Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sunbeam quilt block

Sunbeam Block
July 31, 1933-The Sunbeam Block was Nancy Cabot's quilt pattern of the day.

She had very little to say about the block. She wrote, "Tones of yellow and gold make this a sunbeam block." Makes me wonder if it's not made of yellow and gold, is it called by another name?

Nancy felt it was "an appropriate pattern for a boy's or man's room."

I like the look of this block but it is a little tricky to put together. The odd shapes of the pieces are cut from templates and there are set in seams.

It would probably go together the easiest if it was hand pieced. I pieced it on the machine and didn't have any trouble but adding the center is a little fussy. An option would be to applique the center on. You can download my pattern templates here.

This is how the pieces are sewn together-

There are four sections like this that are sewn to the center block.

I used pattern # 2620 from Electric Quilt's Blockbase program to make my block but Nancy's center was actually a little larger, more like this Sunbeam Block from Flowers in the Window.

There is a copy of an old pattern here and a free table runner pattern using the Sunbeam Block here.

Tomorrow-Pot of Tulips

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dutch Tulip quilt block

Dutch Tulip
July 30, 1933-The Dutch Tulip quilt pattern "originated in Kinderhook, a settlement of Hollanders in New York- the tulip always has been associated with Dutch tradition" explained Nancy Cabot when introducing her pattern in the Chicago Tribune.

The Dutch Tulip design dates back to 1816 and has also been known as Tulip Tree, "which does not seem to suit it as well," she wrote.

Her pattern sold for "5 cents in stamps or coin."

Nancy suggested the use of "bright, glowing tulip shades and soft green for the stems" when choosing fabrics for this block.

I wasn't able to find a pattern or quilt that looks like Nancy Cabot's Dutch Tulip design.  I did find this antique quilt at Buckboard Quilts which is similar.

Tomorrow-Sunbeam Block

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Yankee Charm quilt block

Yankee Charm
July 29, 1933-"Wonder whether some rather arrogant northeners gave this quilt pattern its name back in revolutionary days?  wrote Nancy Cabot about the Yankee Charm quilt pattern in her Chicago Tribune column.

She went on to write, "At any rate, it is a charming design and makes a strikingly effective quilt if pieced with bright but harmonious colors."

The Yankee Charm quilt block is a very easy block to make but not practical at the 6" size that I am making for my sampler quilt.

The Yankee Charm block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #2115.

I have not been able to find any quilts or patterns that look like Nancy's block which makes for a very short post today!

Tomorrow-Dutch Tulip

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Kite quilt block

The Kite
July 28, 1933-The Kite quilt block is the block featured by Nancy Cabot in her Chicago Tribune column today. Many of you probably recognize the Kite block as it is still very popular even today.

This pattern has also been called PeriwinkleArkansas Snowflake, and Humming Bird.

Nancy Cabot wrote this interesting little tidbit about today's block, "About a century ago children in the southern and eastern states used to believe that the quilted kite would insure a happy sail to Sleeptown."

I found a copy of an old Kite quilt pattern from the Progressive Farmer called Star Kites here. There are just two pieces to this pattern and Nancy's pattern from what I can tell.

In making my 6" block, I decided to divide the large piece shown in that pattern in half to make it easier to construct by paper piecing.  Each of the four kites finish at 3".  There is just one basic paper piece template which you make four of for each smaller block.  They look like this-

You may download my Kite paper piecing pattern here. The Kite quilt block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase  program as #1246.

Missouri Star Quilt Co. has a video for making the Periwinkle block using charm packs, the Wacky Web ruler and papers. I don't know what size the block ends up though.

There are examples of Kite quilts here, here and here.

Tomorrow-Yankee Charm

Friday, December 27, 2013

Red Peony quilt block

Red Peony
July 27, 1933-When writing her column in the Chicago Tribune, Nancy wrote, "When finished, a quilt in this pattern design looks like a bed of glowing red peonies."

She was referring to her quilt pattern using the Red Peony quilt block.

