Flower Quilting Designs From The 30s

Quilting has been a popular hobby in North America for many years.

Quilting went through a revival in popularity in the 1920s and 1930s. There was a proliferation of printed quilt patterns due to the updates at that time in printing and distribution. Some quilt patterns were printed and inserted into the batting packaging for ready reference by the quilting product consumers. Other quilt patterns were printed as leaflets or brochures and quickly snapped up by the eager quilting public. A large number of these quilt patterns were floral designs and the great majority of these floral designs were appliqued rather than pieced.

Magic Vine Quilt

The Magic Vine quilt was a popular floral design for quilts in the 1930s. The design featured rows of appliqued flowers with attached leaves. Surrounding the entire quilt was a vine appliqued with green stem and green leaves. The vine went across the top and bottom and connected to vertical vines along each side.

The Friendship Garden

The Friendship Garden quilt block was composed of an octagon in the center and eight petals. The petals were diamond-shaped with a wide base at the petal end and either tapered to a point under the center octagon or trimmed to be hidden under the center octagon. The center octagon was made of white or light-colored fabric so friends could sign and embroider their names on each flower. The Texas Star was a similar eight-pointed flower with a yellow center for each flower.

Dancing Daffodils, Iris, Orange Blossom, Coral Bells and Rose of Sharon

These applique block flower patterns were commonly used on quilts in the 1930s. The flowers were cut out of the appropriate color fabric and appliqued onto the blocks in the order prescribed. There were appliqued green leaves and stems as well. The applique was often enhanced by the use of black embroidery thread to add details such as leaves to each block. The blocks were then seamed together and the entire project quilted with or without a border. Dancing Daffodils and the Iris are examples of quilt patterns printed for easy distribution with fabric or batting purchases. Variations in the flower and stem designs of these particular patterns are common. Artists were hired to design the patterns and they would print their own version of a Daffodil or Rose of Sharon.

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Grandmother’s Flower Garden

Grandmother’s Flower Garden was generally comprised of sets of hexagons. There would be a hexagon in the center, six hexagons arranged tightly around this first hexagon then 12 hexagons arranged tightly around the six hexagons. These hexagons would have different colors for each row. The 12-hexagon block comprised the outer limits of the “flower” portion of the garden design then green hexagons were arranged around each of the flower hexagon designs and attached to the next block in the form of sashing. When the quilt top was complete, it looked like circular flower beds of varying colors unified by a green path meandering through a garden. Made entirely of hexagons, this quilt was generally quilted in the hexagon pattern as well. The Grandmother’s Flower Garden and the Garden Walk quilt may be the same general pattern, as both consist of variously colored hexagon clusters with a green hexagon path meandering through the garden.

Carolina Lily and English Flowerpot Quilts

The Carolina Lily consists of four diamonds seamed with long sides together. These four diamonds form a straight line across the bottom and a green triangle is cut to applique against the edge. This comprises the “Lily.” Two lilies are held in a green base by a stem. The stem is designed so that the lily tilts at a right angle. When you look at the composition, each pair of lilies face away from each other. The English Flowerpot quilt has a green stem with three flower stems and two oval leaves. There is a small flowerpot at the bottom and two leaves stick out of the pot as well. These are all appliqued onto the quilt blocks, which are then seamed together.

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