Quilt Notes: CARNIVAL dates back to Nancy Cabot's quilt column in the Chicago Tribune, where it made its debut on March 18, 1938. Cabot must have spent a good deal of time either working out the designs as a tiling pattern, or copying the block from the full quilt, because CARNIVAL as a name for this design is almost entirely dependent on the overall pattern, as Cabot indicates in her notes, see tiling below. CARNIVAL sets free the imagination, into a sort of street fair celebration. There are circular tents with all sorts of exotic things for sale, harlequins, and other performers, a juggler here and there, and booths where women are selling magnificent fabrics, colorful scarfs and other delightful hand-made clothing to revel in. Cabot says in her comments:
"CARNIVAL is another one of those good looking geometric designs...the coverlet is set together to form an all-over design, and finished with a seven inch white border and a one-half inch red bias binding. [...] This block is one of those simple ones which may be set together with rapidity and ease, and it is one which the beginning quilt maker never need fear as a first attempt."
Thanks to Jinny Beyer for including the grid sizes in her QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS, where the block is illustrated on page 211. A struggle with drafting the pattern at first was quickly transformed into the easy simplicity Cabot mentions, that is, once the correct grid divisions were set in place.