She also wrote, "The design is so unusual it might almost frighten beginners, but in reality is extremely simple to make. And it is most attractive if one chooses the colors carefully."

I don't think I agree that her Red Peony block would be extremely simple to make but since it's an applique pattern I'm not going to find out.

Once again, I have not been able to find any patterns or quilts made like Nancy Cabot's design. There is a similar quilt here at the Quilt Index but it adds some green diamonds to the block that Nancy's pattern does not have.

Tomorrow-The Kite

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hosanna quilt block

July 26, 1933-"The Book of Common Prayer" revered by our religious Colonial ancestors, furnished the inspiration for this quilt's name" wrote Nancy Cabot about the Hosanna quilt block.

She also said the block had "been popular for centuries, and continues to be a favorite."

She suggested the block made up "most effectively in gay colors."

The Hosanna quilt block has also been known as Palm Leaf and Palms.

An old quilt pattern for the Hosanna block that is attributed to Nancy Cabot can be seen here. I don't believe it to be the pattern she was selling on this day however. She has spelled Hosanna with an h added to the end of the name and the writing on the pattern does is not the same as in her column.

There is an example of a blue and white quilt block here. An interesting scrappy version of a Hosanna quilt can be seen at the Quilt Index.

I made my 6" Hosanna block by paper piecing it. Only four triangular pieces are needed to make the block. The photo below shows half of it sewn together with the other half shows two of the paper piece patterns. I found it much faster than cutting all the odd shaped templates that would be needed as shown in Nancy Cabot's pattern.

You can download my pattern here.  You can view a quilt that looks like what a quilt made from my block would look like here.

The Hosanna block can also be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase  program as #1304.5.

Tomorrow-Red Peony

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Painted Snowball quilt block

Painted Snowball
July 25, 1933-Wyoming Design Makes a Thrifty Use of Remnants was the title of Nancy Cabot's column in the Chicago Tribune.

She credited a quilter in Wyoming for designing this pattern and "whimsically" calling it Painted Snowball.

"The most unusual design presents a good opportunity to use up scraps of gay prints left over from other quilts", wrote Nancy Cabot.

A copy of an old Painted Snowball pattern can be seen here. It was published in the Progressive Farmer. From what I can tell from this pattern, the block's center and four corner pieces were pieced and then appliqued to a 13" square of background fabric.

The quilt made according to the pattern would look like this. I like the look of this quilt but I didn't try to make the block. I don't think it's a great choice for a 6" block. Do you see the secondary pattern?

The Painted Snowball block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase  program as #3556.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Missouri Star quilt block

Missouri Star
July 24,1933-The Missouri Star quilt block was designed "by a woman in Missouri who gave it the name of her native state," according to Nancy Cabot.  She wrote, "It is an old pattern, but beautifully adapted to use with modern furnishings."

I haven't found any examples of antique blocks or quilts by the name of Missouri Star.

If you have Electric Quilt's Blockbase  program, the Missouri Star block is #2154.

There is a paper pieced pattern at Quilter's Cache for a 12" block.

There is a tutorial for making this Missouri Star quilt block at Sewing by Moonlight.


I put my 6" block together like this-

The center starts out as a 3 1/2" square. Two inch squares are added at each corner and sewn diagonally and flipped back to form the corner triangles as shown above. Four two inch squares are needed for the corners.

To make the quarter square triangles, I first made four half square triangles from two 2 3/4" squares of white fabric and two squares of red fabric placed right sides together, marked on the diagonal and sewn 1/4" on each side of the diagonal line as shown above.  Cut on the diagonal line after sewing and you have two half square triangles.  

The diagram above shows one half square triangle and the steps needed to make the quarter square triangles.  The first photo is one half of the square cut on the diagonal, the second photo shows the square pressed open and the last photo shows the half square triangle cut diagonally to make two quarter square triangles.

To make the sides, cut a 4 3/16" square of background fabric into four triangles by cutting on both diagonal lines. These are the centers of each side piece. Sew one quarter square triangle to each short side of your side triangles. You also need to cut four 2" squares from your background fabric.

