Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Regional Clue---Run-on Corners


Quilt from about 1900.
Note the multiple strip borders, 3 on one side,
1 on 2 sides, and none on the last side.
Many style characteristics tell us this is probably a Southern quilt: 
The fabric with an emphasis on solid chrome orange, brown and teal green/blue.
The use of strip borders and, in particular, the way the corners were handled is often a clue.

Attributed to the Allen Sisters of Tennessee
5 Strips, pieced as individual border units and then attached.

Attributed to Nannie Vanzant Moore of Tennessee

This kind of border resolution is never going to win you any prizes today when mitered symmetrical border corners are the standard. One name for the non-conforming border style is "run-on borders." They are a product of strip + strip borders---the way the strips are attached.

Wooten & Wooten Auction
Ester Maples of Georgia

How regional is the corner style? 

Southerners liked a triple sash set and as Ester did, often
extended it to the edge as a border.

I looked at all 924 quilts that the New Hampshire project (Phase II) has loaded onto the Quilt Index. I looked for strip borders but I wasn't looking for a single strip. I looked for two or more. Of those 924 only 13 quilts used a strip + strip border.

And NOT ONE of those had run-on corners, all nicely planned like this basket, about which they had little information. That is less than .02% of the nearly 1,000 quilts. I think we can say that a triple strip border, mitered or butted or run-on, is NOT a clue to a New Hampshire quilt.
Ollie Mooney, Shelby County, Alabama
seen in the North Carolina project

To contrast with New Hampshire I looked on the Quilt Index for quilts made in Alabama---No Alabama project quilts up there yet but 207 quilts made in Alabama are pictured. Of those 9 had more than one strip pieced into the border and one of those, this one by Ollie Mooney had run-on corners. That is about twice as many strip + strip borders as New Hampshire but I don't think I have enough data to support my hypothesis.

Comparing New Hampshire to Tennessee might be more illuminating. The Tennessee project recorded 2055 quilts on the Quilt Index. I saw 51 that had more than 1 strip (unpieced) border and of those 17 had run on corners.

So here's a Scoreboard

Southeastern Pennsylvania, about 1900

Apparently multiple strip borders and corner style are indications of  regional taste, style that needs to be explored in greater detail. Pennsylvania Germans also favored multiple borders but often in a variety of widths and corners were resolved without running on.

As did the Amish

Recorded in the Arizona project. No source information
but likely Southern

See posts on border style:



1 comment:

  1. Love the run-on borders! I made one by accident and another on purpose. Love them both!