Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Festival of Trees 2017

Our stitch group the City Sewers decorated a tree for the annual
Lawrence Festival of Trees charity sale.

It's a benefit for the local Children's Shelter.

Getting a heavily decorated 7-foot tree downtown is a project.
We took the top off.

And successfully put it back on.
The theme is the Nutcracker so he's the topper.
Linda Frost made many ballerinas.
Karla Menaugh made mice kings.

Some groups decorate their tree when they get to the hall.
 We shudder at the thought,
although Ray and Ron might tell us it'd be easier to transport.

MEA Bernina has the spot next door. 

They are including a machine with their tree.
Nice skirt!

Karla replacing a lost ballerina.
We only broke one ornament getting it in.

Linda made the skirt from Nutcracker fabric and the 
largest fringe she could find.

We think ours is the BEST tree there.

Although there are some interesting trees. This
one is flat with stripes of natural items glued on.

Buttons attached to an obelisk lit from within.

Paper & ribbon

Mountain Dew cans.

Nah! Ours is the best.
Come and bid on it tomorrow night Wednesday, November 29th. 7:00.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Three Applique Samplers for the Quilt Detective

Dawn knows I love a quilt coincidence so she sent a mystery to solve.

"Rare pieced and appliqued cotton bedcover, 
American, possibly Baltimore, circa 1850"
86" x 75"

This terrific applique sampler was sold at Sotheby's three years ago. It is indeed quirky with 
peacocks (?),  horses, a medallion format and a lot of dots.

The center block has a Christian cross,
maybe a tombstone?

She noticed a twin medallion with lots of dots, a Christian cross and a peacock---
no horses but a herd of deer. This one is from dealer Jan Whitlock's
They both look to be mid-19th century.
Jan's caption:
"Important Southern Applique Quilt Top, Jan Whitlock Textiles & Interiors"

She also spotted a third appliqued medallion
Christian crosses, peacocks and deer.
Other commonalities:
the border, the wreaths, etc. The photo is not great but
it does look like a 20th century version.

Well, I don't know what to make of it. My first thought was New York (New Yorkers loved to put horses in their sampler quilts) but Sotheby's thought Baltimore and Jan Whitlock thought Southern.

What do you readers think?

Go to the Sotheby's site and look at their enlarged photo of the quilt.
Here's their copy about the quilt on sale:
"A 'summer spread,' two thickness of delicacy cotton, without batting, elegantly appliqued with small, precisely cut patches of printed, solid and plaid cotton, sewn with hem stitches; each of the 42 squares displays a horse with bridle and saddle; a peacock with tri-part tail with appliqued and hem-stitched "spots;" floral wreath, the central square with a peacock perched on the back of a horse, grasping a rope rein in its bill beside a flower-twined cross, banked by more flowers under an arching grapevine laden with clusters of grapes; the whole within a grapevine border. Provenance: Elliott and Grace Snyder Antiques, South Egremont, Massachusetts, 1995."

UPDATE: Sunday November 26. Look at this:

The sampler is in the collection of the Morris Museum, documented by the New Jersey project where they noted: "Many interesting applique blocks, many not seen elsewhere. Lots of detail."

Very little information about it.
UPDATE: Monday
These things often get out of hand. You start out with two and then you have 5. Notice the similar ungainly borders in the quilts below. Both have blocks with an excess of berries.

The quilt on the left & below is from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, thought to be from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The one on the right is the quilt in the Morris Museum.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Amelia's Aviary 1: Partridge & Palm

Four early 19th-century  quilts are attributed to Amelia Heiskell Lauck, each with cut-out chintz birds. 

Quilt attributed to Amelia Heiskell Lauck (1760-1842) Winchester, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg Collection 2006.609.1

From the catalog:
"The quilt is marked in backstitches with the inscription 'A present by Amelia Lauck to her S.[son] & D.[daughter] Morg. & M. Lauck / made in 62nd year.' The quilt was created as a wedding gift for Amelia’s eighth child, Morgan Adolphus Lauck (1796–1826), and his bride, Ann Maria Ott, who married on May 26, 1824.
Born in Winchester, Virginia in 1760, Amelia Heiskell Lauck lived her entire life there marrying Peter Lauck in 1779. Peter and Amelia had eleven children, six of whom survived into adulthood."

Amelia Lauck from the Corchran Gallery

It is thought that she may have made a quilt for each of those six children. I tend to get distracted by the quilting in her quilts but I decided to look closely at the birds in each quilt.

In this one: a pair of short tailed game birds looking to the right.
I've heard them called grouse and woodcocks. 

The Victoria and Albert Museum
has a piece of game bird yardage with a tea ground cataloged as 
"two partridges under a may tree."

That sounds like a good name for a popular print with many variations.
"Two Partridges Under a May Tree"
A gray partridge

A May tree. We'd call it a flowering hawthorne
but in England it's called a May tree because it
blooms in May.

Here's another Partridge in a May Tree from the Winterthur Museum's collection, a seat cover in blue. This common print does not have the palm tree seen in Amelia's quilt. At first I thought she added a palm tree to the birds but I don't see any seams. 

As far as palm tree and bird prints go....

The very common palm sheltering a pheasant is not what she used.

Amelia's is a rather gawky tree. 
The fronds are growing up in the wrong direction
and the shading is gaudy.

I actually had a small file of gawky palms.

And in it---the chintz Amelia used. Same birds with gawky tree.
That's all I have seen of it.

Leah Minnich used two squares of palm tree and partridge in
the lower corners of her nine-patch strip quilt signed and dated 1837.
There must be more of it around.

The  partridge in a May tree prints tend to be dated 1815 to 1835 by the museums that own pieces, a span typical of these roller printed English chintzes so popular with American quilters.

Winterthur Museum # 1969.1577

New Jersey quilt dated 1843 from the Fish Family in the collection
of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum #2005.053.0003

Green colorway in the border of a New Hampshire quilt
on the cover of this year's AQSG Seminar booklet.

A strip alternating with a pillar print.

More of Amelia's Aviary in later posts.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Quilts

Lots of seasonal flavors here: 

From the Flack Collection

Many of them from southeastern Pennsylvania

Pook & Pook Auction

Berks County, Mennonite

The plain colored fabric is dyed with chrome orange, a mineral dye.

Today people call it cheddar.

I'm guessing this one is Pennsylvania because of the fancy feather 
quilting in the border.

Chrome orange was also an end-of-the-19th-century flavor in
the Southern U.S.

From Richard Rivoire's collection, Raleigh N.C. 

How do you tell if a pumpkin-spice color scheme indicates Berks County, PA or North Carolina?
Quilting, pattern, borders, set, maybe fabric quality (threads per square inch). It's not always easy,
especially if you find the quilt in Arizona.


Brunk Auction