Wednesday, May 1, 2019

EBay Find

One woman's trash, another woman's treasure.

I bought these blocks on eBay for way cheap. About $1.30 each. You probably had no urge to bid against me. They are a treasure to me because those little pinned-on scraps of paper are pattern names.

The blocks are poorly stitched, of poor fabric with little contrast. The fabrics might have been called cottonade, inexpensive clothing wovens. Maybe early 20th century. They are stained with brown spots and have an overall yellowed look to them. Perhaps these were someone's pattern blocks, made and kept for ideas.With the name on each. The seller was in Ohio.

I photographed them and took the rusty old pins out, then steamed and ironed the blocks. Ironed the fragile paper too.

Hour Glass
I re-pinned the names on the blocks with stainless pins and rephotographed.

And then I looked for the source for the names in BlockBase.

The earliest use of Hour Glass for BlockBase #1195, the pattern above,
is a 1932 Kansas City Star publication.

That seems a little late for these blocks but we continue sleuthing.

Kings Crown

This one wasn't hard to find either. BlockBase #3184,
King's Crown from the Ladies Art Company.

The Ladies Art Company started publishing
patterns and names about 1890 but this one
#362 has a high number, indicating it might
be one of their later additions. 

The Family Circle

I could not find one block in BlockBase named Family Circle.
And I didn't find this block with any name although there are lots
of similar blocks.

Cats and Kittens

Ditto, no Cats & Kittens and no block just like this.

Log Cabin

I'd call this an album quilt variation, one of many designs with the diagonal construction.

BlockBase has something in that category named Log Cabin and Album
from Comfort magazine. But it's not the same.

I cannot read the name on this block. Well I can read it; it just makes no sense.

San louth

It looks like a combination of Spanish and Gaelic.
Louth is a county in Ireland. But that is too obscure a reference.

Again there are similar published blocks in BlockBase but none just like it.
Perhaps it is a really bad spelling of Saint Louis or San Lucia.

Thank you, Readers. It's Saw Tooth!!!

Well I had $1.30's worth of fun out of each of those blocks. My guess on the source: a publication in the early 20th century. One I haven't seen yet.


  1. I read the label before I read your interpretation. Looks like Saw Tooth to me, too!
    ....and what a great find!

  2. What a fun find! I love those little clues to the past.

  3. What an interesting find ;o)

  4. I agree with Nann and Dale, it looks like Saw tooth to me. What a treasure trove. Couldn't have gone to a better home!

  5. I believe I saw that auction. You are probably right regarding a way to remember patterns. My great granny (born in 1900) who lived to be 104 had this type of thing. I was fortunate to spend time with her, as her wisdom in all things was great. And she still wore bloomers!

  6. What wonderful blocks and treasure to have. I love the look of the old quilts, with all their imperfections.


  7. Fun set of blocks!
    I have a set that has names pinned on, and includes the garment the fabric was used in. For example; Martha’s Apron
    The notes were tacked on with thread.

  8. Definitely treasure! And a mystery for you to solve!

  9. Fascinating. And I just came to this post after looking up that very design of the 5th block in your Encyclopedia of Pieced Patterns.

  10. If you divided the "Cat & Kittens" block in quarters, you would get a block I have seen called "Cat's Cradle". Just a thought...