Sunday, March 31, 2013

Handy Andy quilt block

Handy Andy
March 31, 1933- The Handy Andy quilt block gets it's name from the title given to "a person able to do many odd jobs without a workshop full of tools" wrote Nancy in her Chicago Tribune column.

She credits "some clever Connecticut woman" with designing this block.  She remarked that the block called for triangular cutting but that's no so today!  We have other methods available to us.

Normally I would make the half square triangle blocks with Triangles on a Roll or draw a diagonal line on two squares and sew on each side of the line to get two half square triangles.

 However, this block is a 5 patch and I am making my blocks  6 inches finished which makes for some very odd sizes to try to cut so I will paper piece it when I have time to make it..  You can get the templates here.  The block can also be found in BlockBase as #1878.

There will not be a block posted tomorrow.  I will continue making the blocks and blogging about them as soon as I am able to.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Friendship Ring quilt block

Friendship Ring
March 30, 1933-The Friendship Ring quilt block was also known as Dresden Plate or Broken China in 1933 but the name, Friendship Ring, "recalls quaint practice of pioneer days" writes Nancy in her column on this day, eighty years ago.

The Friendship Ring quilt was "made of new materials collected by friends." Not many quilts in pioneer days were made from new fabric!

 I think it would be fun to collect fabrics from friends to make this quilt!  It would be craziness to make a six inch block though.  There are 20 wedges in Nancy's pattern!

Tomorrow- Handy Andy

Friday, March 29, 2013

Double Monkey Wrench quilt block

Double Monkey Wrench
March 29, 1933- Monkey Wrench Inspiration of 2-Color Quilt was the title of Nancy Cabot's column introducing the Double Monkey Wrench quilt block to her Chicago Tribune readers.  She said making the block with only two contrasting colors "can be beautiful" and that many of the older quilts were made more scrappy.

This simple nine patch block is easy to make using rotary cutting.  No templates needed!

This block can be found in Electric Quilt as Double Monkey Wrench.

There are only three parts to the block (6") as shown-

4-units of 2 strips sewn together-2 1/2" * unfinished
1-center square-2 1/2"
4-half square triangle blocks, 2 1/2" unfinished

*start with 2 strips-1 1/2" X 2 1/2"

Sew the parts together in these three rows and you are finished!  Super simple!!

Tomorrow-Friendship Ring

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sunbonnet Baby quilt block

Sunbonnet Baby
March 28, 1933-Sunbonnet Baby was "one of the most popular of the juvenile quilt patterns" in 1933 according to Nancy Cabot when she wrote her Chicago Tribune column.  She stated, "The charming little miss may be appliqued in any color on a twelve inch square of white material."

 Her line drawing of the block shows two rows of flowers on the bonnet that appear to be embroidered.  I wonder if the embroidery was part of the pattern?

I think this block would be another great one to use in a whole quilt and use up a bunch of scraps making the dresses and bonnets all different!

I made the sleeve and hand using contrasting fabrics because they were completely lost in the patterned fabric of the dress.  I added two rows of decorative machine stitching to mimic the embroidery Nancy showed on the bonnet.  You can get a rough hand drawn pattern here if you want to try this block.

Tomorrow-Double Monkey Wrench

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rolling Star quilt pattern

Rolling Star
March 27, 1933-Nancy Cabot had very little to say when introducing the Rolling Star quilt pattern.  She just says that "starlit skies have been the inspiration for many beautiful quilt patterns, and this design, "Rolling Star", is another of the adaptations."  She showed it as a two color block with an octagonal shape.

The center of the the block is the Eight Point Star which we have made previously.  The pattern is available in Electric Quilt as Rolling Star.  It is shown as a square block which is actually how it needs to be made to fit into a sampler quilt.

I think the best way to make this block at a 6" finished size would be to hand piece it just like it was originally made.  I have not made it yet but think I will give it a try.  Here are the templates you will need if you would like to try to hand piece it yourself.

Tomorrow-Sunbonnet Baby

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Battle of the Alamo quilt block

Battle of the Alamo
March 26, 1933-"Battle of Alamo" Quilt Pattern Was Designed by Texan in 1836 was the title of Nancy Cabot's column presenting the Battle of the Alamo quilt block.  It was the second in her series of  "quilt patterns commemorating famous American historical events."  She also presented the blocks from the week so readers would get another chance to buy the patterns for "five cents in stamps or coin."

