Monday, September 30, 2013

True Lover's Knot quilt block

True Lover's Knot
June 1, 1933-True Lover's Knot was also known as True Lover's Chain in 1933 according to Nancy Cabot in her Chicago Tribune column. Today, it is more commonly known as a melon block.  It is also called an orange peel design.

This allover design is made "with a few magic twirls of the compass" Nancy wrote.  When the blocks are set together they form "an endless chain of interlacing circles."

Nancy said this design dated back to Virginia and early colonial days even though some were proclaiming it was "modern."

I did not make this block because I don't think it's a good one for a sampler quilt.  Like the Double Irish Chain design, it's an overall design that loses it's effect when you have just one block.

Here's a more modern variation of the True Lover's Knot design at Pitter Putter Stitch-

To see an antique two color version, click here.  To see an antique version used to raise money for a church, click here.  There are 196 names on the quilt and it cost 25 cents to have your name put on the quilt.  The quilt sold for $40.00.

Tomorrow-Colonial Pineapple

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Double Irish Chain quilt

Double Irish Chain
May 31, 1933-In contrast to yesterday's  very new block, the Double Irish Chain is a very old pattern. Nancy Cabot said that many quilters feel this block came from Ireland because of it's name but she believed that "it never has been definitely decided just where it did originate."  She stated that the design is "correctly made in combinations of prints and plain colors."

I didn't make this block because I don't think it's one to use in a sampler quilt.  You can find a free pattern for  15" block at Quilter's Cache.

It's a very easy pattern to make.  It's made from two alternating blocks.  One block is a 25 patch block and the other a square with sashing and cornerstones for lack of a better description.

Here's an example of an antique Double Irish Chain quilt from Nancy Cabot's era-

And look at this really scrappy version-

There are several antique Irish Chain quilts to look at here at the Quilt Index.

Tomorrow-True Lover's Knot

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tulip Wreath quilt block

Tulip Wreath
May 30, 1933-"Tulip Wreath" is relatively a newcomer to the tulip family and growing in popularity daily" wrote Nancy Cabot about this applique pattern.

She felt it was an easy block to make and that "it's charm lies in it's originality and simplicity, and in the opportunity it presents for clever color combinations."

I drew this applique block in Electric Quilt but did not make it.

The only example of a Tulip Wreath quilt that I could find is this one.  It sure looks like Nancy Cabot's design to me. I love the triple border.  I wonder if that was part of Nancy's design? This quilt is for sale on ebay.  There are several more photos included in the listing.

Tomorrow-Double Irish Chain

Friday, September 27, 2013

Whirling Pinwheel quilt block

Whirling Pinwheel
May 29,1933-Nancy Cabot introduced her Whirling Pinwheel block by saying,"The dazzling pinwheel provided the incentive in the designing of this quilt pattern."  She explains that older quilts were "pieced in red and white, portraying as realistically as possible the flaming sparks of the exploding pyrotechnical piece in motion."

She has me confused!  She starts by talking about pinwheels and switches to fireworks I think.

She also noted that "other colors or prints might be used to produce an equally effective result."

Notice that the center of the block is the Swastika design that was introduced back on February 27, 1933!

This Whirling Pinwheel block is from a German blogger.  The post is quite interesting.

There is an old pattern called Rolling Pinwheel from 1895 here.  The pattern suggests using white, deep green and light green fabrics.

There are several ways this block can be sewn together. The red and gold one above was paper pieced.  I made mine from half square triangle blocks and flying geese blocks.  It could also be made from half square triangle blocks without any flying geese units.

Here's what my parts look like-

To make a 6" block like this, you need-

4-1 1/2" squares of background fabric
4-1 1/2" X 2 1/2" rectangles of background fabric
8-half square triangle blocks-1" finished
8-flying geese blocks-1"X2" finished (4 of each with colors reversed as shown)

To make 8 half square triangles at once use the Magic 8 technique using 3 3/4" squares.

The Whirling Pinwheel block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #1350.

Tomorrow-Tulip Wreath

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Friendship Dahlia quilt block

Friendship Dahlia
May 28, 1933-The "Friendship Dahlia" quilt was a "very modern design" in 1933 when Nancy Cabot presented it in her Chicago Tribune column. The different prints of the petals "were originally furnished by various friends."  Nancy suggested 'prints or gay little chintz pieces will make a pretty dahlia."

You can see a handwritten copy of Nancy's pattern here.

