Saturday, October 19, 2013

134 blocks and counting

I have posted 134 blocks by Nancy Cabot thus far.  I plan to continue posting Nancy's blocks 
as I have been when I have more time to devote to it again.  There may not be daily posts again until November and even then they may not be every day. 

Here's a quick picture of my design wall showing the blocks I have actually made.  How many have you made?  Enough to make a quilt yet? 

Though I haven't posted in awhile, I have been playing around with some ideas on how to put these blocks together into a sampler quilt.  I think it's best to use sashing between the blocks because some of the blocks have many seams at the edge of the block that would make it a little hard to sew directly to another block.  I think a sashing strip will help stabilize those type of edges also.  I'll show my ideas in a future post so stay tuned.

If you have made just a few blocks or have a few favorites you'd like to try but don't really want to make a quilt, use them in other projects.

Make a few of your favorite blocks into a table runner or a wall hanging.  Make a single block into a pot holder, coaster or mug rug.  Make a block and add a border to make trivet.  Might make great Christmas gifts!

What other ideas do you have?  If you have used any of these blocks in a project, send me a photo to share with others.  You can email me at

Friday, October 4, 2013

Alabama Beauty quilt block

Alabama Beauty
June 6, 1933-Alabama Beauty is the name of Nancy Cabot's block for today.  The block can be pieced or appliqued.  Nancy wrote that whatever method you choose, "cut the melon-shaped pieces from two shades of the same color, alternating them in each individual block, with the center four-pointed star cut of a still darker shade.  Then, when the blocks are set together, be sure that all the lighter melon pieces are facing in one direction, forming two endless chains diagonally across the quilt."

The Alabama Beauty block is a combination of the techniques used in two previous blocks-True Lover's Knot and Snowball.

You can look at a copy of Nancy's original pattern here.

But for excellent instructions on how to piece the block together, go here.  I love these Alabama Beauty blocks (shown below) made from Kaffe Fassett fabrics!  Notice the secondary pattern of circles?  I may just have to make a quilt like this out of my growing stash of Kaffe Fassett fabrics! Not at all what Nancy Cabot suggested as far as color placement but beautiful nonetheless.

An Alabama Beauty quilt made the way Nancy Cabot recommended would look more like this-

Alabama Beauty can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #2760.  You can download the templates I used to make my 6" block here.

Tomorrow-Prosperity Block

Cleopatra's Puzzle quilt block

Cleopatra's Puzzle
June 5, 1933-Jigsaw Effect Seen in Amusing Quilt Pattern was the title of Nancy Cabot's column in the Chicago Tribune on this day.  Nancy was referring to Cleopatra's Puzzle, another block using the pieces of the Solomon's PuzzleDrunkard's Trail, Indiana Puzzle, and Snowball blocks that she had previously introduced in her column.

"The designer has produced an unusual and attractive pattern by jigsawing the pieces of the puzzle to the right and left" wrote Nancy.

This is a very simple one patch quilt.  You can download templates for a 6" block here.  I did not make this block for my sampler yet but may in the future.

This block is available in Electric Quilt 7 as Cleopatra's Puzzle under 01 Classic Pieced, Drunkard's Path.

Though this is at the very least 80 years old, I have not been able to find any old patterns or photos of quilts made with this block using the name, Cleopatra's Puzzle.  So, here's what I think a quilt would look like-

Tomorrow-Alabama Beauty

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Missouri Daisy quilt block

Missouri Daisy
June 4, 1933-The Missouri Daisy quilt block was made from two shades of yellow fabric and green and white. The white petals of the flower are "shirred onto a deep yellow center and are padded with extra bits of cotton, bringing the flower out in relief" wrote Nancy Cabot in her Chicago Tribune column. The larger petals are a lighter shade  of yellow fabric with the background being green.

I have seen this block used in many of the quilts shown at the Kalona Quilt Show and Sale held yearly here in Iowa but always with the name of Dahlia not Missouri Daisy.

Kalona is an Amish community so when I found the this block pattern at Quilter's Cache called Amish Dahlia that made perfect sense to me.

Here's a beautiful example of an Amish Dahlia or Missouri Daisy quilt from Quilting in Oz.  Be sure to read the story behind this quilt that was fifty years in the making.

I did not make this block for my sampler. I think it's too complicated for a 6" block.

Tomorrow-Cleopatra's Puzzle

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mountain Pink quilt block

Mountain Pink
June 3, 1933-The Mountain Pink quilt block "must have been inspired by the spicy pink, which grows in the nooks and crannies" of the Rocky Mountain area where this block originated wrote Nancy Cabot.  She said "there is a gay charm about this prim little pattern" and suggested it be pieced in "a dainty pink print, with the petals tipped with green."

There is a copy of this pattern, from 1930,  with slightly different proportions than Nancy Cabot's block here.  Go to image 15.

You can download my pattern here.

I made my 6" block using both paper piecing and templates.  This are the basic parts of the block-

The pink and white sections are paper pieced.  The other pieces are cut from templates.  When sewing your pieces together, make two halves and attach the background corner pieces to each half before sewing a final seam across the middle.

This is what the quilt would look like if made according to the instructions of the antique quilt pattern from 1930 mentioned above.

Tomorrow-Missouri Daisy

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Colonial Pineapple quilt block

Colonial Pineapple
June 2, 1933-"From the days way back when pineapples were luxuries and cloth was scarce and each tiny scrap of material was treasured for the quilt bag comes this pattern, "Colonial Pineapple" wrote Nancy Cabot of the block she was introducing on this day eighty years ago.  The pattern sold for "5 cents in stamp or coin" as did all of her patterns to this date.

Though this pattern was originally pieced from many different fabrics, Nancy suggested that it "is far prettier if the blocks are made uniformly of two colors."

There is a scrappy version and a two color version of the Colonial Pineapple quilt at the Quilt Index.  I really like this one too.    I would love to post the photos instead of providing a link but I can't.  The Quilt Index does not allow you to post their images without permission and I don't have the time or energy to ask them for permission for every photo I would like to show you.

This is another block that I did not make because I don't want it for my sampler quilt.  I did make a paper pieced pattern for the Colonial Pineapple block however which you can download here if you want to make the block as a 6" block.

The Pineapple block is still a very popular block today.  I love this Perky Pineapple quilt from Inspired Layers-

This block is so popular that you can find many ways to make it-

Here's a free pattern from Eleanor Burns of Quilt in a Day-

Here's a video showing how to make a Pineapple block using 2 1/2" wide strips also known as a jelly roll.  It's called Pineapple Jelly.

Here's a free paper pieced pattern from Quilter's Cache for a 15" block.  There are also templates available here to make it in the more traditional way.

Here's a video demonstrating a very different modern approach to making the Pineapple block called Pineapple Plus.

Here's a written tutorial showing how to make the block a little wonky.

There are even more ways to make this block and several books and patterns available.  Do a  little research to find which technique you might like to try!

Tomorrow-Mountain Pink