Patty Shannon

"Patty Shannon" was the byline with a monthly quilt pattern feature that began in late 1936 and continued through the 1940s in the Kentucky Farmers Home Journal published in Louisville, Kentucky.  Her true identity was Gladys Sanders, the paper's women's editor, 1935-1950.

33 quilt designs are known: A Quilt From Valley Forge, All Around the World, Corsage Bouquet, Dahlia Blossom, Dogwood Blossom, Drooping Lily, Dutch Windmill, Engagement Ring, Exposition Garden, Friendship Knot, Fringed Star, Grandmother's Fan, Grandmothers Vase of Flowers, Kentucky Rose, Meadow Daisy, Mohawk Trail, Moon Flower, Octagonal Star Quilt, Poinsettia, Rising Sun, Rocky Road to Dublin, Rose Bud Wreath, Rose of Democracy, Snowball, Sun and Shadow, Sunbonnet Girl, Sweetheart or Valentine, Tennessee Bittersweet, Tulip Applique, Twin Star, Violet Blossom, Waterlily, and Young Man's Fancy.  Published in most issues of a monthly farm paper for more than a decade, there are undoubtedly many more.

Four recently acquired designs are illustrated here:

Dutch Windmill, ca. 1937-1938.
  One of the loveliest quilt patterns that we have seen, and a bery [sic] simple design to follow, is the one which we are presenting our quilting fans this month.  It came to us from Una Plummer of Beaver Dam, Kentucky.  Miss Plummer's block of rose and white made a very good-looking combination.  Unbleached muslin combined with any color that you might wish to use, would make a very nice quilt.  A full-size quilt requires a total of 72 blocks, like the one shown in the miniature illustration on this page.  This block is ten inches square, and is made up of four sections.  Pieced all over the bed, and set off with a plain color border, the windmill design is a charming coverlet.

  To procure a copy of the Dutch Windmill, with instructions for making, send ten cents in coin to Patty Shannon, Kentucky Farmers Home Journal, and pattern sheet will be mailed promptly.  Be sure to print your name and your complete address very plainly.

[This Dutch Windmill design has a long published history beginning in 1898, and a lengthy list of names.]

Rising Sun published December 1938.
  From Mrs. Rose Yazell, Paris, Kentucky, comes this striking quilt pattern.  Mrs. Yazell tells us that a friend of her mother's gave her mother this design when she was a small child, so we are sure that many of you are familiar with the Rising Sun.  It is a well-loved quilt.
  Yellow is combined with a contrasting color to make up this block, which approximately is 13 inches square.  The blocks are set together with blocks of plain yellow to match the yellow in the Rising Sun, and a four-inch border finishes the quilt.  Fifteen plain blocks and fifteen pieced blocks are needed to make a quilt approximately 72 by 80 inches.  More blocks may, of course, be added for a larger size.
  When finished, this makes a most colorful bed covering, and is simply put together.  The patches themselves are easily cut and only five different patches re required for a block.  Any color combination that you may wish to use would make up beautifully, if combined with a plain color that harmonizes.  We think that you might even like to substitute a gay yellow print material for the plain yellow in the Rising Sun!  At any rate whatever colors you decide to use, the design will prove to be a cheery one, adding a note of warmth to any bedroom.  This is an especially nice quilt for a boy's room.
  To procure a copy of the Rising Sun pattern, with instructions for making, send ten cents in coin to Patty Shannon, Kentucky Farmers Home Journal, Louisville, Kentucky, and pattern sheet will be mailed you promptly.  Should your pattern fail to reach you within two weeks, please drop us a postal card and duplicate pattern will be mailed you gratis.  Be sure to print your name and complete address very plainly.
  Copies of the Dahlia, Mohawk Trail, Dutch Windmill, Sunbonnet Girl, Snowball, Grandmother's Fan, Young Man's Fancy, and Rocky Road to Dublin patterns are still available, should any of you desire them.

[This Rising Sun design was first published by Woman's World, July 1933, with the same name.]

Tulip Applique published January 1939 (text lost from clipping).

[This Tulip design was first published by Farm and Fireside, September 1929, and later became an Anne Cabot design by Famous Features.]

Dogwood Blossom published November 1944 (text lost from clipping).

[This Dogwood Blossom design appears to be an original.]

For more information, see Merikay Waldvogel's extensive article about Patty Shannon, her columns, quilt articles, patterns, and photographs of her in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, issue No. 366 (October 2004), pages 38-41.

© Wilene Smith, October 30, 2011, all rights reserved; updated February 1, 2013

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