Monday, May 23, 2011

1930's Sampler Florence Pitzer

One of my favorite blocks in the quilt 
It was never my intention to add a 1930's quilt to my collection...I think it was the embroidered name over a period of the 1930's and the variety of blocks that really spoke to my heart.

It is a sampler quilt by Florence Pitzer, with blocks dated 1934 - 1938.  I did Google the name (which felt rather invasive to Florence) and found some matches to the name but have yet to pursue them.  One of the matches would have her newly married in the midst of the depression embroidering the blocks for this quilt.

Sampler Quilt 1930's - Hand Pieced
The quilt is composed of 20 blocks, three of which are embroidered with the name Florence Pitzer.

Each pattern is hand appliqued to the cream background.  Even the Log Cabin block is appliqued on.

The blocks are hand pieced, appliqued and embroidered.  The quilt is hand quilted in motifs that change with each block.  It is not a quilt as you go or pot holder quilt.

The border was hand pieced and applied by machine.  The finished blocks also appear to be joined by machine.

Large variety of scraps in a pleasing sampler quilt!

Corner Detail
Closeup of the corner, each corner is a 'rounded kite' in a solid color.

Hand drawn quilting motifs vary in each block.

The crisp crease of the hand applied binding leads me to think it was commercial binding.  However, during the depression years she may have made it?
It is pieced in pink and yellow.

Whisker Guard Detail - Back
The top edge has a 'whisker guard or 'chin protector' hand basted in place with a large running stitch.  The floral motif is hand appliqued in needle turn style, then an outline stitch was added around the edges.  The leaves are applique as well, but have lost all their color.

The backing is a dot print in blue, red and yellow.

The wear around the edge of the protector allows me to peek in and the binding looks pristine underneath.  Seems the protection was well planned and the protected the quilt as intended.

Album block with date and signature
One of the three dated blocks.

This block is the latest, dated 1938.  It is embroidered with two shades of red thread, one for the signature, the darker for the date.   It isn't the 'last' block in the quilt - the lower right "bottom" block is dated 1936, and the first block, or upper left, is dated 1934.

Cross hatch quilting around this block mirrors the piecing.

Both rockers have similar gold cord cushions
The little rockers are for holding sewing supplies like scissors, spools of thread and thimbles.

The rocker the left is numbered 2100 on the bottom.  It has a drawer and the opening on the seat back is quite wide.  Packets of bias binding etc would fit, as well as scissors.

The rocker on the right has the letter 'C' on the bottom.  It has an arched top, no drawer

The green crochet sewing kit has thread and a piece of wool under the lid for needles.  The knit pin holder is rounds if knitting spiraled.

Did the maker have a sewing machine?

Like many quilters I like Feather weights.  I have two, an Egyptian scroll, and this 'newer' white version.

Both sew wonderfully and I invested in a quarter inch foot for each.  I will admit is not using them much!

Thanks for stopping by - have a great day!

Make your own sewing rocker
One of many resources for Featherweight info
Free Knit and Crochet Pincushion Patterns
Florence Pitzer is this the quilt maker?


  1. I so look forward to your posts! Where do you find these gems!?!? The first fabrics I purchased "just to have" were 1930's repros. Love this quilt - don't see many 30's samplers. Thanks for sharing. You obviously spend a lot of time on your posts.

  2. The Featherweight is a fun machine. It has a "bigger" sister, the Singer 301. The 301 is a full-size machine, portable, and weighs only 6 pounds more than the FW. Durable, invincible, but sadly, no zigzag feature.

  3. I'm glad you explained the whisker guard - I've never seen one and wondered immediately why it was there. One of my daughters gave me a rocker like the one on the left but mine has an upholstered back as well as seat and no pocket behind for scissors. There are no markings on mine but I doubt it's an old one.

  4. that first block shown is like some that i seen on an ebay auction once. there were several blocks offered and to this day i could kick myself for not bidding.
    what was i thinking?!

    this quilt is pretty and i love all of the info that you shared. the border is especially appealing to me.

    thank you for sharing both the photos and the details.


  5. Lovely Quilt Dawn- Not sure I could have resisted that one either. I also love those little chair pincushions.

  6. When I saw that first block I hoped I would see another sampler quilt with Ruby McKim patterns. I wrote a little about them here It's not but it is still a wonderful quilt. Any sampler quilt you can find today is a must have.

  7. I'm not a 30's quilt person myself but love the sampler quilt you show here. The variety of blocks makes it so interesting.

    Donna K. from N. TX

  8. What a fun find! I love all the blocks in the quilt and it was interesting to learn more about it. I enjoyed the pic of the little sewing rockers. My grandma gave me one, which I still have. Love the Featherweight, too!

  9. It is just beautiful! Thank you very much for sharing it. Una, at work

  10. What a fun sampler quilt!! It dosns't look like your typical
    30's quilt.


Thanks for your comments!