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Arc block information

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Click on a block to see a whole-quilt mockup.


Winding Ways


Peter & Paul
Winding Ways
Rob Peter to Pay Paul/Robbing Peter to Pay Paul/Peter & Paul/Nashville/Ways of the World/Wheel of Mystery/Wheel of Mysterie/Wondrous Ways/Four Leaf Clover/Yours for Luck

This beautiful and very popular block got its name in the usual way—the Ladies Art Company published it (#463, 1922). It was republished under a flurry of names in the 1930s, and then once again in 1959, in the Kansas City Star, as Yours for Luck.

The LAC's graphic, upper left, shows the block's potential as a whole quilt, but in practice, it's made of nine blocks: Each of those blocks is a four-patch, i.e. four squares, with one sail-like piece per quarter square. (Take a look at the Peter & Paul block at left; it's all but identical to the four-patches.) The "Make It!" icon links to a page of diagrams.


Peter & Paul

Wheel of Mystery/Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Grandmother Clark (Peter & Paul and Wheel of Mystery, 1932) and Mrs. Danner (Robbing Peter to Pay Paul, 1954) published the four-leaf-clover block at left, which is Winding Ways writ small—except that there is a tiny gap where the shapes meet in the center.

You can make either the LAC's or the Grandmother Clark block with our diagrams. Just click on the "Make It!" icon above.

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller
The Dusty Miller Quilt

This marriage of a Maltese Cross and a Pineapple block is named, according to Ruth Finley (1929), for the guy who ran the grain mill. She described him thus:

...the miller himself was jolly and fat with a white butcher's apron tied about his middle, a white skull cap caked with flour dust on his head, and flour dust clinging to his squinting brows and eyelashes.

There are two ways to draw up Dusty Miller, Finley's (on an 80-square x 80-square grid) and Hall's (on a star grid). We thank Jinny Beyer (Quilter's Album) for figuring that out. The one at left is on the 80 x 80 grid. We've posted a diagram. Just click on the "Make it!" icon.


Cleopatra's Fan
Cleopatra's Fan

Old Chelsea Station Needlecraft Service of New York never revealed the real name of the artist(s) behind its designs. This one is credited to Laura Wheeler.

This was OCS' #864, according to Brackman's Encyclopedia, and was published in the Cincinnati Enquirer in1934, according to Beyer's Quilter's Album. Beyer says it's based on a 7x7 grid.

Finally, from a graphic posted by Martha Gray, of QisforQuilter.com, we know that the blocks are meant to be on point. Click on the graphic to see what that means.

Friendship Knot
(Finley)


Friendship Knot
(Wheeler)


Friendship Knot
(Hall)
Friendship Knot
Starry Crown

Ruth Finley, who collected quilt-block designs for her 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts, traced this design, from a block she found in a box of 1860s-era "trash" in the basement of an old church. Per Beyer, it's based on a 22x22 grid,

There were also fundraising notes from the church women's group: They earned $2.00 for quilting a quilt 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 yards square. (Quilting is sewing a quilt's back, stuffing, and top together with decorative stitching.)

Finley estimated that such a quilt would have 1,000 yards of fancy stitching, done at 5 yards per hour. The means the ladies earned one penny an hour. In 2013, that would be about 25 cents an hour.

That's still the going rate, it seems. Just check out the selling prices for quilts on eBay.


Friendship Knot (Wheeler)

Laura Wheeler's Friendship Knot came along in 1933; it looks much like a Wedding Ring combined with Ruth Finley's version of the block. The Wheeler version has thicker arc shapes. The pieces within the arcs are are scrap fabrics. The block and the Friendship Knot below are both based on circular grids.


Friendship Knot (Hall)

Carrie Hall's 1935 version, which lacked the pieces within the arcs, was done in the same proportions as Wheeler's.

We've posted diagrams for all three blocks. Click on the "Make It!" icon to see them.

Pointed Ovals
Pointed Ovals
Pointed Ovals
Love's Chain

Pointed Ovals was a latecomer to the Kansas City Star's library of quilt blocks; it was published in 1955 and credited to a reader from Oklahoma. Her example, the Star said, was in orchid, yellow, and white.

Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns cites Nancy Cabot for the name Love's Chain.

Drunkard's Trail

The Kansas City Star came up with this block in 1942. Click on the icon for a whole- quilt mockup. Click on the "Make It!" icon for a diagram

Queen's Pride
Queen's Pride


Queen's Pride
(4-patch)
Queen's Pride

An unknown designer at Old Chelsea Station Needlecraft Service produced this block back in 1934.

It was credited to Laura Wheeler—a pseudonym, as was the name Alice Brooks, whose designs also came from Old Chelsea Station. Almost all of their blocks appeared in the 1930s, when Art Deco reached the height of its popularity, and many of their blocks feature curves—a welcome challenge, no doubt, for experienced quilters.

The block was also done with a larger center square, drawn on a grid of 4 squares by 4. It looked something like the block at lower left.


Chimney Swallows
Chimney Swallows

The half-dozen Chimney Swallows variations are half sisters. They hail from the Ladies Art Company, Ruth Finley, Nancy Cabot, Laura Wheeler, and Carrie Hall, who published two variations in 1935. It probably deserves a family page of its own.

We based the graphic at left on one of Hall's blocks. Click on it to see a whole-quilt mockup.