Saturday, March 25, 2023

String Pieced Tulips


Here's a pattern that seems to have been passed around hand to hand rather than through the commercial network of pattern publications. It's all pieced; see the seam going from the brown striped fabric on the left to the edge of the block.

The examples I see in online auctions tend
to look mid-20th century.

Pieced & appliqued, a rather singular single tulip.

More common 4-way version

Like most string quilt variations there was no 
published source.

Stitchers adapted common tulip designs.

Often a modified version of this Ladies' Art Company
design called Four Tulips

Madge Zeigler's  collection
But the pattern is simpler---no complex curves

And even though I cannot find a published pattern for that 
simpler pieced tulip it was quite the thing; this one maybe 1940s 
or '50s from Ileana Villazon's inventory.

And here's another version that looks to be about 1900
 (dated by the claret wine print sashing) with that characteristic 
South Carolina coastal taste for a chintz-scale border.


The best known example of the string tulip may be a 
single tulip on the cover of  the Georgia Quilts book.

Made by sisters Mary Elizabeth Sullivan Parham (1869-1957) 
& Annie Sullivan Parham (1876-1965). Both Sullivans married Parhams.
I mentioned this quilt in my book Making History: Quilts & Fabric
From 1890-1970

This is not quite the same story as the one I copied in the book
and it's not quite clear which is correct.
See Mary Lizzie's Find-A-Grave file:

The idea of a single tulip was rather unusual before the Georgia book but the cover was such a knock-out that many were inspired by the Parham quilt.

Including friends Buffy & Nifty

Like Buffy (Sally LeBoeuf), I used striped fabric:

Georgia Tulip
See a pattern in my book Making History

Georgian Tulips---Look for a pattern on Etsy

String Tulip, Sue Maddox at Cowslip Workshops

Here's the pattern from Making History (on its side to
fit on a sheet of printer paper.)

I've been thinking about the more common pieced four-way design.
Since it's not in BlockBase I thought I'd draw a pattern for the
basic piecing.

This fits on an 8-1/2" wide sheet.

And here's one quarter---larger.

Like most string pieced designs it seems to have been a Southern favorite.

An exception:
The New Jersey Project found this one attributed to 
Elizabeth Glass (1867-1938) of Crosswicks, New Jersey.

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