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Roly Poly Circus

November 9th, 2008

My little Roly Poly Circus redwork quilt ends up peeking out in a lot of photos of mine, and I’m asked about it a lot.  Only took me two + years to finally respond about it. RPC is one of my prized quilts.   Not just because it was pure joy for me to make… but because Ruby Short McKim, the designer… is a rock star to me.   Ruby broke the glass ceiling for women - even before ceilings had glass. Ruby’s granddaughter has a wonderful bio about Ruby here.   It’s worth a read.  Seriously.

Sometime around 1923, the Kansas City Star published Ruby’s RPC blocks (I’m guessing the year is correct… since I embroidered it on my quilt, and if I’m wrong… woops, too late now).   I think it was published weekly, but I’m not really sure.  I set my blocks in the order that they were published, even though it didn’t coincide with Ruby’s lil’ poem.
Roly Poly CIrcus

Since going back in time to retrieve the patterns from the paper was not an option, I found the next best thing:
Ruby Short McKim’s Roly Poly Circus Quilt (Spiral-bound) by Jill Sutton Filo
ISBN-10: 0967019702
ISBN-13: 978-096701970
Roly Poly Circus

I wish newspapers today would start printing quilt blocks and patterns again. Ahh… good times, especially in rough economic times. Blatant shout-out to the NY Times, LA Times, SF Chronie, The Oregonian… I’m available! Hahahaha. I would love to see feedsacks come back too. I would buy what ever came in a fabric sack. Anything to keep me indoors. Quilting. Crafting. Not being outdoors. I’m an indoor girl, and this is why:
Fabric vs logs
Fabric is MUCH easier to stack than firewood.  And as hard as it is to believe… I stacked all of that wood.  The fruit of some of our downed trees from our big storm last December.  I’d pat myself on the back, but my arms are still too sore.

Speaking of indoors… MMHZ is having a grand old time at Thimble Creek!  Joe and Roxie sent me this photo of what MMHZ has been up to.  Getting spoiled, of course.  :)
MMHZ hopped up on sugar at ThimbleCreek

UPDATE: Craftietammie left a comment with great info about the KC Star’s “Pickledish“.  I kinda feel like Dr. Frankenstein shouting, “it’s alive, it’s alive”… an old timey tradition being kept alive. Love. It.   Now all that I need is for my Froot Loops to come in a nice fabric bag.  Kellogg’s… are you listening?

Posted in Quilty n Crafty |



29 Responses

  1. The fabulous Sarah allegedly said:

    It seems like there are very few products these days that have anything “gimmicky” to get you to buy them. Not even glasses at McDonalds anymore! About the only freebies these days are coke points. Le sigh.

    (Says she with a cabinet full of gas station glasses and pitchers, wonderful rewards for buying fuel in the “good old days”!)



  2. The fabulous Pam allegedly said:

    WOW that’s a lot of wood! You’ll be warm and toasty this winter for sure! Love the quilt, love MMHZ and will probably see it there in another week. xo



  3. The fabulous Doe allegedly said:

    Drooling over your redwork quilt. Looove it!
    Awesome wood stacking job, Monica. Did you sort these by size or by cut? Hahaha!
    Dang, your MMHZ gets around. What a player!



  4. The fabulous Lissa allegedly said:

    I love the roly poly circus!!! what a lovely lovely quilt! It is a shame the patterns arent all reprinted into books, I am sure there would be a market out there for them.. but then again, what would I know???

    Lissa
    who thinks stacking 1/10th of that pile of wood would of been hard work!



  5. The fabulous Wendy allegedly said:

    Wow, nice wall of wood, it could keep even my big dogs in the yard - and the bears out!
    I too would buy anything that came in a fabric sack, flour, dog food, wine…. the possiblities are endless!



  6. The fabulous Marguerite allegedly said:

    Hum. I have a hard time understanding diminutive like MMHZ. What does it mean?
    Just curious…



  7. The fabulous Debbie allegedly said:

    I love redwork, and this quilt turned out wonderful. Great job. It is alot of work to do this but boy so worth the effort!
    Blessings,
    Debbie



  8. The fabulous s. allegedly said:

    you mean newspapers used to print quilt blocks?? that is the coolest thing ever! how could we get them to do that again?? i think it’s a great idea and could be really popular!! :)



  9. The fabulous Nanette allegedly said:

    The roly poly is amazing but stacking the firewood! Now that is impressive.



  10. The fabulous sharon allegedly said:

    Love the Roly Poly quilt. Did you hand quilt that too?
    WOW your gonna stay warm this winter for sure. Have you had a fire already?



  11. The fabulous MichelleB allegedly said:

    That’s an adorable roly poly quilt! And that firewood?? You go, girl! I’m even more impressed with you now (as if that’s possible).



  12. The fabulous blop allegedly said:

    Wow M…you’re STACKED!!

