Welcome to the 11th block in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew-along, Addie.
Introducing the Patchwork TrioPatchwork blocks that can be drawn on an even grid, such as graph paper, are generally very From Marti Michell template-friendly. The most common shapes drawn on a grid are a square, half-square triangle and quarter square triangle. In our book, More Bang for the Buck!, we call these three shapes “the Patchwork Trio” because they are also the only shapes used in many blocks -- so many blocks!
Even though Set A has only seven acrylic pieces, it actually includes three sizes of the Patchwork Trio.
Square A-1 plus triangles A-2 and A-3 make up the “big Trio” pieces commonly used in 12 inch blocks.
Square A-5 plus triangles 6 and 7 make up the "littlest Trio" commonly used in 6 inch blocks.
What about square A-3? This size square is part of the set because it is the size square needed to make 3-inch finished size Square Within a Square blocks -- but when you combine square A-3 with triangles A-4 and A-6, you have the third combination of the Patchwork Trio.
So far in our sew-along, all of the blocks except Becky and Granny were designed on a 4 x 4 grid, and the smallest Patchwork Trio in Set A includes the pieces most frequently used in those blocks.
My Addie BlockFront and back. Click on the photo to see a larger image.
for Block #1, Addie
Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Addie block:
A Little Quilt HistoryMany traditional blocks are known by several names. I was curious to see if Addie had an "alias" so I spent a few minutes looking through a few of my favorite books that help identify quilt designs, like "the Brackman book." In 1973, quilt historian Barbara Brackman began indexing quilt patterns. She self-published a set of paperbacks that soon became the go-to identification books for a generation of quilters, and in 1993 these catalogs of over 4,000 designs were reprinted in one hefty volume by the American Quilters Society.
You might enjoy learning that, according to Brackman, Aunt Addie's Album was published in the periodical "Hearth & Home" published from 1885 into the 1930s by Vickery & Hill Co. in Augusta, Maine. Addie could be over 100 years old -- and she's still looking good!
We Heard You Want More Blocks!Some of the quilters in the Facebook group for the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew-along have mentioned that they want more than two blocks a week, so we are going to offer a Mystery Sampler Quilt with 8-1/2 inch square blocks just for quilters who are using our conversion charts. I picked 8-1/2 inch blocks because we can make many 8-1/2 inch blocks with Set A, as well as other template sets that you'll be using to make the Farmer's Wife blocks.
Here are the first four template keys for 8-1/2 inch blocks. (Click on the diagram to see a larger version.) All of the pieces for Addie, except the center square, can be cut for both an 8-1/2 inch and a 12-inch block using Template Set A.
As time goes on we will add a few more 8-1/2 inch block conversions, but we encourage you to also do them on your own. Pick a different fabric style for an entirely different look, or use the same fabric selection for another quilt for the same room. We will give you both a wall hanging layout and a bed size as we get to the end of the sew-along.
A Little More Quilt HistoryWhile I was looking at the Brackman [book], I learned that Old Maid is also known by six other names in publications dating from the late 1800s through the 1930s, including the name I've always known it as, Double Z.
Jenny is similar to Spinning Jenny, a block designed by Jeffrey Gutcheon for the book he co-wrote with Beth Gutcheon in 1973, Patchwork Design Workbook (Alchemy Press, 1976). It was a follow-up to their 1973 book The Perfect Patchwork Primer). The design and the shapes are the same as Jenny's; the proportions are different. Beth and Jeff Gutcheon were trailblazers for "the current quilting revival" that began in the early '70s. There were very few books about quilting in the early '70s and most of them were old! Another of my "go to" block identification books is Jinny Beyer's Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns (Breckling Press, 2009). In that book, I could see that Jenny has roots in Nancy Cabot's Spinning Jenny of the 1930s.
There was no Caroline in the Brackman -- but since I'd found 3 of the 4 blocks I picked for our Mystery Sampler Quilt, I was determined to try and find her! Back to Jinny Beyer's Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns (Breckling Press, 2009) where she shows a block called Caroline's Choice. It has 2 Pinwheel units like Caroline, but large squares replace the Hourglass units. Caroline's Choice is also credited with 6 different names and publication dates, including a 1901 "Progressive Farmer" periodical and Nancy Cabot's regular Chicago Tribune column in 1936.
If you're intrigued by this little trip down quilt history lane, you might enjoy searching for the books I mentioned -- we get lost in them whenever we open them! They are so fun to explore.
The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99. Click here to purchase.