Brickwork Afghan Pattern


Making this Brickwork Pattern Afghan is a great way to use up fabric scraps.  Alternately, I really like the suggestion made to use special fabrics – suits, dresses…etc. This could make a very nice memento for someone.

For a practical, inexpensive, and pretty afghan we recommend this patchwork afghan in a brickwork pattern. It is an excellent way of preserving the material of treasured dresses, suits, coats, and ties. The afghan may be made from silk and rayon pieces, or, for greater warmth, make it of wool pieces and line with outing flannel in a medium or dark shade.

If the, afghan is made according to the directions given it will measure about 56 by 76 inches. The chart shows a suggested color scheme in which rose, blue, green, yellow, and violet silks were used. All blocks in a given color need not be from the same material; that is, in the afghan shown, part of the rose blocks were cut from a rose satin sash, part from a rose and white print, and still others from a rose crepe dress, but the general effect was the same. In woolens,grays, blacks, browns, tans, wines,blues, and greens, with a few gay colors will make a pretty afghan.

To cut the blocks make patterns from stiff paper or cardboard. The brick block is a rectangle 4 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches. This allows for 1/4-inch seams. For heavy woolens make the block about 5 by 9 inches, thus allowing for 1/2-inch seams. Cut a 4 1/2-inch square for the half-blocks (a 5-inch square for half-block if using woolens). Using these for patterns, cut blocks from your materials, cutting blocks on the straight thread of the goods. No set color scheme need be followed so we are not suggesting the number of blocks to be cut from each color. You may have each row a different color if you choose, or you may repeat the same color in several rows. It will be most economical to make the longest rows, or the rows you repeat most often, of the color of which you have the most blocks.

To assemble the pieced center lay pieces as shown on the chart, beginning at upper right-hand corner with the block marked R1. Continue to lay 10 more blocks of this same color across diagonally to lower left edge, following the arrangement in the row marked R1. As explained before, these blocks need not be rose but may be any other color you choose, though they should all be of the same general color.

Choose another color which looks well beside the color of this row. Beginning just below the block in upper right corner, lay a diagonal row of 11 blocks, following the arrangement of blocks in the row marked B2. Continue to lay diagonal rows as shown on the chart; then fill in the upper left-hand corner as shown by the chart. Fill ends of alternate rows with half-blocks to complete the row. Shift rows if necessary until the color harmony is a pleasing one.

Piecing: work may be done by hand or on the machine. Silks you may wish to join by hand; with woolens the machine is preferable. Beginning at right upper corner with block R1, pin it to block BELOW (B2), and that to the block BELOW, and so on to the lower right corner. There will be 8 whole Blocks in the row. Seam blocks together, press seams open, lay strip back in place. Pin and join the next strip. When all 11 strips have been joined and pressed, seam strips together lengthwise; press seams open.

Border: for our silk afghan we were fortunate, by piecing the strips, to have enough black satin from a discarded dress and robe to cut the border. For the side borders cut 2 strips 6 1/2 inches wide, and as long as the afghan plus 13 inches. For the end borders cut 2 strips 6 1/2 inches  wide, and as long as the width of the afghan plus 13 inches. Seam strips to center, mitering corners. We like outing flannel for the lining for it is both soft and warm. For the silk afghan put a thin layer of cotton batting over lining (this is optional with the wool afghan), pin afghan top in place. Put in frames and quilt, quilting around each block of center, and quilting border as illustrated or in your favorite pattern. The border is most effective if quilted with lustrous thread (pearl cotton) in a contrasting color. We used rose on the black. Bind edge with satin blanket binding in the same shade.

Once the method of making the center is understood you will find many uses for this brickwork pattern. Using smaller blocks it makes attractive quilt and pillow tops, and is a good way of using scraps of material without following a set color scheme.


Double Nine-Patch Knitted Rag Rug Pattern (1940’s)


Rag rugs! My family had several of them – they were in virtually every room of the house and boy did they stand the test of time!  My Mom just recently donated several of them to a local thrift shop – none of them were as fancy as this “Nine-Patch” one.  Enjoy making it!

This rug is knitted of rags sewed hit-or-miss, the arrangement of the blocks giving the nine-patch effect.

