Sunday, January 20, 2013

Eureka ! Mystery Children Identified!

I bought a crib sized quilt top a few years ago. I had never seen the design. It was 'interesting' ... but the border was rather strange! (ugly)
I bought it anyway.

Ouch....where's my ripper?

Today I was looking through a pile of vintage quilt pattern leaflets and there it was!
It's called Raggedy Ann and Andy. Would you have guessed that?
Blonde braids? I thought they looked German or Scandinavian (but then what IS the ethnicity of Ann and Andy?) More on that search later....
The maker tried to achieve the triangle border shown in the pattern - but her fabric choice (probably what she had on hand) doesn't really 'work' does it? She had to piece the lighter triangle and using a variety of bold plaids and stripes didn't help! (the concept of bias meant nothing to her!)

Here's the cover of the booklet.
There is no date on the publication but it is identified on the back as Aunt Martha's Studios, Inc. The business was started in Kansas City, Missouri, in the 1930's but this specific name was used starting in 1949. (In addition to information about quilt kits, the Quilt Kit Identification site includes Rose Werner's extensive research on many pattern companies) Aunt Martha published patterns through the 1950's. 

Pattern templates and directions
I love reading the directions - the boy's clothing is called overalls on the template and pantaloons in the directions for embroidery. Thread colors are suggested for the embroidery and rick rack is to be stitched at the bottom of the girl's dress. This maker outlined all applique edges with a neat small blanket-stitch in thread colors matching the fabrics. It appears that she did this to secure the raw edges of her applique. This saved her from regular needle turn applique BUT...can't be faster!
She used tiny rick-rack 'inside' the girl's dress rather than at the bottom. It doesn't show much on this print.

Click to enlarge for a closer look at the details

I have quite a few of these vintage pattern booklets. They are fun to look never know what you'll find. I hope you don't toss things like this thinking they are 'old fashioned' - they are quilt history; the stuff quilt scholars love!

What is so exciting to me about quilt study is the many paths it leads me down. In this case I had to get out the top to look more closely at it and compare it to the pattern directions.Then I got curious about Raggedy Ann's hair....I have only seen her with red hair and the pattern specifies that the hair be yellow. Google Image to the rescue. That led me to more sites about the history of Ann and Andy. Click  HERE  if you also would like to read the various theories of how these dolls came to be. I found it fascinating AND I verified that all the images had red hair! By the way, the pattern does not specify a color for Andy's hair but the color in the pattern is red/orange.

Now, back to my little top - I think I need to take off that border and use some of my vintage fabrics to make a new one. Now I have the pattern! I've added it to 'the list'..... I'll let you know when I get it done. 

Don't hold your breath......


  1. Very interesting, and thanks for saving me the job of finding more info about the Raggedys. That's where I was headed after starting your post, then saw you had the link already. Nope.. I would not have guessed these were representations of Raggedy Ann and Andy, even though they do have the wide smile and triangle noses. Good detective work. The quiltmaker seems to have been a better embroiderer than piecer! A new border is just the ticket.

  2. That is very cool that you actually had the pattern to this quilt. Raggedy Ann and Andy? Who would have guessed?
    Fascinating stuff, Jean.

  3. How fun to make the discovery! I actually really like the border, Jean! I wouldn't change a thing!

  4. The border...Someone else said they liked it, too, Martha. I will try to keep the same feel...but after examining the directions I think I see what she did...she used the template wrong and it doesn't lay flat. Now I feel like I need to work on this soon! But it will not be until spring, for sure. Good to hear from you.

  5. I also like the border--kind of quirky like Ann and Andy. Maybe you can just rework it to make it flat? Thanks for sharing a fun story!

  6. Y'all are making me rethink that border ripping's not high on the list so I have time!

  7. My grandmother made this pattern for my son back in 1977; she put a solid border around the outer edge. Didn't know what the pattern was until I saw this post last night. Thanks for the info!

  8. How wonderful! This is the kind of reply that keeps me going! So glad the post provided you with some info on the pattern and very fun to know someone with a personal connection to the pattern. I can see why one might decide on a plain border! Now I'm inspired to return to that and make some decisions about how to finish it. I am not fortunate enough to be a grandmother myself, yet, but I will be ready for it with quilts when it can bet on that!


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