Sunday, April 30, 2017

May Day Baskets

Midnight Garden by Fran├žoise Lietaert
Made from our pattern in Butternut & Blue.

I hope you are planning to surprise your neighbors with May Baskets tomorrow. The little girls in my neighborhood used to do it (when they were little).

In case you don't get any botanical surprises here are a few basket quilts new and old.

Vintage crib Quilts are a good source for basket ideas.

An odd way to set two baskets

Similar idea in wool.

The Herrs Antiques

Marie Miller's Shop

Baby's Basket by Karla Menaugh

Here's the inspiration for Baby's Basket
from a 1978 ad in The Clarion.

We have patterns for
Midnight Garden & Baby's Basket

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Before They Invented the Design Wall

They had the design floor.

Which is the way I usually work.
I found this picture on eBay.  Perhaps one person started it
and another person decided to sell the whole mess.
It seems to be pieced of squares.

Without a wall to arrange it on....selling was probably the best idea.

Bowtie Quilt from the West Virginia project & the Quilt Index

The basic of repeat pattern is you set up a rhythm and follow it.
But sometimes it's better if you don't.

I found three good examples at the West Virginia Project's section at the Quilt Index.

This was a good idea. It's the same block shaded in two
different ways---one shading is high contrast red & white;
the other low contrast 1940s prints.

The plan was probably to alternate them

A fabulous red and white composition.
A maze.

Here's the basic repeat

Just two rectangles.

Just three rectangles, and yet....

Browse through the West Virginia project's files at the Quilt Index. There are 4,424 quilts up there.

Monday, April 24, 2017

1841 Quilt for a Methodist Minister

I've been sorting pictures of quilts dated in the early 1840s.
This one caught my eye for many reasons. I recognized the chintz in
the edge triangles as one in my collection.

Years ago Terry Thompson and I copied it for our Coral Gardens repro fabric line.
We called it Trumpet Vine.

The chintz fills out the edges of this cut-out chintz applique sampler
quilt dated 1841 that was sold in an auction.

I saved photos of several of the inscriptions and dates.
It was a gift for
"Mr and Mrs Dandy
Presented by thier (sic)
Friends of

"Mrs. Ann H Bryan

The quilt given to the Dandys is one of the earliest date-inscribed signature quilts so I looked into it a little further. Who were those Dandy people?

I was a little surprised to find them as pillars of the Methodist Church (I was leaning towards Quakers as early album quilt signers). Reverend James H and Charlotte C. Dandy were residents of Bordentown in Burlington County, New Jersey for a short time. The New Jersey records of the church list them in Bordentown in 1840.

Mrs. Sarah Stockhom

"Mrs. Mary M. Thompson
Bordentown, N.J."

"Mrs. Elizabeth A Ferdinand

From Charlotte Temple Dandy's 1890 obituary in the Newark Conference Minutes:
"Mrs. Charlotte C. Dandy was born January 17, 1807, in Albany, N. Y., and died November 33, 1890, in Philadelphia, Pa. In youth she was converted and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was married in 1825 to the late Rev. James H. Dandy, with whom she lived for fifty seven years. Nine children were given her, only three of whom survive —General George B. Dandy, Washington, D. C; Mrs. Amelia Hadden, Perth Amboy, N. J.; and Mrs. Samuel D. Mack, Philadelphia, Pa. One of her sons, Major James H. Dandy, was killed in battle at Fort Gregg, April, 1865, at the age of 23. In commemoration of his patriotic services a Grand Army post took his name....
After her husband's death, May 12, 1882, she had several attacks of sickness, but, contrary to the expectations of her friends, recovered. At the home of Mrs. Hadden, in Perth Amboy, in 1888, she again was dangerously ill.... funeral services were held in Philadelphia on Tuesday evening, November 25, [1890] in Grace Methodist Episcopal Church. On Wednesday, November 26, another service was held at Perth Amboy, conducted by Revs. B. O. Parvin and W. E. Blakeslee. Her remains were buried by the side of her husband in Alpine Cemetery, on the confines of the latter city, there to wait the summons of the Master."

Son  Union General George Brown Dandy (1830-1911)
was born in Macon, Georgia.

James Harvey Dandy's obituary listed circuits and stations, primarily in New Jersey,  where he'd served as a Methodist Minister:
Long Branch
Mount Holly
Staten Island
Perth Amboy

I list the towns to emphasize the typical traveling life for a Methodist minister and family. Charlotte Dandy may have shown her beautiful quilt to her new friends in Bridgeton, Mount Holly, Staten Island, etc.

