Thursday, March 19, 2015

Appealing Yet Absurd

I have been looking for information on the traditional House or Schoolhouse block.

House Block  from Malaga 1937

The house block appeared in quilts at the end of the 19th century.  It was firstly called Log Cabin, then Old Kentucky Home, Old Folks at Home or Lincoln’s Log Cabin.

I discovered that it was first called Little Red Schoolhouse in 1929 by Ruth Finley in “Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them.” I went to my bookshelf to see if Finley had any more information on the pattern. 

I discovered that Finley wasn’t a big fan of this block.  In her opinion the pattern was “appealing yet absurd”.  She dates it as a “new” pattern, i.e. appearing after 1870.
Finley mourned the demise of quality needlework due in part to the Victorian era.

“… no well-known pattern was evolved after 1880…. As a universal medium of feminine expression, quilt-making ceased to exist.  It vanished in the general night, as it were, of hideousness.”  page 196-197

My House blocks - "appealing yet absurd"

I wonder what Ruth Finley thought of Sunbonnet Sue?