History · quilting · sewing

The Oregonian Modernistic Quilt – Block #1

July 30, 1933

Block No. 1 – The Tulip

The first block of the modernistic flower quilt presents the tulip, associated with Holland and spring and brilliance of hue. More than any other flower, perhaps, its colors vary widely – from white to the long-sought black of tulip-breeders – but since the flower is most appropriately bright-hued the tulip block may be made one of the most colorful in the quilt.

To this end the cup of the tulip is bright orange and the petal it overlaps is yellow. All the colors in this and the following blocks should be solid and rich. Occasionally shades of the same color will be used but the lighter shades should not be washed-out in appearance.

Leaf (or blade) and stem and the three inserts close to the leaf are green of the same shade and material. In this and succeeding blocks all the green parts may be cut from one piece of material. If you like you may vary the shades, but it is not necessary. Remember that this is a modernistic quilt.

The inset at lower left is the same green used elsewhere in the block. The wavy lines bound bands of color. From the corner inward these bands are orange, the background color (black or buff), green and yellow.

If choice of material has been made, as suggested in last week’s article, which appeared with the all-over quilt pattern, you know now whether the flower block is to be black or buff. If you chose black, and that choice is urged, the design must be in applique. Otherwise you might use wax or paint, but neither method is recommended.

This is mentioned in relation to the color bands in the insert. In applique the green band would be the uncovered insert itself.

Invariably, as it was explained i the first article, the spots of color and other modernistic additions to the flower pattern itself are cut from the same material as their corresponding colors in the flower. They must match so the colors will not clash.

The large circle at the upper end of the leaf is orange., connected to the leaf by green stitching. Stitching is always represented by broken lines and on the flower itself, in this instance is yellow.

The circles, which are solid rounds of material, are in order of size from the largest downward, green, half-circle orange, green, tow yellows of the same diameter and red for an added spot of color not otherwise in the block.

color spots and other parts of the design too small to allow turning under of the material (for applique) may be cut almost to size and attached with a button-hole stitch, which could be done with black thread on a black background and in the color of the piece being attached on a buff background.

Trace on white paper the design given above and cut out the tracing for use as a pattern. It would be a good idea to cut out and keep the various blocks and directions as they appear.

Allow up to one-quarter inch on all sides, where possible, for turning the material if you are using applique. Baste the parts under to pattern size and press. Attach them to the block with an invisible slanting hemming stitch. The block itself is cut ten inches square to allow one-half inch for turning on all sides.

Next week’s flower is the water lily.

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