ANDERSON — David and Diane Schonauer have added a quilt block to their 1892 Victorian house located in the Westside Historic District in the city of Anderson.
It is known locally as the Cathcart House since the Cathcart family owned the home from 1919 until 1991. The Schonauers purchased the home from the estate of the last Cathcart residing there and are only the home’s third owners. An extensive interior renovation and addition were constructed and completed in 2002.
The Tumbling block has been placed on the rear addition.
The “Tumbling Block” pattern was first used by Victorian ladies to show off scraps of their finest silk fabrics. The diamond pattern requires the corners to be matched with great care for this patterns unusual geometric effect to be realized, since the 1830’s quilts of this pattern were designated as more luxurious than the square block patterns.
This pattern also has many other names including cubework, heavenly stairs, and Pandora’s Box. This particular pattern is called “Box of Tricks” from the book Building Block Quilts by Sara Nephew.
Diane Schonauer pieced the quilt top. It was quilted by Heirlooms and Comforts, and completed in 2006.
“I started this quilt in a class in Illinois in 1998 at a shop called Pieceful Hearts. Sara Nephew’s construction method eliminates the challenging ‘Y seam.’ Each block contains two 60 degree diamonds and four 60 degree triangles, the two triangles in the ‘medium position’ are matching fabric,” she said.
Schonauer’s mother had started a few quilts, among them Cathedral Window and Log Cabin, before three daughters and full time employment stopped her from completing them.
“I loved seeing these pieces as a young child and consequently have always liked quilts,” she said. “My sister, Linda Lilly, actually taught me how to sew. She made all of our clothes from the time I was 10 through my high school years. She is a very accomplished seamstress and has a degree in clothing and textiles.”
In the 1980’s Schonauer and her sister took a quilting class at Katie’s Calico Corners.
“I was hooked. Linda has not ever quilted again,” Schonauer said. “In the early 1990’s, quilting classes were offered as an adult continuing education program and I signed up for the very first one. I have been quilting ever since.”