Thursday, February 2, 2023

Four Tricky T's


Four T's

Nancy Cabot's 'Four T's' design appears simple but takes a little bit of fussing to make it well.  




The letter T lends itself to a great number of interesting quilt pattern, all of them pieced.  “Four T’s” also is known as the “T Block” or “Imperial T.”  It is one of the oldest pieced patterns and was evolved from an effective pattern known as “Shoo Fly.”  Pieced in red and white, the blocks are set together with five inch bands of white between blocks, and surrounded by a five inch border and a one-half inch bias binding.  This block is excellent for a young man’s or boy’s room. The finished coverlet contains 30 pieced blocks and measures 90 by 107 inches.

Nancy Cabot               The Chicago Tribune      January 17, 1938



This Four T's block was made by Nancy Paisley in a friendship quilt from Schuyler County, Illinois in 1933.  Nancy was the typical farmer's wife and was a grandmother when she made this block.

When researching a friendship quilt you always think, I wish I knew more about the quilt makers.  In Nancy's case I did find out more about her family in Unfortunately, there is no happy ending this time.  Nancy had two sons, Everett and Dwight, and Dwight's wife Margaret was not a happy woman.

This incident happened in 1921, and poor Margaret spent the rest of her life in the Peoria State Hospital until her death in 1941.  Sometimes the "good old days" weren't so good.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Steps to the Lighthouse


“I’ll give you three guesses as to the name of this quilt.  It comes to us from the collection of Miss Beamer of Thorold, Canada.  She says she enjoys collecting quilt patterns.  This one is taken from a quilt her grandmother made 60 years ago.  What shall we call the pattern?”

The Nancy Page quilt club members put their wits to work.  “It looks like a modification of the Jewel quilt.  Could we call it the quilt of gems?”

 “It looks to me like a variation of the ‘triple Irish chain.’  Why can’t we call this the Canadian chain since it comes from Canada?”

“You know, Nancy, I think that the pattern looks like steps leading to a platform or landing place.  Can’t we call it a stepping pattern of some sort?”

Nancy smiled.  “The pattern is called, according to Miss Beamer, ‘Steps to the Lighthouse.’ I suppose we could make it steps to almost anything.

“But since a lighthouse is near the sea it seems wise, if you choose that name to develop the quilt in blue and white.  The blue representing the sea.  Only in that case we shall have to make the lighthouse blue also, if we say the center square represents the building."

               from The Atlanta Constitution, Georgia     January 16, 1934


Steps to the Lighthouse




And something from the stash for the back.


Thursday, January 12, 2023

Kansas Troubles

     Kansas Troubles quilt


Nancy Page was a fictional quilt diva invented by Florence La Ganke.  We have meet Nancy Page before in this blog, with the Snowflake Quilt and The Perfect Hostess. The Nancy Page Quilt Club members were the readers of the newspaper column, and the printed patterns were accompanied by dialogue between Nancy and her imaginary quilting friends.  Patterns cost 3¢ each.




“By rights, I suppose this quilt should be made in colors of dust.  Of course, Kansas has the marvelous sunsets and sunrisings, too, so perhaps we can change the color schemes.  But sunsets are not troubles.  They are glorious, especially in Kansas.  If you use gay colors I suggest you change the name of this block to ‘Kansas Glories.’  But whatever you call it, you will be making a traditional and fine old pattern when you make this one.”

“I like it because I think I can use up all sorts of odd, small pieces. I can get plain colors and print for the large triangles, but use all sorts of pieces for the points.”

“Yes, so you can, but you won’t be making the design quite as it was planned.  You see the prints of the large triangle are repeated in the small points and the plain is found again in the neighboring block.”

The members of the Nancy Page quilt club studied the possibilities of this fine old block.  They decided that it could be used as an allover pattern or as a square block to be set into the quilt corner-wise with plain square blocks adjoining.  Some members decided to put the pieced blocks together with sashing.  You can take your choice. 


Birmingham News, Alabama

February 25, 1936



The pattern Kansas Trouble was previously printed in the Kansas City Star in 1934.   


This quilt takes its name from the troubled days of early Kansas history, when a pioneer woman pieced this block and sent it to her New England home.  The contributor states that the quilt may be in odd scraps or in solid colors.


                                                Kansas City Star       March 7, 1934