Friday, February 28, 2014

Bachelor's Puzzle quilt block

Bachelor's Puzzle
September 28, 1933-The Bachelor's Puzzle quilt design, as it's name implies, is typically a masculine quilt.

Nancy Cabot wrote about this block, "A quilt of this design would be appreciated by any young man as a fitting bit of interior decoration for his room, as well as providing a comfortable warmth."

This simple geometric quilt block was to be made of "plain blue and white materials combined with a matching blue print."

There is a Bachelor's Puzzle pattern published by The Progressive Farmer here that looks just like Nancy Cabot's drawing from the Chicago Tribune.

To make this block using today's techniques, I am sure I used more pieces than in 1933 when it was likely that the pieces were sewn by hand. These are the parts I used-

The center is a 3 1/2" square of white fabric with 2" squares sewn on the diagonal and flipped at each of the four corners. The white squares are cut at 2".  The half square triangles are 2" square and will finish at 1 1/2" when sewn into the block. Note that there are two sets of half square triangles.

You can see a very scrappy version of a Bachelor's Puzzle quilt here. The block goes in the opposite direction! This one uses the traditional blue and white scheme and is set with sashing and cornerstones.

A picture of the Bachelor's Puzzle block is shown in a leaflet from 1933 published for J.&P. Coats Thread here. Notice that it is called Box Quilt or Road to Jerusalem. The first image is the front of the leaflet. The second image is a page entitled Directions For Making "Heirloom Quilts." The picture of the block is at the bottom of the page.

Tomorrow-Wreath of Daisies

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Eight Hands Around quilt block

Eight Hands Around
September 25, 1933-Nancy Cabot published a pattern using the Eight Hands Around quilt block on this day. It sold for "5 cents in stamps or coin" as have all of her patterns to this date.

"Here we have a pattern that found its inspiration in the old-fashioned quadrille danced a generation or so ago," Nancy wrote about the Eight Hands Around quilt block.

She felt this block would have "a popular appeal to the thrifty quiltmaker, who will find that the pattern enables her to use all of those scraps of prints she has been saving."

In making my 6" block, I made all my corners that same but it would have been more historically accurate to make them all different. That's what's great about scrap quilting. You can just use whatever you have.

This block may be a little difficult for a beginner quilter. There are three "y" seams in each corner and several curves. This is how each corner goes together-

There is an excellent tutorial for sewing "y" seams here. You need to use this technique to add the two triangles and square.

This is how the corners fit with the rest of the pieces-

The center goes together like this-

 The curves need to be clipped alot to make a nice smooth curve that lays flat.

Sew on the corners and you are done! You can download a copy of the templates I used here.

Eight Hands Around is very similar to the Wandering Foot quilt block that was published in Nancy's Chicago Tribune column on February 5, 1933. The main difference between the two blocks is the additional piece in each corner of the Eight Hands Around block. The other difference is that the four pieces of the corner sections of the Eight Hands Around block were each to be made from a different print.
Wandering Foot

There is a copy of a page from a 1932 publication entitled Colonial Quilts that shows an Eight Hands Around quilt block. It is at the bottom of image 14. It varies slightly from Nancy Cabot's version in the corners. The corner is not curved and is made up of four diamond shapes instead. There are three quilt blocks made like this here. They are at the bottom of the image.

Tomorrow-Roses and Tulips


Cherries quilt block

September 27, 1933-Cherries is the name of Nancy Cabot's quilt pattern today. She felt this applique design "answers the insistent demand for directions for piecing a red quilt."

She wrote that the Cherries quilt design is from Kentucky and felt it was not seen much outside of Kentucky.

She suggested using brown fabric for the stems, deep green for the leaves and of course red for the cherries.

Though there are antique quilts that have a cherry motif, I have not been able to find a pattern of quilt using Nancy Cabot's Cherries design.

Tomorrow-Bachelor's Puzzle

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Roses and Tulips quilt block

Roses and Tulips
September 26, 1933-These Gay Tulips Really Play "Ring Around the Rosie" was the title of Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column introducing her Roses and Tulips quilt pattern.

She had little to say about this block design. Just that it came from Virginia and "is one of the earliest appliqued designs produced in that state." I wonder how she knows that!

This Roses and Tulips design is another block that I have not been able to find any patterns for or any quilts made using the pattern.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Yellow Rose quilt block

Yellow Rose 
September 24, 1933-The Yellow Rose quilt pattern published today by Nancy Cabot was one of the prize winners at the Sears National Quilt Contest of 1933.