Arrange your pieces as shown above, sew together in rows and sew the rows together. This is a very easy block!

Tomorrow-Painted Snowball

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pieced Flower Basket quilt block

Pieced Flower Basket
July 23, 1933-"No matter how many quilts she had, on the announcement of her engagement she and the most skillful of her friends began to make two more, one the Album, the other the Pieced Flower Basket," explains Nancy Cabot in reference to girls living in colonial days.

What a fun tradition that would have been!

Nancy went on to say, "The Pieced Flower Basket is a rarely successful combination of a geometrical and a floral design."

She felt it was a simple quilt to make and that "it's gay effectiveness is gained through the use of bright but harmonious colors."

Even though Nancy Cabot felt every colonial girl made this quilt, I have not been able to find a pattern or quilt that looks like her design.  Baskets of flowers are a common quilt theme though so maybe she's referring to the general idea not necessarily her block design.

There is a very similar design available in Electric Quilt's Blockbase  program as #691 for those of you that have that program.

I did not make this block because I don't think it's a good choice for a 6" block.  The squares would be less than 1".

Tomorrow-Missouri Star

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nebraska quilt block

July 22, 1933-The Nebraska quilt block was designed by a woman who lived in Nebraska.

Nancy Cabot,when writing in the Chicago Tribune about the Nebraska quilt that she based her pattern for the day on, wrote, "The original is a beautiful quilt made in soft golden yellow, but modern interpretations in prints or combinations of prints and plain colors are equally lovely."

The Nebraska block may look complicated at first glance but if you break it down, it is a combination of three easy blocks-half square triangles, nine patches and rail fence-with some plain squares thrown in.

Even though it's easy to piece, it's not practical to make this as a 6" block for my sampler so I didn't.  The seams would be bigger than some of the pieces!

There is a tutorial for making a 42" Nebraska quilt block at ludlow quilt and sew if you are interested.  It looks like this-

Nebraska quilt block

There is a pattern for a 21" block at Quilter's Cache. The Nebraska quilt block can also be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase  program as #1943.

Tomorrow-Pieced Flower Basket

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winding Ways quilt block

Winding Ways
 July 21, 1933-The Winding Ways quilt block was the quilt pattern of the day in Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column.

She said the block originated in Connecticut and described it as "an all-over pattern, not at all difficult to piece, and extremely effective when made up in good colors."

Her pattern sold for "5 cents in stamps or coin."

For my 6" Winding Ways block, I tried a couple of different ways to construct it.  I decided it was actually easier to hand piece it.

Each of the small blocks finish at 3" which means each arch piece finishes at 1 1/2". When pieces are that small the seams start getting in the way. I would try trimming the quarter inch seam next time to see if that helps with some of the bulk.  This is a very common quilt block even today.

A copy of Nancy's pattern can be seen here. There's a great post at the Caffeinated Quilter reviewing three different ways to make the Winding Ways block. And there's a tutorial here. The block can also be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase  program as #1512.

There's an interesting yellow and white Winding Ways quilt here at the Quilt Index.

This quilt is from Exuberant Color-

This two color quilt is at Spring Water Designs and uses an Accuquilt die-

And this scrappy Winding Ways quilt is from Christa Quilts-

Winding Ways  Tomorrow-Nebraska

Friday, December 20, 2013

Rare Old Tulip quilt block

Rare Old Tulip
July 20,1933-Design Found in Envelope Dated June 10, 1813 was the title of Nancy Cabot's column in the Chicago Tribune on this day.

The Rare Old Tulip pattern is said to have been "found among some letters and papers, yellowed with age, in a curiosity shop in New York," she wrote.

The pattern was cut from "crumbling wrapping paper and folded in an envelope dated June 10, 1813." Wouldn't it be fantastic to find something like that?

I found a couple of images of Rare Old Tulip pattern ads. The first one is in a 1916 issue of McCall's magazine. The second one is in a booklet entitled Colonial Quilts from 1932 and is called Regal Lily. It is on the page that is image 16.

You can see a variation of the Rare Old Tulip quilt here. I did not make this applique block.

