A few months ago at the Covered In Blue event at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Nebraska we spent some time examining this quilt.
It's #2009.039.0002 from the James Collection.
The quilt caused quite a flurry of speculation in our small group.
There is an inked name and date on the reverse
Mary Eliza ???
May? 27? 1867 or 1869
[Wish Mary had printed.]
Over the years this name has been interpreted as
Eliza or Ellen
Trowbridge, Crowbridge or Crownbridge.
I'm going for Mary Eliza Crowbridge or Trowbridge as Crownbridge doesn't seem to be a personal name although there is a Welsh town by the name.
Some of us look at construction, some at fabric, some at style or pattern and some at overall visual impact. This quilt had something for all to discuss. We noted the applique construction. Each piece was secured with a cross stitch.
See the file on this quilt at the IQSCM database here:
Border leaves from Mary's quilt
Here's another likely English applique with a red cross stitch, from Garth's Auction.
A small rectangular piece.
We were there to look at fabrics, in particular blues. And we saw plenty of blue and buff prints dyed with Prussian blue here. These tend to have been popular in the U.S. from about 1840 to 1860, with maybe a broader range of 1830-1870 in England, which fits the inked 186? date.
Julie Silber and I were intrigued by the style---something you do not see American quiltmakers using. How to describe it?
I have been think of it as Unconfined Applique, shapes not confined to blocks.
Julie has been calling it Free Style Applique.
In any case you plop those shapes down wherever they fit.
Right over the seam lines (see the arrows on the left pointing to seams.)
Americans rarely do that.
More tomorrow on this quilt and the style.