Saturday, July 30, 2011

Patterns: Known and Unknown

Every once in a while I put some pieced patterns up that I haven't seen published. The design above is from a quilt offered on an online auction.
The symmetries are odd and the striped fabric
 makes the four patch more intricate. The fabrics look mid-20th century.

In my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns it's closest to patterns numbered in the 1280s or 1370s, four patches with diagonal seams, but it's not been published in the usual 1880-1970 sources.
(BlockBase is the digital version of the Encyclopedia)

Here's another odd block separated by sashing that looks to have been stitched in the early 20th century.
The basic structure is what I call a 9x and it should be in the Encyclopedia and BlockBase numbered 2770 to 2800.

But it's not.

Here's a simple block, sort of like a pineapple/maltese cross with only one row around the center square.
A good idea, especially when shaded in counterchange fashion with what's light in one block dark in the next.

This one should be #2626.5, but it's not in the Encyclopedia. Maybe I missed it when I was indexing blocks, maybe it was published in a magazine with a small circulation, maybe some clever seamstress made it up.The fabrics in the top look to be end of the 19th century, probably 1880 to 1900. It would be a nice block to show off an intricate print like a William Morris piece or a chintz.

Wait a minute, here's an unsual pattern that I could assign a name and a source to. Nancy sent this picture of a top she bought, two fabrics---that 1930s Nile green and a multi-colored print.

I did find the block. It’s #2323 Twin Darts published in Farm Journal in February, 1945.

The piecer also used a counterchange color scheme, which makes it more complex.
I generally find designs prior to 1970 in the Encyclopedia and BlockBase. It's the patterns I can't find there that are so fascinating to me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Seaflower and Lately Arrived PreCuts

Seaflower Quilt Top by Judy Severson 2011

Judy Severson is a friend who loves the look of early quilts. When I got the first yardage from Lately Arrived From London, the Moda reproduction prints that echo the early 1800s, I gave her some of the fabric.

She immediately started thinking about what she could do.

Detail of the center medallion
Cut-out chintz and hexagons are often her first ideas.
And good ones too.
Some of the fabrics she used.
She added a blue toile and some blues, greens and reds that aren't in this line.
She loves to applique butterflies here and there.

Judy named it Seaflower after this print,
 the large chintz, which is named after a trading ship.

The strips and squares and precuts should be in the shops today.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Civil War Housewives

Reproduction Housewife by Donna Di Natale

Donna's housewife buttoned up.
See the pattern for this sewing kit in Confederates in the Cornfield by Edie McGinnis.

"I suppose you all know what a housewife is? It is a long piece of cloth with a number of small pockets sewed along one side, and made to fold up like a pocket-book, having separate places for buttons, thread, needles, pins, &c., such as some of you may have seen your mothers or grandmothers use."
The Reformed Presbyterian magazine. Sept. 1, 1864.
Reproduction housewife by Susan of the Homespun Quilts blog
Click here for more pictures

These reproductions were made with scraps from my Civil War Reunion collection for Moda---a great use for charm squares.

Vintage Roll-up or Housewife: Oilcloth or leather on the outside
Some, like this vintage example, were made in red and blue wools

Moth-eaten wool and silk from the Kansas Memory website
See more at Kansas Memory

"Each soldier will carry one greatcoat, one blanket, one forage cap, one woolen shirt, one pair of drawers, one pair stockings, one towel, two handkerchiefs, one line and one coarse comb, one sewing kit, one piece of soap, one toothbrush..."
General Orders 1862. General Orders, Headquarters. Dist. Of Southern California, No. 3. J Los Angeles, February 11, 1862.

A South Carolina soldier's sewing kit

"...a housewife which Helaine's uncle had carried all through the Civil War. The outside was made of oilcloth, and this was lined with silk. The pockets were also of silk, and bits of black flannel formed leaves for the needles. The edge was bound with narrow black silk, and it all rolled up into a compact case, which was fastened with a rubber band."  New York Observer, Sept. 29, 1898
The roll up with pockets was a traditional form used for centuries.
My favorites are the scrappy versions

Fastenings included buttons, ties and elastic bands.

Roll-up from about 1830
It's important to realize that housewives or sewing roll-ups were used by women for centuries, so not all roll-ups were for soldiers. The kits were known as housewives, husswifs, etc. 
Silk roll-up with seam covering embroidery from about 1880.

