Monday, November 20, 2017

Half a Log Variation

Log Cabin Variation by Anna Cook, about 1900
New Jersey

Here's a cool pattern.
I was browsing through the New Jersey project
pictures and came across this quilt.

My first guess at the pattern:

It's 5 strips in a grid of 25.

Easy enough to draw in EQ7

And maybe easy enough to make.
100  blocks shaded the same way
but every other block is turned upside down.
100 inches x 100 inches with ten inch blocks.

I think I could keep that straight.

Which Anna had trouble doing. Some of her blocks look upside down.
She may have had a directionality problem and her design floor
was probably too small to scope the whole thing out.
Problems I can relate to.

I may be reading her block wrong. It may be
a more conventional version. What they call Half-a-Log in the South.

Here's a version of the Half-a-Log from my collection.
I've tried to copy it but this version is formidable.

I saw this fairly recent quilt in on line auction two years ago.

It's a variation on Anna's I think. But what's that extra log between blocks.
Too much for me.

But Anna's....

I learned some things from messing with Anna's quilt.
I tried to fix her repeat by Photoshopping the upside down blocks
right side up. But that didn't work.
Some of her lights just aren't light enough.
And red---it's really neither dark nor light here.
Her red is in the middle of a gray scale here---

It's not dark; it's not light.
Turning the red blocks upside down didn't help the patterning much.
It's interesting how she got that chrome orange strip to read as dark.

My plan. No red; no chrome orange.
Sort the fabrics into dark, mediums and lights and throw all the mediums back in the scrap box.

2-1/2" strips 

See more about the history of half a log cabin quilts here:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Aunt Martha's Lattice Fan

In BlockBase you can search by designer. If you do a search for Aunt Martha you come up with 121 pieced patterns. The company (there was no actual Aunt Martha) designed many innovative patterns in the 1930s.

Aunt Martha's bio from my book Women of Design.

Some of the Aunt Martha patterns in BlockBase.
They published a lot of innovative applique too.

This particular design may have been published
in her magazine Workbasket in 1941.

A version maybe from the 1950s or '60s.

Aunt Martha is still in business. Her logo's been
modernized if the woman herself still lags behind current fashion for aunts.
Lattice Fan by Jean Stanclift and Barbara Brackman.
Quilted by Lori Kukuk. 42" x 42"

Jean and I did this version for my book Women of Design about Quilts in the Newspaper.  I picked the colors and drew the pattern. Jean pieced it. Lori quilted it. It's one of my favorite group quilts we did.
The book is out of print, but you can see a preview which includes the pattern for Lattice Fan.


Here's a post on another clever Aunt Martha/Workbasket design:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Pine Tree or Christmas Tree #834

Merikay Waldvogel asked me to post this picture of a
wonderful 20th-century quilt top that was auctioned during
the recent AQSG Seminar in New Hampshire.

And then everybody wanted a pattern.
It's #834 in BlockBase so easy enough to make a pattern.

I drew it in BlockBase---12" and 18" finished block size. At the bottom of the page I'll show you how I imported the pattern from BlockBase to EQ7 and recolored it to match the old top.

Merikay found a pattern in her stash of Nancy Cabot patterns,
published as Pine Tree in the Chicago Tribune in 1934. It's shaded
exactly like the top.

It would make a great Christmas tree so I colored it
with some bright William Morris repro designs,
recolored for my Morris Jewels line a few years ago.

A Christmas tree at night, recolored in EQ7.
The pattern is based on half rectangles rather than squares,
which makes it look art deco and modern.

There were requests for a 12" pattern (finished block). If you have my BlockBase computer program you can draw the pattern yourself any size.

BlockBase & EQ have a tendency to add more
letters to the pattern than really necessary so I simplified
the lettering system. 

Cutting a 12" Finished Block

A - Cut 1 background rectangle 13-1/4 x 6-5/8". Cut in half diagonally. You need 2 triangles.

B - Cut 5 triangles from 2-3/4 inch squares. 

C - Cut 22 rectangles 3-1/4" x 1-5/8". Cut each in half diagonally. You need 41 triangles. Figure out your own shading here based on the pictures.

D - Cut 2 background rectangles 2-1/2" x 5"

E - Cut 1 rectangle 2-1/2" x 1-1/2"

You may not want to work with 41 triangles cut from 1-5/8 inch rectangles, so I also had BlockBase figure out a larger pattern to finish 18".

Cutting an 18" Finished Block 
A - Cut 1 background rectangle 19-1/4 x 9-5/8". Cut in half diagonally. You need 2 triangles.
B - Cut 5 triangles from 3-3/4 inch squares.
C - Cut 22 rectangles 4-1/4" x 2-1/8". Cut each in half diagonally. You need 41 triangles. Figure out your own shading here based on the pictures.
D - Cut 2 background rectangles 3-1/2" x 7-1/4".
E - Cut 1 rectangle 3-1/2" x 2".

The Kansas City Star published the design
as The Christmas Tree on December 28, 1932
drawn by designer Eveline Foland who 
did several original "moderne" patterns for the Star.

The antique top sold at the AQSG auction is unusual. I have no other photos of quilts made from this design in the 1930s when it was published.

Delectable Mountains by Mary Gasperik.
85" x 101"

I did find a quilt that used the tree in the border, designed and stitched by Chicago quilt artist Mary Gasperik in the Quilt Index. It's dated 1953.

Other names include Pine Tree from the Ladies Art Company and Pine Forest (A Quilt for Maine) from Ruby McKim's Patchwork Parade of States. Nancy Cabot copied the design in 1934. 

