Saturday, June 7, 2014

Historic Quilts for Today

Garden Bouquet Quilt of 5 blocks
I began redrafting historic quilt blocks from the 1930s over 15 years ago when I was an editor for a quilt magazine. I came into contact with Dorothy Mae Groves of Kansas City who sent me photocopied pages of several series quilts that had been published in the Kansas City Star and other midwest newspapers. These were photocopies of the original newsprint pages and were primitive at best (though the drawings were clear). I took out my trusty pen tool in Adobe Illustrator and began computer drawing every one of those images!

Zinnia with Urn and Saucy Bird and Meek Bird
This series, the Garden Bouquet, was designed by Florence LaGanke and was part of a fictional Nancy Page Quilt Club and each new block was accompanied by quite a bit of chatty interaction by the club members! This series appeared in the Detroit News, 1931.

There are 20 flower blocks, each with an urn and two birds as seen above. The quilt at the top of this page is my own using 5 of those blocks. I agonized over a border and then decided on none - using only red binding to finish it up. It is one of my favorite quilts.

Lemon Lily Block
I used to bundle these on CD with full size templates for each flower, bird, urn (simplified using a single applique patch) and directions for the full quilt  and my own 5 block quilt. But then I got smart and now offer it at my Craftsy site for a full downloadable 55 page pdf. Same price for 12 years: $10.

Phlox Block, full size applique pattern
Hope you enjoyed my blast from the past. I think I might share some images from the other sets I have: Memory Bouquet, Laurel Wreath, The Toy Quilt, Roly Poly Quilt. What do you think?


  1. the quilt is stunning, have not learnt how to applique yet, my list of things to try grows longer by the day

  2. Oh, yes!! Do share!! Lovely as always. =)

  3. Love your quilt and great colors.
    Would love to make it.
    Thanks for sharing. :-)


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