Saturday, October 22, 2016

1908 Series - Mother Goose Quilt Blocks

1908 Series - Mother Goose Quilt Blocks

Series quilts are most commonly associated with newspapers in the late-teens and pre-WWII newspapers, whereby a block pattern was published each week until the series was completed.  You can see more on series quilts in my blog post at

In this case, 4 pre-printed blocks or perforated patterns could be purchased at a time from the bi-monthly magazine Farm and Home.  This series started on September 15, 1908 and ran until November 15, 1908 with images posted in each issue as to which rhymes were being represented.

I first became aware of these blocks many years ago, and knew they had to be some sort of purchased pattern since I kept seeing the same designs on several quilts – but was unable to determine the source.  Several years later, I was able to purchase an antique quilt made with this pattern. 

Quilt historian Wilene Smith posted an article on Penny Squares back in 2010 and there were some of the blocks – a source had been found.  In her posting she indicates the pattern was published in November of 1909.  Link to her page:

This version of the quilt came a year earlier, by the same publisher - Phelps Publishing of Springfield, MA - in a different magazine.  Below is the key to the images above and the text that accompanied each installment of the Mother Goose quilt blocks.  [Note: F & H used the spelling instalment.]

Image Key:   The clippings are from Farm and Home and photos from the antique quilt in my collection.

Top Row:  1) II – THE MOTHER GOOSE QUILT COMPLETE;  2a) IV – FOURTH INSTALMENT OF MOTHER GOOSE QUILT BLOCKS;  2b) III – THIRD INSTALMENT OF MOTHER GOOSE QUILT BLOCKS;  3a) “Ding dong bell, Pussy’s in the Well”;  3b) “There was a little man and he had a little gun”;  3c) “There was an Old Woman”;  4) Completed Mother Goose quilt


Bottom Row:  1) “Little Red Riding Hood”;  2) “Higelty, Pigelty, My Black Hen”;  3) “Barber, barber, shave a pig”;  4) “Little Bo-Peep”;  5) No 999 – A Pillow of the “Den”

Farm and Home, Western Edition - September 15, 1908 to November 15, 1908

9/15/1908, Page 25 (529)
For Nimble Fingers - A Mother Goose Quilt Block - Easy to make, Pretty and Inexpensive
     Every child will be interested in this new and novel Mother Goose quilt, designed specially for F & H.  The complete quilt will consist of 20 blocks, each one illustrating a different Mother Goose rhyme.  The designs are stamped on individual blocks 10x10 inches and are to be worked in simple outline stitch, after which are to be joined together with a strip and border of any preferred and suitable material, making the finished effect as shown in illustration 2 – that is, four blocks wide and five blocks long.
     The first four blocks are shown in cut No 1, and illustrate the Mother Goose rhymes, “Barber, barber, shave a pig,” “Old Mother Hubbard,” “Jack and Jill,” and “Mary had a little lamb.”  These will be followed in the next F & H by four more, and so on, until the quilt of 20 blocks is finished.  This scheme will allow the needleworker ample time to work the four blocks between the semi-monthly issues of F & H, so that one set may be finished before the next four blocks appear.  The outline work be so very simple, any little girl who is handy with the needle can easily accomplish it.  It makes a good “pick-up” work, and the finished quilt would make an excellent Christmas gift.
     The designs are stamped on a good quality of washable chambray – tan chambray worked with washable turkey red cotton, or delft blue worked with white cotton.  Each block measures 10x10 inches, and the set of four blocks the ½ doz skeins of imported cotton to work, can be had for 25c by addressing the F & H Stamped Pattern Dept.  Be sure to state whether you want the tan and red, or the blue and white combinations.  If you do not care for either of these color schemes, you can but the four perforated paper patterns for 15c, and a cake of transferring pates and distributer for 10c.
     We anticipate a great rush of orders for these beautiful F & H Mother Goose quilt blocks, and therefore if would be unwise to delay sending yours in before the next four designs are published.  Order at once and address to F & H Stamped Pattern Dept. 