Carrie Walker of Selma, CA won second place in the Los Angeles region. It is not known what happened to her quilt and I have not been able to find any additional information or even a picture of her Yellow Rose quilt.

Nancy had this to say about the Yellow Rose design, "Two shades of yellow will make the rose itself assume realistic proportions, and green is used for the buds. The little "feathery" antennae are embroidered." This is the first time she has mentioned embroidery in her patterns even though some of her designs certainly look like the have added embroidery details.

The vine was to be made of "green with just the tiny tips of the buds cut of yellow-the same yellow as the rose." Another yellow and green quilt!

Nancy actually shows this block with the border that was to be used as part of her pattern. I didn't draw the border for my block but you can view Nancy's Yellow Rose and Border pattern here.

Tomorrow-Eight Hands Around


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Meadow Daisy quilt block

Meadow Daisy
September 23, 1933-The Meadow Daisy quilt block design introduced today is from Kentucky and 1820 according to Nancy Cabot.

She notes that yellow print fabrics were originally used for the daisies with plain green leaves.

"It would be equally attractive if the plan were reversed and the daisy petals pieced with plain yellow or gold materials, and the flower centers made of a brownish print," Nancy suggested.

I tried to follow her recommendation in my drawing of her Meadow Daisy quilt block. Since it is an applique pattern, I didn't make a block for my sampler.

There is a quilt block pattern for the Meadow Daisy that is said to be Nancy Cabot's pattern here. It is the same basic block but the proportions are very different from the drawing she had in her Chicago Tribune column. The leaves are more of a focal point and the flowers are much smaller.

Her newspaper column from this day is not printed on the pattern like we have seen in other patterns by her unless she published this pattern more than once.  This pattern suggests the daisies be made from orange, brown and green fabrics! Here's what a quilt made following this Meadow Daisy pattern might look like-

Tomorrow-Yellow Rose

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Lotus Blossoms quilt block

Lotus Blossoms
September 22, 1933-Nancy Cabot published her Lotus Blossoms quilt pattern on this day. It sold for "5 cents in stamp or coin" which you could send to her at the Chicago Tribune.

She described the construction of the Lotus Blossoms quilt block like this, "The graceful swirling petals may be cut from any of the lovely shades of dusky rose, blue, lavender, and yellow of the real lotus flower. The lily pad leaves will be cut of a shiny smooth green material."

A two page copy of Nancy's original Lotus Blossoms quilt pattern can be viewed here. Since this is an applique block, I did not make it for my sampler.

I have not been able to find any quilts made using this block design.

Tomorrow-Meadow Daisy

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pieced Bouquet quilt block

Pieced Bouquet
September 21, 1933-Quilts Go Modern with Futuristic Pattern Motif is the title of Nancy Cabot's column today introducing the Pieced Bouquet quilt pattern.

"The Pieced Bouquet," a pattern with a definitely modernistic air, is presented as one of the latest additions to quiltdom," she wrote.

The nine patch center of the block was to be "varied by the use of different colors and kinds of prints" but the border was to be "made of strips of green and yellow materials," Nancy explained. More green and yellow!

Two copies of Nancy Cabot's Pieced Bouquet pattern can be seen here. One is even in color!

This is not a hard block to make. The small nine patch block is made from 1 1/2" squares. The rest of the pieces are cut from templates. You can download my pattern here. The basic parts of the block look like this-

There is an interesting antique Pieced Bouquet quilt here.

Tomorrow-Lotus Blossoms

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rose Point quilt block

Rose Point
September 20, 1933-"From the hills of Kentucky comes "Rose Point," and a great favorite it is in its mountain home, as well as in other states that have adopted it."  This was Nancy Cabot's introduction of her pattern featuring the Rose Point quilt block.

Nancy mentions that "in keeping with the name it should be pieced in shades of rose."

She however suggests, "Don't be bound by tradition. Certain combinations of green and yellow would make a beautiful block."  She mentions green and yellow as a combination several times this month. I wonder if that was a popular color scheme in the 1930's or just a favorite of Nancy Cabot's?

This is another applique block that I did not make for my sampler.

The Rose Point quilt block is similar to the Linked Diamonds quilt block that Nancy Cabot published on  July 1, 1933.

A quilt using the Rose Point quilt block might look like this-

Tomorrow-Pieced Bouquet

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Martha Washington Rose quilt block

Martha Washington Rose
September 19, 1933-The Martha Washington Rose quilt was designed to honor our first First Lady.

Nancy Cabot explained that the "original example of this design was made in yellow prints. You might modernize it a bit by piecing it of plain colored materials."

