<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Medium Plain Center Square on Point Block Info

 Medium on-point center square

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Toad in a Puddle

Toad in a Puddle

Another block from the 1897 Ladies Art Company (#150). In the LAC's catalog, only the four triangles in dark pink at left were dark; all the other patches were a single light color.

Toad in the Puddle is an alternate name for the Jack-in-the-Pulpit block, which you can see by clicking on this graphic:

Susannah Patch
Susannah Patch
Mr. Roosevelt's Necktie/Susannah/Oh Susanna/Susannah's Patch

Mr. Roosevelt's Necktie was the original name (Practical Needlework,1906), but the moment the Ladies Art Company published it in 1922 (#485), this block belonged to Susannah.

The LAC's Susannah Patch became Susannah in the Kansas City Star in 1929, Susannah's Patch in 1936 (Nancy Cabot, Chicago Tribune), and Oh Susannah sometime in the 1930s, when Carrie Hall included it in her collection of quilt blocks now in the Spencer Museum of Art.

Ribbon Star
Ribbon Star

Ribbon Star was another Ladies Art Company block from 1897, No. 268. We've presented it exactly as the LAC did in its 1928 catalog.

Read on only if you really, really care about this block.

Yvonne Khin presented it this way too in 1988 (Collector's Dictionary of Quilt Names and Patterns). Brackman and Malone found the same block but with intersecting horizontal and vertical seams through the center. We think seams on the diagonal would be more helpful. Check out the diagram and see if you agree!

Odd Fellow's Cros

Odd Fellow's Cross

Odd Fellow's Cross
The Ozark Trail

Ruth Finley diagrammed this block in her 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts.

In Finley's time, there were many Odd Fellows' clubs in the countryside. The Oddfellows were once rural England's version of trade guilds, which in turn were predecessors of today's unions.

"Fellows" were skilled-labor—tradesmen—and "odd" fellows were those in the countryside, too distant from each other to form a single-specialty guild (blacksmithery, carpentry, etc.). Instead, they formed clubs with other local tradesman of all kinds. The Odd Fellows clubs date back well before the earliest set of bylaws was written in 1748.

We don't know when the Odd Fellow's Cross block got its name, but it was before 1933, when the same block showed up in a Kansas City Star. The Star's contributor named it after "the jagged and rocky outline of trails" in the Ozark mountains.

Odd Fellow's Cross

This Odd Fellow's Cross block is simpler and arrived later than Finley's. Marguerite Ickes included it in her 1949 Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting.

Wyoming Valley Block

We've heard that the chevrons of the Wyoming Valley Block are traditionally red to represent the red-coated British forces.

Wyoming Valley Block

In July 1778, 1,000 British soldiers, Pennsylvania Loyalists, and Indians led by the Iroquis set out to attack the 5,000 American settlers in Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley, where Scranton and Wilkes-Barre now stand.  Entering the valley on July 1, they took control of two forts.  Part of the force then marched to a third fort and demanded its surrender.*

Most of the valley's able-bodied men were away, serving in the Continental Army.  In the third fort, the valley's residents formed a militia of 386 old men, boys, and a few women, who, in a fatal misjudgment, left the fort to battle the invaders.  Only 60 survived. Most of those who weren't killed in the 45-minute battle died after they were tortured that night.

That battle, however, was not the massacre.

After the British offered generous terms of surrender, other settlers went home the next day. The British did not remain to enforce the peace. That night, Iroquis warriors attacked the settlements, burning buildings and killing as many settlers as they could. A few escaped eastward—primarily mothers with their children—where many starved or died of exposure in a vast swampland afterward called "Shades of Death."

An 1809 poem called "Gertrude of the Wyoming" preserved memories of the massacre.  Thanks to a congressman's fondness for that poem, a new state in the Rocky Mountains was named Wyoming in 1890.

Even so, the block was first published only in 1936. It is credited to Nancy Cabot of the Chicago Tribune. Our sources for the block are Brackman's Encyclopedia and Beyer's Quilter's Album.

*Frontier communities often built small forts that they could reach in a hurry if necessary.

Swing in the Center (LAC)

Swing in the Center (Finley)

Swing in the Center (Wheeler)

Swing in the Center
Mrs. Roosevelt's Favorite/Swinging in the Center/Roman Pavement

As is so often the case, Swing in the Center was published first in the Ladies Art Company catalog in 1897. Mrs. Roosevelt's Favorite was Clara Stone's name for it in her 1906 Practical Needlework; the other two names were from Nancy Cabot's column in the Chicago Tribune in 1934 and 1938 respectively.

Swing in the Center
Eight Hands Around/Ladies' Wreath

Ruth Finley's variation of Swing in the Center used a different confiburation for the points: They are two-piece chevrons rather than three triangles, as in the LAC version. On the other hand, her variation used triangles for the corners instead of the LAC's spear point. In any case, the variation in Finley's 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts: And the Women Who Made Them was picked up by Jane Alan (Illinois State Register, ca. 1932) and Nancy Page (Birmingham News, 1943).

We owe the secondary names to Jinny Beyer's Quilter's Album (2009).

Swing in the Center

No copier she, Laura Wheeler, the mysterious designer who drove the Old Chelsea Needlework Company's success, used rectangles instead of squares to create a pronounced X shape from corner to corner. It makes a remarkable difference in the finished quilt. Click on a block to see.

We're not sure how she arranged the colors. We built the color scheme around the light-colored chevrons so that the seams would be visible.