Posts Written On November 2013

A Stocking for Cirilia Rose and a Little Crazy Quilt

I’m pretty surprised I’ve never made a stocking out of a vintage quilt before, because it seems like something that would be right up my alley.  When I was thinking about what kind of stocking I wanted to make for Cirilia, who is my son’s girlfriend, I initially thought I might try knitting, since she is a famous knit designer.  I soon realized that was a crazy idea because I am a knitting novice, and do not have the experience to make the type of elaborate patterns I am attracted to.  Then I remembered an online interview where Cirilia mentioned to the interviewer that she loved old, soft quilts, and that cinched it for me.

To make the stocking, I purchased a 1930s era feedsack quilt piece that had a nice jadeite green border. I used 3 colors of red and pink floss to embroider Cirilia’s name on the quilt border, stitched a vintage Vogart rose appliqué on a green square (Rose is her last name), and also embroidered a running stitch inside each of the quilt squares.  To add more strength, there is interfacing sandwiched between the quilt and the reproduction fabric lining.  The bias binding is a vintage scrap from my stash that just matched the green in the quilt.



The background quilt is one I recently posted about, made from a piece of a vintage crazy quilt top sent to me by my friend, Patty.  It is machine quilted in the ditch around the inside and outside of each block border, and then tied with red floss.  The back is a cute floral feedsack.




Best & Co. Children’s Catalog, 1953

Best & Co. was a New York company founded in 1879 by Albert Best, and was initially named the “Liliputian Bazaar.”  This 1953 catalog still references the original name with a funny illustration of a hand holding some very tiny children. I had never heard of Best & Co., probably because all of the stores were located on the east coast.  The dresses for sale in this catalog, however, are very familiar, and I remember wearing similar styles (or at least have seen myself wearing them in old photos), because I was 6 years old in 1953.

The catalog contains fashions for children of all ages — babies, toddlers, girls and boys, “sub-teens,” and teens.  Today I am posting the baby and toddler clothing, which are my favorites.  Click on the thumbnails a couple of times to enlarge.



Laura Wheeler Embroidery Transfer #234 – Puppies

Clicking on the pattern image below will open a full-sized pdf file. Scroll to the bottom of the image, and click on the download button. Open the downloaded file in Acrobat Reader, and select “poster” in the print dialog box. This will allow you to tile print the original pattern size on multiple sheets of letter or legal sized paper, which you can then trim and tape or glue together. The transfers are not reversed, as I assumed you would be tracing them directly onto fabric. If you are going to go over the printout with a transfer pencil, you will need to reverse the image first.

Laura Wheeler Wall Hanging
Pattern #234
Needlecraft Services, 1942
16″ x 20″




1 comment

Laura Wheeler – Sunburst Quilt Pattern #712

This is one of those unusual patterns where the main pattern (the sunburst) appears only when you sew the blocks together. Click a couple of times on the image below to enlarge it to the original size (28″ x 17″).


I love this pattern, and I think the construction is interesting, but it’s pretty tricky to join 16 seams together in a point, and for me it’s even trickier when the point is formed at the intersection of 4 blocks.  Also, I’m not crazy about the edges in this layout, which have the appearance of half blocks. If I were making this quilt, I would stitch the block with the sunburst in the middle, sew the blocks together with a single row of pieced sashing to complete the nine patches, and then, on the outside edges, I would add one more row of sashing like this:


Here is a 1958 newspaper ad for this pattern.  Although the mail order pattern only identifies the quilt as Design 712, the newspaper ad refers to it as a Sunburst Quilt.


UPDATE: Check out this great version of the Sunburst pattern by Chris ( — she calls hers “Scrappy Windmills.”  You can order Chris’s pattern from her Etsy shop Patchwork Fun.


1 comment

Vintage Sunbonnet Sue Pieced Quilt Pattern

A couple of months ago I saw this adorable quilt, which sold on ebay for $550.  I had never seen this pattern before, and was unable to find it in any of my reference books.  It’s probably a published pattern, but I think it would be pretty cool if the quilter designed this herself.  Although the seller said it was a girl holding flowers, to me it looks like a Sunbonnet Sue, and I think those are balloons she’s holding, because they have colorful embroidered strings, as opposed to the flower at the bottom of the block.


At first I thought surely she didn’t make the center section out of little squares, but maybe she did.  I can tell from close-ups of the prints in the individual blocks that the dress and bonnet are individual squares and triangles, but because of the square patterned quilting, it’s hard tell about the white fabric — is it seamed, or am I just looking at quilting stitches?  I would probably be inclined to construct the blocks with individual squares and triangles, but make the sashing solid, and just quilt the square lines.  Here I’ve straightened a photo of one of the original blocks and added lines to show the pattern.


The seller described it as a postage stamp quilt, which measured 89″ x 89″, which would make each square 1.5″ finished.  Of course, you could make the squares 1″, which would make the quilt 59″ x 59″, or you could reduce the size of the outside solid border.  I think this quilt would also look really cute with a scalloped edge.

Anyway, here is a pattern that I drew, based on photos of the original design, although I moved the embroidered flower stem a little bit.