Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kansas Troubles quilt block

Kansas Troubles
November 9, 1933-"Kansas Troubles, as shown in this quilt pattern can't be dispiriting, it's a gay and attractive design. Do you suppose it was given its name by some patient Kansas woman who stitched it to forget her troubles?" These two sentences are the entire column written by Nancy Cabot when publishing her Kansas Troubles quilt pattern.

Wouldn't it be great if we really knew how some of these patterns got their names?

As I was making this pattern, I had a feeling maybe I made it before. I finally figured out I kind of had. The Rocky Glen quilt block from May 27, 1933 has the same parts in it, just arranged differently. Look I even used the same floral fabric!

I decided to paper piece this my 6" Kansas Troubles block but it could be made using the same cutting techniques that I used when I made my 6" Rocky Glen block. Below are the parts of my paper piecing pattern which can be downloaded here. Each quadrant of the block starts out like the section at the top of the photo below and gets sewn together like shown on the left of the photo.

Here is a link to an old Kansas Troubles pattern, by the Ladies Art Co. from 1895.

Here are several links to Kansas Troubles quilts-

red and white on point with alternate plain block

scrappy on point with alternate plain block

scrappy straight set with pinwheels

planned scrappy straight set

red, white and blue

straight set with sashing

The Kansas Troubles block can also be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #1270.

Tomorrow-Mexican Rose

Chinese Lanterns quilt block

Chinese Lanterns
November 8, 1933-Nancy Cabot published her Chinese Lanterns pattern today. Though not a floral design, this is yet another applique pattern.

She wrote "its execution presents a rare opportunity to the quilter who likes to make use of many vivid colors, since the lanterns may be as colorful in fabric as they are in paper."

Nancy Cabot had published another pattern using the lantern motif, Japanese Lantern, on June 20, 1933. That pattern was a pieced block.

There is a very bright, colorful lantern quilt here. It's not exactly Nancy Cabot's design but it definitely has some of her motifs. I can't find her pattern or any quilts made using it.

Tomorrow-Kansas Troubles

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fragrance quilt block

November 7, 1933-The Fragrance quilt block of today brings us back to yet another floral applique quilt pattern that have been so popular in Nancy Cabot's column this month.

She wrote, "Its name is Fragrance, and doesn't it seem an excellent choice? The little white blossoms in their delft blue bowl just look as though they were fragrant, and if you know what the flower is you'll remember that it's famous for its beautiful scent." Anyone know what flower she is talking about?

I haven't been able to find any additional information on this block design.

Tomorrow-Chinese Lanterns

Monday, April 28, 2014

Road to Oklahoma quilt block

Road to Oklahoma
November 6, 1933-Road to Oklahoma is Nancy's quilt block today. She published her pattern using this block in her Chicago Tribune column and sold it for "5 cents in coin or stamps."

About this quilt pattern she wrote, "When the pioneer woman who created this quilt pattern lived, the road to Oklahoma was rough and rocky and tortuous; the quilt hardly represents it. But perhaps the clever quilter foresaw our smooth roads, or perhaps the design got its name because it was created on a journey to that state. At any rate, it's an attractive and popular pattern."

Wouldn't it be interesting to know the real stories behind these very old quilt blocks?

There is a Road to Oklahoma pattern from 1895 by the Ladies Art Co. here. The pattern was pieced using just three templates. I made my 6" block a little differently using squares and rectangles. The photo below shows the parts. All squares are cut at 2". The four white rectangles are cut at 2"x3 1/2". You need ten green squares and two white squares.The center row has a four patch block in the center and two pieces like the piece in the center of each side.

To create the side units, sew a green square on the corner of a white rectangle, sew on the diagonal and flip the corner down to form a triangle as shown below. You need two of each block shown. Place the diagonal line in the opposite corner to create the block at the bottom of the photo.

Sew the parts together in rows and then sew the three rows together to finish the block.

