Japanese Cat Fabric
| The octagon in AUNT PATSY'S PET, also called AUNT PATTY'S FAVORITE, actually does have a vague resemblance to a cat. At the bottom is its tail curled round, while its peaked ears make up the top two points of the polygon. In addition, the 9-patch checkerboard brings to mind the children's game, adapted as a quilt design, called PUSS IN THE CORNER. All in all, Aunt Patsy's mystery pet would seem to be a domestic cat.
There are endless quilt fabrics with cat or kitten motifs from international sources available online (see Rags to Riches). Both fabrics illustrated here are Japanese imports.
Nancy Cabot illustrated the pattern on August 25, 1936 in the Chicago Tribune (as FOUR AND NINE PATCH), although it dates back to the Ladies Art Company Catalog (#514), 1928, and where it is listed as FLAGSTONES. Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA (#1001), lists it in her section on double blocks where
"One Block Is a Checkerboard" (including, at this site, BLOCK STAR and LOVE CHAIN).
Historical quilt designs were often inspired by American political movements. The tradition of a woman's name accompanied by a personal choice or favorite of some kind, is a reminder of what used to be called the suffragist movement, and through which women at last obtained the right to vote (or run for office). More examples of quilt names inspired by the feminine and owning one's choice include: