LOVELY 1930s Nancy Page GARDEN BOUQUET BLUE birds quilt

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  • Item Category: Textiles, Clothing & Accessories
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Aug 06, 2010
  • Channel: Auction House
Delightful Strong Circa 1930s Navy Nancy Page's Garden Bouquet with Bluebirds

1 . This big, soft, medium- to thickly-batted quilt is a stout, blue-toned take on the often airy, delicate pattern. What looks like a sturdy, more masculine version from any distance, actually reveals itself up close to be hiding all its sweetest and most careful little flourishes for the viewer who really takes the time to peruse the lovingly fashioned flowers.

One of the most deservedly classic commercial patterns of the early 20th century Colonial Revival is the deceptively dully titled Garden Bouquet, a pattern designed by Frances LaGanke and released under the pseudonymous and seriously chatty Nancy Page label. Page's pattern features no actual gardens or bouquets, but depicts a deliciously varied and colorful series of 20 distinct stops made by a pair of adorable and botanically blessed little birds.

Far more memorable than the official title of the pattern, are the names of that became attached to the birds themselves, which actually seem to reflect their merry, if cheeky, dispositions as they pause obligingly at each of their floral destinations, always one perched perkily on either side of the featured flower; the birds became known as Sassy & Saucy. Oddly, in the original pattern, the bird peering up is referred to as "the saucy one", while the one who appears to bury its beak shyly in the blossoms is called "the meek one".

Because Garden Bouquet appears only to have been released as a serialized pattern and never a kit, and because it features such a wide array of different sorts of blossoms, the resulting quilts are always a delight to find. What little prizes from her scrapbag will this quiltmaker have chosen to showcase? Will her birds be always the same familiar two, always in the same finery or will the birds visiting each handsome angular-handled urn vary as much as the blossoms bursting out of those vessels? Will our quiltmaker have gone for the classic solid-colored urns or enlivened things further with a printed fabric? And what of the border- will hers be the prescribed sort of modified Greek Key pieced border or will she have struck out on her own with some simpler solution or pretty innovation?

This navy version of the quilt puts the flowers truly in supporting roles, the lively colorful accents in what becomes a blue, navy and off-white quilt, with solid blue birds perched on solid navy urns, as well as solid straight-forward navy strip borders.

It's a successful approach and tones down the festive variety of the pattern, focusing the eye instead on the rhythm of the repetitive shapes.

The quilt is batted with a medium to heavy-weight batting, another choice that makes it more versatile, not exclusively a springy or summerweight quilt.

In essentially original, strong, little used condition, the quilt is a lovely find in a classic early 20th century pattern.

The quilt measures about 72" X 84" .

For a sense of scale, the blocks measure about 10 1/2" to 11" square and the birds range around 5" from beak to tail. The navy border is about 3 1/2" wide.

The hand-quilting is basic, with stitches numbering 5 to the inch, counting on the top side only. The bird blocks are quilted in horizontal lines while the rest of the quilt is quilted in diagonal lines spaced 2- 2 1/2" apart.

Piecing, Appliqu�, Embroidery
The quilt is machine pieced and these seams are often messy and imprecise. The appliqu� is all by hand and serviceably done, but nothing particularly fancy and it shows lots of short little loosened edge bits. The hand-stitched surface embellishments though are much more careful and precise. Those sweet little details are the most lovingly worked bits on the quilt.

Batting, Binding & Backing
The batting is medium to thick and has some lumpiness.

The backing is the same fabric used on the front.

The quilt is self-bound by rolling the back to the ...