A wonderful quilted bathmat for your bathroom. We have lots of patterns for quilted items for the house but it is unusual to find a pattern for the bathroom. Falling leaves bathmat is a fun quilt to make.
Florence La Ganke was hired by Nashville Banner in 1928 to create quilting patterns every week for the newspaper. She created the Nancy Page quilt club, a fictitious group of quilters who would meet once a week with Nancy Page to learn a new pattern and quilt. She would write a interesting story each week about this fictitious group of women who lives was similar to the lives of women who read the column. Readers became just as interested in their lives as they did in the patterns. The early days of the column most of the patterns were block patterns. One of them was a maple leaf pattern that was called Ozark Maple Leaves. Later the column became syndicated and grew in popularity because the patterns became a series of blocks over several months. Newspapers bought the syndicated series to boost their circulation during the 1930’s. Many of the themes for Ms. Le Ganke’s quilts were floral and fauna. She created a series called Falling Leaves Quilt
Can you imagine how quilters would look forward each week for the next block to be published on Tuesday. Then spend the rest of the week working on the applique from her scrap bag on a block of domestic muslin during the depression. Most households in the 1930’s struggled to make ends meet and patterns like this could be completed without much expense. Many ladies then were very good with needle arts and there was always a friend or neighbor that was an expert in handwork that could be relied on to explain the technique. Patterns were traded and traced on to paper if that week’s paper was missed. Every week the patterns were cut out of the paper and kept for future reference or for trade. Many of those original newspaper clippings are still collected at auctions. What is really interesting was it was common practice to keep the patterns in a box under the bed. I had a neighbor when I was growing up that kept her quilting project in large dress boxes under her bed. In the 1990’s a search for quilt patterns from earlier times became an awareness of how important those boxes under the bed at grandma’s house were very valuable historic records. Many articles was written about the boxes under the bed.
The October, 1988 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine has a Nancy Page Ozark Maple Leaves quilt. This was an adaptation of her 1920’s quilt pattern. Other adaptations of this pattern followed. The one that I am using is a prairie point pattern. It came from a magazine pattern in the late 1990’s or early 2000. I can’t give a date because I have just discovered that box of patterns went into storage.
I did change the idea of the pattern from a wall hanging to a bath mat using a towel as a backing. The inspiration for this is from a early 1940’s magazine that is in my collection of old patterns that encouraged the idea of making due. Home made bath mats had been popular during the depression and WWII. The prairie point pattern block gave the bath mat a additional thickness.
To make this you will need scraps cut into 5 inch squares and 2 matching block pieces 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches in matching fabric to the 5 inch block. You will need boarder and binding fabric enough to for the size of towel you want to use.
The prairie points are made from the 2 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch cut peices by pressing 1/2 inch down long ways on the block.
The folded edge of the prairie point is placed 1 1/2 inches from the end of the 5 inch block on both sides. See picture for placement. I put a dark fabric so you could see the point. Sorry for the frayed edges but that was an old example left from a class I taught.
After you get enough leaf blocks sewed you lay them out so the leaves lay like in the next picture. Don’t forget you will need prairie points for your boarder fabric to make the shape of the leaves along the edge. You can see this in the next picture also.
fter you have sewed your top together with it’s boarder, you back it with the towel. I cut the finished edges and trim from the bath towel. You don’t want all that bulk to keep you from having a nice finish to the binding. It would be too hard to sew through also.
Then you quilt it using invisible thread in the bobbin. I use a contrasting thread for the top to show off the quilting. When you quilt make sure you sew down the points like in the next picture. Bind off when finished quilting.
This isn’t as hard as it looks and you can quilt any way you wish. I just showed you one way. I kept the quilting in a straight line but if you are skilled at free motion quilting you can make all the leaves different.
If there is any question please ask.
Trim a set of towels to match with boarder fabric. Makes a nice bathroom addition.