<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Jack in the Pulpit blocks

Jack in the Pulpit

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This venerable family of blocks is named for the flower Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and you may hear any of the blocks below called by that name. Click on a block to see whole-quilt mockups.

Jack in the Pulpit
Jack in the Pulpit

From the Kansas City Star, 1933, this block is drawn up on a 16 by 16-square grid. The Star also published a near-identical block in two colors in 1944.

Mosaic No. 7
Mosaic, No. 7
Mosaic No. 2/Jack in the Pulpit/Toad in the Puddle

Jack in the Pulpit was one name Carrie Hall gave this block in 1935 (the other was Toad in the Puddle). It was first published, so far as we know, in the LAC catalog of 1897 (#335) as Mosaic, No. 7, followed by a Nancy Cabot column in the Chicago Tribune in 1934, in which it was called Mosaic No. 2. It is drawn on an 8x8 grid.

Double Squares
Double Squares
Double Square

This block is as likely to be called Jack in the Pulpit as it is Double Squares. It is the Ladies Art Company block #225 (1897) and is drawn on a 20-square by 20-square grid, according to Jinny Beyer's Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns (2009). The second, singular name is Nancy Cabot's (1934).

Jack in the Pulpit
Jack in the Pulpit
Double Square

This variation of Jack in the Pulpit—the colors are reversed to show the seam lines—is from Clara Stone's 1906 booklet Practical Needlework. Hall published this variation as Double Square in 1935.

The same 12x12 grid was published in several variations of the block, each with different seam locations in the corners of the on-point square—the points that have squares in Stone's variation. Theirnames included The Dewey, Broken Dish, and Toad in the Puddle. To see them all, refer to Beyer's Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns (2009).

Mrs. Cleveland's

Frances Cleveland ca. 1886, the year
she was married.

Wikipedia Commons



Right: We'd like to think that Princess Diana was honoring Frances Cleveland when she chose a wedding dress with a train. Mrs. Cleveland, however, also wore orange blossoms (inset).

Mrs. Cleveland's Choice
County Fair/Square Within Square

We've made this block an honorary member of the Jack-in-the-Pulpit club.

Frances Folsom was the Princess Diana of her day—young, beautiful, and hugely popular. She is one of only three politicians' wives to be honored with a block name, the others being Dolly Madison and Mrs. [William Jennings] Bryan.

Just 21 when she married 48-year-old Grover Cleveland, Frances had known him all her life as a family friend. He had even bought her first baby carriage.

Frances gave birth to two daughters between Cleveland's two terms and to a thirrd during his second term, the only First Lady to have a baby in the White House.

Cleveland was called "His Obstinancy" for vetoing bill after bill during his first term. With children in the White House, his public image softened into that of a doting father of toddler girls. We imagine that tableau was behind his other popular nickname, "Uncle Jumbo."

Historywired.si.edu (Smithsonian Institution)

The center square takes up 1/6 of this 24 x 24-square block, which we've drawn from Finley's 1929 Old Patchwork Quilts. Those particular proportions turned up again in Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column in 1933, as Jinny Beyer tells us in her Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns.

The first publication, however, was in the Ladies Art Company catalog of 1897 (#144), where, Beyer says, it was drawn on an 18 x 18 grid, just as it was in Hall's County Fair block (Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America, 1935) and the Kansas City Star 's Square Within Square block (1933).