Tomorrow-Winding Ways

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Shoo-Fly quilt block

Shoo Fly
July 19, 1933-Concerning today's block, Nancy Cabot wrote "This pattern with the amusing name, "Shoo-Fly" is one of the earliest designs in colonial America. It would be interesting to know how it got it's name, but it's history is obscure. It's a simple geometrical pattern, well suited to use in modern quilts."

The Shoo Fly quilt block remains popular even today.  It's not hard to find examples of antique and modern quilts using this block design.

The Shoo Fly quilt block was sold in 1936 as a kit with the fabrics precut for $8.50 or you could order the finished top for $40.00. Look at image 12. There are examples of antique Shoo Fly quilts hereherehere, and here.

Here's a new quilt at Cora Quilts

and another at Orange Explains It All

It is definitely easy to make a Shoo Fly block even at the 6" size I've been making for this sewalong.  You just need to cut four 2 1/2" squares of background fabric, one 2 1/2" square of another fabric for the center of the block, and four half square triangle blocks made from both fabrics that finish at 2".  Don't forget the half square triangle blocks will be 2 1/2" before sewn into the block. The parts look like this-

Sew the blocks together in three rows first and then sew the rows together.

The Shoo-Fly block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase  program as #1645.

Tomorrow-Rare Old Tulip

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Poinsettia quilt block

July 18, 1933-"Wouldn't it be a good plan to begin a quilt in this design now?  When Christmas rolls around you will have an interesting and entirely appropriate gift for some one.  The Poinsettia is an applique design, not at all difficult to make."

This was the entirety of Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column on July 18, 1933.

Good idea but here I am showing you this block in December not July!  I doubt I'll ever catch up!

Anyway, here's an antique Poinsettia quilt that's close to what Nancy's block looks like. The drawing of her design for her column was a little more free form, like the quilt shown, than my drawing is. Once again, since this is an applique block, I did not make it.

Tomorrow-Shoo Fly

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Enigma quilt block

July 17, 1933-Nancy Cabot wrote, "This variation of the ever popular star pattern, called "Enigma" has, paradoxically, nothing enigmatical about it.  It is easily identified for the design it is, and beloved of quiltmakers because it is so easy to make.  It has the added virtue of adapting itself to almost any color scheme."

There is an antique Enigma Star quilt block at the Spencer Art Museum that is similar to Nancy's Enigma block. It is set straight instead of at an angle. I think Nancy's is more interesting.

I have not been able to find any other examples of quilts or blocks that look like Nancy's design. Maybe it is known by another name or was not popular.

I decided to paper piece my 6" block. I took pictures of the steps as I sewed the block but neglected to put the card in my camera so no pictures! My old camera warned me before letting me take pictures. Anyway, the block goes together in three diagonal rows which I hope you can see well enough in the photo. My pattern for the Enigma block can be downloaded here.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Rose of 1840 quilt block

Rose of 1840
July 16, 1933-The Rose of 1840 was the quilt pattern of the day introduced by Nancy Cabot eighty years ago.

She explains that the block originated in 1840 and has always been called the Rose of 1840.
More detailed history behind the block isn't known but "Kentucky and Virginia claim honor of originating it," she wrote.

The Rose of 1840 block was originally made from bright reds and greens so that's how I drew this applique block. But, Nancy Cabot felt "A twentieth century quilter would undoubtedly prefer pastel shades."

I didn't make this block since it is an applique pattern.  I did find an antique pattern for the Rose of 1840 however.  It was printed on tissue paper and placed inside a roll of batting.  You can view it here.  It shows the quilt on a bed.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pansy quilt block

Pansy Block
July 15, 1933-Nancy Cabot didn't have much to say about the Pansy block.

"The blossoms are pieced of the characteristic shades of purple, orange, and yellow on leafy stems of green." she wrote.

And she suggested to make a Pansy quilt look "even more like the colorful pansy beds, set the pieced blocks together with strips of green."

You can see a copy of her pattern here.  This is not the complete pattern.  No sizes or yardages are given.