10/1/1908, Page 30 (562)
The Mother Goose Quilt - Second Instalment of Four Blocks
     As state in the Sept 15 F & H, we anticipated a rush of orders for the first instalment of Mother Goose quilt blocks, but they came in even greater numbers than we expected, and it was a case of working over time to fill all the orders promptly.  It is certainly very delightful to have one’s pleasant anticipations more than realized, and especially when, as in this case, realization brings with it encouraging assurance that “the right nail has been hit squarely on the head” – or, in other words, that we are giving our appreciative F & H friends just exactly what they want.
     So here is the second instalment of four blocks, illustrating “Little Red Riding Hood,” “A Dillar, a Dollar, a Ten-o’clock Scholar,” “Higelty, Pigelty, My Black Hen,” and “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater.”  As before stated, each block is 10x10 inches, and the set of four blocks can be had, with material to work, for 25c, by addressing the F & H Stamped Pattern Dept.  You can have your choice of the patterns stamped on tan chambray with turkey red (washable) cotton to work, or stamped on delft blue, with white cotton to work.  Be sure to state whether you want set No 1 (see Sept 15 F & H) of set No 2 (see illustrations herewith), and what is your choice of colors.  Always remember this:  We can’t possible know what you want, unless you tell us.  Sign name and full address plainly.
[The first instalment of four blocks was printed in F & H Sept 15.]

10/15/1908, Page 22 (586)
FANCY WORK - A Hallowe’en Pillow
     Here is a “horribly” beautiful pillow top – a good foil to the dainty rose of violet or daisy pillows – and withal fascinating enough to deserve a place for its own sake, and for the sake of variety.  See the grinning and toothless old witch riding a broom, and a black cat, and an owl, and the pumpkin!  Now imagine all this stamped in four colors on tan art cloth, and outlined with silk in colors to correspond.  Finish it with a ribbon ruffling, and you have a “beauty” that would be just the then for a “den.”
     We can let you have this pillow top, stamped in four colors on a tan art cloth, with a green art cloth back, and colored silk to outline the design, for 50c.  If you want a pretty ribbon pillow ruffling to match – 4 ½ yards, with a drawstring for ruffling – you can have if for 45c additional, mailed to your address, all postage paid.  Address F & H Stamped Pattern Dept.
No 999 – A Pillow of the “Den”
     Here we have the third instalment of the Mother Goose quilt blocks.  (The first two instalments of four blocks each appeared in F & H Sept 15 and Oct 1.)  The four here represented are:  “There was a man and he had naught,” “There was a little man and he had a little gun,” “Dr Foster went to Gloucester,” and “Tom, Tom, the Piper’s son.”  The prices are the same as for the previous instalments – 25c for four blocks stamped on chambray (either tan of Delft blue), including cotton to work (red for the tan goods, and white for the blue chambray).  The four perforated paper patterns can be had for 15c, and a cake of transferring paste for 10c.  The complete set of 20 patterns can be had a once by sending $1.25 to the F & H Stamped Pattern Dept.

11/1/1908, Page 23 (635)
     We now have sixteen blocks for the Mother Goose quilt.  Illustrations of the other twelve were printed in instalments of four blocks in F & H Sept 15 and Oct 1 and 15.  The last instalment of four blocks, making twenty in all, will appear in F & H Nov 15.  The four blocks here shown represent the Mother Goose rhymes:  “Ding dong bell, Pussy’s in the Well,” “Three Blind Mice,” “Simple Simon,” and “Little Boy Blue.”  The prices are the same as before, 25c for set of four blocks, stamped on chambray, and cotton to work.  The choice of colors is Delft blue chambray, with white cotton, or tan chambray, with Turkey red cotton.  The set of four perforated paper patterns can be had for 15c and a cake of transferring paste for 10c.  The complete set of 20 blocks can be had at once if desired.  Address F & H Stamped Pattern Dept.

11/15/1908, Page 31 (675)
     Here we have the last four of the Mother Goose quilt blocks, making twenty blocks in all.  The series began in the Sept 15 number of F & H.  The mother Goose rhymes here represented are:  “Old King Cole was a Merry Old Soul,” “There was an Old Woman,” “Little Jack Horner,” and “Little Bo-Peep.”  The prices for these are the same as for previous instalments – 25c for the set of four, stamped on tan or Delft blue chambray, with material to work.   Address orders to F & H Stamped Pattern Dept.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sapolio Advertising Novelties - Crazy Patchwork

Sapolio Advertising Novelties - Crazy Patchwork

In 1885, SAPOLIO soap maker Enoch Morgan’s Sons Company ran some newspaper ads asking What is Sapolio? An answer to this question, and a pattern of crazy patchwork in colors, with hundreds of neat and artistic stitches, will be sent to any address on receipt of a one-cent stamp by WM. DREYDOPPEL, 208 N. Front St., PHILADELPHIA. Sole Agent for Morgan's Sapolio in Philadelphia.

