Monday, September 30, 2019

Sewing Sampler Books

Miniature apron with instructions as how to make one

I've been doing a little research for my sister who volunteers at the town historical society. They have an unidentified item, a needlework sampler booklet that is labeled "Chicago Training School for Sewing, class of 1901."

They are no where near Chicago and we can't figure out why it is even in the collections---except that small museums used to collect anything old.

I figure it is a school girl project made during a sewing class. I couldn't find the Chicago Training School for Sewing but I did find reference to the Chicago Industrial School for Girls, which had over 500 students (residents?) in 1915 ages 3-18. They were taught sewing, embroidery and other skills deemed useful for girls who had fallen into the juvenile justice system of the era. The booklet probably came out of that school or something similar.

UPDATE: See the comments. SusieQ found a reference to the Methodist institution Chicago Training School for Home & Foreign Missions, founded by Lucy Rider Meyer and Josiah Meyer in 1885. I bet this is it because in the back of the booklet are clippings about foreign missions.

They decided to de-accession the sampler book to another nonprofit, so I am
bringing it to AQSG's seminar this week to sell in the silent auction.
Money to AQSG.

Typical American schoolgirl sampler 1790 by an 11-year-old
from M. Finkel & Daughter who specialize in samplers.

There is a long history of stitching a pictorial sampler of needlework as a teaching tool. We are most familiar with "samplers," a single piece of stitchery, often done by young students.

Collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum
But there is also a long tradition of samplers of
sewing stitches---no pictures. This one 1600-1650.

Collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum
Eliza Broadhead learned useful darning stitches at the Ackworth School

What we are discussing here, though, is a booklet rather than a single piece.

Darning samples in a book

Here's an early 20th century version, a handmade book.
The student has clipped the typed instructions for the stitches

and glued them into her booklet.

A gathered sleeve,
examples of plain sewing

An old-fashioned seam butting two selvage edges together.

In the Chicago example she handwrote the instructions.

Crochet motifs stitched to a fabric page

and bound together with a hand stitch.

This one looks to have been printed just for the purpose
of inserting samples.

Notice the tiny bootie knit for a china doll

The Victoria & Albert has a great example made by Ellen Mahon
at the Boyle School in Ireland, 1852-1854
The miniature clothing!

Lace samples from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England

Another from their collection, dated 1835

Ireland 1833
It looks like samples have been glued into an instruction book., probably
printed just for that purpose.

Some of these might be commercial---samples of pattern
one could order from a workshop, perhaps.

My favorites are the handmade cloth books, which
seem to have inspired artist Mandy Patullo at Thread & Thrift

Here are instructions on making one as a teaching tool today.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Daredevils Block #9: Florene's 9-Patch

Daredevils Block #9: Florene's 9-Patch.

Scroll down to see the pattern for a 15" finished block

Dorry Emmer's #9
Fussy-cut bird

#9: Florene's 9-Patch by Becky Brown.
Fussy-cut swirls

Block #9 is based on a great 20th-century pattern idea---the Improved Nine-Patch. It was quite popular, often published and pieced like a wedding ring with arcs and squeezed squares between them. Circle Upon Circle from the Kansas City Star in 1933 had no square block. The pattern's generally called the Improved or Glorified Nine Patch today.

I did find a variation in BlockBase (#2689) shown as a square block, which I exported, shrunk a little and added the quarter-circle corners. Now quite improved.

The Block

You can actually rotary cut one piece here: the center square E.
Cut 1 square 3".

Daredevils pattern for a 15" block.
Cut paper templates. Add seams to the fabric.

How to print:

Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11".
Click on the image above.
Right click on it and save it to your file.
Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". The small square should measure 1".
Adjust the printed page size if necessary.

Denniele's #9 before she appliqued circles.

Block #9 x 9

Florene Miller Watson flew for the WAF's, Women's Air Force unit during the 1940s.

Thursday, September 26, 2019


Here's an old pattern with an art deco look.

You see it most often in wools with seam-covering embroidery---
relatives of the crazy quilt.

Kansas Museum of History

Sometimes in silks.

But more common in wools and blend

Most are from online auctions

From dealer Mark French

Polyester from the Wyoming Project and the Quilt Index

The pattern was published several times. It's #3345 to 3347 in BlockBase
Clara Stone published it first about 1900 as Sunshine or Friendship Fan,
which may have been the inspiration for many of the wool examples.

Eveline Foland at the Kansas City Star recognized the modern possibilities in the early 1930s. "Choose floral or figured fabrics in pastel color for the prettiest results." Green sashing.

The Star published it at least twice as a full circle.
"The Thrifty Wife"

This cotton circle variation is older than the Star pattern. 
Feather stitching around the circles.

Tim Latimer found one on the Quilt Index from
the Nebraska project by Mabel Fletcher Hornaday,
probably made from the Star pattern.

International Quilt Museum collection

Spectacular version that's a memorial to soldiers serving
in the Spanish-American war.

Rectangles--more string than fan.

The fan arc is rather flattened out here

Recent quilt
Air Frais by Josette Schnegg, quilted by Paulette Capt

Tim Latimer's version has a corner triangle rather than an arc.

Here's one with an extra arc. Nancy Cabot at the Chicago Tribune
called this variation Friendship Fan in 1933.

From the 1930s or '40s

There's a lot of pattern potential. You could just piece diagonal
strings over a foundation and pop a quarter circle in the corner.

Or here's an 8" pattern from BlockBase