Sunday, December 10, 2017

Patience Smith: Sacred to Memory

Quilt dated 1852 with 123 names inked in the border.
Western Pennsylvania Project and the Quilt Index.

The quilt was made for Miss Patience Smith (1806-1874).
In the oval is inked:
"A precious memento from
my pupils at Friends' Institute
New York 1852
Sacred to memory
Patience Smith"

The height of patchwork fashion in 1852:
Turkey red prints and a green appliqued grape vine border.

A family member who obtained the quilt from her grandfather brought it to be documented. She thought it might have been made in Palmyra in western New York, but it is clear that Patience Smith was a teacher in New York City. For many years she was principal of the Friends' Institute there, a Quaker school.

Patience Smith's school moved to East 16th Street in 1860.
Stuyvesant Square is located around 2nd Avenue and 15th Street.

Friends' Seminary (the name was also changed in 1860) is proud of its claim to be the oldest continuously coeducational school in New York City. The school is now housed in four buildings in the Stuyvesant Square Historic District. The building above was finished in 1861 after Patience Smith's tenure. Ads list her as Principal of the Female Department of the coeducational school as late as 1857.

Information from the alumni book of the State Normal College

Smith was herself a pupil at Emma Willard's famous Seminary at Troy, New York. She was also a graduate of the third class of the New York State Normal College at Albany in 1846 at the age of forty or so.

She later lived with older sister Diana Baright in their hometown of Quaker Street, a small community in the town of Duanesburg, Schenectady County, New York. The sisters died within three days of each other in the spring of 1874.

Their obituaries describe them together as the epitome of earnest Quakers:
"Quiet and unobtrusive, these two sisters were desirous of conforming their lives to the golden rule, by ministering to the comfort and happiness of others. Earnest were their efforts in behalf of the cause of temperance, and sincere their desires that something might be done to stem the torrent of crime, and injustice, and wrong-doing so fearfully flooding the land in consequence of the prevalence of this vice. The subject of right education claimed their warm interest. In their intercourse with others, they were kind and affectionate, and were constantly recommending purity of life by their own shining examples."

They are buried in the cemetery at the Friends' Meeting House in Quaker Street.

It's too bad no one specifically mentioned Patience's career as an important teacher and school administrator. The quilt with her students' names must have been treasured till the end of her life

I'll be looking at the connections between schools and album quilts in 2018 on my Civil War Quilts blog. The free Block of the Month postings called Antebellum Album will begin on January 31, 2018. One of the twelve pieced designs will be based on the pattern in Patience Smith's quilt.


See more about the quilt here:

I've been adding quilt photos to Find-A-Grave files lately.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cochrane's Turkey Red

There was a time when one could not run a Presidential 
campaign without a red bandanna.

Benjamin Harrison & Levi Morton ran on an "America First"
platform in 1888 promising,  according to this bandanna,
"Home Markets for Home Industries"

Earlier red bandanas had to be imported but by the 1880s America boasted a thriving Turkey red
dyeing and printing industry. So the campaign textiles were domestically produced:
A case of a political campaign following through on it's promise to use "home industries."

Chief among the domestic Turkey red printers was Cochrane's Turkey Red.

Many political bandannas have the Cochrane's signature.

Cochrane's Turkey red was a brand name that seemed to have
 commercial value.

Above:  Munson & McNamara in Wichita advertised: "1000 yards of Turkey red prints, six colors; mind you, made by Cochrane the famous Turkey red man. Price 4-3/4 cents. 1894."

Cochrane's Manufacturing also produced yard goods (I imagine the 6 colors they advertised would be figures in a Turkey red background.)
 1904 Cochrane bandanna patent from the files
of the New York Public Library

The Cochrane family came to Massachusetts from Renfrewshire, Scotland in 1844. There seem to have been several Cochranes in the fabric and dyeing business in Massachusetts and I wouldn't
be surprised to find a family feud as there are records of two distinct Cochrane companies involved with Turkey red.

The John Cochranes dyed and printed cotton in the Cochrane Manufacturing Company. The Alexander Cochranes, who came to the U.S. from Scotland in 1847, owned the Cochrane Chemical Company, which "produced Turkey red dye". Turkey red is technically not a dye but a process. The Chemical Company imported synthetic alizarin, the chemical colorant used in the process.

Both families traced their ancestry to Barrhead, Scotland, a town not far from Glasgow and Paisley, centers for Turkey red printing. Turkey red bandanna printing is said to have originated in 1802 by Henry Monteith & Co of Glasgow. An 1851 book on Scotland described Barrhead as "inhabited chiefly by persons employed in the mills, bleachfields, and printfields...."

Malden, Massachusetts, early 20th century

Both Cochrane families wound up in Malden, but links between the two Cochrane branches seem invisible. 

John Cochrane II (1833 - 1916) returned to Scotland to "complete his education" between 1851 and 1854 and went into the textile business in Lynn, Massachusetts, eventually opening the mill in Malden. 

The earliest political textile with Cochrane's signature I've found is the 1880 Hancock & English bandanna.

When John Cochrane began printing Turkey red cottons is unknown. The earliest reference so far was an 1882 account by Keshav Malhar Bhat who wrote about his efforts to bring Turkey red dyeing technology to India. American dyers and printers, always secretive about their methods, refused to see him, but in 1882 he met John Cochrane,  "proprietor of Cochrane's Turkey Red and Mystic Print Works," who showed him "enough of the art to start a small dye-house in India."