You can download a 6" version of this applique pattern here.

There are several antique Friendship Dahlia quilts at the Quilt Index.

Here's an example of a Friendship Dahlia quilt at Ann Quilts.  This one has sashing which is different from Nancy Cabot's pattern that calls for the blocks to be set together "block to block" with a 4" border on all sides.  Notice that all of the petals on each flower are made from the same fabric but each flower is a different fabric. I wonder if friends donated fabrics to the maker of this quilt?

Tomorrow-Whirling Pinwheel

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rocky Glen or Lost Ship quilt block

Rocky Glen or Lost Ship quilt block
May 27, 1933-Quilt Gathered Various Names in Its Travels was the title of Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column on this day.

The quilt block began as Rocky Glen in 1810 in New England but as it gained popularity it picked up some new names she explains.  "On the Atlantic coast, it has been called the "Lost Ship', in the south the "Rocky Mountain," while the west and middle western states call it "Storm at Sea."

Certainly not what we would think of as Storm at Sea today!

This is not a difficult block to make using the Magic 8 technique.  You make 8 half square triangles at once!  Just follow this great tutorial at laugh yourself into Stitches.  Start with squares that are 3 1/4" to get the size of half square triangles you need for a 6" finished block.  You'll get 32 half square triangle units and you only need 28 so just use your best ones.

To make the four larger half square triangle units start with 3 1/4" squares to make two at once by using the drawing on each side of the diagonal line method or use whatever method you want to make them finish at 2 1/4" which is 2 3/4" before sewing.

Each of the four sections go together like this-

Rocky Glen can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #1362.

A quilt made from Rocky Glen blocks might look like this-

Tomorrow-Friendship Dahlia

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Golgotha or The Crowned Cross quilt block

Golgotha or The Crowned Cross
May 26, 1933-The Golgotha quilt block originated in the New England states in 1760 and was still seen mostly in the east when Nancy Cabot wrote her column regarding this block.  Another name for the pattern was The Crowned Cross.

This is another of those blocks that I can't find any information on.

It is available in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #2068 however.

I used a combination of techniques to make my 6" block.  I paper pieced the center and the pink and white units as shown in the photo.

I rotary cut the squares and rectangles that make up the outer edges of the block.  The corner squares are cut 1 1/2" square and the side rectangles are cut 1 1/2" X 2 1/2".  You need to cut four of each size.

(The first photo is only showing two sides of the quilt block.)

The parts go together in rows like this-

You can download my paper piecing pattern here.

This antique block in the Spencer Museum of Art has the colors placed differently and has an extra triangle at the end of each corner of the center block.  Funny how such minor changes can completely change the look of a block.

Tomorrow-Rocky Glen

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tulip Basket quilt block

Tulip Basket
 May 25,1933-"Tulip designs, whether in boxes, baskets, wreaths or garlands, are part of every quilting enthusiast's collection of patterns.  Here is a new one you needleworkers will want to add to the family."

That's Nancy Cabot's whole column in the Chicago Tribune regarding the Tulip Basket quilt block.

There's an interesting Tulip Basket antique quilt and it's story here.  The border shown is not part of Nancy Cabot's pattern according to the story.

This is a block that uses both piecing and applique.  For my 6" block, I used the fusible applique method for the flowers, leaves and stems and templates for the basket.  You can download a pattern here.

It goes together like this-

The flowers make up half of the block and the basket makes up the other half.  Sew the basket together and sew to the flowers.  My basket fabric is a feedsack!

Tulip Basket can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #692.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Solomon's Puzzle quilt block

Solomon's Puzzle
May 24, 1933- The Solomon's Puzzle quilt block may look familiar to those following this blog as it is a variation of the Drunkard's Trail quilt block of February 10, 1933, the Snowball block of  February 2, 1933 and the Indiana Puzzle block of April 7,1933.  They are similar in that they can all be made from the same basic unit.  Color placement and arrangement of the blocks distinguishes them from one another.

Nancy Cabot believed that the Solomon's Puzzle block originated in Vincennes, Indiana in 1866.

For a very different take on how to make this block, try Piec-lique by viewing this very detailed tutorial.  You make four pieces at the same time!

I haven't made this block yet but I would like try this method when I do.  Each of the units needs to finish at 1 1/2".  There are templates available for the Indiana Puzzle block that are exactly the same as needed for this Solomon's Puzzle block.  Just arrange the pieces to match the drawing above.

