I’ve always loved this pattern, which appears in my May, 1929 catalog, McCall’s Designs for Needlework and Decorative Arts. People often refer to it as a circus quilt, and I can understand that, but there’s no circus reference in the catalog description.
My scaled drawings are copied from the catalog illustration. The illustrator eliminated some of the seams, so two sizes of rectangles were added to the squares and triangles. That’s also how I would have drafted the pattern — no need to create unnecessary bulky seams, which just make hand quilting more challenging. It does, however, mean that each block has to be sewn together differently — and in chunks rather than rows.
The description states that the quilt is 40″ x 57″, which helps in figuring out the block size. The original pattern would have included templates, which are not necessarily friendly measurements for rotary cutting, so I tried to come up with some easier numbers. If you made each finished square 1.75″, the block size would be 14″. To make the sashing about the same scale as it appears in the drawing, it would need to be about 2 1/2 squares wide, which is actually 4.375, but you could do either 4.25″ (quilt size 40.75″ x 59″) or 4.50″ (quilt size 41.5″ x 60″), depending upon how wide you like the sashing. Remember, I’m talking about finished sizes here, so you would need to cut strips 2.25″ wide to make your squares/rectangles.
Some old quilts I’ve seen in this pattern did not have embroidered details, but they are included here because I like them, although I had to sort of guess what they looked like from the fuzzy picture. The elephant didn’t appear to have an eye, so I added one.