The gang at Accuquilt has invited me to give a short lecture
on quilt history today about a new die for their cutting machines.
(October 4, 2022 Noon Central Time)
Here's some background on my discourse.
Quilt show at Carson Pirie Scott, January, 1933
Chicago in 1933 was home to a quilt mania.
Illinois Historical Society
Quilt entered in a contest at the 1933 Fair
The Chicago Tribune saw an opportunity for a popular column selling patterns, assigning Needlework Editor Loretta Leitner to publish a regular feature under the pen name Nancy Cabot, beginning in January.
1935 standard image of a New England colonial maid
in a ladder-back chair with a braided rug just finishing
up a "Colonial quilt."
Loretta Leitner Rising (1906-1958)
Over the next five and a half years the column published hundreds of patterns.
Scrapbook of Nancy Cabot patterns
May 22, 1935
Nancy Cabot was in tune with these Colonial Revival images, giving
trend followers mixed messages about whether they should
be looking forwards or backwards.
It's difficult to say how often the quilt column appeared. For example, for May, 1935 I found 9 clippings on these dates: 3, 6, 7 12, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29. The pattern column may have appeared when there was room. My Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns includes 775 attributed to Nancy Cabot, and that is just pieced designs and pieced designs where she generated the name rather than copying an earlier source.
For example, "Red Shields" is the odd name she gave this overall triangle pattern.
I bet she made a lot of those names up.
In 1938, pattern historian Wilene Smith tells us, the Cabot column changed sources from the Tribune building to New York syndicate Peerless Fashion Service. It all gets quite confusing after 1938.
Whether she continued producing the Nancy Cabot column or not, Loretta Leitner continued with the Tribune till her death in 1958. She wrote for the Sunday Department, creating needlework features like this one under her own name in the 40s.
We don't know much about her personal life. She was a Chicago native whose first job when she joined the paper about 1926 was processing letters to the "Embarrassing Moments" column. She married Morris Herbert Rising but never used his name in her career, remaining Loretta Leitner. She had one son Morris Jr.