|Quilt Notes: This design is also called HAND WEAVE, first published in the Ladies Art Company Catalog, 1928. Nancy Cabot's quilt column picks up on the idea of its incarnation as HANDCRAFT, and applies it to the art of quilt making and designing itself (remember Cabot's mother was a dress designer). She mentions its evolution (in the minds of its creators), from a necessity to an art form, a common theme in Cabot's writing (see more at SARAH'S FAVORITE, for instance). In fact, in the short space of her column in the Chicago Tribune, Cabot seems unusually adept at integrating profounder elements into her everyday language, depending on what sort of meaning you are looking for. A new column was also published daily, so that her choices of quilt designs, consciously or unconsciously, often follow the seasons. The sample, illustrated left, is dated October 24, 1934. Her comment says: |
"Our great grandmothers made patch quilts simply for warm bed coverings. Later, when many were weaving quilts, a clever woman in Kentucky returned to her first love, transferring one of her homespun designs to a quilt block and naming it HANDCRAFT. This is the type of pieced block which allows feminine ingenuity to display itself in color arrangement.
Except in solid colors, HANDCRAFT is not an easy block to tile (it is identical with CITY STREETS, except with light and dark reversed) — all edges are required to merge geometrically with the adjacent blocks. That's mostly because there are no triangles or circles, which would intersect the edge at a single point. The illustration here uses Japanese fabric type designs, compatible with the block's unusual simplicity — see more on Japanese patchwork in JAPANESE QUILT BLOCKS TO MIX AND MATCH by Susan Briscoe (2007). Also a list of recommended books on the art of patchwork design is available here. Compare the squared partitioning of this block with ACROBATS.