Here are some links to Road to Oklahoma quilts-

bright, scrappy version

scrappy with sashing

red and white with alternate plain blocks

red and yellow with alternate red blocks

The Road to Oklahoma block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #1123b.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Iris quilt block

November 5, 1933-Lovely Iris Wins Contest Honors, Not as Flower, but as Quilt Entry is the title of Nancy Cabot's column today. She is referring to the 1933 Sears Quilt Contest and a pattern called simply Iris.

Iris is yet another applique pattern this month. The pattern for the prize winning Iris quilt was published in the Sears Century of Progress in Quilt Making book. You can see a copy of the pattern here. Look at images 14 and 15 in the second row of images.

Four shades of purple were to be used for the flowers. For fifty cents plus shipping, you could get an 18" pillow kit complete with "ready cut patches." It was suggested that bias tape be used for the stems. The blocks were to finish at 18" square with twenty Iris blocks to the quilt or with ten Iris blocks alternated ten plain blocks.

The Iris quilt that won in the Sears Quilt Contest of 1933 was made by Flora Wade and won second place in the Atlanta region. It was actually made from a kit! The kit was from Anne Orr Studio and Anne Orr was one of the judges. You can read more about it here. The winning quilt was made of yellows.

Tomorrow-Road to Oklahoma

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Virginia Stock quilt block

Virginia Stock
November 4, 1933-Virginia Stock is the name of the pattern Nancy Cabot published today.

"No one who has visited in Virginia can fail to appreciate this quilt design picturing the lovely fragrant flower that plays so prominent a part in almost all Virginia gardens. A quilt in this pattern is not at all difficult to piece and if the chosen color scheme is attractive, the result will be an outstandingly successful quilt." This is the entirety of Nancy's column presenting her Virginia Stock quilt pattern.

Nancy's Virginia Stock pattern can be found here. The stem is embroidered in green and the centers are to be embroidered in yellow or white. The flowers are pink.

I can't find any quilts made using this applique pattern. There are two versions of  Nancy's Virginia Stock in the link above. I pieced together two possible quilts based on the very sketchy information provided on the two patterns. I used green as the border in the first version based on only one yard of green fabric being called for but now that I think about it, that's not enough fabric to make a 9" border especially since the fabric was probably only 36" wide. Maybe the background, 4" sashing and border is supposed to be all white?


Friday, April 25, 2014

Antique Tiger Lily quilt block

Antique Tiger Lily
November 3, 1933-The Antique Tiger Lily quilt block pattern is the third Tiger Lily pattern published by Nancy Cabot in the Chicago Tribune. Tiger Lily was published on March 6, 1933 and  her Original Tiger Lily pattern was published on April 1, 1933. All three patterns are applique patterns.

Of this version of the Tiger Lily, Nancy wrote, "It isn't difficult to appreciate how lovely this quilt pattern would be in soft green and red prints or in any other color scheme you fancy."

A copy of Nancy's original Antique Tiger Lily quilt pattern can be seen here though I can't find any quilts made using the pattern. The pattern suggests where to place orange and red print fabrics when making this block.

A quilt made using Nancy's pattern might look like the one I drew below. I couldn't really get it to come out right following her directions and the page showing the layout is missing. She says to make ten appliqued blocks and six plain blocks. I used ten appliqued blocks but needed eight plain blocks to make it make sense to me. Anyone have any idea how it would lay out according to Nancy's pattern?

Tomorrow-Virginia Stock

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Oriental Poppy quilt block

Oriental Poppy
November 2, 1933-The Oriental Poppy quilt block was used in today's quilt pattern published by Nancy Cabot in her Chicago Tribune column. She had very little to say about this design.

She wrote, "The pattern published today should be executed in the lovely natural red of the poppy, with effective touches of black." I'm not sure where she expects you to use black. Her newspaper drawing is hard to interpret. I can't find a copy of Nancy's original pattern but I found a newer Oriental Poppy quilt here. It looks like her design and shows black in the center which makes sense to me.

