Friday, September 10, 2021

Schoolhouse History for AccuQuilt


Pam & Erica do a live broadcast for AccuQuilt and they asked me
to help them launch their new die for the cutting machines:

Click here to see a link to the hour-long show on the Schoolhouse die: 

They asked me for a little history of the pattern

Houses were certainly popular, here are a few from BlockBase+. The name Schoolhouse comes from Ruth Finley in her 1929 book although other pattern sources had published variations on the block as far back as about 1890.

Ruth was not fond of the pattern and included a photo in her chapter on the "Decline of Handcraft." She was in a pessimistic mood as she finished her book in 1929, not realizing the explosion of interest in quiltmaking (and fine handwork) that would follow in the 1930s.

We disagree!

I had more pictures than Erica & Pam could show....

Most from online auctions and dating about 1890-1940

A Little White Schoolhouse from Joanna Rose's collection of
red & white quilts.

Maggie Malone's collection

From the Iowa Project and the Quilt Index

One can always create a neighborhood:
Possibly from Joanna Rose's collection.

Add the names of the local householders

Cindy Rennels's inventory, dated 1897
Each block has a name between the chimneys

Doyle Antiques Auction
Add a railroad and the cemetery.
It's a village.

Or maybe you live in the country all by yourself.


  1. Wonderful sampling of house quilts!

  2. I signed up for the broadcast just to hear what you had to say about the block, but I succumbed and bought the schoolhouse die. LOL
    Your presentation was great and I am happy to see more photos here of the possibilities.

  3. I have always loved house blocks of any kind. Thank you for sharing these beauties and a little history to boot!

  4. I enjoyed your presentation too, plus these additions!

  5. Coincidentally, the Schoolhouse quilt in the collection of the New England Quilt Museum is going out on display September 28th as part of an exhibit. This schoolhouse is in the garden maze setting. NEQM 1991.11

  6. One of my first little quilts was a little red schoolhouse... just one framed block. Not finding an acceptable pattern, I had to draft my own. Love those house blocks.

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  8. I've always been attracted to House blocks. Someone had heavy acrylic templates for this block,for 6in or 12in blocks,to be used with a rotary cutter: Pat Yamin of Come Quilt with Me,if I remember correctly.Wish I could find these templates.