I used a combination of methods to make this block.  The two nine patch blocks are made from 1 1/2" squares.  If my scraps would have allowed it, I would have strip pieced the blocks to save time.

To make the other two blocks, I cut a 3 7/8"square of fabric on the diagonal to get the large side of the blocks. To make the half square triangle blocks, I used paper piecing.  To me it's just faster and you can use up weird size scraps.  To get the templates, go here.

Here are the basic units of the block.  The upper corner shows the 2 paper pieced units and the lower corner shows those 2 units sewn together.

Below are the four sections completed.  Sew the four together and you are done!

Tomorrow- Rolling Star

Monday, March 25, 2013

Flying Clouds quilt block

Flying Clouds
March 25, 1933-The Flying Clouds quilt pattern was the favorite design of a "gentle little 96 year old lady" who treasured a quilt that she had made "in soft blues and white"  using the pattern many years before.  Nancy Cabot chose to feature the design from the lady's scrapbook.  Another name for the block was "Four Frogs."

This is another block that would have very small pieces if made at 6 inches finished, so I passed on it.

The block can be found in Electric Quilt's BlockBase program as #Y022.

Tomorrow-Battle of the Alamo

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Triple Sunflower quilt block

Triple Sunflower 
March 24, 1933-I really like this Triple Sunflower quilt block that Nancy Cabot published in the Chicago Tribune eighty years ago today but didn't think it was practical to try to make into a six inch block.

Nancy wrote that the block should have brown centers, golden yellow petals and green leaves and stems.  She said little else except that the block will appeal to many who appreciates its colorfulness and uniqueness."

It can be found in Electric Quilt's BlockBase software as #773.6.

Tomorrow-Flying Clouds

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bear's Paw quilt block

Bear's Paw
March 23, 1933-The Bear's Paw quilt block was originally called Hand of Friendship among the Quakers in Pennsylvania according to Nancy Cabot.  The name, Bear's Paw, came about "through a romantic episode of the Kansas prairies" in pioneer days.  A young man went to propose to a young woman and on his "way was attacked by a black bear and forced to take refuge in a tree until nightfall."  The quilt the young woman was making at the time was renamed, Bear's Paw, so Nancy says.

This block is quite similar to the Autumn Leaves quilt block from February 13th.

This block could easily be rotary cut but at the six inch finished size that I made I thought it was easier to paper piece the small half square triangles.  You can download the templates here.

Tomorrow- Triple Sunflower

Friday, March 22, 2013

Star of the Sea quilt block

Star of the Sea
March 22, 1933- The Star of the Sea quilt block is one of the oldest in quilting history according to Nancy Cabot.  She credits "a young woman who lived in a little village on the rocky Maine coast, close to the sea that she loved" as the designer of this block.

She also describes the block as being made from "soft blue prints" and a "deeper blue center" so I used blue fabrics to make my 6" finished block.

I altered her design a little to make it easier to construct using today's quilting methods.  I added seams around the center star.

This block was made using a combination of techniques similar to yesterday's block.  Most of it was paper pieced except for the 4 corner blocks.

You can get the pattern here.  I really like the look of this block.  It could be used to make a very "modern" looking quilt.  It goes together like this-

Tomorrow-Bear's Paw

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cherry Basket quilt block

Cherry Basket
March 21, 1933-The Cherry Basket quilt block honors an obsolete custom of weaving a basket from strips of paper and filling it with cherries to give to friends explains Nancy Cabot in her column in the Chicago Tribune.

This was an easy block to make as a 6" block using a combination of techniques.  The basket is paper pieced, the handle is appliqued and the background behind the handle is rotary cut! You can download the pattern here.

Though this is a common quilt block, I didn't find many that had the same number of triangles as Nancy's block when I did a search. However, here's a great example.

Tomorrow-Star of the Sea

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sunburst #2 quilt block

March 20, 1933-"Need you be warned that this is no pattern to be tried by the novice in quiltmaking?" wrote Nancy Cabot in her Chicago Tribune column when introducing this second version of the Sunburst quilt block.  This pattern was inspired by "the sunrise over the vast, rolling plains" of the prairie states of the Union she adds.

I agree with Nancy that this would be a very difficult quilt block to make especially in the 6" size!  Needless to say but I didn't even try.

To see the first Sunburst block, go here.

