Sunday, March 8, 2020

102 Hexagons - Vintage Quilt Top

Vintage Quilt Top - 102 Hexagons, with Feedsack Half-Hexes, with Pink Setting Triangles

50 Solid Pink Hexagon Centers (Same color as setting triangles) and 52 Embroidered Motif Hexagon Centers (26 pairs, mirror images).  The outline embroidery is done in pink over a stamped blue-colored pattern.  There are mostly animals, with a Dutch boy and girl in the mix.  The quilt top measures 78-inches by 88-inches, and was purchased at an estate sale. 
In researching the pattern, the only reference to the design was from Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, 241.9 Wagon Wheel, with a 1965 source of Aunt Kate’s Quilting Bee.  Aunt Kate’s was an early quilt periodical published by Glenna Boyd.  In it, she would often re-publish existing quilt patterns from older design sources.  Unfortunately she did not always indicate where they came from originally, so I suspect there is a source out there somewhere waiting to be found.
In searching around, several other quilts were with the same embroidery motifs, also using feedsack materials.  There are several documented in the Quilt Index that used the pattern and embroidery motifs, and those date into the late 1920s into the 1940s.  See the summary below.

The exact pattern for the embroidery motifs has not been found.  Dutch themed motifs were popular for much of the early 20th century, as were animals for nursery designs.  Newspapers frequently had ads for crib quilts featuring various friendly animal figures.  Hot iron transfer companies Walker’s, Butterick, Robin Transfers, Standard Fashion, Briggs, etc. all offered transfer sheets of animal motifs.  Virginia Snow even offered pre-printed Kindergarten Blocks stamped with animals on fine quality cloth, ready to be embroidered.
Walker’s is the best guess as the likely source of the design motifs, they offered two slightly different sheets of animal motifs – each in a set of 26 different animals.  If they were mirror imaged, we have 52 – just like on the quilt top. 
Some very similar designs were found on Flickr, that were on the quilt top – looks very promising, but not fully documented by the poster as to the actual company that made the patterns – so the search continues.  I will keep you posted if the source is ever found.
 Here is the layout and motif mapping of the quilt top.
Other quilts with the same pattern and embroidered motifs:
1)  Wagon Wheel Embroidered Quilt - Pennsylvania Piecemaker – also made up with feed sack-like fabrics, has a more of a late 1940s-1950s feel to it.
Jan 6, 2018 - In July of this past year, I purchased this wagon wheel quilt at a local flea market….
2) Quilt Index Record: 68-104-5AD  – Wagon Wheel – Baby Quilt
Indiana, Hexagon blocks set together with pink triangles
3) Quilt Index Record: 1B-3A-7DA – Wagon Wheel (baby quilt); Louisiana
4) Quilt Index Record: 1E-3D-1E98 – Children’s Zoo; Michigan; Embroidered animals in the center of each hexagon.
Same pattern without embroidery:
A) Quilt Index Record: 67-EC-1397 – My First Quilt; Arizona; Wagon Wheel Scrappy
B) Quilt Index Record: 50-8A-6B – Wagon Wheel; West Virginia
Same Pattern, different embroidery motifs:
1) Quilt Index Record: 1E-3D-892 – Embroidered Animals in Wagon Wheels; Michigan