Posts Written On February 2014

Nancy Page Summer Garlands Quilt, 1936

Today I have another Nancy Page pattern from the 1930s, but this time it’s an appliquéd quilt. In the article Nancy explained to her Quilt Club pals that the quilt was designed as a summer spread for a twin bed, so her version would not be quilted. The club members thought Summer Garlands was reminiscent of Nancy’s earlier French Bouquet quilt. I agree, but when I look at this pattern, I keep seeing possibilities for quilt borders.

The individual festoons measure 8″ x 36″, and each was published in a series of square sections. Festoon #1 has 6 sections, but only 4 patterns (A/F and B/E are condensed into two patterns). If you continue clicking on the images until they reach their maximum resolution, you should be able to print the patterns at their original size (8″ square), and hopefully be able to read the text as well.

I plan post one pattern each week for the next 16 weeks, similar to the original publication schedule. Check back on Thursdays for the latest Summer Garlands pattern.

UPDATE:  Links to all the patterns are located on the last post in this series.



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Nancy Page Tyrolean Table Cover, 1937 – Figure 3

Here is the twin of the peasant girl in Figure 1 —  this twin has braids and a different dress.  I enjoy reading these old instructions because they are written in a very quaint style — lots of adjectives and arcane expressions.  “Nancy” tells you how to use a “modified fly stitch” for the scallops (not that easy without illustrations), and she refers to the girl’s “collar or fichu.”  I’d never heard of a fichu, but there it was on Wikipedia:

fichu is a large, square kerchief worn by women to fill in the low neckline of a bodice. It originated in the United Kingdom in the 18th century and remained popular there and in France through the 19th with many variations, as well as in the United States. The fichu was generally of linen fabric and was folded diagonally into a triangle and tied, pinned, or tucked into the bodice in front.

and that’s precisely what she’s wearing.  I love Wikipedia.  Tomorrow the peasant man “who beams a merry smile.”


links to other posts in this series:
Introduction, Figure 1 (girl), Figure 2 (boy), and Figure 4 (boy)


Nancy Page Tyrolean Table Cover, 1937 – Figure 1

This is the first of four figures on this small tablecloth.  The two girls and the two boys look like two sets of twins — their outfits, however, have different decorations, and look like fun to stitch.  Although the instructions below mention that the “jaunty Tyrolean peasant man” will be published next week, you’re going to get to see him tomorrow. To read text, click to enlarge.


links to other posts in this series:
Introduction, Figure 2 (boy), Figure 3 (girl), and Figure 4 (boy)

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Nancy Page Tyrolean Table Cover, 1937

Today I am going to share with you one of the more obscure Nancy Page designs. These patterns were published weekly in many newspapers in the US and Canada, and each paper had a particular day that they appeared. This design is meant for a card table and is cut from a piece of linen one yard square. I don’t think people use card tables quite as much as they used to, but I like this small size to use as an overlay on a larger cloth. Of course, these designs could be stitched on other items as well.

The fictitious Nancy decided to use “a rather heavy crash kind of linen.”  I’d never heard of this, so I looked it up in the Encyclopedia Britannica:

crash,  any of several rugged fabrics made from yarns that are irregular, firm, strong, and smooth but sometimes raw and unprocessed. Included are gray, bleached, boiled, plain, twill, and fancy-weave crash.

Because these newspaper images are generally poor quality, requiring lots of digital cleanup, I am also going to post them in a series, but daily instead of weekly. Text will be readable if you click to enlarge.


links to other posts in this series:
Figure 1 (girl), Figure 2 (boy), Figure 3 (girl), and Figure 4 (boy)


Mourning Lucy Quilt Top

This afternoon I finished the quilt top in memory of our dog, Lucy. For me, making a special quilt for occasions like this is sort of therapeutic. Four years ago I made a little mourning quilt for my cat, Jack, and after Lucy’s top is quilted, I’m going to hang it next to Jack’s in my sewing room.

The top is made entirely of pieces cut from antique quilt tops, blocks and scraps. I enjoyed adding the pink pieces to this quilt in memory of our sweet girl dog — Jack’s quilt was made with some of the same mourning prints, but his quilt is more somber. Right now the top is 19″ x 23″, but I may trim the outside border a bit. Now I just need to figure out a quilting design.




Lucy’s Mourning Quilt in Progress

Making a little quilt in memory of my recently deceased pets really helps me in the grieving process. Because this is a mourning quilt, there are going to be several black prints from the 19th century, but I also wanted to include some antique pink pieces for Lucy, my sweet girl dog.

On my cutting table, I am staging the black, pink and shirting quilt blocks and pieces being considered for this little quilt.  It’s all kind of a mess now, but it’s the way I like to work.



A Sad Day

She was a shepherd/lab mutt puppy from the Humane Society — our first and only dog. I was really hoping she would make it to her 17th birthday, and she almost did. Lucy was such a sweet dog, and we will miss her. It’s time to make another mourning quilt.

Lucy Gray
4/1/1997 – 2/6/2014


Strippy Four-Patch Quilt with Antique Fabric

I am so happy to be hand quilting again. This top was finished in 2010, and was made to replace the fleece we’ve been using in our family room (we keep the temperature in our house on the cool side). The poor top has been sitting in the quilting queue for the longest time, and now it’s finally done. That makes two smallish tops quilted in the past two months, with no pain.

The blocks in this top (and one other) were made with squares from an antique one-patch top that I completely disassembled. For the setting triangles I used antique, vintage and reproduction shirtings; the alternate strip is also a reproduction fabric. Because the quilt is basically a utility quilt, I decided to give it a simple all-over quilting pattern. I think the clamshell design worked well with the four-patches and the plain strip.

Strippy Four-Patch Quilt
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2014
machine pieced, hand quilted
56″ x 56″