Tomorrow-Cherry Basket

On another note, I have made some updates to the site to make it easier to find what you are looking for.  At the top of the page, I have added several tabs.  The Blocks tab features a small picture of each block and a link to that block's post.  I hope this makes it easier if you are trying to find a block but may not remember it's name or when it was posted.  Another tab is a link to the Flickr group for the blog where you can post photos of blocks you have made and see what others have made.  I have also included a tab to my other blog, The Double Nickel Quilt Challenge, which features ways to use 5" charm packs also known as "nickel" squares.  There are some FREE patterns posted there also.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tea Leaf quilt block

Tea Leaf
March 19, 1933-"Tea Leaf" Is First in Quilt Series Commemorating Historic Events was the title of Nancy Cabot's column in the Chicago Tribune eighty years ago today.  The Tea Leaf quilt block has also been called Tea Party which commemorates the Boston Tea Party!  She says that the block is from revolutionary  days and was always made in green and white.

She said "blocks cut and pieced of pastel colors and modern materials will be quite as pretty" in reference to the traditional green and white blocks.  She also felt it had "a definite modern feeling" even though it is a very old pattern.

I made this block before I started this blog and made it according to Electric Quilt's BlockBase program.  It is #857.07 in that program.

Nancy Cabot showed the block put together a little differently.  She constructed it as a 16 patch.  It was made from plain squares and half square triangles.  I made my 6" version with 4 paper piecing sections.  You can download the pattern here.  The stem and bottom of flower are 1 section, the top of the flower is 1 section, and each of the leaves with background is a section.  The stem section is wider than Nancy Cabot had hers drawn but I like the scale of this one better.  I really like this block and could see a whole quilt of them!  Another potential way to use up a bunch of scraps.

Tomorrow-Sunburst #2

Monday, March 18, 2013

Barbara Frietchie Star quilt block

Barbara Frietchie Star
March 18, 1933- Nancy Cabot said there is no proof that Barbara Frietchie designed the Barbara Frietchie Star block that is named for her. And there is no other trace of this pattern in quilt lore beyond the quilt that was found in her home in Frederick, MD which is why it is named for her.  I wonder who made it?

It was a two color quilt but Nancy suggested "the colored pieces of the block, however, might be cut from three different tones of the same color, shading from the more intense center to a pastel tint at the extreme corners."

I did this when making my block.  It isn't as apparent as I would have liked.  The lightest fabric has more contrast when looking at a bigger piece of fabric than what is used in the small patches of the block.

This is an easy block to make.  It's made from half-square triangles and flying geese units.  The half square triangles are 2" unfinished and 1 1/2" finished when sewn into the block.  The flying geese units are 2"X3 1/2" unfinished and 1 1/2"X3" finished.

I put the parts together in rows as shown at the right.

You need to make 4 flying geese units, 4 half square triangles for the center and four half square triangles for the corners.

This block can be found in Electric Quilt's BlockBase program as #2146.

Tomorrow-Tea Leaf

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rising Sun quilt block

Rising Sun
March 17, 1933-The Rising Sun quilt block originated in 1778 according to Nancy Cabot who published it in her column.  She says that this block has had many name changes over the years- Wheel of Fortune, Cogwheel and Rolling Wheel.  Here is a link to some antique quilts made from this block.  I wasn't sure how this block may have been made until I saw this post.  It's all hand pieced! I think the outer ring could probably be paper pieced with the inner ring being sewn on the machine and preferably not by hand if i was going to make it.

Once again, this block is not suitable for a six inch block.

You can find this block in Electric Quilt's BlockBase program as #3390 if you would like to try to make it.  There's an updated version of this block here.  I love it!

Tomorrow-Barbara Frietchie block

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Windblown Tulip quilt block

Windblown Tulip
March 16, 1933-Windblown Tulip is the name of the block Nancy Cabot published today in her Chicago Tribune column on this day in 1933.  She didn't have much to say about this block.  She said the block "calls for brilliant colors." This is a complicated applique block that is not suitable for my six inch blocks.

This pattern can be found on Electric Quilt's Classic Applique 1920's and 1930's cd.  It is not exactly as Nancy had hers drawn but it is similar.  She had much longer stems on the center tulips and the leaves were longer and skinnier but overall the effect is the same.

