QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT


Friday, October 23, 2020

Colonial Rose: A Really Good Idea

An early 20th-century quilt

From Cindy's Antiques

It's not easy to come up with anything new in American applique design
but here is a pattern you do not see in the 19th century.

What makes this different from traditional, older roses
is the shape of the central flower....

...based on heart shapes rather than a single simple floral.


But more than that the floral has a distinctive border.

Swags with a deep loop in the corners.

From the Wyoming project & the Quilt Index

Common names are Rose of Sharon and Ohio Rose.

Colonial Rose is the name
given to it by the woman who designed the basic pattern.

Ladder back chairs and crazy quilts....

(No colonial needleworker ever made one but you know
how important the colonial image was in the early 20th century.)
Martha Washington, etc.

The pattern was probably invented by women at the St. Louis
Fancywork Company who worked to combine colonial and modern---
a historical mishmash---but this design really appealed to quiltmakers.

One often sees the design in cotton sateen (a satin weave with
extra yarns floating on the top to reflect light.) I wonder if the sateen versions
were not sold as kits.



Mountain Mist has a variation they call Ohio Rose with a different border.


Not nearly so dramatic though.

From Cindy's Antiques, the Mountain Mist Ohio Rose

There were many variations of block and border

Helen F. Spencer Museum of Art at the
University of Kansas

Carrie Hall called this version with longer stems Topeka Rose.

From my Encyclopedia of Applique

You may be able to identify the pattern source by the border details.



The St. Louis Fancywork Company had two good ideas, the
block and the border. Their pattern seems to date to the 1910 decade.


When this third idea, pastel colors for applique, was also innovative.

Celia Pardue Hyde knew a good idea when she saw it and
entered her cotton sateen Louisiana Rose in the 1933 Sears quilt contest
at the World's Fair where she won a prize.


Monday, October 19, 2020

Seattle Quilt Show: 1927

Detail of an album sampler quilt with a scalloped edge

You missed a good quilt show in Seattle. The Post-Intelligencer
decided to hold a contest for antique quilts in 1926 and 1,600 old quilts were entered
They hung 100 in January, 1927


They published a small catalog with black and white pictures. You can view it online at this link:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89057184020;view=1up;seq=52

Old-time quilts;: A collection of old-time quilt patterns chosen from entries in the Post-intelligencer quilt show January, 1927 [Redington, Bernice Orpha] 

Prizes of silver cups were awarded 
(I have to say the judges' taste was mysteriously dull.)

This neat but mundane pieced design won the sweepstakes.
Perhaps the green and pink color scheme seemed innovative.

Sophie Johns's silk quilt won her a silver cup.


Perhaps Mrs. Seabury was married to the lawyer Howard Seabury of Skagit County. His mother Eliza Wakesham Seabury (1852- 1909) immigrated from England to Nebraska with her family in 1855, which may be a clue into this unusual pictorial. 

A few more, with names recorded in 1926.

A Moss Rose

Julie Silber showed this one at a 1981 Oakland Museum exhibit


Similar quilts with different names, showing the persistence
of the names Rocky Mountain and Crown of Thorns for the
design we call New York Beauty.
A Baltimore album, loaned by Mrs. Johnson,
making it hard to find as I believe Johnson is the
most common surname in the US.

Another Baltimore quilt; this one has been traced to the present day.

When Nancy Ann Twelker and friends did a Washington state project
they came across it again.

From Women and Their Quilts: A Washington State Centennial Tribute 
Nancyann Johanson Twelker 1988

The family believed it to have been made as a gift for Mary Jane Pierre Robertson (about 1817-1875) by members of her Rebekah Lodge in Baltimore when she and her family left for the west coast. Although they intended to settle in California they found a farm on Whidbey Island where William Robertson became the light house keeper.

The center wreath includes a picture of the first Baltimore lodge built by the fraternal organization The  Oddfellows at the corner of North Gay & Orange Streets.

The first building was expanded in 1852 with the Tower Building added
but one can see the original facade with its triple bay of windows
before the Gothic overlay was added.



Collection of the International Quilt Museum.
Quilt with the same building before the addition signed
Mrs. E. E. Cooke.


The Robertson quilt with its alternating applique blocks
is now in the collection of the Thomas Wildey Museum,
a small Odd Fellow's museum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Back to the catalog:

The first prize for applique went to a "Poinsettia"
in blue and white. It may have been the sheer number
of dots that influenced the choice. The eagle border is
unusual.