Cochrane's Turkey Red Oil Color Robe Prints
A robe print, I assume, is meant for wholecloth coverlets.

Here's one from a Cochrane competitor

Cochrane also did kerchiefs and bandannas in blue.

Two more Cochrane bandannas just for fun

We missed a show at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City last year. See curator Don Reeves talking about the exhibit A Yard of Turkey Red: The Western Bandanna in this video:

Monday, December 4, 2017

EQ8---Electric Quilt News

The newest version of Electric Quilt, EQ8 is now available. Ask for the quilt design software EQ8 at your local quilt shop or click here to see this new program at ElectricQuilt.com.

Of course, my first question was:
Will my BlockBase program 
work with EQ8?

And Tech Support tells me it will 
link with EQ8 just like it did with EQ7.

Other news: There's an EQ Mini Version of EQ7 that
is perfect for beginners. 

Good tool to start drawing your own designs.

Tech Support tells me with the EQ Mini you can link BlockBase files too.

More News:
The EQ Mini and EQ8 are both available for MAC operating systems too!

BlockBase is a stand-alone program that is designed for Windows only---but you can copy the 4,000 pieced blocks into your MAC EQ7 or EQ8 programs.
Heidi at Tech Support says:
 To link BlockBase to EQ8 for Mac or EQ Mini for Mac you must first have BlockBase installed on a Windows computer first and then copy files to a Mac to be able to install BlockBase on a Mac. Please contact techsupport@electricquilt.com with any questions

An EQ8 Upgrade under your tree!

Need more silly consumer photos? Just do a web search in images:
Ad Happy Housewife

Friday, December 1, 2017

Amelia's Aviary 2: Peacocks

Peacock chintz

Stuffed quilt attributed to Amelia Heiskell Lauck, Collection of
Colonial Williamsburg # 2008.609.6.
Circa 1825

The second of Amelia's Aviary is this peacock quilt. The catalog reads:

"Although not signed by Amelia Lauck, the quilt can be attributed to her. Like a signed quilt by Amelia Lauck in the collection, this one is configured in a framed center-medallion format with concentric borders of alternating stuffed-work quilting and pieced sawtooth and zigzag patterns with eight-pointed stars in the corners. It uses many of the same printed cottons. A trademark of Amelia’s quilts is the intricate quilting patterns that were given added dimension with cotton stuffing."

See a recent post on a partridge print in Amelia's quilt here:

The source for Amelia's birds in this quilt were easier for me to 
find than her partridges. In the corners of the central wreath are
a peacock and a pea hen.
The peacock with his impressive tail is looking to the left.

Most of the yardage I've seen features the same bird looking
to the right. His body faces left but his head turns to the right.

Mrs Peacock, the peahen, also faces the right.

the opposite of the pen hen in the Lauck quilt.

Winterthur Museum collection #1969-3805-004
In this piece with a blue blotch ground you can see the pea family in yellow.

The peahen seems to be smiling at her three chicks.
Amelia didn't include the chicks in her applique.

Although the maker of this quilt found in the Connecticut project found a way to use
them in her border.

IQSCM # 2006-0005-0001
The peacock & peahen fabric was another popular print in the
U.S. in the 1825-1850 era.

In the Winterthur catalog Printed Textiles: British and American Cottons and Linens Linda Eaton shows this piece on page 303 with the caption:
"Printed in Britain: 1820s.
This high-quality block-printed design features peacocks on a tea ground and is reminiscent of the work of Francis Barlow. His designs, originally published in the late seventeenth century were copied and revived for centuries."

Watercolor by Francis Barlow (?1626–1704) 
Collection of the Tate Britain.
The source for the chicks and the female.

Amelia's quilt has a rather bird-like shape in the center. It doesn't look
like a peacock and I was discouraged about looking for such a vague image
until I noticed a similar bird lurking in the rose bushes around the peacock family above
the peacock's tail.

He has that awkward look that Audubon's birds often do---
As if he was drawn from a dead bird (he probably was).

Amelia liked him well enough to put him and the roses in the center of her medallion.
As I noted Amelia's yardage seems to have a flipped design. I found another quilt
with the peacock and pea hen images also flipped to face the other way.
Now, it could be that the photos are flipped---a mistake easily made in the old
days of transparencies.

Cut-out-chintz quilt attributed to Arianna Sollers Bouldin (1816-1870),
Baltimore in the collection of the DAR Museum.

Arianna used more chintzes than Amelia in her masterpiece here,
but they have a lot in common, particularly gorgeous stuffed-work quilting.

Amelia's peacock

Arianna's peacock
Do also note the similar stuffed flower of 7 dots above both birds' backs.

Another left-facing peacock in a quilt shown at the Folsom History Museum's annual show
about 5 or 6 years ago.

Old Sturbridge Village collection from Mass Quilts & the Quilt Index.
Although it's hard to see in the small photo, the peacock facing left and pea hen are 
at the base of this tree.

Cooper Hewitt collection
This is the only yardage I've found with the bird
facing that direction---again, could be a flipped photo.

I solved the mystery of where Amelia Lauck found her peacock and pea hen but the most interesting question remains:
What did Ariana Sollers Bouldin and Amelia Heiskell Lauck have in common besides some peacock fabric and a quilting pattern?