Tomorrow-Rising Sun

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mystic Maze quilt block

Mystic Maze
March 15, 1933-The Mystic Maze block "is another outgrowth of the Spider Web quilt pattern, but is of much more recent origin" wrote Nancy Cabot in her Chicago Tribune column.  She felt this block was difficult to piece and required experience and patience to make.

I think it might be easier to make today than eighty years ago!  Rotary cutters and rulers and strip piecing could certainly be used to make it easier to make.  There are really just two different "wedges" to the block that need to be made.  It can also be paper pieced quite easily which is what I did to make my six inch block.  It went together beautifully!

Click here to get the paper piecing templates.

I hand drew the block to get the exact proportions that Nancy Cabot drew.  Though you can find many Spider Web blocks to make, I did not find any with seven rings and the varied strip widths that Nancy shows.  Her placement of her fabric colors is also different.  I made it exactly as she shows it.

Here are the two wedges of the block

and a shot of the back of the wedges.

I'm trying to show you how the seams will nest together if you follow the templates exactly and start each wedge at the correct end.

I removed the paper before sewing the wedges together so I could nest the seams against each other.

Sew four sections together as shown at the right and then sew the two halves together and you are done.

Tomorrow-Windblown Tulips

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Little Beech Tree quilt block

Little Beech Tree
March 14, 1933-Little Beech Tree "utilizes even the smallest scraps" wrote Nancy Cabot of this block from 1810.  This block was found only in Kentucky and the New England states according to Nancy.  The block was sometimes called the Scrap Bag Tree in the "hills of Kentucky" because of the small size of the blocks she wrote.

This is not a block that should be made as a 6" block.  There are 64 little squares that represent the leaves of the tree.  I think it would be a very easy block in a large size.  It could be made with 16 four patch blocks.

This block can be found in Electric Quilt's BlockBase as #839 exactly as Nancy Cabot drew it.

Tomorrow-Mystic Maze

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Seven Sisters quilt block

Seven Sisters
March 13,1933-The Seven Sisters quilt block is dedicated to "the seven lovely daughters of the Fowler family" of Old Virginia explains Nancy Cabot in her Chicago Tribune column.  Other names for the pattern  in 1933 were Seven Stars and Virginia Pride.

I did not make this block.  It would be much too complicated at the six inch size that I have been making. I think it would be best to hand piece it. If you want to try to make a Seven Sisters block, here is a great tutorial! There are some very nice Seven Sister quilt blocks to look at here and here.  There's even a pattern at that second link!

The block can also be found in Electric Quilt's BlockBase as W007.

Tomorrow-Little Beech Tree

There is now a flickr group where you can post pictures of your finished blocks for all of us to enjoy!  Click here to add pictures of your blocks or see what's posted so far. Take a look at these great blocks by The Enchanted Bobbin. I love them all!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Priscilla Alden quilt block

Priscilla Alden
March 12, 1933-The Priscilla Alden quilt block "is becoming increasingly popular with the young moderns of this generation" wrote Nancy Cabot about this quilt block eighty years ago.  Priscilla Alden was one of the Pilgrims that came over on the Mayflower making this a very old block though I can't say that I have ever seen it. Nancy says this block "connotates all that is prim and dainty, simple and charming."  She shows the outer circles as being made of just two print fabrics that are alternated with the two center circles being made of solid fabrics.

This applique block was very easy for me to make because I have an Accuquilt Go cutter and a circle die to go with it.  The circles have a 2" diameter which I have on my circle die.  If you plan to hand applique the circles, they would need to be cut at 2 1/2" instead.  The little circle in the very center is only 1" across or 1 1/2" for hand applique.  A diagram for placing your pieces can be found here.  As with the Butterfly block from yesterday, I plan to buttonhole stitch the edges.

Here are the blocks from the past week-
Tiger Lily

Rolling Stone

Philadelphia Pavement


Fifty-Four Forty or Fight


Tomorrow-Seven Sisters

Monday, March 11, 2013

Butterfly quilt block

March 11, 1933-"Butterflies Flit Brightly Across Colorful Quilt" was the title of Nancy Cabot's column today introducing the Butterfly block.  I have seen plenty of old quilts with this block design!

Nancy wrote that each appliqued butterfly "is made of a different combination of prints and plain fabrics."  She shows in her line drawing that the top wings are to be made of prints and the bottom two wings are made of solid fabrics.  she also said to join the blocks "with strips of print or color and surround them with a dainty border of harmonizing prints."  I think this would be a great quilt!

