Saturday, August 9, 2014

Emporia Quilts: Rose Kretsinger's Pennsylvania Beauty

Pennsylvania Beauty by Common Threads in Waxahatchie

We put this dynamic block in the center of our Emporia Rose applique quilt.

And on the cover.

Unfinished quilt top by Rose Good Kretsinger
Collection of the Helen F. Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas
Rose never finished her version. She usually found her patterns in antique quilts and this one must have caught her eye because it fills up the square block nicely. 

Many of the mid-19th-century applique patterns are based on Germanic folk arts which use regular symmetries to fill an area with pattern.

Ina Mae Carney's version

This block is unusual in its construction with a central
flower and four stems coming out.

Here's another design with a central flower and four stems.

They aren't too common because the aesthetic here was to fill up the space.
Four stems or motifs tended to leave a lot of white space.

Central flower/4 stems

Filling up the whole block successfully using four arms took some skill.

The common design solution was to add a little something--
a 4 plus 4 design.

Here's a popular 4 + 4 pattern, Mexican Rose...

Even more popular---the Democrat or Whig Rose. The rooster comb
fits into the empty space: 4 stems plus 4 combs.

One graceful way to fill space with only four arms was
to curve those arms. The quilt above is the closest I've seen to Rose's block.

Pennsylvania Beauty by Karla Menaugh

If you design your own applique you might try
an exercise in making a center flower with whirling arms.

If you don't design your own applique---use the pattern from our book Emporia Rose.

The Common Threads shop is offering a monthly kit
for their new version. Click below for more information about
the ten-month program, which begins in November, 2014.



  1. I do love the look of the rose quilts, but I know I have no patience to do appliqué like that;)


  2. I keep sketching ideas and one of these days ... maybe I will put them on fabric.

  3. I really love that Pen Beauty great pattern lots of fill, I love applique and will have to see about putting this on my list.