The Mulvane Art Center in Topeka, Kansas has this quilt in their collection, a rather common pattern but uncommon in that is signed and dated and includes the name of the pattern.
Fourteen-year-old Vade Gay dated it 1878. They don't have anymore information about Vade. The quilt was one of 18 donated about 20 years ago by Linda Ward Mosier of Hays, Kansas.
We'd probably call it a Mariner's Compass with it's four major red points geared to North, South, East and West. Vade's quilt, worn and faded today, must have been an accomplishment for a 14-year-old.
Did she make her own pattern?These circular compasses are a good way to teach geometry, subdividing the circle into smaller and smaller triangles based on the basic division of 4. The patterns above from BlockBase+ are simpler than hers and also more complex. Vade's would fit right in the middle. The simpler version was published as Slashed Star in Country Gentleman magazine in 1933. The more complex design was first published in Marie Webster's 1915 book as Sunburst.
#3400 with different proportions has been published often.
Proportions vary because the patterns were
You might recall I mentioned that Vade included the name of the pattern on her label. She called it Virginia Beauty, a name no one else seems to have recorded.
The pattern was popular if a challenge. At the Spencer Museumof Art at the University of Kansas we have this variation attributedto Susannah Richards Moseley of Pembroke, Kentucky.
The rainbow prints in Prussian blues indicate a date of 1840-1860. The museum label calls it Chips & Whetstones probably because Eveline Foland published a similar pattern in the Kansas City Star about 1930.
"This old pattern has several names, but the one given is as quaint as any...."
Bebe replied:The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History also callstheirs from about the same time Chips & Whetstones.Gina asked on their site:
"Where does the name Chips and Whetstones come from? What does it mean?"
"The name comes from an old method of tool sharpening. A 'whetstone' is a round wheel of stone material that must be wet in order to sharpen a tool, such as an axe. The wheel is powered manually, like a potters wheel. The 'chips' are what may come off the tool as it's being sharpened on the wheel."
An antique whetstone
Thank you, Bebe!
From the Connecticut project & the Quilt Index: Impressive
early version maybe 1830-1850. No information from owner.
From the Virginia project and their book. Again Prussian blues.
Collection of Julie Silber Quilts
Mary Strickler of Bucks County, Pennsylvania signed and
dated hers 1834.
Virginia found Vade or Vada or Nevada Gay living not far from me in Fairview and Ozawkie, Jefferson County, Kansas in the 1870 & 1880 censuses. Born about 1865 she was about 14 in 1878.
\Tomorrow: Folding a Pattern
She married John Hildebrand in 1884 when she was 19 and her second husband was named Smith. When her father died in 1913 she was living in Cimarron, Kansas, west of Dodge City.
Here's her tombstone from Find-a-Grave which tells us she was born in June, 1864
in Oskaloosa, Iowa (but I'd guess it was Oskaloosa, Kansas) and lived to be 90 in 1955.