I used raw edge applique and fused the pieces in place in this six inch block.  I  plan to use a buttonhole stitch around the edges of the block before I use it in my sampler quilt.  You can get the templates here.  If you want a larger block, just enlarge it on a copier.

I have an idea that I would like to make the block bigger and make a whole scrappy quilt of it.  I think it is the perfect block for using up scraps.  I have four little granddaughters that I think would love this block.  I guess this is another one for my bucket list!

Tomorrow-Priscilla Alden

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight quilt block

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight
March 10, 1933-Fifty-Four Forty or Fight was the block introduced by Nancy Cabot in the Chicago Tribune on this day eighty years ago.

The phrase Fifty-Four Forty or Fight was a slogan for President Polk's campaign having to do with the fight over the border of Oregon.  Fifty-Four Forty was the latitude of the boundary that the U.S. was fighting Britain over.

Nancy Cabot however refers to it as a battle between Russia, England and the U.S over Alaska in 1884!  I'm not sure what she is talking about.

She also mentions that women of the period (1844) "had no effective outlet for their political opinions"  and that this block is the "spontaneous expression of patriotic American women."

This is a very easy block to make in the six inch finished size that I have been making.  There are just two basic parts- a four-patch and a triangle in a square unit as shown at the right.

Those parts are sewn together in three rows like this-

The four patch units are made up of 1 1/2" squares.  You need to make 5 four patch units.  They are 2 1/2" square unfinished.

I made the triangle in a square block by paper piecing because I felt it was more accurate and I didn't have to cut odd size triangles to make the block.  You need four of these units.  You can download the paper piecing template here.  If you prefer to make them a different way, they need to be 2 1/2" unfinished.  This block can also be found in Electric Quilt's BlockBase  as #1627a.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Poinsettia quilt block

March 9, 1933-The Poinsettia quilt block "was brought to this country from Hawaii as early as 1840 by an American missionary" according to Nancy Cabot's column on this day.  This is definitely a block that has to be appliqued!  The only way I would try it, at the six inch size that I have been making for my sampler quilt, is to fuse the little pieces to a background square.  I decided not to do this however.  The block pattern can be found in Electric Quilt's Classic Applique 1920's and 1930's, if you have it, as Poinsettia if you are interested in making it.  I say if you have it because I do not see it for sale on their website at this time.

Tomorrow-Fifty-Four Forty or Fight

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Philadelphia Pavement quilt block

Philadelphia Pavement
March 7, 1933-Nancy Cabot presented the Philadelphia Pavement quilt block today in her Chicago Tribune column with the following title, "Quilt Pattern Is as Plain, Simple as the Quakers."  She goes on to say that the name has nothing to do with the streets of Philadelphia "but rather the tesselated entrances of so many of the old, old homes of the city."   She explains that similar designs were inlaid in the floors.

This block is a welcome relief to me from the complicated patterns of the last few days.  We can actually use our modern methods of rotary cutting, chain sewing, etc. to construct it.  It's really just a simple nine patch block with sashing and cornerstones.  You can get the rotary cutting instructions for a six inch block here.

I don't think this block needs much explanation but here goes for new quilters.  Start by making four half square triangle blocks.  Use those blocks and plain squares to make the center nine patch block.  Add sashing to two sides of the nine patch.  Sew a small square to each end of the other two sashing strips and then sew to opposite ends of the block and you are done!

This is how it would look in a quilt-

changing color of two cornerstones
Tomorrow-Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone quilt block

Rolling Stone
March 8, 1933-The Rolling Stone quilt block originated in New England around 1780 according to Nancy Cabot.  She wrote in the Chicago Tribune that this pattern is "so complicated and difficult to piece that a quilt of this design is rarely seen unless it is one of the early quilts of the colonial period that are now preserved as antiques."  I disagree! This pattern is quite easy to piece with today's methods.  Pieces could easily be rotary cut and the stitch and flip method could be used on every section of the block.  I chose to paper piece my six inch block and it went very smoothly.  You can download the pattern here.

The 3 basic parts of the block are shown on the left and the photo on the right shows how they go together in rows.

I like the movement of this block.  This is what it looks like in quilt-

with sashing, cornerstones and border

Tomorrow- Poinsettia