Thursday, January 24, 2013

Album quilt block

Album quilt block

January 24, 1933-When publishing this block, Nancy Cabot describes it as dating from the "time when quilts were necessary as well as decorative."

In the good old days that she refers to, when a girl announced her engagement, her friends got together and each made a quilt block for her.  Each girl stitched her name in the center of the block.  Nancy writes, "The blocks were joined and the rest of the day was spent on quilting; later there was supper, followed by merriment in which the menfolk joined."  I think that's a good idea even today!

I found a version of this block that I just love!  The colors are reversed and there are no names written in the centers but it is definitely the same pattern!
Click here to see more about it.

The Album block may look familiar but it is actually made a little differently than the blocks that come up if you search the internet for Album blocks.  Both blocks can be found in the Electric Quilt or BlockBase software.  Just search for #2414 to get the Cabot block or #R010 to get the second version also called Chimney Sweep.

Nancy Cabot's 1933 Album block

Album block more common today

There are several different ways to make this block depending on what size scraps you are using.  My scraps were large enough for me to make strip sets.  Here's what I did to make a 6" block-

I made a strip set of green/white/ green fabric, cutting each strip at 2" X 4".  When sewing the 3 strips together, I made my seams a bit wider than 1/4" so that the 3 strips sewn together equal 4 3/4".  (I thought this was easier than cutting an odd 1 15/16" strip.)  I then cut the strip set in half to go on each side of the center signature strip and sewed each strip to each side of the center strip creating a nine patch center.

Next I made 4 corner sections by sewing white squares to 3 sides of a green square and sewed each one to a side of the center.  It looked like this-

To square up the block, I centered by 6 1/2" ruler on it and trimmed.

If I were going to make a quilt with these blocks, instead of a 6" finished square, I would decide what size squares (or strips) to use and just use whatever size block it makes.

This block is actually very popular on the internet.  It's now being called a Granny Square block and there are a few tutorials out there on how to make it.  I think this is the original one that started it all.  I love the look of the Granny Square quilts and even have all my background fabric cut for one.  Hope I make time to work on it soon!

This is the tutorial I followed (which is more like the Chimney Sweep block) and she has a nice 6 1/2" potholder project you can make too!  Has a few more rounds but nice just the same.

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