It's not difficult to guess how the fashion for signature quilts was spread from town to town.

See my Pinterest board picturing quilts dated 1841. If you click twice on the quilt you might find the source, but this one---I found it in an online auction somewhere, sometime.

See Charlotte Dandy's obituary here:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Tree of Liberty

Detail from Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt, 1859, 
Esther Matthews (1776-1866), Virginia Quilt Museum. 

The tree is labeled "Tree of Liberty & United States." Thirty-five circles may represent the 33 states in the Union in 1859.

I know several readers are sewing along with the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Quilt.
Buy the pattern here:

Wendy's using her favorite color---chrome orange.

I love the Liberty Tree block (dots!) so another example 
caught my eye in this old ad from The Clarion.

In the 1980s dealer Susan Parrish had a sampler for sale, dated
1851, attributed to Lincoln County, Missouri.

At the bottom center:
a tree with 18 fruits.

I have a small picture file of tree designs with round fruits.

Block from one documented by the Arizona project.
Made by Olivia Tennessee Boaz in Kentucky,

Here's another tree on the diagonal from a Baltimore Album Quilt in 
the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Detail of a quilt from the Bohannon family.
Tennessee project & the Quilt Index

15 Apples

This one was pictured in Anita Schorsch's Plain & Fancy.

I'm not counting those apples.

Nineteenth-century quiltmakers would have been familiar with the image of a tree with round fruit symbolizing virtues 

Particularly the Temperance Tree,
here in a lithograph.

The apples are labeled with attributes.
Prints above and below from the Library of Congress.

The Tree of Liberty by British cartoonist James Gillray.
Those in favor of the monarchy might view a Liberty Tree as
a devilish temptation.

The image was also used with genealogical charts:
a Medici family tree.

Linda Ardnt's Liberty Tree.

See some of the blocks quilters are making at the Shenandoah Valley quilt blog:

A few years ago Edyta Sitar at Laundry Basket Quilts produced pre-cut applique shapes for the Shenandoah Valley quilt. See more about them at the museum's shop.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Past Perfect: Di Ford Hall

Giggleswick Mill by Di Ford Hall

Each month in 2017 I am featuring a quiltmaker who specializes in reproduction quilts, drawing inspiration from quilts of the past.

Center of the Ann Dagg Quilt by Di Ford

Di Ford Hall

Di Ford Hall is one of the most influential quilt artists of the early 21st century. She's helped make Australia a capitol for accurate historical patterns.

Road 66 by Di Ford 
Past Perfect!

Primarily Quilts

You can find her patterns in her two books from QuiltMania Publishing in France.
Primarily Quilts...2 will be shipped to the U.S. next month.

The books' names echo her history in the quilt business. In 1980 she began working at the Primarily Patchwork store in Canterbury, Melbourne, and two years later bought the shop. What ashopping experience that must have been. After closing the store in 2006, she's devoted her time to patterns, books and teaching.

Center of the Phebe Quilt 

Di is particularly attracted to medallions and has patterned several
 classic early-19th century quilts made in England and the United States.

The Phebe Quilt was inspired by the Phebe Warner quilt
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Read more about the original Warner quilts here:

Above the Rain

But it's not all medallions.

From Primarily Quilts 2

Di's new book is subtitled: It's All About the Fabric.

Details of her repro quilts reveal a wisely chosen, monumental 
stash of early reproduction prints.

I occasionally recognize some of the prints I've done (in that bird's body on the right). She must
still have fabric she stocked in the store.

Cloverdale Hall

Di is contributing to our current stashes with her repro lines 
for Andover.

The latest is Giggleswick Mills.

Few early 19th-c. repros ever make it past fabric companies'  marketing departments who tell us that these quirky early prints don't sell well [compared to more profitable graphic prints]. Di's fabulous fabrics are an exception.

Collaborating with Petra Prins

Mount Mellick by Miriam

Di's patterns inspire many other quiltmakers to make historical quilts. Above:
an all-hand stitched version of  a mystery quilt series from QuiltMania in 2014.

Ellen Borg's Phebe quilt, quilting by Katrina Quilting

Miss Porter's Quilt

Read more about this quilt and its inspiration. It's one of my favorites.

And Instagram

Update 2020
Di Ford Hall died of leukemia in April, 2020, a real loss to her friends and family and to those of us who loved her view of quilts.