangles & half-rectangles.

But that's not it. It is a rectangular block made up of squares and half-squares.

With a rectangular sash at the top and bottom.

Set in rows that are dropped one third.

Very clever!
But what's the published source?
Don't look in the new Encyclopedia or the new BlockBase+. I just figured this out.

The indefatigable Susan Price Miller tells us it is Memory's Chain from Farm Journal. It IS in BlockBase+. I was just not looking at the correct seam lines. It's a Four Patch #1162 pieced of 64 different squares.

In Farm Journal January, 1936 designed by Mabel Hoffecker Collins

Perhaps I was overthinking the whole thing.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Pieced Sunbonnet Sue


Merikay Waldvogel sends a picture of this block,
an appliqued Sunbonnet figure.

She knew the source, a 1937 Laura Wheeler pattern
from the syndicated newspaper column.

Recycled in 1977
as an Alice Brooks design
by the same company

They intended it to be pieced - I've darkened the lines
here. I think that vertical, rather wavy line in the lower left is
meant to be embroidered. You could print this out
8" and you'd have a pattern.

The pattern brings up several questions. Did anyone ever piece it?

 Merikay's appliqued version is the only made-up block we've found.

More questions. What is she doing? 

A music stand?

What is that item on the left?

In the appliqued block it looks like a podium. We like it for a logo for our Six Know-It-Alls lecture.
Next one: Sunday March 21st, 10 AM Eastern Time. Link soon.

But then again, maybe it is a giant martini.

The pattern is in the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns & BlockBase+ 
but I was working from drawings by other indexers and we never quite got
the lines right. If you have an urge to piece it follow the pattern above.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Live Oak Tree

Live Oak Tree pattern in a quilt attributed to
 Ella M Booye Hickman (1865-1921) 
Atlantic County, New Jersey,
 found in the New Jersey project.

See page 112 of New Jersey Quilts.

Here's Ella's Find-A-Grave file:

When they published the New Jersey book they didn't know Ella's name---she was a friend's mother-in-law. But Ella looks to be the woman.
The tree is on the diagonal---upright if the blocks
are set on point.

From the Quilt Index

Her probable pattern source is Live Oak Tree from the Ladies' Art Company (#222). Ella probably made the quilt in the early 20th century or perhaps the 1890s when the LAC catalog was widely available.

Newcomb Looms gave away these premiums of
small cards; advertisements for patterns. Their number 223.

My BlockBase #849 old version

The LAC also sold a tree on the north/south axis of the
block. "Peony" was a lot more popular design, if we look
at quilts from the time.

Not many people made the Live Oak Tree---75 diamonds in each block.

Here's a top from an online auction a few years ago

It's too bad her green fabric was so fugitive. Looks to be the
same time as Ella's, early 20th century.

Variation in the tree trunk. Middle 20th century, maybe the
1960s? Another online auction.

Lona Bell Frame Rexroad (1892-1978) West Virginia Project
The family thought this might have been made in 1904 when Lona
was 12 but that seems unlikely based on the difficulty. She married
in 1920, a better possible date.

The trunk is different in Lona's quilt.
See page 9 of West Virginia Quilts & Quiltmakers.
She may have had a Ladies Art Company catalog and liked
the trunk on the Peony better.

I wonder how Lona's rectangular quilt with diagonal trees fit on the bed.

A 10-inch block will fit on a single sheet of paper. Here's a pattern printed from BlockBase.

New BlockBase+ any day now.

UPDATE: It's out today Thursday March 11!
And on sale through the end of the month.

Or buy a pattern Acorn's Promise from Kerry Stitch