Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt – Border design

Nancy Page quilt club – Border Design

As I was clicking the publish button on my last update post, I realized that that I had never shared the “Border Design” for Nancy Page quilt club, as published in the newspaper.  This was partly because I had not found it in the Edmonton Journal that I was originally getting the series from.

For some reason I was thinking that there was supposed to be a quilting design on the blank white blocks, between the flower basket blocks (I figured out later that it must have been the Oregonian Modernistic quilt that I was thinking about).  Setting off on a targeted search for this last elusive installment, I found it in the Star Tribune – Minneapolis, dated March 31, 1929. That means they published their series close, if not at the same time, as the Edmonton Journal. Without further adieu, let me share what I found.

Border quilting design

Editor’s Note: The border design published herewith completes the Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt series which as been a feature of the Nancy Page quilt club for the past several weeks. Beginning next Saturday (Sunday) Nancy Page will present the first of a series of six patterns, on how to make a NOAH’S ARC WALL HANGING. We anticipate that you will enjoy making this beautiful wall hanging.

At least the basket blocks were all pieced, 16 flowers and a rose i each corner basket block, making 20 baskets in all. They were pieced to white blocks and the half blocks of white were pieced on edges to give the quilt a straight edge.

Next came the border. Since Nancy was making her quilt 90 inches square she made a border that measured 10 inches in all. First came a straight strip of white pieced to quilt on all four sides. This strip was 7-3/4 inches wide and 85-1/2 inches long.

Then came the pieced strip, 2-1/4 inches wide. this was made up of alternate triangles of buff and white. They were cut exactly same size as those used in basket itself. Doris made her pieced strip of alternate white and any colors used in quilt. Virginia used white and green.

Nancy found the exact center of sides, top and bottom and put a 2-1/4 inch square of buff there. Then she pieced the buff and white triangles alternately. The short side was at t he edge of strip, the 2-1/4 inch length being placed bias fashion in strip. In placing these she slanted the buff in opposite directions starting from square. Martha used no square but pieced hers by having them all go in same direction. Her method was easier but it did not give a uniform appearance to four corners. The small drawings in corner show the way the pieced strips looked.

Some members of the club were making their quilts wider than 90 inches, so they pieced an additional strip of white on the 2-1/4 inch strip. For a quilt 110 inches wide, piece on a strip 10 inches wide on the 2-1/4 inch strip. Now they were ready for the quilting. Virginia had a quilting frame among her heirlooms, so the club met with her.

First the side bars of the frame were wound tightly with cotton strips. The quilt lining was sewed with edge attached to the side bards. Then the cotton interlining was laid on carefully and caught here and there. Now came the top. It was basted on with great care. Then the ends were stretched. since the care with which this work is done makes or mars the quilt you may be sure the members did it carefully and slowly.

At last they were ready for the quilting. Part of the quilt was rolled up on frame, leaving only enough stretched before them so tat they could work easily.

They used the twisted rope pattern for the seven and three-quarter-inch strip. Those members making the 110 inch quilt repeated the pattern on the additional border which they pieced on the two and one-quarter-inch strip.

The white blocks were quilted in basket pattern with a flower in an adjacent block quilted in the basket.

The basket blocks themselves were quilted by using two closely-placed rows of stitching to outline flowers and pieces. Quilting in flowers themselves was used to suggest petals.

Flor quilting they used no. 70 white cotton thread.

To get rope pattern, paste pattern as given today on tag board. Dry under pressure. Then cut out one strip marked by letters a, b, a’, b’. Using a hard lead pencil to follow the outlines of this when laid on cloth. Repeat as shown here. the same piece will do for all four sections of quilting. Just lay on quilt as shown here. Let one double strand come on top for next twist.

When quilt is all quilted remove from frame and bind edges with white or color. make binding of bias material cut three-quarter-inch white.

And have you ever seen a more beautiful quilt? The Nancy page club members know they never have.

Next Week – Beginning “Noah’s Ark Wall Hanging.”

Star Tribune – Minneapolis Sunday Tribune – March 31, 1929

Gosh, preparing the quilt on the frame seems like a lot of work! Now imagine how long it must take to do all of the quilts for the whole quilt club! How many people are in this club anyways? Just a moment, let me check…

Wow! This is interesting. Let me share what I discovered when I went back and read the copy.

