A Block of Time…4-Patch, wanna be 9-Patch

My 4-Patch, wanna be 9-Patch quilt top.
My 4-Patch, wanna be 9-Patch quilt top.

I’m starting to realize that I have more quilt tops than I thought I had.

I also thought I was doing pretty good about finishing them, but maybe not.

Then I remembered a few years ago when one of my quilting friends saw all of my quilt tops very nicely hanging in my closet. She smiled, and knowing my unspoken problem, she ever so thoughtfully put them in the order of which ones to finish first. It was like an automatic quilt-friend-kindness gesture. It definitely helped my perspective on all of them.

Oh, the unspoken problem…well that would be…do I have too many old quilt tops and, if I can’t finish my own stuff, why would I want to buy something that someone else didn’t finish?

So, let’s talk about my 4-Patch, wanna be 9-Patch.

What is it that’s so special  about it? Well, I like the simplicity of it, for sure. It was also considered a utility quilt, which is a quilt that is used everyday. Patchwork dates back to the 1700’s. But keep in mind that the block format wasn’t common until the mid-1800’s. The 9-Patch block is considered a standard basic block, and the most recognizable quilt block. It was likely to be in the curriculum of all young girls as far back as the early 1800’s. Sewing was a skill that made a young woman marriageable. She would be able to clothe her future family.

My shirting fabric is 2 colors. One of the leaves is colored in.
My shirting fabric is 2 colors. One of the leaves is colored in.

My 4-Patch, wanna be 9-Patch was made with shirting prints. Even though shirting prints had been around in the mid-1800’s, their popularity didn’t spring up until around the turn of the 20th century.  Shirting prints are white or cream backgrounds with small figures or geometrics, sometimes with narrow stripes. The figures were generally black, blue, red, brown, green, or pink. One-color figures are dated between 1880-1910.

Also common at this same time was how thin the cotton prints were. And, for some reason, narrow seam allowances were suggested so that the quilt wouldn’t weigh as much. Put these two things together, and some of these quilts just never survived. My shirting setting squares are definitely thin, and the seams are definitely narrow. I guess I have a top that survived.

 

My 4-Patch, wanna be 9-Patch has a lot of plaids in it.
My 4-Patch, wanna be 9-Patch has a lot of plaids in it.

But I’m not sure of the date. My shirting figures are two colors, which could be dated 1910-1935.  There are 2 or 3 fabrics that I can’t help but question if those fabrics would place it into the late 1800’s.  And, there’s a lot of plaid in there, so that would bring the date back to 1910-1935. We all know how we can have a stash of fabric hanging around forever, then use it up 20 years later. That’s probably what happened to my quilt.

Questionable date of this fabric.
Questionable date of this fabric.
Questionable date of this fabric.
Questionable date of this fabric.
Questionable date of this fabric.
Questionable date of this fabric.

I didn’t have this quilt when my friend rearranged the quilt-tops in my closet. I think  she probably would have placed it toward the front.

Until next time…enjoy your day…ttyl!

Jo Ann

 

 

 

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