    RPC is one of my all time favs too…you did an amazing job and the quilting is your usual fab!!!!



  13. The fabulous Paula allegedly said:

    All of your quilts are amazing but I really love that Roly Poly Circus. I find myself thinking about it randomly from time to time…wondering if I could do something like that someday.

    Nice stacks, Monica! We have wood stacked everywhere around here. In the dog yard, in the basement entryway (outside) stacked along the retaining wall in the driveway….It has pretty much taken over, but we won’t be cold this winter, will we?! Almost a year since our hurricane. Riff and I were just talking about it tonight. Wondering if we’re prepared if it happens again.



  14. The fabulous craftytammie allegedly said:

    hi, I’m new to your blog, but I’m hooked! the KCStar still publishes quilt block patterns, the 2009 project was recently announced. you can read about it at their website, pickledish. you can also buy a subscription to their old patterns, it’s $20 a year. Thought I’d share the info! I guess I’m spoiled, I assumed all newspapers did block of the months.



  15. The fabulous Jana allegedly said:

    I watched Kit Kitredge this weekend, and they had a little part about feedsacks. I wish my flour came in fabric, or even the dog food. What I could do with a reusable material!



  16. The fabulous Emilie allegedly said:

    here’s a pat for you good girl.
    i did the same thing myself in october. the wood got delivered to our house the weekend hubby was away.. yyyyes. hum.
    your quilt is adorable !



  17. The fabulous Bree allegedly said:

    That quilt is gorgeous, I bow to your amazing embroidery prowess!



  18. The fabulous anina allegedly said:

    I totally agree! I would even renew my daily newspaper subscription if they’d do that. So add a shout out to the Seattle Times and Seattle PI.
    Oh, WOW on stacking all that wood! You deserve a LOT of chocolate.



  19. The fabulous Laurie Miller allegedly said:

    A beautiful quilt and a very impressive stack of wood!!!



  20. The fabulous Julie allegedly said:

    Wow that is a lot of wood girl!! The quilt is gorgeous, I love the stories of Ruby Short Mckim each time I hear of her.



  21. The fabulous elizabeth allegedly said:

    So talented you are!! I knew about the embroidery and quilt making skilz, but the firewood stacking is really amazing. Where do you get your strength? Please don’t tell me its all the mayonnaise…



  22. The fabulous Kristin J allegedly said:

    I am so excited that I get to go see your quilt at my local quilt store! ya hoo! I have drop in sewing with Sandy on Thursday so I will say hi and bring a treat. (I did not know MMHZ was a chocoholic)

    gawd, if fabric were as heavy and hard to stack as wood, my stash would be as big as a box of toothpicks. and my checkbook a bit fatter.

    Love the redwork. You are so multi-talented it’s amazing. I am trying to get into that. I did about 9 cherry blocks for an Alex Anderson quilt that I have yet to finish (big surprise), but that has been my only foray.

    btw and totally off topic, I am selling my Magnum! I got a smaller, more gas friendly car. sure, now that gas prices are going down, right?



  23. The fabulous Candace allegedly said:

    Monica - what a precious quilt - I can see why you are so proud of it! And it’s so funny that we just returned from 4 days at our “Squash House” - we went over to stack wood from last Jan.’s storm and I posted about it on today’s blog! I like to think the muscles we built to stack wood keep us sewing a lot longer, hah! Cheers!



  24. The fabulous Jackie allegedly said:

    Okay, so I love your roly poly quilt! Doesn’t it just feel good to finish something that your had started?? I am so totally with you on the stacking thing. Fabric is way easier than all that wood. My gosh, I have never seen so much! Forget drilling for oil… sell your wood! Better yet, you are all set… don’t share :)



  25. The fabulous rachel allegedly said:

    oh it’s beautiful!!!

    i wish newspapers did that too.
    on the quilty high we would have!!!
    haha.



  26. The fabulous Christina Scouten allegedly said:

    What a wonderful blog. feel free to pop over and look at mine.



  27. The fabulous Nanna J allegedly said:

    I came by to say I spied with my little eye the wonderful shout-out (with or without wink?) by the Thimble Creek people! Hooray for you and your deelightful MMHZ quilt!
    The roly poly quilt makes me want to create something in redwork - it’s beautiful! And the wood stacking is totally impressive. You are now SUPER WOMAN HZ!! As if you weren’t that already! It’s time for a toasty fire, isn’t it? Or maybe no one can touch your beautifully stacked pile o’ wood? Hmmmm….



  28. The fabulous heather allegedly said:

    Wow, that’s a lot of wood. You deserve to relax and have a cup of tea and some indoor time.

    I too would love to see flour sacks and newspaper patterns again. My grandmother had a cabinet full of cups that came from boxes of laundry detergent, and it seems like we got free dish cloths in something we bought.



  29. The fabulous jazzejunqueinc allegedly said:

    Wow what fun your site is ~
    Mercedes



Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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