That could be said about today too. Many of today's modern quilts have a white background and use solid fabrics like quilts made during the thirties.

The border of this quilt was made of the same blocks according to Nancy's article.

Though I can not find a copy of Nancy Cabot's Martha Washington Rose quilt pattern or any quilts made from the pattern, I did find this Martha Washington Rose quilt pattern from The Progressive Farmer that looks very much like Nancy's newspaper drawing. Nancy only shows one leaf but that appears to be the only difference.

Tomorrow-Rose Point

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hibiscus quilt block

September 18 1933-The Hibiscus quilt block was a new design when Nancy Cabot published her pattern in the Chicago Tribune.

She suggested making each block from a different fabric using "all the natural colors of the big showy hibiscus blossoms."

I found a copy of Nancy's Hibiscus quilt pattern here. However, I do not believe it to be from today's column.

I think she must publish her Hibiscus pattern again because the write up on the pattern is not today's column as it usually is.

Yet another applique block that I did not make!

I have not been able to find any quilts using this pattern.

Tomorrow-Martha Washington Rose

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Original quilt block

The Original
September 17, 1933-The quilt pattern for today is called The Original. Nancy explains, "Any number of quilt makers who have pieced this particular design have claimed it as an original execution of their own; the real title was lost in this shuffle of false claims."

The colors used to make The Original quilt were usually pink or rose and white according to Nancy.

This quilt design won a regional prize in the 1933 Sears National Quilting Contest. It was featured in the Sears Century of Progress in Quiltmaking booklet which can be seen here. The pattern is image 7 under the picture of the booklet. I have not been able to find any information on the name of the quilter or which region she won her prize in. I can't find any pictures of the winning quilt either.

A pattern attributed to Nancy Cabot for The Original quilt can be seen here.

This is not a hard block to make. I paper pieced my center like this-

Look at my paper piecing tutorial to see the method I use. Though I could have paper pieced the rest of the block I felt it was faster to use the Star Singles paper to make the eight 1" finished size half square triangle blocks that I needed. You just sew on the dashed lines and cut on the solid lines and you you have eight perfect half square triangles that don't need trimmed to size. Of course, you can use any method you like.

So, the basic parts of the The Original quilt block are four 1 1/2" squares for the corners, eight 1" finished half square triangles, four flying geese units that finish at 1"X2". I made my flying geese units from 1 1/2"X 2 1/2" pieces of background fabric and 1 1/2" squares sewn on the diagonal on the corners.

Here's the layout of the block-

You can load a paper piecing pattern for the The Original block here. The block can also be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase  program as #2057.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sweetheart Garden quilt block

Sweetheart Garden
September 16, 1933-Nancy Cabot published her pattern for the Sweetheart Garden quilt on this day. The history behind this popular quilt design has "become obscured" wrote Nancy because so many states claim it.

Regarding color placement, she said "The flower buds are made of rose and green and the corner triangles of French blue."

I can not find any patterns or quilts using Nancy Cabot's Sweetheart Garden quilt block so I am not sure if this block is pieced and appliqued or just applique but I decided not to make it either way.

Tomorrow-The Original

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dutch Girl quilt block

Dutch Girl
September 15, 1933-Petite Dutch Girl Enhances Border of Juvenile Quilt was the title of Nancy Cabot's column presenting her pattern for the Dutch Girl quilt.

Nancy wrote, "A parade of such little Dutch babies would make a happy border on a quilt for a child's bed.  Materials and colors will suggest themselves." I find it strange that she is referring to this figure as a baby. It's carrying a flower pot!

I have not been able to find any patterns or quilts using Nancy Cabot's Dutch Girl quilt block.  Since it is an applique block, I did not make it for my sampler quilt.

Tomorrow-Sweetheart Garden

Good Luck Block quilt block

Good Luck Block
September 14, 1933-The Good Luck Block quilt block was the first Canadian design to be published in Nancy  Cabot's column.

Superstition surrounding the Good Luck Block said that "good fortune would follow any one who sleeps under a quilt of this design" she wrote.

Nancy suggested piecing it "in soft rose or yellow on white, with the four leaf clover in green."

I have not been able to find any patterns or quilts made using Nancy Cabot's Good Luck Block.

The pattern is available in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #1006 however.

