History · quilting · sewing

Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt

Nancy Page was the pseudonym used by Florence La Genke Harris on her daily household columns in some newspapers starting in 1927. She was one of several different serialized quilt block designers. I personally really like how hers were presented in a “quilt club” format, as if we were all invited to a social event in her home.

Using Newspapers.com, the earliest published mention of “Nancy Page Quilt Club” that I could find was in The Edmonton Journal (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). On Friday – November 2, 1928 they announced that they were going to being running this series starting on November 17th, 1928, page 15.

Nancy page quilt club 11/2/1928 -

They must have really wanted to generate excitement around this because on Thursday – November 15, 1928, page 20 they printed:

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And again on Friday – November 16, 1928:

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When the big day arrived, Saturday – November 17, 1929, this was printed on page 8:

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Not actually a quilt block pattern or even a list of materials needed, but the beginning of the back story of the club itself. The following Saturday – November 24, 1928, was better. On page 39, the quilt dimensions and supplies needed were printed. There were even instructions on how to make the templates for cutting out the shapes.

“The quilt has 20 pieced basket and flower blocks, 20 square white and 20 triangular white blocks finishing square centre to which border is attached. Use white Peter Pan gingham for back and for white part of top of quilt. For quilt 90×90 inches, buy 15 yards of 36-inch white material. This allows a little over, but white is always usable. For quilt 72-90 inches get 10 yards.”

“The colors are also appliqued on white. For the basket Nancy suggested buff, although green could be used. Get 1 ½ yards colored material for basket. Flowers and leaves use small pieces of various fast colored materials.”

“Paste today’s pattern on light weight card or tag board… Let it dry under pressure, then cut patterns on outline. Keep small inset of basket to show way to put material together. Pieces 1, 2, and 3 are full size with ¼ inch seam allowance made. Each basket requires one piece No. 3, two No. 2, and 11 No. 1 in color and nine No. 1 in white. Also, one piece No. 4, which is shown half size, and must be doubled as shown. No. 5 is half size of handle. Make cardboard pattern twice size indicated. Tear straight piece material 8 inches white. A 7-inch length will cut one handle. No. 4 represents ¼ size of large white blocks, and half size triangular blocks. Cut 20 full squared and 40 half ones, 20 of these being for basket blocks. To cut squares and triangles, proceed as follows: measure 10 ½ inches on straight edge of goods. Cut strip. If strip is to be torn, allow 5 thread more than 10 ½ inches. Cut, getting large square. Fold and cut this on diagonal, getting triangle. To get small triangles for basket, measure strip 2 ¼ inches. Tear or cut. Measure down on strip 2 ¼ inches. Proceed as above.

Rules for appliqueing handle, and pattern for flower block given next week.”

It would be fun to make these blocks, one a week, like our sisters from the past. To this end I have purchased the white and buff fabrics.

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