Cut wool, cotton, or rayon materials into strips about 1/2 to 1 inch wide depending on the weight of the material. Overlap ends of strips, fold edges together, and sew ends of strips together. Sew hit-or-miss fashion, alternating dark with light strips, and bright with dull colors. Wind into balls. Choose two colors of which you have large amounts for the border and sew these into separate balls, having about 1 pound of each. Distribute the remainder of these colors through-out the sewing.

Use a pair of No. 8 plastic needles and knit closely. Decide upon the width you wish to make the rug. Allow about 8 inches for border (4 inches on each side). Divide the remainder of the width by 3 (3 blocks wide) to determine the size of the blocks, which are squares. The rug will be 5 blocks long plus the 8-inch allowance for border.

Cast on a number of sts to equal the measurement desired for block. Work back and forth in garter st (knit every row slipping the first st of each row) until block is a perfect square; bind off. Make 15 such blocks. Arrange blocks as shown in illustration. In the first row have the knit rows running from side to side in the blocks at corners. Place the center block of this row with the knit rows running up and down. In the next row have the knit rows running up and down in the blocks at the edge and crosswise in the center block. Arrange the 3rd row like the first row, 4th row like the 2nd row, and 5th row like the first row. Pin blocks together to form lengthwise strips. Using 2 strands of heavy thread, sew the blocks together with over and over stitches; sew strips together.

Border: use a wooden or steel crochet hook large enough to carry the material. Attach lighter border color at one corner of rug, ch 1, work 2 sc in corner; work a row of sc around entire rug working 3 sc in corners. Keep the blocks even by Working the same number of sc along each block; sc in corner at beginning of rnd with first 2 sc, si st in first sc of rnd. Rnd2: ch 1, 2 sc in same sc with si st, 1  sc in each sc of previous rnd, working 3 sc in middle sc of 3-sc at corners; work last sc in same place with first 2  sc of rnd, si st in first sc of rnd. Work 1 more rnd like Rnd 2; fasten off. Attach darker color in st with last si st, work 4 rnds with dark color like Rnd 2; fasten off after si st. Press rug on wrong side with a damp cloth.


Does he help round the house? 1949

Does He Help Round the House? (1949)

help-around-house-smallEvery so often a Companion Poll elicits comments from our Reader-Reporters which lead us to suspect that the average American woman thinks her husband is pretty wonderful—corny jokes to the contrary. This month the suspicion grows. Time and again a woman, while supplying information about how her husband helps out round the house, just can’t resist tossing in a word of praise for him. And considering the facts which the poll uncovers, the men (bless ’em) certainly deserve their praise!

But let’s get the story from Reader-Reporters themselves. “Long have I wanted to brag about my Jim,” a Virginia wife writes enthusiastically. “I’ve held my tongue only out of consideration for others less fortunate. I do not have a hen-pecked husband, but I do have a very knowing and considerate helpmate. If medals were given for the perfect father, my husband would have them all over his chest. He’s really one in a million, as you can see by looking at my answers to the questionnaire.”

Now we’ll have a good look at those answers and find out exactly what our Virginian does to inspire such whole-hearted appreciation. And then we’ll find out whether, in view of other Reader-Reporters’ replies, he actually is one in a million!

We asked each woman to tell us first whether her husband helps with twenty common household tasks, ranging from dish-washing to changing the baby—if there is a baby. Then we asked her to indicate about how often he helps—almost always, frequently, occasionally or rarely.

And what is the score for the gentleman from Virginia? He’s a good one all right. He has at some time helped out with everything. He almost always washes the windows and hangs out the laundry. “We have an up-stairs apartment,” says his wife, “with no automatic washer and no place to hang the wash, so he takes the clothes over to my sister-in-law’s on his lunch hour and hangs them up for me. The four of us make a lot of washing but he never complains about using his spare time to hang it up.”

Frequently our man helps with shopping for groceries, washing and wiping dishes, washing the clothes, dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing walls and floors and everything in connection with the care of his two children. Occasionally he helps out with the cooking and setting the table.

But now for the most important question: Is a man who helps this much around the house really one in a million? The answer is no.

There are lots of Reader-Reporters whose husbands help out just as much. There are even some who help out more! (We’ll deal further with one of these paragons later.) All in all, good as our Virginia friend is, he’s only slightly above average compared with the husbands or fathers of all our other Reader-Reporters.