I used the Oriental Poppy block from Electric Quilt's Blockbase program for my block drawing and I think the quilt I referred to above was made using that same block. It is #788 in Blockbase and is attributed to Ruby McKim, a contemporary of Nancy Cabot's.

Tomorrow-Antique Tiger Lily

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Irish Rose quilt block

Irish Rose
November 1, 1933-Irish Rose Quilt Traces Original as Far as 1700's! that was the title of Nancy Cabot's column introducing her Irish Rose quilt pattern. I wonder how she could trace it back that far?

She believed the original quilt was actually made in Ireland. Nancy described the first quilt as being "fashioned in varying shades of pink prints," but "modern reproductions of it are seen either in prints or plain colors."

Since the Irish Rose design is an applique pattern, I did not make it for my sampler. There is a copy of an Irish Rose pattern by Nancy Cabot here. It looks exactly like her newspaper drawing but I don't believe it to be the pattern she publishes on this day but rather again at some later date.  The writing on the pattern is not the wording from today's column as seems to be her usual style.

I have not found any examples of quilts made using the Irish Rose design.

Tomorrow-Oriental Poppy

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

French Star quilt block

French Star
October 31, 1933-"French Star, our quilt pattern for today, was brought to New Orleans by French settlers in the earliest days of Louisiana's history," wrote Nancy Cabot over eighty years ago.

The French Star quilt block is a pieced design. I found an old pattern by Ruby McKim, a contemporary of Nancy Cabot. McKim's original full size pattern can be downloaded here. The block is 11".

This pattern is cut using templates. It would be a good design to hand piece if you like to do that. There are several "y" seams and it is a little harder to put together. This is not a beginner block.

You can download my templates here. French Star can also be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #3540 which is what I used to make my block.

Here are the main parts to the French Star block and how they go together-

Make four of the sections as shown above and sew them together like shown below-

There is an antique French Star quilt here and  an unusual scrappier version here. Both blocks have a different center than Nancy Cabot's or Ruby McKim's French Star block however.

Tomorrow-Irish Rose

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Jack quilt block

Happy Jack
October 30, 1933-The Happy Jack quilt pattern was introduced as a "companion block for the nursery designs published in the past," wrote Nancy Cabot.

She describes Happy Jack as "gay little gentleman who will be immensely popular with children of his own age and just as much of a success with quilters" and felt it would be "an effective contribution to a child's room."

The Happy Jack block is an applique block that was to be made from plain and print scraps of fabric.

This is another quilt that I haven't been able to find any additional information on.

Tomorrow-French Star

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dogwood Blooms quilt block

Dogwood Blooms
October 29, 1933-Dainty Dogwood Bloom Wreath Frames Softly Tinted Background was the title of Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column today and the introduction for her Dogwood Blooms quilt pattern.

This dainty applique pattern has eighty flower petals in each 18" quilt block and eighty little pieces that are appliqued to each petal.

You can see a copy of Nancy Cabot's pattern here. Though the image appears to be the same on this pattern as the one in the newspaper today, the writing on the pattern suggests to me that she reintroduced Dogwood Blooms at some later date.

"The white blossoms are charmingly springlike against a softly colored background" is what she wrote in her column but this pattern specifically calls for a light green background. The content on the pattern page is also very different. At any rate, this is what a Dogwood Blooms quilt may look like if made using the pattern mentioned above.

I can not find any quilts made using this pattern.

Tomorrow-Happy Jack

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Turquoise Berries quilt block

Turquoise Berries
October 28, 1933-Turquoise Berries is the name of the quilt block Nancy Cabot used in her pattern for today.

"The famous, dainty turquoise berry which grows so profusely in the south inspired today's quilt pattern," she explained.

The berries were to be made from "a lovely lilac blue" and the leaves and vine of "the deepest green" suggested Nancy.

This made me wonder why a pattern named Turquoise Berries would have blue berries though I had no idea what a turquoise berry looked like. So, I googled it and saw that turquoise berries are various shades of blues, purples and turquoise! So, I drew my block accordingly.

