This is a memorial quilt for my recently deceased almost 17 year-old dog, Lucy. I made the quilt using fabrics from antique tops and blocks, including mourning prints, shirtings, homespuns, and added some old pink pieces for my sweet girl dog.
The quilting pattern in the blocks is made up of diagonal lines and circles, while the border is quilted in an egg and dart cable.
Mourning Lucy Miniature Quilt
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2014
Machine Pieced, Hand Quilted
19″ x 23″
Pattern #2 contains the first of 20 bowknots in this design. One thing I really enjoy about Nancy Page patterns is the attention to detail in the instructions and patterns. The Page patterns assume a moderate knowledge of quilting ability (as do most vintage patterns), and there are not many illustrations, but the instructions are better than most of the vintage newspaper patterns.
The past week I have been experimenting with aprons again, the pattern inspired by the aprons in my 1920s Herrschner’s catalogs. I used this same pattern for my Valentine apron, but this time I am changing it up a little by using vintage linens and adding embroidered details. To make them hang better and look nicer on the inside, the aprons and pockets are all lined with white or ivory vintage sheeting.
The first apron was cut from half of a vintage damask tablecloth and a Madeira cutwork linen napkin, the embroidered corner of of which was used on the neckline, while the opposite plain corner decorates the pocket. I added some running stitches and floral embroidery, and cut the bias tape out of a small floral scrap. Twill tape in a natural shade was used for the ties.
The second apron is made from the other half of the damask tablecloth, but this time I used a vintage embroidered antimacassar set on the neckline and the pockets. I love the crocheted edging on these pieces. For this apron I used a slightly larger bias tape maker (the 3/4″ instead of 1/2″), and I like it much better. Some of the seams are a little thick where the embroidered pieces are set in, and this slightly wider bias tape is easier to work with. Also, I think it’s nice to be able to see more of the colorful little prints.
The last apron is made with a piece of vintage pillow ticking and another Madeira linen napkin. The embroidery is simple on this apron because of the busy print, but I did add a couple of cute vintage buttons to the pockets and pink ribbon ties. The binding is vintage all-cotton bias tape (Trimtex – 6 yards for 10¢). I can’t get enough of that old bias tape.
Today I am drafting a new pattern which is more loose fitting and tie-less. So far I’m really liking it.
Today I have another Nancy Page pattern from the 1930s, but this time it’s an appliquéd quilt. In the article Nancy explained to her Quilt Club pals that the quilt was designed as a summer spread for a twin bed, so her version would not be quilted. The club members thought Summer Garlands was reminiscent of Nancy’s earlier French Bouquet quilt. I agree, but when I look at this pattern, I keep seeing possibilities for quilt borders.
The individual festoons measure 8″ x 36″, and each was published in a series of square sections. Festoon #1 has 6 sections, but only 4 patterns (A/F and B/E are condensed into two patterns). If you continue clicking on the images until they reach their maximum resolution, you should be able to print the patterns at their original size (8″ square), and hopefully be able to read the text as well.
I plan post one pattern each week for the next 16 weeks, similar to the original publication schedule. Check back on Thursdays for the latest Summer Garlands pattern.
Here is the twin of the peasant girl in Figure 1 — this twin has braids and a different dress. I enjoy reading these old instructions because they are written in a very quaint style — lots of adjectives and arcane expressions. ”Nancy” tells you how to use a “modified fly stitch” for the scallops (not that easy without illustrations), and she refers to the girl’s “color or fichu.” I’d never heard of a fichu, but there it was on Wikipedia:
A fichu is a large, square kerchief worn by women to fill in the low neckline of a bodice. It originated in the United Kingdom in the 18th century and remained popular there and in France through the 19th with many variations, as well as in the United States. The fichu was generally of linen fabric and was folded diagonally into a triangle and tied, pinned, or tucked into the bodice in front.
and that’s precisely what she’s wearing. I love Wikipedia. Tomorrow the peasant man “who beams a merry smile.”
links to other posts in this series:
Introduction, Figure 1 (girl), Figure 2 (boy), and Figure 4 (boy)
This is the first of four figures on this small tablecloth. The two girls and the two boys look like two sets of twins — their outfits, however, have different decorations, and look like fun to stitch. Although the instructions below mention that the “jaunty Tyrolean peasant man” will be published next week, you’re going to get to see him tomorrow. To read text, click to enlarge.
links to other posts in this series:
Introduction, Figure 2 (boy), Figure 3 (girl), and Figure 4 (boy)
Today I am going to share with you one of the more obscure Nancy Page designs. These patterns were published weekly in many newspapers in the US and Canada, and each paper had a particular day that they appeared. This design is meant for a card table and is cut from a piece of linen one yard square. I don’t think people use card tables quite as much as they used to, but I like this small size to use as an overlay on a larger cloth. Of course, these designs could be stitched on other items as well.
The fictitious Nancy decided to use “a rather heavy crash kind of linen.” I’d never heard of this, so I looked it up in the Encyclopedia Britannica:
crash, any of several rugged fabrics made from yarns that are irregular, firm, strong, and smooth but sometimes raw and unprocessed. Included are gray, bleached, boiled, plain, twill, and fancy-weave crash.
Because these newspaper images are generally poor quality, requiring lots of digital cleanup, I am also going to post them in a series, but daily instead of weekly. Text will be readable if you click to enlarge.
links to other posts in this series:
Figure 1 (girl), Figure 2 (boy), Figure 3 (girl), and Figure 4 (boy)
Flowers to Color
Fritzi Brod, Illustrator
Platt and Munk, 1951
This afternoon I finished the quilt top in memory of our dog, Lucy. For me, making a special quilt for occasions like this is sort of therapeutic. Four years ago I made a little mourning quilt for my cat, Jack, and after Lucy’s top is quilted, I’m going to hang it next to Jack’s in my sewing room.
The top is made entirely of pieces cut from antique quilt tops, blocks and scraps. I enjoyed adding the pink pieces to this quilt in memory of our sweet girl dog — Jack’s quilt was made with some of the same mourning prints, but his quilt is more somber. Right now the top is 19″ x 23″, but I may trim the outside border a bit. Now I just need to figure out a quilting design.
Making a little quilt in memory of my recently deceased pets really helps me in the grieving process. Because this is a mourning quilt, there are going to be several black prints from the 19th century, but I also wanted to include some antique pink pieces for Lucy, my sweet girl dog.
On my cutting table, I am staging the black, pink and shirting quilt blocks and pieces being considered for this little quilt. It’s all kind of a mess now, but it’s the way I like to work.
She was a shepherd/lab mutt puppy from the Humane Society — our first and only dog. I was really hoping she would make it to her 17th birthday, and she almost did. Lucy was such a sweet dog, and we will miss her. It’s time to make another mourning quilt.
4/1/1997 – 2/6/2014
This is the last vintage Laura Wheeler peacock embroidery transfer. Thank you Ethel E. Hughes for collecting and preserving these beautiful designs.