Our poll shows that nearly all men – ninety-five percent – help out in some way in connection with meals. Almost all (ninety-two percent) of those with children under twelve help take care of them. Nearly three quarters help out with the household cleaning. And well over half — fifty-nine percent — lend a hand with caring for clothes and linens.

What task would you guess men help with oftenest? It’s not washing the dishes, as the cartoonists seem to think. It’s food shopping.

Perhaps you’re one of the people who think that to send a man out for groceries is to kiss good-by to your food budget. Certainly the comments of a few Reader-Reporters give weight to this legend.

Says one, whose husband helps shop occasionally: “His buying is quite bizarre. 1 ask him to pick up some staple items for me and he comes in with a package loaded mostly with what I consider luxuries—”

But on the whole Reader-Reporters’ experience along this line has been different. Most of the women seem to agree with one who says bluntly, “He not only likes to shop but he’s better at it than I am.”

Other jobs that frequently claim the attention of men are dishwashing — they dry oftener than they wash, though dishwashing is also near the top of the list; washing windows; cooking; washing walls and floors; and for the men with small children all the common tasks connected with their care—amusing the youngsters, acting as baby sitters, dressing them, feeding, bathing and of course changing them.

Are you a woman who doesn’t believe there’s any such animal as a male ironer in domestic captivity? Several Reader-Reporters are. An Ohio wife exclaims: “Your asking if they help with the ironing or bed-making slays me. No man ever did those things! If you locate one I’d certainly like to see him. Gosh!”

We located a lot more than one. Though the men in general help less with ironing than with any other common household duty, one out of every seven takes a turn at it at least occasionally. In fact, another Reader-Reporter from Ohio says, “When I was first married, my husband taught me how to iron!”

As for making beds, every third man helps with that, our Reader-Re-porters tell us. Some are evidently very good at it. One woman says: “My husband went to Annapolis and he doesn’t think my bed-making is up to their standards.” But the military life doesn’t necessarily have such salutary effects on husbands. There’s a Kentucky wife who comments on her husband’s bed-making efforts:

“He loves to show me how they did it in the Marines, but I think he’s forgotten something, because the sheets pull out when he makes our beds.”

Actually the men make beds more frequently than they dust or polish furniture. However, all three of these jobs, as well as ironing and washing and hanging out clothes are engaged in by less than half of them.

But let’s get back to the paragons — the men who will help out with every task. Is there actually one among them who stands out above all of his fellows because of his helpfulness? There is indeed. Though we have no way of proving that he’s one in a million, we can say authoritatively that he’s one in two thousand.

This prince among husbands lives in Ohio and he’s the only man in the en-tire group who is reported to help with all twenty of our household tasks almost always!

“My family call him Saint —,” says his wife proudly, “and everyone remarks that they’ve never known a man who helped as much around the house as he does. Besides that, he’s an engineer and can make, fix and re-pair anything and everything!”

There are reasons, however, why this particular husband needs to help more than other men might need to — in fact five good reasons. As his wife says: “He maintains that when a woman has five children in five and one-half years, as I did, her husband certainly ought to do at least half the rest of the work!”

Nevertheless he’s certainly not obligated to serve his wife breakfast in bed every morning. As a matter of fact he doesn’t — just coffee.

It’s only fair to say that, helpful as the average husband is, there are some obvious slackers. We have the man whose sole contribution is “making iced tea all summer long.” And the one who does nothing except take out the refuse every evening and the one whose wife says: “I even buy his shorts and cigarettes. How-ever, he does get his own haircuts.”

But before consigning this small minority to the nether regions it might be well to remember a comment from a Missouri Reader-Re-porter: “Two months ago I would have said he didn’t help with any-thing except washing the windows. But since then I’ve been ill and I’ve discovered that in an emergency he can take over everything—and do a good job too!”


Woman Double Life Ad -

Trushay Beforehand Lotion Vintage Ad (1949)

“For every woman who leads a double life…” it says on the top of this ad from 1949.  That is OVER 60 years ago….yet many of us women could still relate to this.

The text from this ad is below.  It certainly gave me a few chuckles – Enjoy!

For every woman who leads a double life…

Helpmate you! It’s holiday time – and you’ve extra cooking, extra scrubbing, extra dishes to do! Now, more than ever, your hands are in hot, soapy water. But, you don’t want them rough and kitcheny-looking.  For when festive moments come, it’s…

TRUSHAY…the “beforehand” lotion…guards your hands even in hot, soapy water!

