Thursday, January 24, 2019

Spider Web Quilt Block

"A Spider Quilt Made from Odd Materials"

Spider Web

This week's block is Spider Web.  Once the pieces are cut out it is very easy to piece. There are two Spider Web patterns in BlockBase, #292 and #2726. I used 292 to make this block, the eight triangles are the same size.  In the other pattern the print triangles are wider than the plain ones.  Other names for the block are Amazing Windmill, Autumn Leaves, Boston Pavement, Denver, Merry Go Round and Mystic Maze.

I found a nice 1950s scrappy Spider Web at Ann Quilts.

This is a good pattern for using odd materials, although any quilt is more sophisticated made in a definite and limited color scheme.  Spider web pieces easily, too. First sew the quadrangles of contrasting color to the bases of all isosceles triangles.  These augmented triangles then join and the corner triangles complete it into a square about 11 by 11 inches.  Make cutting patterns of cardboard from the ones here given.  Draw around with a pencil onto your material; cut a seam larger and sew back to the pencil line.  A splendid way to file these old-fashioned quit patterns is to put each series of cardboards into an envelope marked with the name and a sketch of the block.

I love the straight-forward directions written by Ruby McKim.  "Sew the quadrangles to the bases of all isosceles triangles." It was assumed that every quilter knew her geometry.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Block of the Week? It's Been Done Before

How do I chose a block of the week to share?  I usually select something from one of the (many) projects I am currently working on. Today I was pondering which block to do today, perhaps something from my Kansas City Star CD-Rom. There are hundreds to chose from in the KCS collection, after all they published one block a week for years and years .....

Eureka! It was a light bulb moment for me.  All I had to do was chose a block published this week, just a few years earlier.  As it is now 2019, I went back to 1929, ninety years ago, to see what was the block of choice for this week. 

Monkey Wrench

Another Monkey Wrench

Also a Monkey Wrench

Back to the Kansas City Star.  Here is Monkey Wrench, January 16th, 1929.

This quilt is one of the best examples of how an exceedingly simple block may be set together into an intricate pattern.  Pieced blocks of squares and triangles cut from the given patterns and pieced as shown, alternate with 10-inch plain blocks, dark in one row and light in another.  It really isn't hard to do, although each "monkey wrench" must be turned at a certain angle, as the diagram indicates.  Make cardboard cutting patterns a seam larger than the four patterns here given.  Mark around each with a lead pencil and cut a seam larger, sewing back to the pencil lines.

This block really works well as an allover pattern.  But I would need more than a week for that.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Sky Rocket in Sight

New Year's Eve was just last week so a Sky Rocket quilt block is still relevant.

Sky Rocket

It is tricky to piece. Use stitch and flip white corners on the yellow squares; and templates for the outside triangles.  Other names are Jewel Box, Starlight and Shooting Star.  The following is from the McKim Studios and was published in the Kansas City Star September 21, 1928.  The block was Block No. 12 in the McKim Sampler quilt. If you are a young quilter you will find the instructions interesting - this is how we used to cut patchwork pieces BRC (Before Rotary Cutters).


The sky rocket is another of the 12-inch blocks which is particularly well adapted for the pattern of a cushion.  Old fashioned oil calico prints are suggested for the material.  These patchwork pillows are just the thing for chair seats in an old fashioned rocker; or more scantily padded, these may be used to tie to breakfast room chairs.

If used in a quilt set the blocks together, diagonally, with alternated white blocks.  Half blocks (triangles) of the plain material are used to complete the ends of each row to make the quilt square.  A border of gold and white triangles pieced "zig-zag" makes a very attractive finish.

To make the block, trace the patterns given above on cardboard.  Then cut out the cardboard patterns and lay them on the cloth.  Trace around the pattern with a pencil mark.  These patterns do not allow for seams, so when you cut out the cloth allow sufficient margin beyond the pencil line, but when piecing the block, sew back to the pencil line. 

To piece the block, first add the small white triangles to the gold blocks to form squares; then make the center nine-patch.  Now piece the four corners and add to the center block to complete this lovely big design.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Now on Stage - The X Quartet!

X Quartet sounds like a vocal group appearing on a television talent show, doesn't it?  It's actually the name of this week's quilt block.

X Quartet

This is another block I have chosen from the The Patchwork Book 1931. I have made quite a few blocks from this publication now.

Other names for this block are Double Quartet, X Quartette and The Flying  X.

Red and white were the colors chosen for this pattern by the sender, Mrs. Lester Eaken, Swedeborg, Mo. However, a combination of two 1-tone blocks, or a print and a 1-tone piece could be substituted. (Please clip and save.)   Kansas City Star, July 12, 1939.

It is easy to make, if you like tutorials there is one on Generations Quilt Patterns.