Since this is an applique pattern, I did not make the block.

Here's my version of what a quilt made from the Pansy block might look like-

Tomorrow-Rose of 1840

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Black Beauty quilt block

Black Beauty
July 14, 1933-Nancy Cabot wrote, "Black Beauty is an old pattern, often exhibited in antique collections, but the history of the design seems to have been lost, or is at least hidden in obscurity."

That's all she had to say about her Black Beauty quilt pattern.

I was not able to find any antique quilts made using this block but I found a copy one of Nancy's patterns called Blackford's Beauty that is the same pattern as Black Beauty.

She sold the pattern in the Chicago Tribune again on April 19, 1934 but changed the name.  You can view the pattern here.

Finally, a block that can be rotary cut!  There are just two basic parts to the block.  The sections go together as shown below from left to right-

To make the corner blocks, you need three 1 1/4" white squares and two 1 1/4" blue squares.  You also need two 1 1/4" X 2" green pieces.  So, you need all those pieces times four since there are four corners.

To make the centers of each side, you need the parts on the bottom row of the photo. You need two 1 1/4" X 2 3/4" strips of white, two 1 1/4" squares of green and two 1 1/4" squares of pink. Again, you need four of everything-one for each side. A 2" pink square is also needed for the center of the block.

The parts are then assembled into rows like this. The bottom row is shown sewn together.

The Black Beauty quilt block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase  program as #1983a.

I found this free Black Beauty quilt pattern at ludlow quilt and sew-

Tomorrow-Pansy block

Friday, December 13, 2013

Single Irish Chain quilt block

Single Irish Chain
July 13, 1933-The Single Irish Chain "is the oldest, simplest, and, by many, considered the prettiest of them all" wrote Nancy Cabot in reference to Irish Chain blocks.

"Printed fabrics produce the daintiest effect, although plain colors may be used if desired" was her recommendation for fabric choices.

She showed four blocks set together as I have. I didn't make this block for my sampler because I don't think it would look right in a sampler quilt.

Even though, the Single Irish Chain quilt is still very popular. I could not find any examples of quilts made exactly like Nancy Cabot's pattern.  She shows a larger center square and a row around the center block which seems to have been dropped off over the years.

This one from Udderly Precious is the closest example I could find-

Tomorrow-Black Beauty

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rose Beauty quilt block

Rose Beauty
July 12, 1933-The Rose Beauty block was the pattern of the day for Nancy Cabot.  She described it as "one of the more modern floral quilt patterns, with the design placed in the center of each block."

She also suggested making "all the rose blocks of the same color or shades of that color."

There is a copy of her Rose Beauty pattern here.  I am not clear about whether the pattern was to be hand pieced or appliqued. The leaves would need to be appliqued for sure.

Anyway, I didn't make the block.  I drew it according to the drawing she had in the Chicago Tribune which is a little different than the drawing in her pattern.

She does go into detail on how to make the border even if she doesn't tell you how to make the block so I drew the quilt also-

Nancy felt the Rose Beauty block "also may be used as an attractive covering for pillows."

Tomorrow-Single Irish Chain

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

St Louis Star quilt block

St. Louis Star
July 11,1933-The St. Louis Star was originally pieced from "old fashioned dark blue calico, but the lighter colors and prints of the present day make more attractive quilts, even though less historically accurate," wrote Nancy Cabot in her column about today's quilt block.

I found three different versions of antique St. Louis Star quilt patterns. Nancy's pattern is colored quite differently. I like the coloring of Ladies Art Co. pattern from 1897 and the newer version published in the Progressive Farmer better.  Be sure to check them out.

I made my 6" block according to Nancy's coloring. I changed the center from being an eight point star though.  You can download my paper pieced pattern here.  These are the pieces I used-

The parts go together like this-

Piece the center first, add the sides and then the top and bottom rows.  It is an easy block made this way.

I didn't find any quilts made from the St. Louis Star pattern but here's a drawing of Nancy's pattern which used thirty six 15" blocks-

The St. Louis Star block can also be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #3830.

Tomorrow-Rose Beauty