Contemporary soldier's sewing kit
Soldiers still go off to war with sewing kits.

Links to more information about reproduction and antique sewing kits. Scroll down the pages to see some great examples. 

Donna Finegan Antiques has two kits for sale. http://www.donnafineganantiques.com/shoesandaccessories.html

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Northern Lily/Southern Rose Block 5

New York Lily
By Ilyse Moore

Here's the fifth block in the applique Block of the Month that Susan Stiff and I designed for Moda to show off my Civil War Reunion fabrics in 2011, the 150th anniversary year of the beginning of the Civil War.
Susan Stiff's mockup from the pattern
using prints from my Civil War Reunion
 and greens from the Moda Bella Solids.

Each of the nine applique blocks is a regional pattern from North or South. I called the fifth block New York Lily as I had seen several New York sampler quilts that included this triple flower with a leaf-like oval in the center.

The pattern is a classic applique design seen from about 1840-1890 in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, an image easily traced to earlier Germanic folkarts in the U.S. and Europe.

Pennsylvania plates dated 1782 and 1816
From the Index of American design

The design is a triple flat floral with an oval center, somewhat like a pomegranate, somewhat like a lily.

I used Moda Bella Solids for the pink, red and yellow. To capture the depth of the old over-dyed greens I used a woven with blue-green yarns going one way and yellow-green another---what used to be called a changeable weave.

New York Lily
By debi schrader
using prints from Civil War Homefront

Northern Lily/Southern Rose
by Ilyse Moore
Ilyse is way ahead of debi and me. She's set her blocks with a strip sashing and is shopping for a border. Her blocks are 8" instead of the 12" blocks in the pattern.

Susan set hers together with alternating square-in-a-square blocks that form stars. The instructions for this set are in the pattern. Several shops are selling patterns and kits for this year's Northern Lily/Southern Rose. Ask your local shop to order it from Moda/United Notions.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Carrie Hall Samplers

Carrie Hall Sampler
Hand appliqu├ęd and machine pieced by
Jerrianne Evans
Machine quilted by Cynthia Clark. 74" x 84"

Jerrianne has finished her block-of-the-month project from Common Threads in Waxahachie, Texas. The shop offered Carrie Hall's Sampler from the book I did for Star Books a few years ago.
Jerrianne writes:

I started with the Block of the Month and modified your original design by replacing all of the pieced blocks with appliqued blocks based on Carrie Hall's block designs.  I drafted the smaller blocks.  Sue Garman drafted the large center block of Potted Tulips.

Sue's design on left, Jerrianne's on right

I also saw a Carrie Hall sampler for sale in an online auction recently.

This one with it's pieced setting strips is like the cover design.

I am sure the lucky bidder is pleased with her purchase.

See Jerrianne's picture by clicking here:
Check out Common Threads' Block of the Month offerings for this year.
And read more about the pattern book by clicking here:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Snakes in EQ

It's not that I like actual snakes so much. I saw a garter snake on the patio this week. I admired his stripes and ran back in the house.

He looked like this example I found on line.

Two snake quilts from the 1930-40's

But I love to come across the quilt pattern because of the possibilities for rotating the blocks and getting such different effects. Electric Quilt on their Fun Stuff web page has taken some of my snake pictures and some of the snake patterns in BlockBase and combined them to do a lesson on pattern rotation. 

Click here to see "Playing with Snakes," their July lesson: 

You could use this lesson for any directional block--- baskets, trees, Drunkard's Path....

BlockBase #700 Cactus Pot

#765.01 Tulip

#3307 Fan

#3340 Milady's Fan

#3346 Fan

But turning fans into snakes might be the most fun.

I recently saw this top on an on-line auction. It's a subcategory we tend to call rattlesnake today.

You can use BlockBase #3314 (or any spiky fan)
And color the blocks 3 different ways

Here's my post on snakes

See Marcia Kaylakie's post on rattlesnake quilts here:

And click here to see the ultimate rattlesnake from the Quilt Index

Here's one that was sold at auction from Jonathan Demme's folk art collection. Imagine what it looked like when it was new with all the backgrounds as red as the one surviving red on the right side. The border was once as green as the greens in the center of the quilt.