101 Patchwork Patterns Designs Worth Doing
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Ruby Short McKim

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YOU may be a confirmed "quilt fan" and have a chest full of beautiful coverlets and yet be eager for one more handsome pattern; or you may be just on the verge of attempting your first quilt. At any rate, you surely cannot be indifferent to the charms of patchwork-that simply isn't being done! This wholesome revival of quilt making which is so thoroughly sweeping the country is far more than a fad. One would hardly call Monticello or Mount Vernon "Vogueish". The are the very soul of American art and dignity, and are being more appreciated as such every day. A wing chair, tilt-top table, a four poster, or a highboy may be real Early American or a faithful reproduction. They are the sort of furnishings best loved by the home makers of our land today who appreciate the rich background of beauty and tradition bequeathed to us by Colonial forefathers. The American wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is not a fad, and neither, we vouch, is quilt-making.

So if you are making a quilt, and it is taking many hours of your time, do not consider them as spent in some fancywork craze such as ceiling-wax jewelry one year and painted plaster casts another. You are making a thing of beauty, let us hope-something useful, beautiful and enduring.

Quilts with straight seams such as may be run on the sewing machine are always the easiest to make, and by the way, No. 80 thread, machine-stitched, gives about as soft a seam as No. 50 hand done. That's a trick worth knowing for a busy woman. Even such elaborate designs such as Log Cabin, Palm, Zig-Zag, or Lone Star sew straight this way.

Others, such as Noonday Lily, Rolling Star, Fish Block, or Sunbeam, have to have a piece fitted in, but this is not so difficult for anyone who sews, and some of the designs are well worth the extra bother.

Some applique quilts are included throughout the book for those who prefer this form of handwork and the lovely effect it gives. Almost always the "Bride's Quilt" was an applique and there are many gorgeous ones in antique collections, bearing testimony of countless hours in their planning, placing, and stitchery. We can not show many in such a book of this sort as applique designs are usually so large. For instance, the rose and bud motif of our "Rose Cross" might be used in a Rose of Sharon.

No design has more versions than this same romantic Rose of Sharon-all are the built up rose flower with leaves, buds and stems, but arrangements vary in varying localities, and almost all are lovely. We have patterns on two, a simple and a more elaborate later Rose in special patterns. This was by long odds the most popular "Brides Quilt" patter, its significant title coming down from the love songs of Solomon. " I am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valleys. As the flower among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple tree among trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away! For the flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing birds is to come!" Sounds like a June wedding with roses, valley lilies-or do you think it suggests elopement? To some Colonial girl with imagination it meant a quilt!

But I'm rambling with romance. Getting back to technicalities and patterns there was a difference between the "piece" quilts and "patch" quilts. And, contrary to what you might expect, the patch variety was aristocrat and the pieced the poor relation. For "patch," sometimes called "sewed on" or "laid work" meant the appliques and required new cloth bought especially, while piecing used every vestige of left-over material, whole parts from worn garments, bits of finery or blanket or traded scraps from friends—anything to piece together to make warm covers for the beds.

But "piece" quilts have come up in the world. Such lovely patterns have been evolved form squares, triangles, diamonds, and strips that now women buy handsome materials as some practical husband remarked, "just to cut up and sew back together!" However, a finished quilt is worth all the price of material and work expended, as well as unsympathetic comment endured. This last is rare; usually we are due for admiration if not envy, from the time the first well-planned block is made until the fine old quilt wears out in service, a generation or two later.

Selecting a design is quite an individual problem and naturally we cannot tell you which one you will enjoy the most. However, we can tell you which ones are most popular-do you want the one everybody is making, or an individual one? There are over a hundred patterns here in your little book, each with possibilities of loveliness. Double Wedding Ring is be made by thousands, usually with the widest possible selection of print scraps. It is unquestionably popular, and yet the owner of an art needle work shop told me recently that in her opinion it was an ugly, erratic design!She Had not seen it in our rainbow tint plan which(opinion again!0 is really more lovely than when made of all unrelated prints. "Dresden Plate" or "Friendship Ring," the hexagon plan quilts like "Grandmother's Flower Garden" or the "French Bouquet" are favorites and not so because they are easy to make, either. Flower and basket quilts are popular; so are the tree designs and stars-there are some very beautiful star patterns, with the Lone Star best beloved of all.

Irish chains are charming for the amount of work. They come under a class of cut pieces all straight with the weave of the material; no triangles or diamonds to an Irish Chain, but exactly even squares placed as shown with our pattern of Triple Irish Chain of of Double Irish Cross. An ordinary nine-patch set together with alternate plain squares is sometimes called Single Irish Chain, while 9 each way in one block with 3 appliqued onto alternate square corners is called "Forty-Niner" and not Quadruple Irish!

Names often have much to do with a quilt's popularity. They do more than identify a certain combination of pieces-a catchy name like Crazy Ann, Dove in the Window, or Wild Goose Chase whets the imagination. We get many letters from people saying "I have an old family quilt, pieced like the sketch with red etc., etc., Please, what is its name?" And if we can trace back its family branches, the grateful owner feels like the treasures of her ancestors has been made legitimate.

Names of some patterns do vary. Period, locality, and general human contrariness have caused many a fog over quilt escutcheons. an editor of the Chicago Daily News wrote: "Tell me, is it possible that there be various 'Roads to California' with one of them looking like 'Jacob's Ladder' or possibly 'Stepping Stones?'" Yes, and "Drunkards Path" was sometimes "Wonder of the World" and that long before prohibition, too!

Some quilt names are of pioneer ancestry with a breath of dare and danger like "Bear's Paw," "Crossed Canoes," "Indian Trail," "Prairie Queen." Others have a staid and homey background—"Rail Fence," "Mill Wheel," "Meadow Lily," "Sun Dial," while yet another group bespeaks the tang of the sea—"Square and Compass," "Ship's Wheel," " Ocean Wave," "Storm at Sea," "Rolling Star"—these all come from coastwise ancestry. And by the way, the very Ship's Wheel of Cape Cod is called Harvest Sun in Pennsylvania.

The easiest quilts to make are perhaps four-patches upon which so many little girls have learned to sew, and "brick work," that boon plan of piecing for the woman who has a lot of "sample" oblongs all shaped alike. Brick work is simply sewing into shallow rows a strip of equal size oblongs, then jogging the seam half way over for the next row, etc. Four patches are 2 dark and 2 light squares joined checkerboard fashion, and two of these alternated with plain square of equal size to make a large block.

Quilts like Swastika, Orange Peel, Old Maid's Puzzle, and Windmill are elaborated four patches; while it is easy to trace the nine patch variation in many like Weathervane, Pin Wheels, Maple Leaf, Greek Cross, Jacob's Ladder, etc.

Beggar's Block, Burgoyne's Quilt, and the triangle corners of the Skyrocket are sort of three patch placings. Then come a great group based on the diamond unit, the six and eight pointed stars, the piecing plus applique designs like Honey Bee, Noon Day Lily, Cherry Basket, and Friendship Ring. There are those that take curved seams, Mill Wheel, Rob Peter to Pay Paul, and the French Star and those that demand shallow angle seams like Baby's Blocks and French Bouquet. Double Wedding Ring and Lone Star have the whole quilt top as a unit, although they, too, must work from small pieces to larger.

If you are an applique enthusiast, we have included a few straight "laid on" patterns.

We do hope you will find the very one that appeals to you and after that another and another as every one has possibilities of real beauty. It's up to you—Choose a pattern!



101 Patchwork Patterns

101 Patchwork Patterns
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