Friday, January 29, 2021

Droopy Grapes---Baltimore to Tennessee?

Applique quilt in a vase and floral pattern
attributed to Frances Woodbury Bennett Jared (1833-1883),
Putnam County, Tennessee

From Quilts of Tennessee and the Quilt Index

What may appear to be a unique pattern has many close relatives
that feature a few repeating design characteristics.

Tennessee quilt from an online auction a few years ago.
This one looks older by the quilting, the border and
the setting.
But the two have much in common

And here's another with the same drooping berries or grapes.
the cookie cutter florals (4 red, 1 yellow) with 9 leaves filling out the
top of the block. The footed urn is pieced of yellow and red stripes and the
floral stems give a three-dimensional look by being inserted into
the vase as if one were looking down into it.

A friend recently sent a photo of another with some very dense quilting.
Fabrics look late-19th century and probably early-20th. The conventions are followed.

Who sets up those conventions and how are they communicated?

Across decades?

Another early version---perhaps 1850-1880.
Border features a vessel with a vine growing out of it.
The urn has handles here and grape details have been added
with embroidery.

Later versions are simplified but the coloring of the flowers
is so consistent....

Online auction in 2019
Different flowers & vase.

And then there are the early relatives.
Baltimore antecedents
from the late 1840s to the late 1850s

From an album sampler that looks to have been
made in or near Baltimore.
The grapes are rose buds, the flowers are arranged differently
but the footed vase...

And this one in a quilt for Albert W. Page from an Northeast Auctions sale.

For Hannah Foote, Baltimore Album Quilt
Different conventions...red and blue flowers.

Mary Parks Lawrence (1854-1950), Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum

I just realized this quilt documented by Nancy Hornback for the Kansas Quilt Project but made in Logan County, Kentucky in 1870 is another version.Another striped vase with the stems viewed from
the top as well as the droopy fruit. 

A pattern of sorts. 8". Print it at 200%
for a 16" block.

Baltimore to Tennessee---1840s to 1910s...???

Quilt from the Jackson family, possibly made in Jacksonville, Illinois

UPDATE: Xenia Cord reminds me we have all seen a similar vase in a nine-block design that was remarkably popular in the mid-19th-century and beyond. See a post here:



  1. How did they all get the same set of guidelines without Pinterest or Facebook?? Fascinating!

  2. Oh wow, now I just want to make this block so I can name a quilt, "Droopy Grapes"!

  3. I love the rose buds! And Janet's comment!

  4. I feel very educated about this urn of flowers and droopy grapes! I enjoyed it very much. Thank you!

  5. Wendy, you and me both! I burst out laughing at this blog title. Great mystery here.

  6. Very reminiscent of the quilt Nella has in Tall Men with Robert Ryan, Clark Gable, and Jane Russell. I love that movie. The quilt shows four vases facing toward center from the corers.

  7. Just went to YouTube to look up "Tall Men" for the quilt! It was gorgeous! Thanks for the tip!