Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sophia Peabody Hawthorne and the Old Cambridge Pike

Yardage for my latest Moda reproduction fabric collection
has been shipped to quilt shops.

Each of the prints in the new line is named for a place or a person important in the
mid-19th-century New England intellectual life.

Sophia Amelia Peabody (1809-1871)

Sophia Peabody was one of three remarkable sisters of the generation known as Young America, the first generation born in the new United States in the 19th century. Recall their lives and times in my latest reproduction fabric collection from Moda called Old Cambridge Pike.

The fabrics are reproductions of prints from
shortly before and after the Civil War.

Sketch of her mother
Sophia planned to be an artist but chose to marry writer
Nathaniel Hawthorne.

She and Hawthorne were from Salem along the Massachusetts coast. They lived in two houses near the old Cambridge Turnpike in Concord.

When first married in 1842
they lived in "The Old Manse," near the Concord River.

The Hawthornes wrote on the windows with Sophia's diamond ring.

 At the bottom: "Inscribed by my husband at sunset, April 3 1843. In the Gold light. SAH"

You can still view that window at The Old Manse.

Later the Hawthornes bought a house from the Alcotts, which they named The Wayside, two miles from The Old Manse. Both houses are within the Minuteman National Park in Concord.

I thought Wayside a good name for the stripe in the
  Old Cambridge Pike collection.

The original document print for the stripe
is a glazed chintz. Joyce Gross gave this
swatch to me years ago. I am guessing
it's as old a 1830, but I gave it a range
of 1830-1870.

I also named a colorway in this line Hawthorne Red.

Read more about the Hawthornes' homes in Concord here:

Sophia left many papers. She and her sisters Elizabeth and Mary led well-documented and interesting lives, told in the book The Peabody Sisters by Megan Marshall.

You might want to spend the New Year reading about the people who lived near the Old Cambridge Pike. I'll be featuring some books I've enjoyed.


  1. Another beautiful line of fabric. I am in the process of cleaning and reorganizing. Today my machine goes in to fix a few things and be ready to go when I start sewing. Time to start using my stash and make quilts for the house.


  2. I love this print . I have read several books about Sarah. A historical fiction book that is very true and atmospheric is House of Hawthorne. I reviewed it at http://theliteratequilter.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-house-of-hawthorne-by-erika-robuck.html. An older biography is The Peabody Sisters of Salem which I reviewed at http://theliteratequilter.blogspot.com/2015/11/mini-book-reviews-of-recent-reads.html. It's so cool your line highlights these interesting writers and thinkers.

  3. Barbara, you continue to amaze us with another gorgeous fabric line! American history and notable authors combined with quilts ... what better thing is there? My love for quilts and our history is exceeded only by my love for historic homes and preservation. Happy 2016!!!

  4. Another luscious fabric line, anyone is an eye catching and love the history about the biography.Great post.

  5. I do enjoy your fabrics tied into history, thanks for all your work!