Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cactus Basket, Cactus Pot


This week's block is a Cactus Basket.




Sarah Cannon, who made this block, was the first woman that I researched on the Malaga 1937 quilt.  I had not planned to do any research at all but I decided to just have a look at a person or two.  I discovered that Sarah's husband was a missionary to the Indians and that her daughter was the first white child to be born in the area. After this gem of information I went ahead and was able to place every name that was on the quilt, not a single missing person. Exploring on Ancestry.com is better than playing computer games!

Cactus Basket can also be called Desert Rose, Texas Rose, Texas Treasure, Basket of Diamonds or Flower Pot.  Sometimes the plant is much smaller than the basket.








Cactus Basket ~ Cactus Pot


Cactus Basket is usually made with diamond shapes, but that means set-in seams.  I have changed the diamonds to half square triangles for quick piecing - but you may change them back to diamonds if you like! The second block is Cactus Pot; very similar but different enough to include as a second pattern.  Make one of each for the mystery quilt.



A - 1 light, 1 pink and 1 basket 2" x 2" squares.

B - 2 light, 1 pink, 2 blue and 2 basket 2.5" x 2.5" squares.  Cut diagonally to make 14 triangles in all.  Make half square triangles using the picture as a guide, trim to 2" x 2".

C - 2 light rectangles 2" x 3.5".

D - 1 light 4" x 4" square.  Cut diagonally and use 1 triangle.

Block measures 6.5 inches.


A - 1 light 2" x 2" square.

B - 2 light, 2 green and 1 basket 2.5" x 2.5" squares.  Cut diagonally to make 10 triangles. Make half square triangles, trim to 2" x 2".

C - 2 light rectangles 2" x 3.5".

D - 1 light, 1 green and 1 basket 4" x4" squares.  Cut diagonally and use 1 triangles of each color.

Block measures 6.5 inches.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Album Blocks and Album Quilts

This week's block is an album block.





The word "album" has a number of different uses when looking at historic quilts.  These two blocks from the Malaga quilt are both Album blocks because the pattern's name is Album.  Blocks that are similar to these like Chimney Sweep and Cross Patch and Christian Cross can be called album blocks as a group.  An album quilt is a quilt made with different blocks, like a Baltimore Album quilt; or an album quilt can have signatures like an autograph album.







This  pattern is Chimney Sweep.  It was probably made in the 1880s. Seam allowance can be an issue on this diagonal blocks - you can see why this one stayed an orphan.








These are a variation on the Chimney Sweep.  They are in a 1940 quilt that I call Texas Too.  This Quaker quilt has the most amazing story behind it which I introduced here in the blog; one day I will get busy and find out the rest of the story.


So three blocks this week: Album, Chimney Sweep and Texas Chimney Sweep.

Album block



 A - 8 dark and 2 light squares 1.75" x 1.75".

B - 1 light rectangle 1.75" x 4.25".

C - 2 light squares 4" x 4". Cut diagonally twice to make 8 triangles.

D - 2 light squares 3" x 3". Cut diagonally to make 4 triangles.

Put the pieces together row by row.  The triangles are much bigger than the squares, that's OK.  Trim the triangles as you need to when you sew the seams.  The finished 6.5 inch block leaves a large margin around the dark squares - no disappearing points here.


Chimney Sweep


A - 8 dark and 2 light squares 2" x 2".

B - 4 dark and 1 light rectangle 2" x 5".

C - 3 light squares 4" x 4". Cut diagonally twice to make 12 triangles.

D - 2 light squares 2.75" x 2.75". Cut diagonally to make 4 triangles.

Make the center 9 patch square first, then build up the block by rows around the center. Block measures 9.5 inches.


Texas Chimney Sweep


A - 6 dark and 4 light squares 2" x 2".

B, C, D - same as Chimney Sweep instructions.

The center 9 patch is the only difference in this Texas Chimney Sweep block, all the other pieces are the same as Chimney Sweep.

Block measures 9.5 inches.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? It's a Goose?!

Sometimes a mystery quilt contains mystery blocks.






The 1937 Malaga quilt has these two star blocks.  I went to Barbara Brackman to find a name, I thought is would be easy.  However, nothing matched.  I tried stars of all descriptions, 16 patch, unequal 9 patch with a large centre, and so on.  The only block that I did find has the same pieces but looks very different.







This is Brown Goose, or Double Z.  Doesn't look like a star at all, does it?  But the only difference is the corner blocks.  Reverse the half square triangles and the mystery block appears.


Brown Goose

Brown Goose Variation


A - 2 light and 6 dark 2.5" x 2.5" squares.  Cut diagonally to make 4 light and 12 dark triangles.

B - 2 light and 1 dark 4.25" x 4.25" squares.  Cut diagonally twice to make 8 light and 4 dark triangles (2 of each color not used).

Trim center hourglass block to 3.5" x 3.5". Trim flying geese (top, bottom, sides) to 2" x 3.5".  Trim half square triangle corners to 2" x 2".

Block measures 6.5 inches.



Cutting instructions are the same as Brown Goose, the only difference is the position of the half square triangles in the corners.


Make one of each block.  The unused triangles from each block can be used to make an hourglass block 3.5 inches square.