QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Baltimore Blues

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Alice's Scrapbag: New Repro Prints

Strike-offs for a fall reproduction line:
Alice's Scrapbag
Balmoral Blue shades

Frock pink & Garibaldi Red shades

Most of the prints come from the four-patch below.

Double Four Patch by Alice Browne, age 9 in 1867

This simple quilt is pieced of blocks made from scraps of 
Alice's family's home sewing.

How do I know?

Alice wrote a note stitched to the lower left front in the picture above:
" This quilt was pieced---a complete surprise for my mother---when I was nine years old. Almost every piece in it is from dresses of members of the family."
Alice L. Metcalf 

Alice Lancaster Browne (1858-1929) made the blocks for this quilt as a gift for her mother Catherine Mechling Browne. Alice's father had died in Kentucky during the Civil War, the same year Alice's sister Josephine was born. Soon after her mother was widowed, Alice, sisters and her mother went to live with Catherine's parents in western Pennsylvania.

We can imagine mother Catherine's delight at seeing the neat double four-patches made from prints from the family scrapbag.

A tiny calico

I would bet that Alice's Pennsylvania-German grandmother Anne Eliza Heiner Mechling has something to do with the surprise.

In the 1870s mother, grandmother and three daughters moved to Lawrence, Kansas, my home town. It looks to me like the quilt was set and quilted in the 1870s when Alice was a teenager, probably finished here.

Lawrence in the 1860s with the Bullene store in the center. Kansas State Historical Society

Alice married William Lathrop Bullene when she was about 18. William came to Lawrence, Kansas Territory as a child with his parents in 1857. His father opened a dry goods store, which is still in business here as Weaver's Department Store.

With William Bullene, Alice had two daughters Marguerite and Frederica. The youngest inherited the quilt with the note from her mother attached. Frederica's granddaughter has cared for the quilt into the 21st century.

Alice's in-laws the Bullenes with her youngest daughter 
Frederica the child in the center.

Alice and William divorced after 14 years of marriage. When Alice was 55 she married Brigadier General Wilder S. Metcalf during World War I.

A pink foulard with a textured background---
Probably a dress for Alice or her sisters.
Two reproductions at the bottom.

Alice's  family allowed me to photograph the prints in the quilt. We've chosen several to reproduce in a fabric collection coming out in late summer, 2015.

Alice's Scrapbag

The pink here is a reproduction of the tiny brown calico

Moda's sales reps are showing Alice's Scrapbag now, but the precuts won't be available until August. Here's a sneak peek.

A touch of olive in the reproduction of the brown figure.

Read more about the Bullene family's experience during Quantrill's Raid in the Civil War at this post:


Denniele said...

Can't wait....beautiful prints

Denniele said...

Can't wait....beautiful prints

Nann said...

What a treat we have in store! I enjoyed the history behind the prints.

Phyllis said...

They look wonderful!
Definitely some blues, red and pinks in there I want to get my hands on!

WoolenSails said...

I love the new line and definitely something I would love to use in a quilt. Working on some stitching for now and someday I will be able to get back into things again.


Teri and Kara said...

These are beautiful reproductions; and all the more knowing the story behind the prints. Can't wait to see them in person!

Susie Q said...

It's a shame that the Moda site has such flat dark photos of these fabrics. I understand now why you went to extra effort to show the pattern in your blog. As always I am ready for some real repos. Fall is a long way off.

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

How fortunate to have that note with the quilt! I suppose all mothers delight in complete surprises from their children;). I will look forward to seeing your reproductions in the shops!