Thursday, September 30, 2021

Apple-A-Day Quilt

 My husband and I have been eating local apples this week.  There is something so perfect about apples in the fall.  The fruit is as crisp as the cool weather but not too sweet.

I always seem to post this quilt this time of year and guess what, here it is again!

The quilt is called an "An Apple-A-Day" or sometimes just the "Apple Quilt."  Here is a an ad for the pattern published in October of 1942.

For people who preferred strawberries, there was a strawberry ensemble published as well:

Apparently the strawberry quilt was more popular.  I always seem to find more photos of that quilt on pinterest and online auctions.  Maybe the apple quilt wasn't made as much.  Maybe it didn't survive as much.  But strawberry versions seemed to have fared better:

Of course maybe folks just like to finish their apples!
This apple core quilt top is hand pieced and circa 1935:

This is fabric below is unusual because it has an optical illusion quality to it:

The green version:

Well my husband and I have a lot to do this morning.  We are off to the farmer's market...and yup, we're buying more apples!

Tomorrow is Flower Friday and if you wish to share a photo, email me at

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Story Time Stitches: Pelagie Doane


I bought this quilt many years ago.  I loved the colors, loved the flowers, and best of all, it was appliqued.  I assumed the little ones pictured were garden fairies.

One of the great resources I use is Rose Marie Werner's Kit Quilt ID website.  I pay a subscription price each year and trust me, I get my money's worth out of it.  I'm not sure when Rose Marie first started the website, but I signed up as soon as she offered it.

Rose Marie's website helped me learn more about this piece.  I explored her crib quilt section and found the title of my quilt: Angel Child.  Suddenly the light went on: I had the book in my collection and now the fairy angel hiding in the flowers made perfect sense.

Angel Child was published in 1946.  Val Teal wrote the book and the illustrations were by Pelagie Doane.  The story is about a baby angel who falls to ground and is discovered by two children.  The children care for the Angel Child and even play outdoor games with him in the garden.

The hide-and-seek game is what is depicted on the quilt:

According to Rose Marie's website, the quilt kit was offered in a Herrshner's catalog in 1951-52.  The timing made sense.  Angel Child did have a good run and was republished a number of time.  It also fit in with the post-war time period when families expanded.

At the end of the story, the children help the angel return home but a few months later, a new baby brother is born to the boy's family and it looks exactly like the angel child.

Pelagie Doane was a well known illustrator of children's books from the 1930s to the 1960s:
Pelagie Doane Hoffner (1906-1966)

Although she illustrated classic books like Mother Goose, many of Pelagie's children's picture books were religious in nature:

Her chapter books were an interesting departure and often she did illustrations for the Judy Bolton Mysteries,

Also a number of the Melody Lane series:

One thing is for certain:  Pelagie had a successful career.  A 1950 article on her cited that she had already illustrated over 70 books!

With the exception of Angel Child, I never had read any of her books or studied her illustrations.  Do any of these books seem familiar to you?

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tuesday's This and That!

 Many thanks to Nann who emailed me a link to this story about a Pennsylvania quilt that is back where it was originally made.  This is a rarity in the quilt world although it does happen from time-to-time.  This particular quilt is STUNNING and has the most interesting drawings on it as well!

You can find the story here.


Many thanks for all your comments lately.  Yesterday's post was a lot of fun and I loved reading about your rituals.  However, I must admit that I'm a bit jealous of Wendy.  Her Saturday morning ritual includes her husband making bacon for them!  Sue's breakfast made by her husband really got me hungry.  They share the prep but her husband makes her pancakes topped with pecans and fruit!  Yum!


Many of you expressed a love of aqua in the quilt I wrote about yesterday.  I love aqua too.  That's why I had to buy this top which is simple enough but I just loved the colors.  The green is almost an aqua and it has a few aqua blocks that I adore:

I'm logging off now, thunderstorms are approaching and I need to turn the computer off!

Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, September 27, 2021

Candy Colored Log Cabin

 My husband and I are early to bed, early to rise.  Like many married couples, we have our rituals that are meaningless to anyone else but important to us.  We don't speak much before we've had our second cup of coffee but we always ALWAYS say "good morning" to each other as we silently do our caffeinating.

As the second pot of coffee brews, one of us gets the newspaper which is usually delivered by that time.

 This morning I went out for the newspaper at 6:20.   I was a bit taken aback at how dark it was for that time.  Now I'm realizing that there is a thick cloud cover out there which made the world appear darker and the day shorter.  

What kind of rituals are part of your morning?  My Nana and Pop had an interesting one.  Nana was a big dreamer...literally, while sleeping she would have big technicolor dreams.  Each morning while the couple shared their morning coffee, Pop would ask, "Well Betty, what did you dream last night?"  It seemed like her sleep patterns were way more fun than anyone else's...

I tend to think of a quilt when I first wake up.  One that I've made, am making, or one that I've collected.  Perhaps as a prelude to this morning's dark dawn, I awoke thinking of what I call, "The Candy Colored Log Cabin." Here are two (not so great) photos of it that I had in my file.

The log cabin quilt is from the 1940s.  
I think of it as a jumble of joyfulness and love the aqua center pieces.

I hope this quilt puts a smile on your face as the season changes.

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Flower Friday: September 24, 2021

Margaret Evans Price illustration

Happy Flower Friday!

Today we have a submission from Jessalyn in Texas!

Jessalyn wrote: "The attached photo is of my Sweet Autumn Clematis. This plant descends from the one my Southern Grandma May had. We have planted a cutting wherever we have moved over the years. I call her Miss Clemmie and she's happy to be blooming in North Texas."

