Monday, 20 April 2015

Cut Glass Dish - Red Sky at Night Quilt

Have you guys seen Julie and Julia? It's about two ladies, living about 40 years apart. Julia Child is a famous American cook living in Paris (the film is about how she became famous) and Julie, I forget her last name, is a New Yorker who starts a blog, writing and cooking her way through Julia's French cook book. I like it because the women are normal everyday women, who slowly start pursuing their passions, and little by little, they both chase, and are surprised by the opportunities that arise.

Anyway, over the last couple of weeks, while preparing for my craft market stall, I've had this movie on occasionally in the background while I sew. I like sewing to familiar movies. I can still know what's going on even with the interruption of my machine noise. This film has encouraged me with my Red Sky at Night challenge, even when I've wanted to skip a week, or say, "WHAT! How is it Monday again already??"

Saturday night at my craft stall was a complete washout. It rained and rained and rained. And it would have been fine if it had just rained, and I had just sold nothing, but this was one of those comical series of unfortunate events. We opened up my marquee bag, and the wrong one was in it. Last time I'd lent it to someone, they'd accidentally put the wrong marquee back. This wrong one was old and leaky. The rain leaked onto my tables, and the black dye in my tablecloths leached into my beautiful quilts and pillows and scarves. It was devastating.

But yesterday, as much as I didn't feel like it, and I knew you would forgive me, I dragged myself away from the fireplace, and made my Cut Glass Dish block. And I realised that as much as I often wonder what the heck I was thinking with this quilt, when I actually just sit down and make these blocks, they are incredibly soothing and satisfying. For someone who gets itchy when locked into a timetable, I'm learning a quiet joy in have this one little thing I do for me each week.
In the film, Julie comes home from a hard day at work one day and says,
"I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say 'nothing' I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It's such a comfort." 
Today, that's how I feel about fabric and thread.
The Cut Glass Dish block was first published by the Ladies Art Company, America's first quilt pattern mail order catalogue established in 1889 in Missouri. The Company was founded by Henry and Emma Brockstedt, and grew to include cross stitch and other textile arts. The LAC website includes lovely snippets of history about the founders, and pictures of the original catalogues (not so much that I could find our block), that I thought it was better to direct you over there rather than try and rewrite their work.

Then in 1929, Ruth Finley published "Old Patchwork Quilts: And the Women Who Made Them." Today's block is included in the book under the title "Winged Square". Other names include Golden Gates and Prism Block, both from the 1930s. (source: Barbara Brackman's The Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.)


You will need:

Red: Nine 4.5" squares

White: Six 4.5" squares.

(note, what you actually need to end up with is three red 4.5" squares and 24 2.5" red and white half square triangles. You can get to these in your favourite method. Below is mine.)

1. Take six of the red squares, and the six white squares, and sew them together around each side.

2. Cut in half diagonally, then cut in half again.

3. Press open trim to 2.5"

4. Next, you will sew the triangles together into squares of four. Start by sewing into pairs, all facing the same direction. I imagined all of mine pointing to my right hip, so I could remember. :)

5. Sew the triangle pairs together into squares and lay out as below.

6. As we have with each of our nine patches, sew into rows of three, press and sew the three rows together.

There's something so wonderful, in all the chaos of weather, and markets from hell, to make a block that dates back to the 1880s, don't you think? I do love this old, old craft!


  1. Oh Jodi, that must have been quite awful, after all your hard work and efforts. To write about it with such grace is a testament to your strong spirit and is inspiring for its resilience. I hope your beautiful work can be salvaged. xxx

  2. So sad to read of the outcome of your craft stall. I was thinking it may have just been rained off - or fined up just in time so you had nothing to share - but no, sadly you've been busy with damage control. Did you end up selling anything???

  3. Oh no so sorry to hear about the show. Especially after all your hard work. Hope you can repair the damage done. I love the film too, it shows how having a common interest can unite people across the agescwhuch links perfectly with the blocks you are sharing. Love and hugs from Sue in the UK

  4. I. Love. That. Movie.

    I'm so so so sorry about the market one of those things you wish you could go back in time and just fix so easily... just grab the right tent... just use white table cloths... just not sign up for that stinkin' thing in the first big hugs xx

  5. Oh awful to hear that your market experience was such a disaster!! As Jodi said, to speak of it with such grace is a blessing. Thankyou for sharing your gift with us. I don't know about anyone else but I look forward to Monday to see the next block and get onto it straightaway...not that I don't have anything else to quilt. Lol.
    I also love to have a movie on in the background.
    Hope your week improves from the weekend and there are moments of beauty and joy for you

  6. Ugh. That is really awful. I'll keep my fingers crossed some wonder product will take the black out of those quilts. I do the exact same thing when I quilt! Movies I have seen or even television series I have watched before (Grey's Anatomy, West Wing, and Downton Abby have all been watched, in their entirety at least three times a piece). I like a little noise and entertainment, but don't want anything that will require full attention. And NOTHING makes the world make sense again better than a little time with fabric and thread. Thank you for sharing!

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your ruined quilts! I hope you will be able to fix at least some of the damages. Thank you for the new block: I'm three blocks behind, but I will catch up....

  8. Love this block, and that movie. So sorry about all your beautiful work getting ruined - will it wash out?

  9. Hi Jodi hope the Colour catchers work for you! I find them amazing. Might take a few goes . Have just discovered a couple of similar disasters in my laundry basket as my laundry has leaked. But not precious market quilts. Love that movie love your blocks and love your blog!!!xxxx

  10. I do hope your beautiful things can be salvaged.... Washing with color catchers? White vinegar? Or soaking first with biz?......

  11. What a bummer. That sucks. Sounds like you handled it like a pro. Hope the colour has come out of your quilts. I'm crying for you! Good old velvet soap rubbed by hand worked for me once with some colour running. xxx

  12. That is awful ~ all the blood, sweat and tears...I hope you are able to save them! I am so sorry.

  13. This is such a very pretty block! Sorry to hear about your bad market experience =(


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx