Giddap-side down

Here are 2 patterns from the Kansas City Star  Giddap , and Ararat

Giddap KC Star 7 18 31

Giddap, Kansas City Star 7/18/31


Ararat , Kansas City Star 6/6/31

Quilt Historian Gloria Nixon (see her great feed sack  book here ;  wrote about these patterns:

Eveline Foland of The Kansas City Star designed both patterns. She was born and raised in KC and trained at the Kansas City Art Institute. Giddap ran on July 18, 1931. Just one month earlier, June 6, 1931, the Star published Foland’s “Ararat, A Swope Park Elephant.” The elephant wasn’t introduced in a political way. As Foland explained, he was all about children and the famous Swope Park in Kansas City:

“Little did Ararat, slow old elephant that he is, ever think he would find himself gracing a quilt block when he came to live in the Swope Park zoo, there to become enthroned in the hearts of Kansas City children. Here he is, nevertheless, and it is surprising how dignified and important he will look ambling across a quilt for little brother’s bed. Big sister could make it, too, now that school is over, for it is not a difficult piece of quilting.
One thinks of purple and gold as colors, because they are royal colors, and in the Far East royalty traveled on elephants, but dark blocks with a bright blanket would be quite as pretty…”

Giddap was a different story. here it is:

“Remember Ararat the Swope Park elephant who filled this space a few weeks ago? Three guesses as to what the ingenious ladies’ aid of the Sedalia, Mo., Congregational church did to him. Well, they made a G.O.P. elephant out of him. Now they are calling for a Democratic donkey to be his running mate. Here is the answer in ‘Giddap,’ a very democratic donkey. Now the Sedalia ladies can complete their quilt and make their cooky cutters that they intend to use in the window sales during the political conventions and presidential campaign of 1932. If you are not so politically minded you may want to use ‘Giddap’ for a child’s quilt and what an appealing motif it will make.”

I often see examples of the Giddap quilt, but rarely Ararat.  I look at what is for sale on eBay often, and sometimes I find one that is interesting.  That brings me to today’s purchase.  Scanning the listings  I saw this quilt top from a seller in Norcross Georgia…the listing said: Vintage Quilt Top 67 inches by 76 inches.  Purchased from an estate sale.  Looks like made out of feed sacks….older cotton….

and here is the picture


it took me a minute to figure out what it was…..but it is Giddap – upside down and backward


and with a few blocks turned the wrong way.  He is on his way to my house now….not sure yet but I think I am NOT going to “fix” it….he has lots of personality the way he is.

Happy Quilting


for more see this post  by Edie McGinnis

17 thoughts on “Giddap-side down

  1. Sara says:

    How wonderful! I bet they didn’t even know what they had there.

    • timquilts says:

      I imagine that they didn’t know….I didn’t recognize it until the auction was almost over….and I looked at it several times trying to imagine what they had in mind….

  2. Siobhan says:

    When I made these blocks I did turn them around…the elephant faces right and the donkey left…just seems right that way!

  3. Eileen Mele says:

    A pattern for the elephant and donkey, plus cats and clowns and things has been printed and published years ago! People see photos and redraw them and say they’re designing it? How is this possible? A rose by any other name is still a rose. Changing a small part of the design makes you the originator? Just saying. Internet shows a lot of stuff that comes from old books.

    • timquilts says:

      yes they were published a long time ago….1931 as I said in the post…and I cited the source and pattern name, as well as historical information…I never made any claim that this was my design and I am not aware of anyone other than the original designer ever trying to claim that they designed these patterns

  4. Thanks for showing the historical context of these patterns. I hadn’t seen the elephant before, either. There are SO MANY quilts with a political nature. One of my favorites is the FREEDOM quilt. Here is a link that shows it. My understanding is that Telfair made the quilt after spending many hours trying to register to vote, and then losing her job for doing so. Note that it was made in 1983. Things don’t always progress in straight lines, do they?

    Thanks again.

  5. A friend of mine did the donkey quilt for someone at her church, to replicate a quilt he had had since he was young. She noticed that with the three triangles at the bottom, it looks like the donkey has a total of six hooves. I wouldn’t have noticed that myself, but now I wonder about it whenever I see it!

  6. Carolanne says:

    I am sure your quilting will breath life into him and add to his quirky character. (I don’t mean your quilting is quirky!)

  7. With the blue running vertically through the center, it looks as if the creator may have wanted to suggest a horse (or donkey) on a carousel post.


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