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.
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
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 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.
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?
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