Thursday, February 8, 2024

1934 Quilt Blocks Cherry Tree and Truth

 Lydia Le Baron Walker wrote a syndicated newspaper column on general household hints with occasional quilt patterns.  Her work was often beautifully illustrated by her daughter, artist and teacher Mary Evangeline Walker.

 Although the fate of pioneering women is romanticized in the following piece, it does have some interesting insights into quilt making in the 1930s. The two patchwork blocks mentioned have a George Washington theme, Martha Washington appears in an earlier post.

Dayton (Ohio) Daily News   February 4, 1934


"The word quilt has a warm and comfortable sound in this winter of unusual bitter cold.  It must have been like this in the winter of 1620, when early in December the Puritans landed in Plymouth.  The severity of that winter is of historic recording.  The memory of suffering from insufficient coverings for their beds was the urge which prompted the pioneer women of early settler days to make use of scraps of cloth, scarcely usable for any other purpose, to make quilts.  Not only did they actually make new cloth from the combination of these bits of textile, but they wrested beauty in designs and color harmonies, which have made these old quilts famous.  Today we have this same privilege, not always because of necessity but because handsome patchwork quilts are an outstanding vogue.

"Quilts can be fashioned from discarded textiles or from new cloth.  The former is the historic method and one worthy of following, especially in this era when economy has become a new-old rather smart fashion.  It is a fortunate circumstance which makes it possible to follow a vogue and at the same time promote thrift with no relinquishment of beauty and quality.  Moreover, by so doing with quilts, we add to comfort of our household furnishings.  One of the quaint old terms for quilts was comfortable, the name being representative of its agreeable quality.  To rest under the warmth of a quilt is comfortable indeed.


Quilt block Cherry Tree


"Among the modern quilts there are some worthy of mention, for they have historic significance and the necessary excellence of design to be peers of the handsome old ones.  The Tree and Truth, and the Cherry Tree are two patterns (10 cents each).  Both of these are linked with the name and character of George Washington.


Quilt block Tree and Truth

"In the Tree and Truth design the name is self explanatory of the famous episode of Washington’s boyhood.  The units combined are the sturdy little tree and the hatchet with which he cut it down, as instanced in the homely little incident, in itself something which could happen in the lives of many a youngster.  It is the imprint of truth which the little lad, George, left on the family, and the nation afterwards, that lends character to the tale and also the quilt made of Tree and Truth patchwork.  While such a coverlet is just the thing for a boy’s or man’s bed, it is equally good in an old-fashioned bedroom, or on any old replica of an antique bedstead.

"Color schemes are suggested, and many uses for the designs are given on pattern sheets.  Each one is 10 cents with self-addressed and stamped (3-cent) envelope.  Requests should be sent to Lydia Le Baron Walker care of this paper."

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