The “strippy” quilt was an early design that had little representation in the quilt revival of the early 1900’s. One exception was the Magic Vine pattern that originated in the 1930’s in a newspaper column written by Florence LaGanke Harris.
The Magic Vine is an example of how women’s magazines and newspapers kept the quilting tradition alive during the Great Depression.
Called the Nancy Page Club, the patterns for the Magic Vine were printed weekly along with a fictitious story about a quilt group that had Nancy Page as its leader. Each column would detail the discussions by the women about what colors to use for each floral design and other quilt related topics.
Our circa 1930 inspiration quilt is from the collection of one of our members. It has four vertical vines with twenty-two different floral designs bordered by a curving vine and leaves. The appliqué is all hand done.
The study quilt is based on The Magic Vine Quilt pattern designed by Eleanor Burns and published in 2007. It uses a quick turn appliqué method with non-woven interfacing. The appliqué pieces were then hand sewn in place. Reproduction fabrics from the 1930’s were used throughout the quilt. Embroidery and buttons were added for embellishment, giving the study quilt a thoroughly modern look.
At one of the Repiecers’ quilt study group meetings, one of the group members shared the original newspaper columns that showed the floral patterns, as well as additional information on other Nancy Page designs. The quilt study group meets every other month at Quilt in A Day in San Marcos, which is owned by Eleanor Burns. Several members of the study group worked on the study quilt, including Marian Cassianni, Kay Ross, Sandy Sutton, and Leah Zieber.