Going back to the first blog post in this series the November 15, 1928, page 20 copy states what had inspired the quilt club to make a quilt in the first place. It mentioned that they would meet once a week to “complete one block of this lovely quilt”. At this point it sounds as if they will all be making one quilt as a group.

A little further down in the post we read that they want to decide the number of blocks to do.  They mention there is 18 members, measure the bed, decided that 20 blocks would be needed.  They discussed calling in 2 new members before Nancy asks if there could be a rose in each corner like there was in her grandmother’s flower garden. So 18 then.  Who are these ladies?  Well, we know there is Nancy, it is her quilt club after all.

With the first flower, the crocus, we meet Cynthia and Marjorie.

The second flower, the fuchsia, was Alice’s block. At this point we are still making only one quilt for the whole club. But there is an interesting couple of sentences that make me think they are going to make more than one quilt:

“Some of the members wanted to buttonhole the pieces, others wanted to use blanket stitch. Nancy said either one could be used but since they were going to quilt the pattern following the outlines it seemed best to use hemming stitch”

The next week gave us the rose blocks, remember there were going to be 4 of them for the 4 corners of the quilt. None of the ladies’ names were mentioned.

Jeannie’s block was the Harebell. The paper stated:

“The first thing the members did was to take the drawing as given in today’s paper, paste it on light weight cardboard or tag board. The sheet was dried under weight. Then the patterns of the various parts were cut out.”

To me, that sounds like each lady is making all the pattern pieces.  I suppose it could also mean that each lady is only tracing/making a piece of the pattern.

A little later it is mentioned that:

“Dorothy sewed hers on without a preliminary turning in of edge. She basted them in place and then sewed them with invisible slanting stitches, turning in as she sewed. The less experienced members preferred the first method.”

Does this mean that Dorothy and the other members of the club are making their own blocks? Or does this mean that each lady is sewing her own part of the flower down?

When we get to the Poppy block, we see the ladies discussing what color their poppies were going to be:

“One member said her poppy was going to be pink, in almost all piece bags they found bits of fast color gingham left from summer dresses and since soft orange had been a popular color nearly everyone found pieces large enough for her poppy block.” 

This seems to me to be an obvious reference that each lady is making her own blocks for her own quilt.

By the time that we get to the pansy flower block, the ladies are going hog-wild in their color choice selections For Their Own Blocks! As evidenced by:

 “One member wanted to make it because she had some fast color print in lavender. Another had some yellow and black print she wanted to use. Dorothea chose bits of left over purple from the fuchsia block and scraps of figured yellow from the crocus. And one artistic soul made a success of a combination of figured soft blue and lavenders. In fact, the choice seemed to be limited only by the dominant note of color In the room in which the finished quilt would be put or by the scraps on hand.”

Dorothea is mentioned by name, but I’m not sure if this is a new member name or the full name of the aforementioned Dorothy. 

The Trillium block gives us a new surprise!  The ladies are making their quilts for an upcoming bazaar: 

“They were enthusiastic about their basket quilt, and already had more orders than they could fill comfortably for the coming bazaar.”

How did I miss this little piece of information? Did anyone else see this before?  So, now we know that they are all making a full quilt, to be sold at an upcoming bazaar.  One mystery solved. Due to their vastly different color choices, Nona and Mary were both mentioned by name for the Trillium block.

The Tiger Lily block finds us in Cornelia’s work room. 

The Japanese Balloon Flower week is at Edna’s home.

The 11th flower is The Shooting Star and was assigned to Sally.

The Jonquil was Julia’s flower.

Dorothy, that has already been mentioned earlier (unless there are 2 or 3), had the Morning Glory.

The Forget-Me-Not was Esther’s block. As an aside, this flower is one of my favorites. I also really liked the legend of this flower.

In the block that I had originally skipped over, the Bleeding Heart (block #8, if you must know), we meet Vera.

To recap we have:

  1. Nancy
  2. Cynthia
  3. Marjorie
  4. Jeannie
  5. Dorothy
  6. Dorothea
  7. Mary
  8. Josephine
  9. Cornelia
  10. Edna
  11. Sally
  12. Julia
  13. Esther
  14. Belle
  15. Vera

Of the 18 members of Nancy’s quilt club, only 15 are mentioned by name.  I wonder if going forward into future projects the members remain the same? If so, we could learn the 3 additional names that were left out this time.  Maybe I’m just nerding out and they don’t remain consistent.  Living in the future, as we do, it is much easier to just click back to the last one to check details than it was then to look everything up in hard copy.  😉