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

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Baltimore Album Quilts Set 6x7

Baltimore Album Quilt,
 Friends and family of Samuel Williams. 1846- 1847.
 107½ x 119½ inches. 
The Baltimore Museum of Art: 
Gift of Serena O’Laughlen Wagner, BMA 1988.206.

Most Baltimore Album quilts were constructed in groups of 25 blocks in a 5 x 5 grid, but a few ambitious projects included nearly twice as many blocks. The quilt made for Samuel Williams includes 42 blocks. I've found five quilts set as rectangles of 42 blocks, each in six rows of seven blocks.

The Samuel Williams quilt is the frontispiece photo 
in William Rush Dunton's 1945 book, in which he studied
these "Old Quilts." 

Baltimore Album Quilt,
Dorcas Goodman Brashear Harvey, 1856,
 85" x 98"
The Baltimore Museum of Art
Gift of Marion Farrow Noldt, Tulsa, Oklahoma
BMA 2007.353

The  "Ladies of  Prince George's County" also used an applique border but simpler and narrower,
one reason this quilt is about 20 inches smaller than the Williams quilt in both dimensions. 

On the top left a Pineapple? A Bee Hive?

Quilt sold at Freeman Auctions, 1847
from Baltimore and Cecil County
100" x 117"

A little space between each block and the repetition of a feather wreath give a nice balance to this 6x7 example.

Anna Putney Farrington
Collection of the Fenimore Art Museum

Farrington was a New Yorker but this quilt has several Baltimore-like blocks. It's sometimes shown with scallops on all 4 sides---a restoration?

Baltimore Album Quilt made for the Rev. George Roberts,
Collection of the Museum at Lovely Lane in Baltimore.

We get so interested in the complex blocks such as this basket from the Williams quilt (similar to one at the bottom of the Roberts quilt above) that we tend not to notice the simpler blocks...

From the Roberts quilt (6x7-5)

like these stars with dogtooth appliqued rings around them.

From the Brashear Harvey quilt (6x7)

Another simple block from the Williams quilt:
14 petals of Prussian blue rainbow dress print,
some framed with Turkey red.

If you are keeping an index to Baltimore Album Quilts here are five examples set 6 by 7.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Barbara, for all your stories, I enjoy them very much, you give so much information, really very interesting! (And I love "Baltimores"!)
The Netherlands

Julie Vernon said...

My husband love BA quilts, even ones made today in that style. After many years of seeing him stand for literally hours in front of ones at Quilt Shows -- I gave in and made him a small one we now have hanging in our bedroom.

THAT YOU Barbara for your generous detailed information.

Smiles, JulieinTN