Back in the day, way back, I took my first (and only) quilting class at a local quilt shop on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo, called Quilt Country. It is no longer in business, but I learned much in those six weeks back in 1977.
Kansas City and quilts are linked together historically in the patterns published in the Kansas City newspapers through the first half of the 20th century. One of the newspaper artists responsible for the publishing of these weekly patterns was Ruby McKim. These patterns were collected by many quilters. I am sure many were used in quilting, but I am positive they were collected. In the stacks of magazines Dearest Sister forwarded to me from her finds that I have been going through, I have stumbled across two groups of these collections.
One group is about 2 dozen of actual newspaper clippings of the mid-70’s reprints of the original 1930’s publications.
The other group is a partial collection of about 35-40 patterns, copied, as in mimeographed, collated, stapled, and then offered, if you send a SASE to a woman at such and such an address in Cherryvale, KS. So did she collect them, copy them, and sell them to those who didn’t receive the paper? I am wondering about copyright issues!
I have read that Ruby McKim was a newspaper artist and not a quilter, at least at first, and often the designs published were not exact, perfectly sized, and template ready. Sometimes, the space allowed for the weekly pattern was smaller than the weekly pattern, and adjustments had to be made. I also know that the women, mostly Kansas women, who were receiving the paper, were an adaptive group, and that didn't stop them. Quilts were made from these patterns!
Back when I took my quilt class, I started my quilt book library with, among other books, Ruby McKim’s 101 Patchwork Patterns. Unfortunately, it and several others were on the bottom shelf in the basement when the waters rose. Fortunately, I found a copy at the Friends of the Library booksale a few years back. More fortunately, I found another copy for Dearest Sister at another FOL booksale a few years later! I replaced in the same way a copy of Marguerite Ickis The Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting which I had also lost at the same time.
Then something jogged my memory this past month of another book lost. I bought it right after I finished the class. It was relatively new, all color, and therefore, expensive. I may have spent $8.00 on it, so it took some considerable rationalization at the time. I could not remember the name, just what I have already mentioned, and that it was paperback, and the cover mostly blue. I was successful one other time finding an out-of-print book at biblio.com so I went there and searched with tags quilting, patchwork, and a publication date from 1970-1980. As the titles came up, I went to Amazon to check out the covers, as biblio.com didn’t have many of them photographed.