I have not been able to find any examples of quilts that are made exactly as Nancy Cabot showed her block in the Chicago Tribune.

Tomorrow-Tulip Basket

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dahlia Wreath quilt block

Dahlia Wreath
May 23, 1933-"The "Dahlia Wreath" might properly be dubbed the economy or depression quilt, since it affords an opportunity for the thrifty quilter to use up the many scraps which have been left over from other quilting bees" wrote Nancy Cabot when introducing the Dahlia Wreath quilt pattern in her Chicago Tribune column eighty years ago.

"Each block may be pieced of a different color, or each bloom on the wreath may be cut from a different print." she recommended.

A copy of her original pattern can be viewed here.  I don't think it's the exact pattern that was sold if you ordered it on this day because it does not have today's column typed on it.  She must have posted it again sometime later and this would be the pattern sold on that day.

Notice that she says you can use bias tape for the wreath.  The pieces are to be appliqued to a 14" square of white fabric.  There are 30 blocks in her pattern and they are bordered with an 8" border made from two shades of green.  It might look like this-

Dahlia Wreath quilt

A copy of Nancy Cabot's Dahlia Wreath pattern scaled to 6" can be found here.  Don't forget to add a seam allowance if turning under your edges when appliqueing.

A similar quilt can be seen at the Quilt Index.

Tomorrow-Solomon's Puzzle

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wild Goose Chase quilt block

Wild Goose Chase
May 21, 1933-The Wild Goose Chase block originated in the New England states in early colonial days according to Nancy Cabot when she wrote about this block eighty years ago in the Chicago Tribune.  She mentions again that "triangles are the popular symbol of bird designs."

"Any one who has noticed the flight of wild geese will recognize instantly the inspiration back of this design" she wrote.  Her pattern for the Wild Goose Chase quilt sold for "5 cents in stamps or coin."

I like the graphic look of this block.  I paper pieced my 6" block and you can download the pattern here.

Here are the pieces of the pattern and how they go together-

For Electric Quilt owners, the block can be found as Wild Goose Chase or as #2906 in Blockbase.

There's an old pattern at The Quilt Index.  It's image #4.

I love this vintage quilt with the color placement reversed though this quilt would be called an Odd Fellows Cross quilt by Nancy Cabot.

And this very scrappy quilt with the zigzag set.

There's a version with signatures here and a scrappy version with stars here.

Tomorrow-Dahlia Wreath

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Primrose Path or Straight and Narrow Trail quilt block

Primrose Path
May 20, 1933-The Primrose Path quilt dates back to 1820 and originated in Virginia.  Nancy Cabot wrote that "the pattern for the quilt was furnished us by the great-granddaughter of the woman who designed it."

In the midwest, it was known as Trail and in the southwest as Straight and Narrow Trail she wrote in her Chicago Tribune column.

This pattern is too complex to me to make into a 6" block. Each half square triangle would finish at 3/4"!  I wonder why there is the long plain strip in the center.  Looks like it should have a signature on it to me.

This block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #3273 but it's missing the two corner triangles at the ends of the center strip.

There are a couple of examples of this quilt at The Quilt Index-this scrappy one and this two color one.  the first one has the corner triangles I was talking about and the second one does not.

Tomorrow-Wild Goose Chase

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bowknot quilt block

Bowknot or Farmer's Puzzle
May 19,1933-In early colonial days the pattern shown today was known as Bowknot but in 1933 it was more commonly known as Farmer's Puzzle wrote Nancy Cabot.

She said this quilt was originally "pieced in turkey red and unbleached muslin or the old fashioned blue and white calico." I decided to use the red and muslin for my 6" sample block.

I like the graphic look of this block.  I would never have guessed it was from colonial days!

Nancy went on to say, "Quilters of this generation undoubtedly will find the newer, daintier fabrics and colors more suited to our modern decorating schemes and every bit as effective."

This is an easy block to make with paper piecing.

Here's what the pieces are-

You can download the pattern here.

The block can also be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #1906.

Here's an antique Bowknot block from the Spencer Museum of Art.  The proportions are very different from Nancy Cabot's interpretation of the block.

Bow Knot quilt block, or Farmer's Puzzle quilt block   

And a more modern version of the Farmer's Puzzle block from SewCraftyJess.

This block is found in the The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book as #33 Farmer's Puzzle.

