Crib quilt in a private collection.
Pictured in Stella Rubin's
How to Compare and Value American Quilts
Quilt in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum
Yesterday's post was about common fabrics found in the quilts attributed to Catherine Garnhart. Today's is about common patchwork patterns in the group. We mainly recognize the Garnhart group by the pattern blocks and how they are arranged into the quilts. This basket cut from a grid or plaid print is found in 5 of the quilts.
One of three quilts descending in the family of
Hannah Thompson Woods
A closeup shows how cleverly the fabrics were cut.
We don't see a lot of conventional applique in these quilts. Cut-out chintz applique is the predominant technique.
Chintz applique: the design is cut from a furnishing fabric
and transferred to another background.
Do note the grape leaf at the bottom in the bird block is a third technique---reverse applique in which the background is cut away to reveal another fabric underneath.
It's difficult to tell if the eagles are regular old conventional applique
or done in reverse. I see a shadow indicating brown fabric under the white
but it may just be a stain.
Eight of the quilts in the group feature eagles, some with patchwork shields...
Three almost identical quilts use pieced striped fabric for the shield.
From the quilt in the Brooklyn Museum.
Reverse applique is a style signature of the group of quilts:
This quilt loaned to the DAR exhibit Eye on Elegance by the family features
grape wreaths and a leafy border done in reverse applique.
Reverse applique can be detected in a photo by the slight shadow outlining the leaves here,
evidence of the green fabric under the white.
The shadowing is visible in these two grape leaf wreaths from the quilt donated by the family to the Plains Indian & Pioneer Museum in Oklahoma.
A different leaf found in two quilts
One of the hallmarks in the group is a reverse appliqued
border of trailing vines, cut in simple leaves.
Recognizable even in this poor photo of a quilt Florence Peto
pictured in American Home in 1938
And then there is a more complex reverse appliqued (?) vine border....
looks like it has a shadow under each leaf.
More complicated leaves are found in five of the group.
Piecework plays little part, although most of them have a border of triangles.
Green dogtooth detail in a basket
They have a directionality. You usually have no doubt where the top of the quilt is.
The center larger blocks tend to have a direction and
they are placed in the same plane.
I analyzed the sets.
The style is so distinctive we think we recognize one
in an 1845 fair display in New York City.
See the whole watercolor of the quilt display at the City Museum of New York.
And Mary Turley Robinson definitely captured one in her print of Nantucket arts in 1938.
A diagram, in case you are looking for an applique challenge.
Tomorrow: Re-examining assumptions