I can't find any history on the Turquoise Berry quilt block so it's a little hard to interpret Nancy Cabot's newspaper drawing of it. She shows what I have drawn and a border on only two sides of the quilt. Notice that the block is not square. I assume that was intentional but hard to know for sure without seeing the actual pattern.

I'm guessing you would make a number of the blocks like I have drawn and border the quilt on all four sides. The border she shows is an undulating vine with leaves and berries very similar to the block design. The quilt blocks would create an overall effect when placed next to each other without sashing.

Tomorrow-Dogwood Blooms

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Thousand Pyramids quilt block

A Thousand Pyramids
October 27, 1933-"A Thousand Pyramids is an old, old quilt design, so ancient that no two quilt authorities can agree on it's origin. It can be made up all in prints or skillfully varied, as it is illustrated above. This is another "economy" quilt, because it makes good use of scraps left from others."

That is the entirety of Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column today introducing her quilt pattern, A Thousand Pyramids. This is still a common pattern even today.

There are numerous examples of antique quilts made from this design. However, I can not find any examples of A Thousand Pyramids quilts made exactly like Nancy's. Notice that she offsets her rows of triangles which is not the common way this quilt is sewn.

Here are a few links to antique A Thousand Pyramids quilts-

scrappy pink and turquoise tied
multicolored scrappy
bright multicolored
pastel and white with large border

I did not make this design as a block because it's really an overall one block design.  The A Thousand Pyramids quilt block design can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #112d. It is drawn like Nancy's design!

There is alot of information out there about A Thousand Pyramids quilts and many FREE patterns available also. So if you want to make this quilt, check out the Quilt Inspiration blog. They've done all of the work for you! There are links to many free A Thousand Pyramids patterns. I really want to make this pattern!

Quilter's Cache also has a page about A Thousand Pyramids that is very interesting. And you have to check out Bonnie Hunter's quilt here. It has 2000 pieces for the millenium!

Tomorrow-Turquoise Berries

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cluster of Stars quilt block

Cluster of Stars
October 26, 1933-The Cluster of Stars quilt block was used in the pattern Nancy Cabot published today. It sold for "5 cents in coin or stamps" as did all her patterns up to this point.

"Cluster of Stars is one of the most effective quilt designs unearthed in a long time," she wrote.

She recommended "various colorful prints should be used, a different print for each block, but the square should be of one color all over the coverlet. Being careful about this insures a quilt as pretty as a harmonious bouquet." I tried to follow these guidelines when choosing fabrics for my 6" block.

I chose to paper piece my block because this is a five patch block which makes for some odd dimensions to try to rotary cut when you divide the 6" block by five.You can download my paper pieced pattern here as well as templates for the Cluster of Stars quilt block. Use the method you prefer. There is a paper piecing tutorial here if you need  to know how to paper piece. Here's what my paper pieced units look like-

I sewed the units together like shown below to create three rows that are sewn together to complete the block.

I think the stems were to be embroidered because they are shown as being very skinny on Nancy's drawing for the newspaper. I had planned to do that but ended up just cutting 1/16" strips and fusing them in place to get it done. The fabric strips do look a little bulky when comparing the fine lines of her drawing.

I can't find any Cluster of Stars patterns or quilts made from this pattern.

Tomorrow-A Thousand Pyramids

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Magical Circle quilt block

Magical Circle
October 25, 1933-"Old, but surprisingly modern in appearance, is this quaintly named Magical Circle quilt pattern. It's a variation of the old and famous Necktie design, with the blocks placed to form a circle. It's attractive in either prints or plain colors." This is what Nancy Cabot had to say when publishing her Magical Circle quilt pattern in the Chicago Tribune.

Nancy's Necktie quilt pattern was published on May 13, 1933. You can read my post about the Necktie block to find many different ways to make the block.

I used a different method for my Magical Circle quilt block than I used for my Necktie block. I used the stitch and flip method as shown below. Place a 1 1/4" square on a 2" square and sew on the diagonal as shown. Iron on the sewn line so the right side of the fabric flips over to show the front side.

