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

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