Friday, November 25, 2011

Seth Thomas Rose Quilt in Oregon

I was looking at WillyWonky's blog the other day and came across this picture---which immediately caught my eye as I myself had  just blogged about the pattern. The quilt is in a show in Salem, Oregon.
See my post here:

The Oregon quilt is very close to the newspaper pattern published by Ruby McKim in 1929, showing a quilt made in the 1860s by Araminta Daniel Kreeger (1830-1875) who lived near Independence, Missouri in the middle of the 19th century.

The major difference is in the lower florals coming out of the vase.

The Oregon quilt is attributed to Adeline Brown Crawford (1821-1879) who traveled in one of the earliest Oregon-bound parties in 1842. She was one of six daughters of Gabriel and Elizabeth Robinson Brown, described in this post by Jim Tompkins: 

"Five of them of marriageable age when [they left] Arkansas. Known as the “Belles of Oregon” not for their beauty, but for their availability, three of them were the first emigrants to marry in Oregon (Adeline age 23, Polly age 16, and Cynthia age 14, each married men who were in the same emigration party as the Browns). They were said to be fair haired if not endowed with titian tresses. Is it any wonder that they were passionately courted, in an almost Eveless Eden."

Adeline may have brought the quilt with her from Arkansas but the style indicates it was probably made after 1842 and thus is an Oregon quilt. So it's unlikely to be the actual quilt that inspired Ruby McKim's "Seth Thomas Rose" in Independence, Missouri.  However, interesting details emerge in Adeline's story. The Brown family joined that 1842 overland party near Independence in Jackson County, where 13-year-old Araminta Daniel Kreeger lived. 

Adeline's quilt does cast doubt upon Ruby McKim's story that Araminta drew her pattern from a picture on a Seth Thomas clock. Could it be that she and Adeline Brown Crawford shared a pattern for a quilt with circles edging a central flower? Or is this pattern more common than I thought.

My version of the Seth Thomas Rose sewn by Susan Stiff

Treasures from the Trunk: Quilts and Their Makers After the Oregon Trail Journey, curated by Mary Bywater Cross is up until December 24, 2011 at the Wilamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon.

An important Oregon quilt on exhibit there is Elizabeth Ann Clark Kelly's ribbon quilt made from souvenir ribbons gathered at reunions of the pioneers who traveled to Oregon on the overland trails. It's on loan from the American Folk Art Museum.

See the WillyWonky blog post here with more pictures of the show:

Adeline met her husband Medorem Crawford on that 1842 trip. Read his journal of the trip here at Google Books:
And Jim Tomkins' web page here:


  1. I love old quilts and their stories.

  2. It is amazing how beautiful the applique work is, considering they worked with lamp light and didn't have the fancy notions that we have;)


  3. I love antique quilts of course, but what I really love is the connecting via all the blogs everyone is doing. I know I'll never get to all the exhibits of quilts. What you and Bill and lots of others share is so important in my book. Thanks so much.

  4. Barbara, I so enjoy your blog! Since I love quilting and history, it doesn't get much better than a new post from you :)

  5. This post with it's historical information was the special treat I needed after a long day of decorating for Christmas. Thank you, Barbara!

  6. Fascinating, and I have to wonder how these applique designs are connected. Just blogged about another quilt with unusual applique in an entry called "Dream" - about a recent acquisition that was included in The Quilt Digest, vol. 4. Ever seen applique done that way? If so, where?

  7. A stunning block, I love applique and antique quilts. Thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful history and stories. Amazing!