For each of four sections you need the following parts, two 2" squares of fabric for the tie and two blocks as shown above. To summarize, you need- 8 2" background squares, 8 2" tie fabric squares and 8 1 1/4" tie fabric squares. 

Sew the four blocks together to create one section of your Magical Circle quilt block as shown below and then sew the four new sections together.

The four smaller blocks can also be arranged in many different ways to create an entirely different quilt block design. Send me a photo if you've made a quilt using this block or a variation of it and I'll post it!

The Magical Circle quilt block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #1429a.

I found several Magical Circle quilts to look at. Just click on the links below.

Tomorrow-Cluster of Stars

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crazy Quilt Bouquet quilt block

Crazy Quilt Bouquet
October 24, 1933-Thrifty Bouquet Pattern Utilizes Old Quilt Scraps was the title of Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column introducing her pattern for the Crazy Quilt Bouquet quilt. Not what we would probably think of as being a crazy quilt.

Nancy wrote, "This Crazy Quilt Bouquet is attractive in its own right but it has an added appeal to the thrifty quilter because in it she can utilize all her scraps from other quilts. The color problem ceases to be a problem if care is used in matching the scraps and striving for harmonious effects."

The quilt block was shown as a four patch in the newspaper. I chose to make just one of the four sections because I thought it more suitable for a 6" block. I used a combination of techniques. I paper pieced the left side and bottom of the block but rotary cut the remaining pieces.

My parts look like this-

The solid squares are cut at 2" and the half square triangles are also 2" made to finish at 1 1/2". Use any method you like to make the 1 1/2" finished half square triangle blocks. I sewed the square units together forming a nine patch block before adding the side paper pieced sections.

The side sections are attached using a "y" seam.

You can download templates and my paper pieced part of the Crazy Quilt Bouquet pattern here or the block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #4137 though it's slightly different. I've included templates in case anyone has scraps they are wanting to use that won't work when cutting squares.

I haven't been able to find an old pattern or any quilts made using the Crazy Quilt Bouquet design.

Tomorrow-Magical Circle

Monday, April 14, 2014

Evening Star quilt block

Evening Star
October 23, 1933-Evening Star is the name of the quilt pattern published by Nancy Cabot today.

The Evening Star quilt block is "an old and honored pattern and is found in the collection of a great many museums" according to Nancy Cabot.
I have not had any luck finding an example of this quilt pattern however.

The Evening Star quilt block is an applique design. A typical eight point star is used in the center of the block. You can view a copy of Nancy's pattern here.

Nancy mentions that "the early quilts were executed in blue and white but any variation one prefers would be equally suitable."

An Evening Star quilt made using Nancy Cabot's pattern might look like this-

The blocks are 16" square and the border is 5" wide.

Tomorrow-Crazy Quilt Bouquet

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Century of Progress quilt

Century of Progress
October 22, 1933-The Century of Progress quilt was an original pattern designed by Nancy Cabot and her "department to commemorate Chicago's great pageant in quilt history." She is referring to her department at the Chicago Tribune and the Sears Quilt Contest of 1933 which was held at the World's Fair in Chicago. The Century of Progress International Exposition was the name of the fair. The theme of the fair was technological innovation!

This Century of Progress quilt represented "Arcturus with a surrounding modernistic motif typical of the 1933 World's Fair," wrote Nancy.

There is a lot of symbolism in the design of the Century of Progress quilt. Arcturus is known as the Orange Star. It's significance here is that the light of Arcturus was focused on a photocell to create an electric current to turn on the lights at the fair's opening.

Nancy suggested the block would be "effective in two shades of yellow, with the light rays in either pastel shades or the strong, vivid colors used at the Fair."

