Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Nine Blocks---Another Nine Block Pattern

Many years ago a family loaned me quilts for photography
including this applique sampler they thought made in Jacksonville, Illinois.

I recognized the pattern as one pictured in Carrie Hall
& Rose Kretsinger's book Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in 1935.
Hall indicated it belonged to Amy Ellen Hall and was made
by Emma Ann Covert of Lebanon, Ohio about 1842.

The similarities were striking. Same 9 blocks (3 patterns)
arranged in the same fashion.
Same vase and vine border.

Here's an almost identical Ohio quilt made in Belmont,
in the collection of the Ohio Historical Society. Note the
extra sprigs around the central wreath.

From an online auction. The corner blocks are oriented the other way.

These 5 red and green applique samplers all look to be about 1840-1870.

A beauty by Hannah Johnson Haines, Jay County, Indiana & Moline, Illinois.
Collection of the Rock Island County Historical Society, Illinois.
Recorded in the Illinois project and pictured in their book.

The Arizona project found one brought from 
Columbia, Missouri. The applique is simpler, cruder and
the border is different. It's tough to say from the photo when this
was made.

Mary or Marjorie Galbreath, Uhrichsville, Ohio

These two look to be after 1930 by the pastel colors
Perhaps they saw Emma Covert's in Carrie Hall's book
or they might have ....

Lela L Duckwall Vore, Eaton County, Indiana, found in the Indiana Project

Well, how did they share the pattern???

A few months ago I discussed another 9 block designed in the format of a central block with two other appliques in the north/south axis and the diagonal corner blocks.

Like this. It's a great composition.

See that post here:

I am not the only person to notice what balanced design this is.

The central block in the group we're looking at today is a wreath with
 6 to 11 rotating leaves...

Not a very common pattern.
Here's another from a Double Irish Chain quilt

The corner blocks point the eye towards the center block with
a bouquet on an entwined stem and, in most of them, a circle or two of 7 dots.

Applique block from a quilt about 1900

The entwined stem is seen elsewhere but that combination of 
7 dots and the layout seems unique to this pattern.

The flower pots look like they have a dish to catch the drips underneath.
The paired florals also feature a group of 7 dots.

This sampler has been on my wanna make it list for years---I digitized some of the blocks for a start on a pattern. These should print at 8 inches and if you double that you'd have applique to fit a 16" or 18" block. 3 x 3 at 18" would equal 54" without any border.

Sandy Sutton did this remarkable small version for 
American Quilt Study Group's 2016 quilt
study focused on baskets. Repro quilt perfection!

Frances Shaw, attributed to Hagerstown, Maryland.
Found in the West Virginia project.

The border on these nine block quilts is a whole 'nother question. It's quite distinctive but not unique to this particular sampler. The West Virginia project saw many examples. Documenter Fawn Valentine nicknamed it the I-70 Border because the locations follow today's highway that was once the National Road---the major east/west travel path now and in the past. Xenia Cord is going to give a paper on the border at AQSG this fall.

Here's an 1850s map of the U.S. with an orange star
for every place mentioned in the sampler quilt histories above.
A national road of pattern sharing.
But what form of pattern?


  1. Thank you for sharing so much information!

  2. I love this post! If you happen to complete your pattern, perhaps you can list it on Etsy? I'd love to make one but drafting isn't my best talent. Printing patterns out on my plotter is one of my talents! Thanks for all you do with your blogs, you inspire me to get busy & sew

  3. Holly---is that jpg good enough to use?

  4. Re patterns, I think each one had to work off of a real quilt, perhaps making templates of the shapes and sketching the overall layout with indications of what shapes went where. A lot of drawing wasctaught in schools then, for those who went to school. Some people in the area might have been quite good at it and willing to share their skills. That's what I think would do if I was copying a quilt and couldn't use transparent plastic for tracing, a camera, a copier, etc. Then hopefully I would have access to the original quilt for guidance as I laid out my own shapes.