Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lidian from Old Cambridge Pike

Each of the prints in my latest Moda reproduction fabric collection
recalls a person or place along the Old Cambridge Pike
that ran through literary New England.

The largest floral is named Lidian.

The document print above, a gift from collector Arnold Savage.

Woman posing with a similar furnishing print, about 1890.

A perfect piece of cretonne from the 1870-1900 era.

We toned down the colors.

The repro print comes in 8 colorways across the whole range---
blue to red and pink.

And it has a butterfly for you fans of fussy-cut

It's named for Lidian Emerson (1802-1892)
This photo with son Edward Waldo was taken in the late 1840s.

Lydia Jackson married widower Ralph Waldo Emerson when she was 32 in 1835. They moved to a large house on the Cambridge and Concord Turnpike in Concord (It's now called Lexington Road). Emerson, a former minister, became a philosopher and surprisingly a philosopher who made a good living writing and lecturing about his ideas. 

Emerson called his wife Lidian and this became her name, although he had several other nicknames for her.
"Queenie (who has a gift to curse and swear) will every now and then despite of all manners & christianity rip out on Saints, reformers, & Divine Providence with the most edifying zeal."
Ralph Waldo Emerson diary, 1841.
The house was large and visitors like Henry Thoreau and Margaret Fuller stayed for months on end.

The Emerson House on the old Cambridge Pike was the center of literary New England, home to transcendentalist philosophers, novelists, poets and dreamers.

You can walk from the Emersons to the Hawthornes to the Alcotts--- something every one interested in American literature should do.

We used the Lidian print in brown for the strips in the "Wild Oats"
(pattern picture from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company).

Here's my reading list for this month:

Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall. If I were Lidian I would have spoken sharply to Margaret who lived in the attic entirely too long. I imagine Queenie did have a few words to say.

The Selected Letters of Lidian Jackson Emerson,
edited by Delores Bird Carpenter.

The People of Concord: One Year in the Flowering of New England by Paul Brooks.

And if you like historical fiction there's a hot novel:
Mr Emerson's Wife by Amy Belding.

Melissa Corry stitched the model quilt for "Wild Oats."
She used the blue colorway.

See her post here:

I'm going to show some antique quilts with cretonne borders
over on my Facebook page this week.


  1. I'm very excited to get my hands on some of this fabric. Excellent subject matter to take us into the past with the Transcendentalists. Our Unitarian Universalist minister recently delivered a sermon to us about the life of Mary Moody Emerson, Ralph Waldo's aunt who helped raise him and influenced him very much well into his adult life.

    Best wishes from Mary Kirwin

  2. What a gorgeous line of fabric!!

  3. Beautiful. I still have some Ladies Album remnants. I bet these will play well together. Your talent is so appreciated!

  4. No need to tone down repro fabric for me. I have shelves and shelves of drab and/or dark fabric. Some things with "life" would be much appreciated..... your blog is well appreciated --- thank you.