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!

1 comment:

  1. I do remember the name Pelagie Doane (because how many Pelagies are there?). Childcraft? I looked (my set is from 1949) but I don't see her listed among the illustrators. But now that I think of it I saw her name as the cover artist for those series mysteries.........I have subscribed to the kit quilt site and identified a couple but I'd really, really like to find the source for the design for my baby quilt. (My mother's church circle made it.)