QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Compton from Moda's Morris Earthly Paradise

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Potted Plants with Reverse Applique

I saw this odd plant in a pot pattern
from the Connecticut project on the Quilt Index.
It's in the collection of the Darien Historical Society.
I'm assuming the white leaf is reverse appliqued,
a hole cut in the red.

The notes directed me to Myron & Patsy Orlofsky's book
Quilts in America
and here was a twin in black and white.
The caption says it is red on white.
It looks like a maple leaf in the reverse applique. 

It's the same quilt, which was in a private
collection in 1974 when the book was published.
Note the one rather ill-defined maple leaf on the right side here;
left side above in color.
The caption calls it Palm Tree Basket.
I posted the pair on my Facebook page and Sandra Starley and Sue Reich pointed out it is the same quilt.

Sue Reich's response: "This quilt in the Darien Historical Society is the same one in Orlofsky. I have a red and green appliqué in my collection with the motif appliquéd around the border. When CQSP documented the Darien collection, we recognized it immediately."

But here is a fraternal twin signed B.J.
It was  pictured in black and white in the magazine The Clarion in 1989. This one with a heart instead of a leaf is said to be from New York. The initials are done in that cross-stitch style applique that is often from New York.

A similar design from a border of a quilt supposedly made in New York.

Another New York quilt, sold at auction.

We could define a category of vegetation with reverse applique
with or without the container.

I'm inclined to see them as ferns rather than
palm trees. Here it is in a mid-19th century
applique from the New Jersey project---a cousin. 
The block

The caption:
"The unusual applique pattern may be an Oak Leaf variation. One similar design, called Friendship Leaf, can be seen in an album quilt owned by the Pennsylvania Farm Museum and published in American Quilts and How to Make Them by Carter Houck and Myron Miller."

There are three of the OakTree/Fern/Palm Tree blocks in the sampler on the cover of the Houck & Miller book.

Here's one in 
an early example of a signature album quilt 
 by Harriet Miller Shinn dated 1841-1843.

The quilt is in the collection of Joyce Fullerton Smith.

Vaguely similar from a sampler shown at a long-ago meeting
of the Studio Quilt Study Group

Another block from the same quilt.

Well this one looks like a palm tree. It's from an album quilt dated 1846 for Lydia Rounsavel.
Lydia Wolverton married Hezekiah Rounsavel on January 22, 1843 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
The photos are from Stella Rubin's online shop.

There's another tree in a pot with reverse applique
on this quilt

From another album

Below: The closest identification I could find in my Encyclopedia of Applique

#40.41 in the strange plants in pots category was
published as Sahara Rose in the Nancy Cabot quilt
column of the Chicago Tribune in 1936 (left here).

The pot is similar. 
Sahara Rose is a lovely name implying palms and cactuses, so Nancy Cabot saw it as some kind of desert plant. I find that the words were in the air at the time. Irving Berlin wrote a song called My Sahara Rose in the 1920s.

"My Little Bimbo Down on the Bimbo Isle"
Never heard it. Don't wanna.

But back to Sahara Rose and the variations.
And it's a very loose category.

Something that could haunt a frustrated librarian.

A sprouted heart inside a heart.
And now it's not really reverse applique but a
great example of positive/negative imagery.

The center block in a quilt  (1840-1900?) from an online auction.
There are probably more of these loose variations found in borders like this one from the Museum
of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Quilt Index.

From Northwest Auctions

The original observation, which has led so far afield.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Heavenly Vision From North Carolina

Emily Maxwell and her Heavenly Vision Quilt
about 1955

I found this charming quilt and its story at the North Carolina Museum of History.

Heavenly Vision made by Emily Margaret Eller Maxwell (1867-1957) 
North Carolina, 1952
85 x 67"
Collection North Carolina Museum of History

 Maxwell "said that she had been sent a vision of heaven and that God told her to make this quilt."
Note the "HV."

The Museum has a wide-ranging collection and the website gives much detail about the quilts and the makers. It's really an exemplary site.

Quilt from the Roach Family

Friendship quilt, apparently made in New York,
date inscribed 1845-1855
Collection North Carolina Museum of History

Medallion with a pillar print center

Collection North Carolina Museum of History

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tessellations: Hexagons 1 Random shading, stripes & waves

Just hexagons, no shading pattern
BlockBase #160a

In trying to find a quilt for every pattern BlockBase I got fixated in the hexagons. There are so many things you can do with them. We will begin with the simplest. They are all the same quilt, just shaded differently, and they are all BlockBase #160. 

The first is hit or miss---No repetitive shading pattern....

Published names from Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns
Poor Boy
Hit or Miss

#160a From about 1880-1900
Random shading

Hexagon quilts with no plan tend to be
the utilitarian versions, like the early 20th-century tied comforter above
or polyester double-knit below.

Below BlockBase#160b--shaded in stripes

Mid-19th century

Godey's Lady's Book showed this shaded stripe in 1850 but didn't give it a name.

Quilt dated 1877 with the name pieced in:
"Honeycomb Centre"

About 1900

Farm and Home magazine called it Variegated Hexagons about 1890

About 1870-1890

About 1910 above and below

Date inscribed 1821, Emeline D Ellery.

This early strip quilt in the collection of Historic Deerfield
has alternating strips of rosettes and stripes. See more here:

More about rosettes later.

Two years ago Mary Kerr organized a show of hexagon quilts at the Paducah Rotary Show with this one from Dana Balsamo's collection that has a lot in common with the 1821 Ellery quilt.

160c Ocean Wave, about 1890
The strips of light and dark could wobble back and forth.
British author Averil Colby called this undulating arrangement 
Ocean Wave.


From East Tennessee, early 20th century?
Case Antiques

A couple of decades later, same idea.

Hex on the Beach, a recent quilt
by Tula Pink.
Colby showed a few of these shaded patterns she called Ocean Wave but not many Americans tried it.