Monday, April 16, 2018

Doves, Blue Birds and Bats

Block with a pattern that's hard to figure out

It's BlockBase #3768, an 8-pointed diamond star,
shaded to look like birds or fish or rockets.

The star points contain two diamonds, one half the
size of the other.

The pattern is easier to see in this version from about 1910.


Probably inspired by a pattern from the Ladies Art Company Catalog in 1898
with the name Flying Bat.

The Ladies Art Company may be the original source.

Plenty of stitchers made it.

Quilt with a label dating it to 1904 by Ann C. Barns, 
San Jose. From the Arizona Project and the Quilt Index.

You could also get the effect with the conventional star with points of nine diamonds.

Shading the small diamonds like this...

Which is what this quiltmaker seems to have done.

A shading suggested in the 1930s by the Spool Cotton Company for
Four Doves in a Window.

And copied by the Chicago Tribune's Nancy Cabot column.

You could combine the two ideas.

Mountain Mist called the pattern
Blue Birds for Happiness and popularized the rather minimalist
shading, which gives the effect of the four rotating birds.

Mary Catherine Hooten Robb, made in Illinois, from the 
West Virginia project and the Quilt Index.
Even more minimalism. 

This quilt before it faded probably followed the red and blue shading  Notice the blue birds along the bottom border. I bet there was a lot more blue in it once. It is a cool effect now that it has faded, though.

Garden maze sash

The pattern was published many times with many names.

Dove in the Window by Ruby McKim in
the Kansas City Star, 1929

Four Doves, Nancy Page syndicated column in the 1930s

And I made a mess of the whole thing in my original Encyclopedia of
Pieced Quilt Patterns. Much confusion about where those seam lines actually were.

And here's Kathy Doughty's version---she rotated the points
so they are all going the same way.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Cobwebs & Diamonds

From the Indiana Project & the Quilt Index

Last week I showed variations of this complicated pattern pieced of triangles we call flying geese. The combination of sashing and block gives an interesting all over design.

I also showed this block view of a similar design without sashing.
BlockBase #3842, The Spider Web

I noticed several related patterns that were published as block views. Instead of triangular geese
the strips are full of parallelograms (not really diamonds.)

Eveline Foland's Christmas Star for the Kansas City Star in 1932 might be the best example. She showed an octagonal block and to avoid questions of repeat suggested readers make one block as a sofa pillow.

It's BlockBase #3791 and related to several other octagonal designs.

You can right click on a block and make a Quick Quilt to see what the repeat would be.

BlockBase #3789

BlockBase #3791

These are cool but the block just doesn't give you
the cobweb kind of repeat.

I imported the BlockBase patterns into EQ to recolor and set them in different ways.

Here's Foland's Christmas Star as a square block repeated.
The shading makes it closer to the cobweb effect.

What if you just pieced octagons and set them together?

Oops. I always forget that octagons won't tessellate. There is a
square hole there.

What if....

I added sashing of the same size strips in Photoshop.
The sash is about 1/4 of the width of the block.
That is very cool if you like piecing parallelograms.

You could probably shade that another way and get the cobweb

And this is why I never get any sewing done. Too much thinking about
potential projects. I'd rather draw parallelograms than sew them.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Tangled Cobweb

Lots going on in this quilt from the mid-20th century.
The pattern is hard to figure out.

Here are the blocks but the sashing is just as important.

Here it is in BlockBase as a Sash & Block design
Both sashing and block are pieced.
It's 1072 & 1074. Why it has two numbers I cannot say.

Two names published in the early 1930s:
Tangled Cobwebs from Hubert Ver Mehren's Home Art catalogs
and Spider Web from Mrs Danner.

Hard to date....
One would assume the geese in sash and block are the same size.

These three, which might be a little older than the 1930s, are not quite the same.
 More going on in the star.

Chrome orange and green by Florence Garvey,
found in the Illinois Project.

And this Welsh example from Mary Jenkins's
Little Welsh Quilts blog is just a block.
No sash.

making it a variation of #3842 Spider Web
from the Kansas City Star in 1942

More blocks without sash.

And then there's this variation, a string quilt---very mysterious construction

An octagonal block with an octagon in the center
plus pieced sash?

Tangled indeed.