QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Baltimore Blues

Friday, October 8, 2010

Not So Current Events

My friend Merikay sent a scrapbook page with a sketch of another Garfield's Monument pattern. See my post on this pattern on September 28th by clicking here: http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2010/09/intepreting-old-patterns.html

This may be the original publication of the monument style block. Wilene Smith thinks it might be from Farm and Home in the early 1880s right after Garfield's assassination.
Note there isn't much information on how to make it. You wouldn't want to applique all those right angles but there are no seam lines. This might be why there are so many variations. Everyone drew it differently so they could stitch it. No two quilts seem to be done in the same pattern.

Merikay has just been to visit Garfield's Monument and sent vintage postcards along with the scrapbook page.

Garfield's Monument, Cleveland
The glass mosaic in the ceiling is on the left.
See an EQ exercise using a Garfield's Monument block:

This is the kind of thing we can spend hours on---and do.
But the point I wanted to make here is....

I noticed on the same scrapbook page two designs named for Dewey.
The Dewey Dream Quilt and the Dewey Quilt, a reference lost to many of us today.
(The Dewey Dream is in lower left corner; Dewey Quilt in top right corner above)

Admiral George Dewey (1837-1917) was known for winning a battle in the Spanish-American War in 1898. He certainly was a victor in the propaganda battle as my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and the digital version BlockBase show 5 designs named for the Admiral or his wife.

Left to right:
Mrs. Dewey's Choice
The Dewey Block
The Dewey
Dewey's Victory
as well as my version of the Dewey Dream Quilt shown on the scrapbook page.

But on the scrapbook page I see there is another Dewey Quilt.

The Dewey Quilt
That is one wacky block.
It was easy to draw in EQ though. I realized it is based on the Maltese Cross construction.

With one line in every arm missing.
I just deleted those lines and recolored it.

And look how great it looks as an all-over pattern.

Pop test today:
Who was Admiral Dewey?
How fleeting is fame?


Anonymous said...

ISn't Dewey the man who ran for President? Everyone thought he was a shoe in for the job, and the NY Times printed a headline newspaper saying he had won --- and it was Truman that really won. Dewey and Times both rather red in the face. A real case of counting your chieckens before they hatch!

THANK YOU for these block. The Dewey quilt (blue and white) is amazing. Who would think such awkward looking blocks would go together so well?!

Julie in TN

Barbara Brackman said...

Julie is thinking of Thomas E. Dewey who ran as a Republican for President in 1944 and 1948 and lost both times. Those patterns pre-date his fame.

And Suzanne writes that there's a D for Dewey quilt in the new book from the American Folk Art Museum.

Miri said...

Thanks for the info on Admiral Dewey. My first instinct on seeing a block named for a Dewey would have been to think of John Dewey, the philosopher and educator for early 20th century blocks or even Melvin Dewey of the Dewey Decimal system. Fame is fleeting.

Mandy said...

Interesting. In this case it is not fame which fades away but rather the pursuit of historical knowledge in our culture. I know about the "Hero of Manila" but I read outside of school and grew up in a military family. He is still of significance today. He is directly responsible for the rest of the world taking notice of U.S. naval might. And, a little coincidence, this Dewey also ran for president. It was a disaster and he withdrew.

Thank you for posting a whole quilt image for the Dewey block. I was wondering about it the other day. It goes on the to do list now. :7)

Anonymous said...


I am posting based on a recent interest in The Dewey and Jack-in-the-Pulpit block variations. I had hoped to be able to read the text under the images on the scrapbook page, but no such luck. Would you be so kind to point me to a post about this particular scrapbook page or perhaps even share in a new post what the page says about those other blocks, please?

Thank you!