Tuesday, January 22, 2013

About Nancy Cabot



Eighty years ago today, January 22, 1933, the Chicago Sunday Tribune announced  "a new pattern service for quilt conscious readers."   The article was entitled Time Honored Art of Quilting is a Rage of the Hour and began with, "Grandmother's patchwork quilts...the memories they recall!"  The article goes on conjuring up memories of grandma and quilts from your childhood, describing thin summer quilts and heavy winter quilts and how they had been handed down from one generation to the next. "Quilts made of scraps of everything, pieces from the capacious depths of the rag bag,  pieces begged and bartered from quilting neighbors; resplendent quilts that captured prizes for their beauty, color, and originality; famous old patch quilts..."  Not so different from today!

The author is Nancy Cabot and she goes on to explain that though quilting took a "catnap" as she called it when "machine made blankets and bed coverings tried to replace them" that the "nap is over"and declared that "The most fascinating of pastimes is now fashionable as well as alluringly entertaining."

Pine Tree quilt block

She featured photos of two antique quilts, a 90 year old Pine Tree quilt and a Lone Star quilt from 1766.  Nancy told a little of the history of each quilt saying that the Pine Tree pattern first appeared in Massachusetts in 1652! along with the pine tree shilling (coin) and that the pattern is also known as the Tree of Life.

Lone Star quilt
She claimed there are records of  Lone Star quilts as far back as 1662 and that the design is also known as the Texas Star and Star of Bethlehem explaining that the center star of diamonds never changed. The only variation came in the borders with the original Star of Bethlehem having a pieced star in each corner.  The Lone Star quilt she featured was made of "homespun materials, the borders being made from designs cut from glazed chintz."  Her photo shows fourteen small diamonds across the widest part of each of the eight large diamond sections!  I wonder how long that took!  This example has only six diamonds at the wide point.





A pattern for each quilt could be purchased for "5 cents in stamps or coin" with the pattern being promised as "authentic and accurate, whether historic or modern,  supplying readers with directions for making the quilts and information concerning quantities of materials needed."  What a deal!!

She ended her article saying, "Quilt patterns will be presented in both Sunday and daily issues.  For another interesting design, see tomorrow's daily Tribune."  On the same note, see tomorrow's blog for the first quilt block that she presented, the Cactus Basket.  Unlike the original article, I will show you how to make the block!  The Sew Along starts tomorrow on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.  You can sign up to receive a daily email with a new block being posted every day.  The sign up is at the top on the right side of this page.  You will need to verify your subscription via an email that will be sent to you.  All you have to do is click on the link they send you.  See you tomorrow!

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