Over the past 10 years, I have collected lots of vintage quilt patterns. I am now in the process of scanning and cleaning all of my newspaper and mail order patterns (the most fragile), both as a method of preserving them, and to share with other quilters. Because so many people sell copies of these patterns, I am going to watermark the images. This is not to pretend that I own a copyright on the patterns (as some sellers of copies claim), but just to discourage others from selling my images, since I want them to be free. Some of the mail order pattern sheets are pretty big, but I will try to retain the original document sizes whenever possible.
Let’s begin with Laura Wheeler, which is one of the names used by Needlecraft Service, a mail order pattern company located in NYC in the 1930s. Needlecraft also published designs for crochet, knitting and embroidery. The patterns were advertised in local newspapers and were usually priced at 10¢. Laura Wheeler patterns are generally complex, with many pieces and set-in seams, but they are also very pretty. On these large mail order patterns (23″ x 19″), there was even room for a drawing of the whole quilt. You will notice that the yardage table lists two fabric widths (32″ and 36″), so you would want to make an adjustment for modern fabrics. The envelope containing this pattern is postmarked 1936.