A McKim Studios website says that the Patchwork Parade series appeared in 1931. So which clever Kansas City designer---Ruby McKim or Eveline Foland---created the pattern???? The Patchwork Parade is hard to find and I don't have a date on this Maine design. 
I'm betting on Eveline but I could be wrong (50% chance.)

And below: How I imported the pattern from BlockBase to EQ7 and recolored it. I started in EQ7 and opened my file with Morris Jewels fabric. I clicked on Libraries in the top line. Then clicked on Block Library. Since I have BlockBase linked to EQ my BlockBase files appeared---4,000 patterns.

I did a search for the pattern number 834
although I could have searched by pattern name---
Christmas Tree?

Three patterns with that arrangement of numbers showed up. 
I clicked on the tree and then clicked "Add to Sketchbook" at the bottom

Once it was in my EQ7 sketchbook I could recolor it in
William Morris repro prints.

But then I realized the BlockBase drawing is not shaded
exactly the same as the old top or the Eveline Foland drawing.

So I recolored it. 
And there you are.

Speaking of Christmas maybe you need EQ7 and BlockBase
for your PC computer. Any pieced pattern, any size, any shading.
If you spent an hour a day on learning it you'd be an expert by spring.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Modernistic Star

Modernistic Star
from an online auction.

Modernistic Star by Jeannette Dean Throckmorton, 1943
in the  Joyce Gross collection, Winedale Collection at the 
Briscoe Center at the University of Texas.

See much better photos here:

When I was designing hexagon blocks for the Morris Hexathon Quilt Along a few years ago I thought about including this pattern, but quickly decided that it would be pretty challenging in a hexagon 8" across.

Block by Carrie Hall in the collection
of the Helen F. Spencer Museum of Art
at the University of Kansas. 
It's about 20" wide.
You can see her beautiful seams. 
She was quite the stitcher.

It's 268.5 in BlockBase, given the name Modernistic Star
by the Aunt Martha Pattern Company. I can see in my BlockBase
index card that I've got typos in the pamphlet name.
Should be Prize Winning Designs, 1933.

Here's the source:

Prize Winning Designs: Many Quilt Patterns Never Before Published, Aunt Martha Studios, Kansas City, KS, 1933

The quilt is pictured on the cover---some young thing is showing
her new quilt to Aunt Martha who seems to be pleased with the design.

See that Aunt Martha catalog here at the Quilt Index.

But don't look for the pattern in there. I couldn't find it.
However, BlockBase will draw it any size for you.

Here's one the Wyoming Quilt Project found. No maker's name
given but she seems to have followed the Aunt Martha pattern down
to the borders and colors (I color corrected their very pink photo.)

And see Jeannette Throckmorton's pattern for her version. She drew it herself and she appliqued some of the points.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Asymmetrical Open Wreath

Block from quilt dated 1847 for Bernard Nadal
Smithsonian Collection.

What makes an album sampler a Baltimore Album quilt?
If I see 3 typical BAQ patterns in a sampler I file it in the BAQ file.

This one from a Hap Moore auction has several typical Baltimore designs---
that distinctive eagle with the flag, woven basket
and this one.

An asymmetrical kind of wreath or bouquet,
or as Elly Sienkiewicz classified it a Lyre Wreath.

It looks rather free-form and naturalistic and you'd never notice it as 
a "pattern", except that you notice it all the time.

Quilt dated 1847 from a 1985 ad in the Clarion magazine,
offered by Kelter Malce Antiques.

It's the layout of the flowers with one popping in from the lower left...

to fill an empty space above the stem juncture.
The two sides of the open wreath are not the same.
The top left stem curves in to fill another space.
It's a pretty way to fill a square block with flowers.

It's in my Encyclopedia of Applique # 43.65, "unnamed from an album dated 1847" (probably Bernard Nadal's). Page 135.

BAQ in the collection of the American
Folk Art Museum.

Does that space-filling floral ever pop in from the bottom left in a BAQ?

BAQ at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum

The flowers can be large or small, growing as triplets
or alone.

BAQ documented in the Arizona quilt project.

The earliest I've seen the pattern is in BAQs dated 1846, which
is also the earliest date-inscribed Baltimore album quilts I have
photos of.

Dated 1846 by Elizabeth Stansbury. Online Auction.

So it was part of the BAQ phenomenon from the beginning

Elly Sienkiewicz has been using the pattern
and inspiring other to make it too: Flowers popping in from left 
in this reproduction.

You also find the pattern in repeat block quilts.

All I have with this photo is a signature picture,
which the seller thought said
"Miss Harriet Welker

Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting did a pattern on a beauty from the IQSCM collection
in their December, 2012 issue. Here's a link to a free download. They called it Blossom Wreath.

I've seen several in online auctions over the past dozen years.

But one difference in most of the repeat block designs is the space-filling 
floral pops in from the bottom center.
The wreath is still asymmetrical with more of an arc on the left 
than the right.

Online auction from 2007.
I'd guess these are from the mid-19th century.

But here's one that looks more 20th-century 

at least in the fabric and binding.

Another 20th century version shown
in the Detroit News in 1934.
The woman holding the four-block quilt
said her grandmother made it recently.

Here's a version of Harriet Welker's. Print it 8"
or double it to 16".

Can't get enough Baltimore Album???? Check out the Smithsonian's picture file on Bernard Nadal's 1847 quilt.

Tulips on Bernard Nadal's quilt