Tomorrow-Primrose Path

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Another Snowball quilt block

May 18, 1933-Quilt Is Delightful in Pastel Tones and Dainty Prints was the title of Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column on this day.

She was referring to the Snowball quilt block which she said is from Virginia and "represents in a remarkably realistic fashion the flowering Snowball which blooms so profusely there in the early spring. It is a delight to the fastidious soul."


This is the second block she has named Snowball.  The first was on February 2, 1933.  There's a little more room between the curves of the first Snowball!

This Snowball block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #1518.

I almost didn't make this block because of the size.  Each quarter of the block is only 3" finished which makes for a very small odd shaped template for the center of the block.  I decided the block was really just a quarter square triangle block with curves in the corner so I started out with a quarter square triangle block like so-

On the left is a 3 1/2" quarter square triangle block.  I made mine by starting with a 4 1/4" square.

On the right is the back of the block with the corners marked for cutting the curves.  I am showing the quarter circle template used to mark the corners also.  Notice that I have pressed the seams in opposite directions to make the center lay flatter.

The next photo shows the block with the corners sewn in- front and back.  I'm showing the back so you can see how I pressed the seams.

To make a template for the curved background piece, draw a 4" circle and cut it into fours.  The seam allowance is included so do not add any.

To make the template for cutting out the corners of the quarter square triangle blocks, draw a 3" circle and cut in fours.  Make four of the units and sew together to make your 6" Snowball block.

Here's an antique Snowball block at Amy Bradley Designs.

There's a little bit of history in the post about this block.  Notice that the drawing she shows from an old pattern book (1932) shows no space between the curves just like Nancy Cabot showed it!

There are some good examples of antique quilts at The Quilt Index here, here and here.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Susannah quilt block


May 17, 1933-The Susannah quilt block got it's name from the song, "O Susannah!".  Exactly where it originated is not known explained Nancy Cabot.  She said the block was usually "pieced from printed fabrics" however.

This is a very easy block to rotary cut-

Background fabric-four 2" squares for corners, one 3 1/2" square for the center
Main fabric-four 2" X 3 1/2" strips and four 2" squares for center

Place a 2" square on one corner of the 3 1/2" center square and sew on the diagonal, flip the corner up and press.  Repeat for all four corners, one at a time.  Referring to the center of the block, the photo below shows the upper left corner of the center after sewing and before pressing.  The other three corners are finished.  Sew the three rows together as shown.

The Susannah block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as Susannah!

There is an antique quilt here but it is not made the way Nancy Cabot showed it.  There is a copy of an old pattern here  from the Progressive Farmer that also is different than Nancy Cabot presented it.  It would be interesting to see her pattern to see if she changed it from what she published in the paper.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Swallow quilt block

May 16, 1933-Nancy Cabot wrote,"Swallow" is a born and bred easterner-from Long Island New York, dating back to 1820, to be exact.  This high-hatted blue blood rarely has traveled west of the Mississippi river."

I'm not sure what she means by that but that's her complete Chicago Tribune column regarding the Swallow quilt block.

The Swallow block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #2646.

Swallow is not a hard block to make being made mostly of half square triangle blocks.  I put it together like this-

Templates for a 6" finished block are available to download here. The half square triangle blocks finish at 1 1/2" so you can really use any method you want to make them.  The center is cut as a 3 1/2" square and the two corner squares are cut at 2".  I suggest using the templates for the lower right hand corner section.

Here's an antique block from the Spencer Museum of Art.

The Swallow quilt block

This block is also in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book as #93 Swallow.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Swing in the Center quilt block

Swing in the Center
May 15, 1933-The Swing in the Center quilt block got it's name from a call in square dancing-"Swing the ladies in the center, gents promenade."  Nancy Cabot felt this block, "when pieced, will be found to be an unusually beautiful design."  The block is also called Turkey in the Straw.

An antique quilt made like Nancy Cabot's block can be seen here.

The block can be found in Electric Quilt's BlockBase program as #2782.

I made my 6" block from templates which can be found here.

I put it together like this-

TIP-Mark the sides if the diamond that need to be sewn together in some manner so you don't sew the wrong edges together.  The diamonds are not symmetrical so are easy to turn the wrong way.

This Swing in the Center quilt block is in the Spencer Museum of Art and is from the early 1900's.  Notice that the corners are made differently.  I like the idea of using a flying geese unit at the middle of the sides also.

                                                 Swing-in-the-Center quilt block