You can download my pattern here. I made my shamrock as one piece and used fusible to applique it to the background square. The shamrock can also be made from four hearts included in the pattern if you prefer to hand applique the shamrock. The nine patch blocks are made from 1 1/2" squares. The white background squares are cut at 3 1/2". The pieces look like this-

Tomorrow-Dutch Girl

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friendship Fan quilt block

Friendship Fan
September 13, 1933-Shared Material Adds Sentiment to Pieced Quilt was the title of Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column today. She is talking about the Friendship Fan quilt block.

Yippee, another pieced block! The idea behind the Friendship Fan quilt block is to get fabric from your friends to make the blocks. I think that sounds like a lot of fun!

Nancy wrote, "you must beg your friends to furnish a little scrap of this or that gingham, or perhaps swap a bit of yours for a bit of theirs. Because to be a true "Friendship Fan" each rib of the fan should be cut from a piece of material that has been donated by some friend."

The antique quilt shown below is at Quilt Du Jour and uses a fan block similar to Nancy's Friendship Fan block. The difference is the use of a circle in the center probably due to the blocks each being turned a quarter turn to for a larger block.  Nancy's block has two rings in the center as shown above.

This is not a hard block to piece but I decided to paper piece mine. I think it just makes the small pieces a little more stable when sewing. Check out my paper piecing tutorial to see how I use this technique. No more holding everything up to the light! I paper pieced the blades of the fan and used templates for the two curved sections. You can download my pattern here. This is what the parts look like-

The Friendship Fan quilt block can also be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #3346. I changed that block a little to make the proportions more like Nancy's which is reflected in my downloadable pattern.

Tomorrow-Good Luck Block

Baby Rose quilt block

Baby Rose
September 12, 1933-"The delicate pink of the fragile wild rose and the daintiness and smallness of the block itself, make "Baby Rose" the ideal pattern for a pieced coverlet or spread for the baby's or small child's bed" wrote Nancy Cabot when presenting the pattern for her quilt using the Baby Rose block.

This is another floral applique block which there seems to have been an abundance of lately!

Nancy suggested "panels of light, light yellow, green or blue to join the squares" would "add even more charm." I don't know what she is referring to here. Sashing?

There is a tracing of Nancy's applique pattern to view here. It doesn't appear to me to be the whole pattern because usually her newspaper article is written right on the pattern.

I have not been able to find any quilts using the Baby Rose quilt block.

Tomorrow-Friendship Fan

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winged Square quilt block

Winged Square
September 11,1933-A quilt pattern using the Winged Square quilt block was introduced in the Chicago Tribune by Nancy Cabot on this day.

Nancy believed the Winged Square quilt block to have originated in Maine during early colonial days. She said at that time, "geometrical figures such as squares and triangles were the principal medium of expression in quilt blocks." That means this block was trendy in it's day! Blue and white was the original color scheme.

Here is an example of a blue and white Winged Square quilt from the 1930's. It's different from Nancy's block in that the background is blue not white and the right hand side of the block has the blue and white switched around but the left hand side does not. It creates a very interesting diagonal effect.

There is a Winged Square quilt here with scrappy triangle blocks and another version here with a contrasting center square and sashing. A block made exactly like Nancy Cabot's can be seen here. It is in the center of the bottom row.

To make a 6" block, you need three 2 1/2" squares of background fabric and twenty four half square triangle blocks that finish at 1"! The block is put together like this-

You can make eight half square triangles blocks at a time by starting with 3 3/4" squares and following this tutorial. Or you can use these Star Singles printed papers like I did. The advantage of the paper is that I did not have to draw lines on my fabric and I didn't have to start with a perfect square. My fabrics just had to be larger than the paper square which gets trimmed. I found my finished pieces to be very accurate. Look for this product at your local quilt shop or online.  They are available in several different sizes.

Of course you can use any other method you like too.

For directions on making a 12" block and some more ideas on how to use the block, go to Quilting

Tomorrow-Baby Rose

Tea Rose quilt block

Tea Rose
September 10, 1933-Nancy Cabot's quilt block today is the beautiful appliqued Tea Rose design.

The Tea Rose quilt won first place in the Minneapolis region of the 1933 Sears Quilt Contest. It was made by Minnie Gau and a pattern for it was included in a book entitled Sears Century of Progress in Quilt Making after the contest ended.

A copy of the Tea Rose pattern from the Sears book can be seen here. The blocks finish at 24" and there are only nine blocks to the quilt. The fancy appliqued border is 10" wide.

A black and white photo of the prize winning Tea Rose quilt by Minnie Gau can be seen here. It is the only known photo in existence as far as I can tell.

When Nancy Cabot wrote about this block in her Chicago Tribune column she mentions that it won a blue ribbon recently but not where. She also mentioned that the Tea Rose pattern was known as Roses and Carnations in earlier history and that that history is "hazy."

