Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jack in the Box

It's a beautiful Saturday morning and I'm taking a break from pin basting my quilt. It will be machine quilted in strips. Boomer is reclined at my feet beside the computer. When I move to stand at the bar to pin baste, he moves so his head is right between my feet. He's so loyal when I don't need him and so active when I want him to behave!

While blogging and basting I'm watching the Katharine Hepburn version of Little Women from 1933. Beth has contracted scarlet fever and is sick in bed. The story takes place during the Civil War and the quilt on the bed is a Double Wedding Ring. Not historically correct, but it's hard to blame the art director when this pattern was advertised at the time as from the Colonial Era. During Beth's death scene the quilt is an Ocean Waves. Since the movie is black and white you can't tell the colors, but it seems a little more accurate to the time frame.

Today's free quilt block pattern is Jack in the Box. I did a little research into the history of the pattern and it appears to have been first published in the 1930s. Check out the free pattern to see the full results of my research.

Tonight is the first football game of the Spartan season. Go Green!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Today's free quilt pattern is the Windmill. This block is easy to piece and has many triangles which makes for many pattern possibilities. I think my example turned out a little busy, so experiment with the values yourself. I'd love to see variations of this block, so send me images of what you come up with.

I did a little research on the history of the pattern name, Windmill. I used Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, Electric Quilt 5 and Block Base 2, to come up with 28 patterns all called Windmill or with Windmill as part of their title. Some of the blocks had the same construction, but different shading. Some had the same shading and different construction. Some had the same name and different geometries, and some the same geometry and different names. Check out the free Windmill pattern to compare the blocks, their shadings and their sources.

This has been a very busy two weeks for me. I just got new responsibilities at my job at the MSU Museum and the Museum just finished it's Great Lakes Folk Festival. Not only have I not updated my blog, but I haven't sewn either. I'm still working on making a quilting template for my Ohio Star President's quilt that is set in a streak-of-lightening setting. I've hit a snag. The cutting tool I was planning to use needs sharpening. So I bought a tool that burns wood and said it burned plastic, too. I've been trying it and although it melts the plastic, it doesn't make a large enough groove for a marking pencil to fit. Back to the drawing board!

Next week the pattern will be Jack in the Box.