Monday, October 19, 2020

Seattle Quilt Show: 1927

Detail of an album sampler quilt with a scalloped edge

You missed a good quilt show in Seattle. The Post-Intelligencer
decided to hold a contest for antique quilts in 1926 and 1,600 old quilts were entered
They hung 100 in January, 1927

They published a small catalog with black and white pictures. You can view it online at this link:


Old-time quilts;: A collection of old-time quilt patterns chosen from entries in the Post-intelligencer quilt show January, 1927 [Redington, Bernice Orpha] 

Prizes of silver cups were awarded 
(I have to say the judges' taste was mysteriously dull.)

This neat but mundane pieced design won the sweepstakes.
Perhaps the green and pink color scheme seemed innovative.

Sophie Johns's silk quilt won her a silver cup.

Perhaps Mrs. Seabury was married to the lawyer Howard Seabury of Skagit County. His mother Eliza Wakesham Seabury (1852- 1909) immigrated from England to Nebraska with her family in 1855, which may be a clue into this unusual pictorial. 

A few more, with names recorded in 1926.

A Moss Rose

Julie Silber showed this one at a 1981 Oakland Museum exhibit

Similar quilts with different names, showing the persistence
of the names Rocky Mountain and Crown of Thorns for the
design we call New York Beauty.
A Baltimore album, loaned by Mrs. Johnson,
making it hard to find as I believe Johnson is the
most common surname in the US.

Another Baltimore quilt; this one has been traced to the present day.

When Nancy Ann Twelker and friends did a Washington state project
they came across it again.

From Women and Their Quilts: A Washington State Centennial Tribute 
Nancyann Johanson Twelker 1988

The family believed it to have been made as a gift for Mary Jane Pierre Robertson (about 1817-1875) by members of her Rebekah Lodge in Baltimore when she and her family left for the west coast. Although they intended to settle in California they found a farm on Whidbey Island where William Robertson became the light house keeper.

The center wreath includes a picture of the first Baltimore lodge built by the fraternal organization The  Oddfellows at the corner of North Gay & Orange Streets.

The first building was expanded in 1852 with the Tower Building added
but one can see the original facade with its triple bay of windows
before the Gothic overlay was added.

Collection of the International Quilt Museum.
Quilt with the same building before the addition signed
Mrs. E. E. Cooke.

The Robertson quilt with its alternating applique blocks
is now in the collection of the Thomas Wildey Museum,
a small Odd Fellow's museum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Back to the catalog:

The first prize for applique went to a "Poinsettia"
in blue and white. It may have been the sheer number
of dots that influenced the choice. The eagle border is


  1. If there were ever a time that I wished I could be myself and go back in a time capsule to experience an event, this is it! Thank you for the peek into this quilt show that was probably nothing less than fabulous!

  2. Those dots in the Hartford quilt are so tiny! I love the commitment of the quilter to follow through on that design.

  3. Thank you for finding this wonderful old catalogue. I think our town library had it. I was glad I read it then because they decided to get rid of some of their old books to make room for new ones. This was like seeing an old friend again. I wish they had done some advertising for some of us to have a chance to buy some of their old lovely books.

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