Fashionplate you! And you want your hands lovely as your newest gown! Soft and smooth – not dry or chapped.  That’s why Trushay is a must for you. Read how this unique “beforehand” lotion guards hands while you work – keeps them soft as a model’s.

LUXURIOUS, VELVETY TRUSHAY —yes, it’s beauty-designed for you! You and every woman whose hands are in and out—in and out—of hot, soapy water. “Beforehand” Trushay—a new idea in hand care. A lotion so oil-rich you put it on BEFORE doing dishes or light laundry—and it protects your hands right in the hot, soapy water! Actually helps prevent its drying, roughening damage. Softens and smooths—keeping your hands attractive for holiday glamour moments.

Cherish your hands with Trushay —begin its fabulous “beforehand” care today. And remember, Trushay leads a double life, too! It’s marvelous “beforehand”—and it’s a wonderful lotion to use any time. So have a bottle on your dressing table, as well as in your kitchen. Use Trushay as a softener, a body rub, a powder base. Smooth it on before you go out in wintry weather. Creamy Trushay makes your skin much softer—and guards against painful, ugly chapping.

Child's Upholstered Rocking Chair Plan

Children’s Upholstered Rocking Chair Plans – 1940s

Enjoy making this Children’s Rocking Chair from these restored and refreshed 1940’s plans.

.PDF file – instant download

Nothing delights children more than to have their own small furniture that duplicates in appearance and comfort the pieces that grown-ups enjoy. This is particularly true of a rocking chair, which seems to satisfy a natural craving for activity even while reading a story book.

The original chair is in Chinese red with gaily figured upholstery.

Approximate measurements of rocking chair:

width 16″

depth 13″ for seat /Rails are 23″ long

height 22″



childs-upholstered-rocker-page2-ex childs-upholstered-rocker-page2a-ex

Mother’s Baby Apron Pattern

This apron provides protection not only against splashing water but also, across the shoulders and back, against baby’s spit-up or drooling.

Cut in one piece it is easy to make, and is especially attractive in white outing flannel with contrasting touches of baby pink or baby blue.


This apron is easy to make. However, we advise that, before you do any cutting or sewing, you make a paper pattern, try it on and make any necessary adjustments. The diagrams are “medium size,” but little adjustments in skirt length, tie length etc., may spell the difference between a perfect and an imperfect fitting apron.



Thread to match bias binding

1 skein six strand Embroidery Cotton – Pink or blue

1½ yds. outing flannel

Scrap of pink or blue percale

4 yds. pink or blue bias binding



Cut apron according to diagram below. Bind neck and apron’s edge with bias binding skipping the bottom of the back. Hem top of pocket. Edge pocket’s sides with bias binding and stitch in place. Gather bottom of back to 10” width. Cut tie-belt 3” wide – 2 yds. long. Fold along entire center length. Turn in raw edges. Sew along bottom of the back, leaving equal length to tie in front. Stitch rest of belt. From pink or blue cut 2 bows. Applique to skirt. With pencil, write word “Baby” on skirt. Go over pencil lines with chain stitch using embroidery cotton. Parts of bows may be outlined, too, with chain stitches.


To make the appliques in the easiest way, cut the patterns from cardboard. Cut material slightly larger, then with hot iron press edges of cloth (clipped to make it lie flat) over cardboard pattern. If material is hard to handle, baste it to cardboard first, then pres – and remove basting threads. Hem, slip-stitch, or blanket-stitch cut-out in place.



Here are some tips on enlarging the patterns:

Step 1 – Rule a large sheet of paper into one-inch squares.

Step 2 – Rule the diagram into small squares. Simply take a pencil and ruler and extend the guide lines right over the diagrams.

Step 3 – With pencil, draw the diagram onto the large sheet – square-by-square. There is your pattern! All diagrams, unless otherwise stated, allow for seams.

Romantic Heart Apron Pattern (#APR0102)

Black velvet ribbons run through embroidered beading at the waist, and tied around the neck is a new feature in this dainty apron of a soft light weight drapery fabric with Dresden China like sprigs of flowers on a white background.

View and Download this FREE vintage apron pattern below: Read more

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