Thursday, October 15, 2020

Flora Delanica #1 French Rose


Flora Delanica #1: French Rose, Rosa Gallica by Becky Brown



We begin our Block-of-the Month Flora Delanica with a red rose, the traditional symbol of England (French Rose?)  Following Mary Granville Delany's story we'll learn a good deal about 18th-century English history. She was a child of her century, born in the year 1700 and dying in 1788. Below Mary's paper collage of the Rosa Gallica combined with a portrait of Queen Anne.

Queen Anne, a Stuart:
 "It can never be good for England to have a Papist on the throne."

Mary's tale begins in the days of England's Queen Anne (1665-1714), the last Stuart ruler. Anne came to the throne in 1702 when Mary was two years old. Anne's inheriting the crown from sister Queen Mary was a boon for Mary Granville's family who were Tory aristocrats and politicians. To simplify it we may say that the Tories were conservatives with their fates linked to the Catholic Stuarts, also called Jacobites. (Wait a minute! It's not simple.)

Suffice it to say that the men in the elite Granville family tied their ambitions to Queen Anne's family and in our Mary's youth they did quite well. Her aunts had been royal ladies-in-waiting, one to Anne and one to Anne's sister Queen Mary. The child Mary Granville was of proper birth and proper politics to look forward to an exalted position as a Lady of the Bedchamber or something similar for the new queen and that is how her young life was shaped, trained in the graces thought to create a lady who was an adornment to a royal court.

Autobiography, Mary Delany.

Queen Anne's heir, Duke of Gloucester
with a royal dog. William died the year Mary
Granville was born.

We are horrified to learn that by the time Queen Anne took the throne at the age of 37 she had suffered through 17 (or 18) pregnancies with only 5 live births. Only one son William survived early childhood but he died at the age of 11, perhaps from hydrocephaly, fluid in the brain, which could have been a symptom of many other conditions. Surely there was something terribly wrong in the royal genetics.

Anne herself was in miserable health, dying rather abruptly in 1714 at the age of 49. With no direct heirs and Catholics and Protestants vying for power, the Granvilles bet on the Jacobites, allying with the son of the last Catholic King James II. This James known as "The Old Pretender" ran a parallel court from France and Rome. Betting on him was a poor choice in the long run and the short.

Mary's Uncle George Granville, Lord Lansdowne 
never gave up on the Old Pretender even after Young Pretender Bonnie
 Prince Charlie's defeat in a 1746 British invasion.

The Granvilles were out when the Whigs and Protestants took over. England had few options for a royal candidate to replace Anne but there was a Protestant relative in Hanover, one of the small German states. Although dozens of Catholic relatives had better claims, King George I trundled up his court, his mistresses (not his wife), their ladies-in-waiting, his musician (Handel) and some of his Protestant children (the Hanovers did not get along with their children) and sailed for England, where his heirs rule today.

England's George I did not speak English.


Denniele Bohannon's French Rose

 At the age of 14 Mary Granville's future, which had appeared so rosy, was now rather bleak.

The Block 
French Rose


Applique on the diagonal to a square cut 10-1/2" or on the vertical center of a rectangle cut  9-1/2" x 12-1/2".


One Way to Print the Pattern:
Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11".
Click on the image above.
Right click on it and save it to your file.
Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". Note the inch square block for reference.
Adjust the printed page size if necessary.


Mary Delany's Rosa Gallica.
Her initials cut from paper are in the lower right.
Most of these photos are from the British Museum's site.
They have 970 of Mary's botanical pictures. 
See their beautiful photo here:


The Flora Delanica patterns are perfect for wool applique
as you can tell from Nancy Phillips's block.


A Little More Mary Delany

Each month we'll look at an extra collage from Mary's Flora Delanica. The British Museum has the best collection. You may want to draw your own designs based on hers.


Dianthus caryophyllus, a variety of Jersey Pink (We call them carnations.)


Extra Reading & Viewing:

Our most recent impression of poor Queen Anne is the 2018 movie The Favourite, with Olivia Colman playing the Queen.

Clarissa Campbell Orr published a biography
of Mary Delany last year.

Here's a preview:

Social Media

Our Facebook Group: MaryDelanyQuilt

We have our own Instagram page
#MaryDelanyQuilt


French Rose, Rosa Gallica by Barbara Brackman
I'm using various dark patterned backgrounds and orienting the florals on point.
I view this project as a contemporary Broderie Perse project so am using
fabrics that echo the shading and lines in Mary's collage.