In 1886, Enoch offered advertising novelties sent free on receipt of return postage.  In order to advertise SAPOLIO more widely than ever, we will send any one of the following articles (of course containing our advertisement) on receipt of a two-cent stamp for return postage.  Please write name and address distinctly.

DOMINOS.  A full set of wooden dominos – very neat.

CRAZY PATCHWORK.  A sample sheet of patterns in colors, with nearly 200 stitches of the simplest but most effective character.  Very valuable to ladies interested in making crazy patchwork.

AN EASY TASK.  An illustrated alphabet in book form – 16 pages, neatly executed.  It furnishes an excellent series of studies in outline drawing for the children.

Above are several ads along with an image of the CRAZY PATCHWORK sheet.  The chromo is from the Art Needlework Department of Barr Dry Goods of St. Louis.  Below is the text from that sheet:


     Crazy Patchwork is the joining together, in odd and original designs, of irregular pieces of silk, velvet, satin, plush or ribbon of different colors and patterns, by silk threads of various colors.

     In making crazy patchwork a foundation of muslin is generally used, and different pieces turned under at the edges are placed on this foundation, matching them together (as nearly as possible) in the shapes they happen to be, the beauty being the irregular pattern when finished.  The edges are then sewed together and to the foundation by invisible stitches, then the fancy stitches are placed along and across the lines where the different pieces come together.  These stitches should be of various colors and designs and should form a contrast to the colors on which they are worked, as the beauty of the work when finished depends largely on the ingenuity and variety of stitches used.

     It is advisable in arranging the irregular pieces, not to make too great a contrast in colors, as for instance a very dark piece should not be put next to a very light one, nor should pieces be put together that do not harmonize in color.  A little judgment displayed in this respect will add greatly to the effectiveness of the work when completed.

     In making quilts or other large pieces, the patchwork is first arranged and finished in blocks about ten inches square.  These blocks being afterwards joined together on a suitable foundation, after which the whole is usually enclosed by a wide border of plush, velvet, or satin, which adds greatly to its attractiveness.

     The greatest scope of fancy is allowed in decorating the fancy pieces, and designs of every kind in the range of imagination from a Spider’s Web to an owl, and from a Kate Greenaway figure to a wheelbarrow are often worked into the patches with a needle.

     The beautiful and unique variety of stitches given in our colored plate, and in the review, is a selection of the best after a careful revision of thousands by one of the leading Artists of the Society of Decorative Art.  By taking a part of one stitch and combining it with a part of another stitch the variety can be indefinitely increased.

Image Key:

  • Top Row: New England (same ad used in The Christian Union), Barr’s Chromo, The Century (similar ad used in Peterson’s Magazine)
  • Bottom Row: US Postal, Harper’s Weekly(top), Sunday School Journal (bottom), Good Housekeeping (Frank Leslie and Peterson’s Magazine also used the ‘Moral’ ad)

Ad Sources:
  • The Times from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 16, 1885; Page 4
  • Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, October 16, 1886; Volume 63, Page 144
  • Good Housekeeping, 1886; Volume 3 (ad section)
  • Harper’s Weekly, 1886;  Volume 30, Page 416
  • Peterson’s Magazine 1886; Volume 90, Back Cover Aug 1886 Vol XC No 2, page 186 is the last numbered page  before back cover)
  • Peterson’s Magazine 1886; Volume 90, Inside Front Cover Sep 1886 Vol XC No 3 page 187 is the next numbered page)
  • Sunday School Journal for teachers and Young People, July 1886; Volume XVIII, No. 7, Inside front cover
  • The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, 1886; Volume 31 (Page 988, ad section)
  • The Christian Union, December 3, 1885; Volume 32, Number 23, Page 36
  • The New England Magazine and Bay State Monthly, 1886 (ad section)
  • United States Official Postal Guide, 1886; Ad Page 79

A bit about Sapolio:
  • Sapolio was manufactured by Enoch Morgan's Sons Co., established in 1809.
  • World’s best at advertising between 1884 and 1910 – once on top, decided they didn’t need to advertise anymore – led to their demise as market leader within a couple of years.
  • Enoch started making Sapolio in 1869, used to make candles;  Still in existence today – in Peru.
  • Several companies tried to copy the packaging design/coloring for their products, and were sued.
  • Grocers often substituted cheaper goods for Sapolio to make a better profit.

  • The Barr’s chromo ad is in my collection.  The photo was provided by Michael Buehler of Boston Rare Maps due to the delicate nature of the item.
  • Ad sources – some in my collection, most found in Hathi Trust’s Digital Library.
  • Advertising novelties the Dominos and An Easy Tasks booklet are in my collection.