Thursday, August 31, 2017

This Too is Jacob's Ladder

This week's block is Jacob's Ladder ... but not the usual patchwork ladder which Jacob saw in his dream.

This block is in a top which was made in Pennsylvania, probably about 1938.  I don't know who Charlotte was, which is a pity, but I have found a few of her friends in the other blocks. There are more photos in a previous post.

You can find a pattern for Jacob's Ladder at Field Guide to Quilts but it is a diagram of the patches with no measurements.  For a 12 inch block the flying geese units finish at 1.5 inches, and the corner blocks finish at 4.5 inches.

This design was printed in the booklet 'Grandma Dexter Applique and Patchwork Designs'.

The book was published by Virginia Snow Studios in the late 1930s.  Here is the Jacob's Ladder pattern on the right, printed as a scrappy block.

I found a downloadable copy of the whole booklet on the website Sewing Solutions.  This site has a range of 1930s sewing books which can be downloaded for personal use.  The price is reasonable and the link worked first time with no trouble.  However, a word of warning - for some reason there are a number of links on the webpage that do not lead you to quilt patterns. I found it best to put my mouse over a link and check out the preview before I clicked - there appeared to be a number of medications that are not required for patchwork.  Say no more.

Sport Coat made from Silk Patches

Wearable art? Maybe not.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

One More Final Block

This really is the last block, there isn't room for any more.

I don't have a name for this block.  It isn't uncommon, I have come across the same pattern in other antique quilts.  The nearest block in Barbara Brackman is Blockhouse ... which is the same but different.

A - 4 dark squares 3.5" x 3.5".

B - 4 dark and 8 light rectangles 1.5" x 3.5".

C- 1 light square 2.5" x 2.5".

D - 2 dark squares 2.5" x 2.5". Cut diagonally to make 4 triangles.  Sew to C, trim to 3.5 inches square.

Block measures 9.5 inches.

I have added a border to my mystery and it is nearly quilted.  I quilt my tops on the same sewing machine I use for piecing, so it's always a rush to finish the quilting and then get onto the next project.

The mystery is finished but the blocks keep coming.  We haven't finished the 1930s yet, I have more friendship quilts on the shelves which have been waiting patiently.  Next post will be Jacob's Ladder - but not as you know it ......

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Mystery Revealed*

*conditions apply

It is finally time for you to see the assembled mystery blocks. A number of blocks were made and auditioned for the final selection, and one managed to get into the final quilt without being introduced.  Rather than wait another week I have decided to show the finished layout now; some more instructions will be posted next week. I just wish I was a better photographer - the picture doesn't do justice to the real quilt top.


The blocks that you have been making fit together according to the following grid. It doesn't matter which six inch block goes into each six inch space; you can follow my pictures or rearrange your blocks to suit.  Earlier in the blog there were Dresden plates and House blocks - if you want to include them just put them in a matching sized space.  The quilt top divides into four quarters; A, B, C and D. Arrange your blocks on the design wall/floor for the whole quilt, then sew them together quarter by quarter.

quarter A

Quarter A uses one 12 inch, two 9 inch and 5 six inch blocks.

quarter B

Quarter B - one 12 inch, two 9 inch and five 6 inch.  The block you haven't seen is the blue and purple one on the right.  I will provide a pattern in the next post, or you might figure it out for yourself.

quarter C

Quarter C - two 9 inch blocks and three 6 inch blocks.

quarter D

Quarter D - one 9 inch, four 6 inch and five 3 inch blocks.  For the 3 inch blocks I used leftovers from other blocks.  You could make five different blocks. 

I am going to add a border too, again, your choice for border / no border.  Any questions?  You can comment below or join in on the Facebook page - and I would love to see your photos!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

One Last Block

The friendship quilt made in Malaga in 1937 has been the inspiration for the mystery blocks of the past few months.

I chose blocks that fit into the 6 - 9 - 12 inch pattern, and I left poor Sunbonnet Sue for another day. I discovered that I needed one more 9 inch block to finish the quilt so I opted for an old favourite.

Dutchman's Puzzle

I disassembled my Whirligig block that I decided not to use.  It was all half square triangles so I rearranged it into a Dutchman's Puzzle.

It will work a little better with Flying Geese to start with and can also be made in three colours - make the center geese one main colour and the outside geese a contrasting colour.

A - 2 dark 5.75 inch squares. Cut diagonally twice to make 8 triangles.

B - 8 light 3.25 inch squares. Cut diagonally to make 16 triangles.

Trim each flying goose block to 2.75" x 5".

Block measures 9.5 inches.

I made a few more flying geese blocks, this time with real geese.

So ... next post, the big reveal!  I do hope you like the end result.