Layout of Laurel Wreath Quilt

May 11, 1935
Detroit News Quilt History Project; Michigan State University Museum; Susan Salser
Detroit, Michigan, United States
The general instructions leaflet for the Laurel Wreath Quilt Pattern series.
The Detroit News
Public Service Bureau
Radio Station WWJ The Home Newspaper Interior Decoration
Layout of Laurel Wreath Quilt

Here is a very important leaflet for you if you are to make the Laurel Wreath quilt for it has all the information you require concerning yardage, coloring, materials required, stitches, etc. Keep it right where you can put your hands on it at a moment's notice and you will not find this quilt difficult to make.

The quilt is made with a creamy white background over which are two sprays of leaves and branches that intertwine and form wreaths in the center of which are the gayest of birds and the most brilliant of flowers.

Isn't the effect charming? Using the intertwined wreaths or garlands as a background to cover the top of the quilt is a little different from the usual method of setting the individual flowers into distinct units as in our Flower Garden Quilt. But this arrangement makes one think of expensive hand-printed linens fresh from an English countryside.

The space between the center panels and the scalloped edges is left plain and later this space will be covered with fine quilting which will act as a foil and background for the beautiful applique work in the center and within the scallops.

Keep this picture to help you put your quilt together, with the leaflet having the chart, with details for cutting and making. You will require both in order to work easily.

The quilt is planned for a double bed. The finished top measures 90 inches in width and between 104 and 106 in length. To make it for a smaller bed use fewer appliqued blocks in the center panel. But do not cut down on length, for this quilt has a sham or pillow top panel that covers the pillows.

The background is creamy white. The intertwining leaves and those in the border are made from a soft green. The leaves that are attached to flowers in the panels are made of a darker harmonizing shade of green. The stems of these small sprays are brown. The stems of the of the wreaths are of the same shade as the leaves in the wreaths. The birds and flowers are made of gay colors in prints and plain materials. But crude harsh reds, blues, greens or oranges are never used. Be careful, though, not to get the colors too subdued. The large amount of green makes bright colors imperative for the appliques.

Materials Required.
The top of the quilt requires 8 yards of fine gingham or like material. To get the pieces from this amount it is necessary to cut them as follows and in this order: 2 pieces cut 17 1/2 by 106. That uses one three-yard length. The next length is cut 56 1/2 inches long. From this are cut 1 strip 17 1/2 x 56 1/2, 1 strip 10 1/2 by 56 1/2, 1 strip 6 by 56 1/2.

Next cut 10 lengths, each of them being 12 1/2 inches long. Divide these so that you get 18 pieces measuring 10 1/2 by 12 1/2.

Check the diagram and you will see where these pieces are used.

For the green leaves and stems of the wreaths and border sprays get 5 yards green gingham. For the darker leaves in twigs in appliques get 1/4 yard. For the brown stems used in these appliques get 1/8 yard.

The amount of material required for birds and flowers cannot be figured. Use scraps you have on hand.

The interlining required is one 1-pound batt of cotton, preferably of the China type. This has a woolly texture and gives a beautiful padded effect. Canton flannel or wadding may be used, but the finished effect is not as puffy. Glazed surface on the batt makes it easy to unroll the batt and spread it on the quilt evenly, but it makes it more difficult to put the needle through the quilting.

For the back of the quilt about 9 yards will be required. It is wise to get this of the same quality of fine gingham as is used for the top.

Thread used is No. 80 for applique and No. 60 for quilting.

Needles are No. 10 for applique and "Betweens" No. 7 and 8 for quilting.

Stitches Used.
For piecing blocks use find running stitch.

For applique use blind stitch or fine slanting hemming stitch.

For quilting use fine running stitch.

Variations In Making.
The pieces may be appliqued with buttonhole or blanket stitch in place of bline or hemming stitch.

The designs mady be worked in embroidery instead of applique.

The designs may be crayoned in place of being sewed.

Steps in Making.
I. It is best to pull threads to get blocks and strips straight. Tearing pulls threads and makes materials get askew.

Put long strips away until needed. The first work is done on the 12 1/2 inch squares and on the pieces 10 1/2 by 12 1/2.

The second and fourth block in each row is a 10 1/2 inch block. The variation is size is necessary to get overlapping leaves to make wreaths complete.

II. Trace design onto lightweight cardboard. Paste original into a Nancy Page quilt scrap book.

Some quilt makers trace the design onto a block of cloth. They do this lightly and use it as a guide in placement of pieces for applique. Other women hesitate to do this because the pencil mark may show when a piece does not fit exactly. In tracing the design on light weight cardboard trace each petal separately and completely. To do this you may have to follow the dotted lines that indicate one piece is laid over another.

III. Cut out the separate parts. When a petal is repeated exactly it is not necessary to make two tracings of it. One pattern will do for both.

There are three sizes of leaves in the wreaths. Since so many of them are needed it will be wise to have a tinsmith cut three patterns, one for each size. By using the tin the edges of the original pattern will not get frayed.

The leaves may be cut to better advantage if rows of them are cut. Place the pattern on the cloth at an angle. This gives a better appliqued leaf.

Slant the leaves on the cloth in this fashion.

Keep the piles of leaves separate. In this way you won't applique a small leaf where a larger one is needed and vice versa.

IV. In cutting a pattern from the cloth lay the pattern on, and go around the outline with pencil. Some quilt makers make the mark on the wrong side. By using a hard pencil the mark or crease shows through on the right side.

V. After the pattern is outlined cut it out, having the cutting edge between one-eighth and one-quarter inch from the pencil mark. This gives the edge which will be turned under.

VI. Baste this edge under using fine stitches.

VII. Press edges down if desired.

VIII. Pin in place on cloth block. Baste in place. Applique in place only after whole design has been carefully pinned and baste in place.

Follow directions for overlapping leaves as given in the directions that come with the wreath pattern.

IX. The appliqued blocks may be seamed in place as made or they may be kept until all are finished. You may want to rearrange the placement of blocks.

Five of the favorite blocks are repeated for pillow top panel. Choose your own favorites.

X. Follow chart in setting quilt.

WI. Quilt the top, following directions given with quilting patterns.

XIII. Cut raw edges surrounding scallops.

XIV. Cut a true bias strip two inches wide. Seam strips until of sufficient length to bind quilt. Double the strips and baste raw edges of scallops. Do this on the right side of the quilt. Seam on machine. Roll the binding to wrong side of quilt and hold in place with hemming stitch. Be sure to use strong white thread for this work.

No directions are included here for quilting because directions for that are included in the paper at the time quilting patterns are given.

And when the quilt is finished and it is placed on the guest room bed you will agree that it is a work of art and a joy forever. How proud your grandchildren will be of this quilt. Be sure you have given them an identification by putting your name or initials and the date of making in one corner.

And put a laurel wreath on your brow for having accomplished the making of a truly beautiful quilt.

Follow the Detroit News "Hostess" Column for suggestions on new ways to entertain.


Courtesy of The Detroit News Archives.
2016:5.45; 6119.82.45.2

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