Tomorrow-Winged Square

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love Apple quilt block

Love Apple
September 9, 1933-Did you know that the tomato was once only used for decoration because it was considered poisonous and unfit to eat? Or that is was known as the Love Apple?

This is the history Nancy Cabot provided in her Chicago Tribune column when presenting her quilt pattern using the Love Apple quilt block.

She goes on to suggest, "A tomato colored gingham and some prints of a similar shade are the popular materials from which to cut the crescent shaped pieces which combine to make the tomato."

Since this is an applique block, I did not make it.

I have not been able to find a copy of Nancy's Love Apple pattern or a quilt made using her pattern but there are a couple of good examples of antique quilts made from the Love Apple quilt pattern here and here. The second quilt is from 1849 and quite fancy.

There was also a drawing of a Love Apple quilt block in the Detroit Free Press on October 26, 1932.

Tomorrow-Tea Rose

Tennessee Star quilt block

Tennessee Star
September 8, 1933-Nancy Cabot described the Tennessee Star quilt block as offering "the very best opportunity yet presented for using up those scraps of saucy plaids that have been accumulating for months in the scrap bag hanging in the closet."

Wonder what she means by "saucy plaids?" Nancy presented this block in her Chicago Tribune column and sold the pattern for "5 cents in stamps or coin" as she did all her patterns to this date.

She went on to write that if one didn't have any plaid fabric, prints could be used but noted that "the plaid seems to accentuate the points of the star and carry out the geometrical scheme of straight lines and sharp angles."

This block really has me stumped as to how it was made. I found two old Tennessee Star quilts made similarly to Nancy's drawing in the newspaper here and here but Nancy's block looks more like the drawing of the block I show above. The difference is in the shape of the sections I show in red. Nancy's drawing shows these as being diamonds. Nancy's drawing also does not show a circle in the center. My drawing is a revised version of the Tennessee Star or #W004 block available in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program.

My best guess is that an eight point star block was made and then eight more diamond shapes were appliqued on top of the eight point star. Any other ideas?

Tomorrow-Love Apple

Friday, February 7, 2014

President's Wreath quilt block

President's Wreath
September 7, 1933-Wreathed Quilt Made Debut in Cleveland's Term is the title of Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column today. She is referring to the President's Wreath quilt block pattern and President Grover Cleveland.

She said this pattern originated during the time Grover Cleveland was president "so most quilt historians claim the honor for him, even though the name "President's Wreath" fails to make any such designation."

Nancy goes on to say the flowers are "usually pieced of a rose and pink combination of materials and arranged at intervals on a green wreath." Since this is an applique block, I did not make it.

I have not been able to find any quilts or patterns for the President's Wreath quilt block made like Nancy Cabot's. So, here's a couple of examples of what it could look like-

Tomorrow-Tennessee Star

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lady of the White House quilt block

Lady of the White House
September 6, 1933-The Lady of the White House quilt block is Nancy Cabot's block today. Finally one I can make! She has had so many applique blocks the last several weeks.

The Lady of the White House quilt block is a very old pattern. So old that "none of the authorities are able to say which of the first ladies it honors" according to Nancy Cabot.

She also says that both New York and Connecticut "take the credit for originating it." Maybe it just honors all first ladies!

There is a copy of Nancy Cabot's original Lady of the White House quilt pattern here. It calls for a 12" block which is twice as big as the 6" size that is being used for this sew along.  A pattern for a 12" block can be found at Quilt in a Day however.

The Lady of the White House block is a very simple one to piece. This photo shows the basic parts of the block-

You need four 2" squares of one fabric (green) and four 2" squares of another fabric(print). I strip pieced mine from strips that were 2"X8".


The center pinwheel block finishes at 3" so you need four half square triangle blocks that finish at 1 1/2" to make that block.  I made mine two at a time by starting out with 2 1/2" squares and sewing on each side of the diagonal. I trimmed them to 2" square so they would finish at 1 1/2" but use any method you like.

 You also need four 1 1/2" nine patch blocks! Yikes, that means each square in the block is only one half inch! I strip pieced mine instead of cutting all those little squares. The strips shown below are 1"X8" and 1"X4". They get cut crosswise into 1" strips as shown below for the block centers.

I put my parts together like this-

When working with small pieces like this, I use starch to stabilize the fabric. I use enough starch to make it almost as stiff as paper!

Here's what a quilt made using Nancy Cabot's pattern might look like-

Tomorrow-President's Wreath