Friday, February 24, 2012

Garrard County Kentucky

Unknown Maker
From the cover of Quilters' Newsletter #157, November/December 1983...One of a series of similar appliques from the mid-19th-century.

Have you seen the article in the Jan/Feb issue of QuiltMania about Australia's Castlemaine Applique Society?

It features terrific applique quilts inspired by antiques.
The one that caught my eye is this version of a quilt that was on the cover of Quilters' Newsletter many years ago---the quilt at the top of the page.
Deb's Not Quite...

See the red reproduction quilt and other versions by scrolling down at this blog post
The pattern seems to have been drawn up by Deb King and they call it "Deb's Not Quite Telling the Truth."

That Quilters' Newsletter (30 years ago!) had an article by editor Louise Townsend about the imagery in that quilt. Numerous quilt detectives worked trying to find an origin for quilts with similar designs.

One rather unusual image in the quilt is a carnation-like floral with pinked petals.

Another is the pineapple or pomegranate made of dots.

Zerelda Emmaline McClary Oliver (b ca. 1822)
Garrard County, Kentucky

But it's not just those two images, it's the way they are arranged, often in rather haphazard fashion.

Amanda Estill Moran
Garrard County, Kentucky
Kentucky Quilt Project
This quilt is so similar to the one at the top of the page it's hard to tell them apart.
And here's another.

Margaret Brodie McClain

Jeanna Kimball used an organized version for the center block in her Red and Green Sampler

And Terry Thompson did the center as a four-block quilt for this pattern.

Unknown Maker
Years ago Louise and I collected pictures.
We found several in museums around the country. Like the Art Institute of Chicago:

Unknown Maker
The Denver Art Museum

And this one in the Museum of the Daughters of the American Revolution, made by Lucy Kemper West in Garrard County, Kentucky.
See the whole quilt by clicking here:

I found this one with the note it was from the Nebraska Quilt Project.

Katy Christopherson of Kentucky also did some research on the quilts in an article called "Tracings: Quilts and Cousins" in the September/October 1984 issue of In Kentucky.

Made by Lucinda Edison
Private Collection

Many times when we found a link to a maker and a place it was Garrard County, Kentucky.

Millie McCain
Marion County, Kentucky
Marion County is close to Garrard.
The one above is the most orderly we found...

The Denver Art Museum's
Although there is order in even the most chaotic of them.
Most are based on a 9 block, although the blocks don't repeat.
One block in the center, four different blocks at north,south, east and west and sometimes another in the corners.
The Amanda Moran design almost fits in a 9 block with a larger center block

Variations of this Rose Tree are found along the edges.

Unknown Maker
Here's a relative with the carnations but no pineapples, The dots migrated into the border just as the pattern has now migrated to Australia.


  1. Deb has a blog , she has made some incredible quilts and her fabric choices are always interesting. http://debkstuff.blogspot.com/
    I purchased a scarf from the DAR of the Lucy Kemper West quilt in hopes of one day making it into a quilt
    This is such a great post! thank you once again for sharing all your knowledge with us and wonderful examples of antique quilts

  2. Exellent post - of particular interest to me because I'm currently stitching an applique quilt. Thank you for always filling me up with quilt info!

  3. Such amazing work considering what little they had to work with and poor lighting.


  4. Just love this post. Such terrific applique quilts!! I want to start a new applique quilt right now!

  5. Exquisite quilts worthy of your in depth post. Thanks for sharing with your readers.

  6. Loved the post. I'm crazy in love with Lucy Kempers quilt. In fact, I stumbled upon it 2 weeks ago and it hasn't left my mind since. I want to make it one day.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. When Deb told us she was drafting up a pattern for this quilt she told us it was a simple applique that we would all enjoy making. As you can see this is not really true, yes we enjoyed making the quilt but the pattern is quite complex, hence the name - "Deb's not quite telling the truth". Thanks Barbara for the history lesson on the origins of the pattern.

  9. Thank you so much for this beautiful post