I have found just one Century of Progress quilt. It appears to me that it is an applique pattern. This quilt does vary from Nancy Cabot's pattern however. The moon in the corners of the border has been added and the alternate blocks of five stars are not shown in Nancy's pattern either. You can read more info. about the quilt by clicking on the links below. The scalloped border on the quilt seen in the links was shown in the Tribune's newspaper drawing but I didn't try to draw it for this post.

The Century of Progress quilt can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #3713 which is what I used for my drawing above.

Tomorrow-Evening Star

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mary Ann quilt block

Mary Ann
October 21, 1933-"Mary Ann is another sunbonnet baby, as simply sweet as her name, and destined for great success on a nursery quilt," wrote Nancy Cabot about today's quilt block design.

The Mary Ann sunbonnet baby pattern doesn't appear to have lived up to that prediction. I can not find an old pattern or quilt made from this design which makes for a very short post today.

I did not make this applique pattern for my sampler quilt.

Tomorrow-Century of Progress

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cubist Rose quilt block

Cubist Rose
October 20, 1933-The Cubist Rose is the quilt block that was used in Nancy Cabot's quilt pattern published on this day in her Chicago Tribune column more than eighty years ago.

The rose is "here in a new version-the sweet, old fashioned flower gone modern in the approved fashion of the moment," she wrote of this quilt block.

Nancy noted that a Cubist Rose quilt could "be done in yellow or rose with a natural leaf green for stem and leaves."

Unfortunately, the Cubist Rose is another quilt block design that I can not find any old patterns for or quilts made from.

My block is an interpretation of Nancy Cabot's newspaper column drawing. It's a little difficult to know exactly how many fabrics she intended to be used in the block because it's newsprint and therefore the block is shown only in shades of gray.

I decided to paper piece my 6" Cubist Rose block. The pieces of my pattern look like this-

In the photo above, I laid the pieces out in three rows because that is how I sewed the block together after paper piecing each section.

This next photo shows how the rows are pieced. The center row is pieced in sections, like I have shown, before being sewn into a row.

If you haven't tried paper piecing or have tried it and don't like it, you may like my method of paper piecing which I feel is a little easier than the traditional method. You can find my tutorial here.

You can download my Cubist Rose pattern here.

Tomorrow-Mary Ann

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Breath of Springtime quilt block

A Breath of Springtime
October 19, 1933-Nancy Cabot had this to say regarding her quilt pattern today, "The middle of October is a good time for a quilter to begin a coverlet that will brighten one of her rooms through the winter. And no quilt pattern could be gayer than this which is quite appropriately called A Breath of Springtime. It can be a riot of fresh flower colors."

Though vases and baskets of flowers are common motifs for applique quilt blocks, I have not been able to find any examples that resemble Nancy Cabot's A Breath of Springtime design.

Tomorrow-Cubist Rose

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Merry Kite quilt block

Merry Kite
October 18, 1933-Merry Kite is the name of Nancy Cabot's quilt pattern today.

"Inspired by the kites every boy flies with more or less skill is the quilt pattern known as the Merry Kite. Their shapes and designs are as varied as the imagination of small boys can make them, but no more varied than can be the prints and colors used in this quilt," she wrote.

I wasn't able to find any old Merry Kite patterns or quilts. Maybe it had another name?

Nancy Cabot's Merry Kite quilt block pattern went together like this-

I changed my block from Nancy's original design to make it easier to make using today's modern methods. I eliminated the "y" seams. It is a very easy block to make.

All of the pieces can be rotary cut. There are two basic units in this block as shown below.

This first unit is made from two 1 1/2" squares and a 1 1/2" X 2 1/2" strip.

This second unit is a flying geese unit that is 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" before being sewn into the block. Any method of making a flying geese unit that finishes at 1"X2" will work.
To  make my flying geese units, you need 1 1/2" X 2 1/2" strips and 1 1/2" squares to make the corners. The corner squares are sewn on the diagonal and flipped.

The center is a 2 1/2" square.  The pieces layout like this-

Just sew these parts together in rows and the block is done.

The Merry Kite block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #4034.

Tomorrow-A Breath of Springtime