Lorraine sent this wonderful photo from her trip to Massachusetts:
Autumn crocus adorning a wall. I love it! 

Perennial begonia:

And a corydalis that self sewed in a tree stump!

Back in my garden, the caryopteris is blooming!

I love this bush because the leaves smell like lavender.  
The bees and the butterflies adore this plant.

I was sitting outside one morning and this hummingbird was collecting all it could in my garden.  I usually can't post videos on the blog but this one is so short blogger is allowing it:

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2021

American Thread Company

 On Tuesday, I wrote about Indian Head Cloth and at the end I told you I was intrigued by the advertisement at the bottom:

 "Use Star Brand Thread on Sanforized Indian Head Cotton by Nashua."

I was intrigued by this at the time because of this wee little piece:

This is a small piece, perhaps made as a doll quilt for a very small doll.  I've always like the Charlie Chaplin tramp style foot prints quilted in the corner.  The piece is only 8 inches square.

I actually have an original panel that the embroidered block came from:

The blocks are the same size as the Indian Head panel and like the Indian Head piece, it encourages the maker to use Star Brand Thread...and this makes sense because Star Brand Thread was a division of American Thread Company.

I'm not sure why Indian Head advertised Star Brand Thread, perhaps they were paid to do so.  It just seems like both companies were selling similar patterns but there's no date on either piece.  I suspect the tinted one (American Thread Co) might be older.

What I do know about the American Thread Company is from the wide range of threads they carried.  Embroidery was a smaller part of the enterprise, they sold a lot of crochet and knitting threads/yarns and patterns. 

The company also marketed embroidery transfers:

For quilters, one of the most popular embroidery patterns was this one that featured life on a farm.  I think most of these motifs can be found on pinterest:

American Thread Company had an interesting history.  It was actually begun in 1898 by "The English Sewing Company" a company that purchased 13 different thread companies in the United States.  The amalgamation result:  The American Thread Company.  I've read that this combination made The American Thread Company the largest thread company in the world.  

Eventually,  an Anti-Trust suit was placed against The American Thread Company and The English Sewing Company (which included J& P Coates Company):
It was a bit of a scandal for J & P Coates who admitted they owned 70,000 shares in the English Sewing Company.  The United States government won that suit and the American Thread Company continued apart from J & P Coates.

Most of what I know about this company I've read on the internet.  Here and here are some good websites if you are interested.  Like many American manufacturers, the factories were moved to the southern part of the United States in the 1980s (as was other industries like our Valley's Bethlehem Steel and Mack Trucks), before relocating the factories overseas.

That may seem like the end of the story but there is a weird ironic twist.  In 1987, a North Carolina newspaper reported that the American Thread Company, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina was "a wholly owned subsidiary of the TOOTAL Group Inc of Manchester England" and "one of the largest manufacturers of industrial thread in the world."  

Who was Tootal?  A company acquired by the English Sewing Company in 1963.

Tootal was bought out by Coats Viyella in 1993 and disposed of many of Tootal's subsidiaries that same year.  By 1995, Coats Viyella had moved most of the production out of the U.S. and Western Europe to cheaper labor areas in Asia and Eastern Europe.

I should have called this post "Global Economics" or "Revenge is a dish best served cold."

Anyway, I hope you have a safe and happy day!  Tomorrow if Flower Friday and if you have a floral image to share, please email me at

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Story Time Stitches: Margaret Evans Price


Margaret Evans Price (1888-1973)

Margaret Evans was born into a wealthy New York family.  She spent part of her childhood growing up in Nova Scotia until her family relocated to Boston when she was 9 years old.  She had an early aptitude for art and eventually attended the Boston Academy of Fine Arts.  She relocated to New York City and established a career as an illustrator.  She married her husband Irving Price in 1909 and the couple would go on to have three children.  The family eventually settled in East Aurora, New York.  Margaret continued her art career and Irving was elected mayor of East Aurora.

From an art standpoint, Margaret's enduring illustrations were primarily for children's books.  Some she wrote and others she illustrated for other writers.  She is considered one of the illustrators of the Golden Age of Illustration and she had two distinct styles of illustration.

The first was very classical and were featured in fairy tale books and books on myths.

This style she would also use as mural painter and her works are featured in the Aurora Theatre in East Aurora, New York.  You can see them here;  the murals are preserved and treasured at the theatre.

Personally, I prefer her whimsical characters often featured in her books from the 19-teens.

I do believe that the Betty Fairy Book was reprinted in the last few decades and I know that her Mother Goose Book of Rhymes was republished:

I'm not the only one that enjoyed her characters.  They show up frequently on embroidered quilts from the first half of the 20th century:
The queen of hearts featured in Mother Goose Book of Rhymes.  I've seen this on other quilts as well:
From The Troubles of Biddy:

From Polar Bear At the Zoo:

This image is now a particular favorite among crafters.  Still, I have no idea if these were sold as transfers or simply copied from the books.  Another possibility is that some of the illustrations were featured in coloring books.  The truth is I just don't know.

But wait there's more!!!!

The story of Margaret Evans Price would not be complete without relaying the latter part of her career.  In 1930, her husband and mayor of the town decided to do something to protect the town from the Depression.  He along with his wife, a local toy store owner named Helen Schelle, and a friend named Herman Fisher started a toy factory called Fisher-Price.  
An early popular toy of the company were pull toys.

Margaret was the first art director of the company and many of the early toys they produced were based on her literary characters.  Helen had the connections and experience in the toy industry to guide the company.  It has been written that the company actually saved the town during the Depression.

I'm hoping you enjoy today's instillation and google Margaret Evans Price illustrations and enjoy her work!

Have a safe and happy day!