Monday, February 13, 2023

Economy and Thrift

 It is not too surprising that quilt blocks sewn during the 1930s had names like Thrifty Wife, Economy Patch, and Odds and Ends.  Using scraps of fabric was one way to make quilts and the Depression years was certainly a time of Making Do.


Economy Patch


Known as the “Handkerchief Block,” when made in solid colors, the “Economy” patch first gained its name from thrifty Pennsylvania Dutch women who traded print materials in order that no two blocks on their coverlet would be the same.  Soft purple print, yellow, and white formed the color scheme used in an “Economy” quilt seen recently in southern Indiana.

Nancy Cabot     Chicago Tribune     28 May 1934



The Kansas City Star printed a different Economy design, more of a layout than a single block.




 After the other quilts are finished and the basket is full of scraps then is the time to start the “Economy” quilt.  Colors will necessarily be heterogeneous but the block-effect of the quilt will give plenty of opportunity for variety.


The Weekly Kansas City Star     August 16, 1933







The idea for the Thrifty design originated by Mrs. Clarence Walker, Millersville, Missouri.  She chose this name for the pattern because she went to her scrap bag for the three kinds of print and the 1-tone pieces required for it.


The Weekly Kansas City Star     December 27, 1939

(I wish all my scraps fitted into a single basket.)