Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Chickens Fair & Fowl

Attributed to Laura Adye Whicher (1801-1875), Indiana
Collection of the D.A.R. Museum
Laura was born in Vermont, spent many years in New York
and went west to Indiana where this quilt was probably made.

There's been some discussion of a chicken block in our Ladies Album group doing the Block of the Month program at LadiesAidAlbum Facebook page
 mainly because Robyn Revelle Gregg added a chicken block to her sampler.

Chickens (roosters) are seen on New York sampler
albums (the source of the 2021 patterns) but the pictures I have are so bad I
didn't include one in the official blocks. However, I showed this fowl
 recorded by the New York project, inspiring Robyn.

I did a little Photoshopping on him and made a pattern
(of sorts.) See Below.

From the New York Project and the Quilt Index,
Mid-19th-century from Greenport, Suffolk County, New York.

1880s, New York
Stella Rubin's inventory

When one comes across a vintage example...

Attributed to Rachel Glotfelty, Pennsylvania 
Indiana State Museum

...one is always amused.

Bird of Paradise Sampler from Poughkeepsie.
American Folk Art Museum Collection

Detail from another sampler top from Stella Rubin's inventory.
Attributed to Connecticut---in that New York/New Jersey/Connecticut
sampler style.

1868 Hannah J. Swin
Bill Volckening's Collection

Miami Valley Ohio album from the Arnett Family
Collection of the International Quilt Museum, early 20th century

Another on the cover of Sue Cummings's book on
the style.

Postcard from Julie Silber's Mary Strickler quilt collection.


Bird in the hand

American Folk Art Museum
Political Crazy quilt with a rooster panel advocating the
election of Grover Cleveland in 1884.

We've almost forgotten that the rooster was a symbol of the Democrats, which may have something to do with some of these later quilts.

Button from the 1950s

See a 1930s pieced rooster that the Metropolitan Museum believes to symbolize the Democrats here:

Print these sheets out 8-1/2" x 11" for a rooster pattern.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Dutch Rose in a Civil War Sampler

Quilt made at New York City's Cooper-Union art school for
a soldier's hospital bed, about 1865.
Photo by Jenny Novinsky for Electric Quilt.

The quilt is the inspiration for the prints in my latest Moda fabric collection Ladies' Legacy. 

77" x 77"

Designer Susan Stiff and I reworked the narrow sampler into a square pattern for a quilt kit and pattern sheet. Look for "Ladies' Legacy Quilt Kit."

Read more about the fabric here:
"Barbara Brackman [with help] designed a wonderful reproduction quilt that can be a BOM or skill building class. The kit includes all the fabrics for the top and binding, project sheet pattern along with Hexagon papers."
We included many of the sampler blocks in the original quilt, but not this one.

Which of course is just the one that Teresa wanted.
As we aim to please I am giving you the pattern here and you can
substitute it for another block in the kit if you like.
The blocks finish to 12".

The original quilt in my collection looks to have been a teaching exercise by Guilielma Field
who supervised making the soldiers' quilts at the Cooper Union. She probably had quiltmakers
of different skill levels and this block was stitched by a fairly sophisticated member of her afternoon quilt party.

The block is in my computer program BlockBase+ in several variations.
The easiest pattern is probably #3807, top center in orange with the triangles in the corners.

The earliest publication I've found is from the influential Ladies' Art Company, which started printing a catalog in 1889, calling it Dutch Rose (perhaps meaning it was a Pennsylvania-German design.) The pattern in my Civil War quilt indicates quilters were using it at least as early as the 1860s.

Here's a classic red and green color combination
dated 1861 in the center.

From an online auction

And another from the same time.

Not much to go on here but by the way the browns look (faded greens)
I'd guess after 1880---a wild guess: Pennsylvania (by the border) 1910-1940.

From the Louisiana project and the Quilt Index.
After 1880....

Once the Ladies' Art Company published Dutch Rose the
pattern became a popular challenge. Other pattern companies
called it by different names such as Eccentric Star.

You can stitch one pretty close to the original with the brown
check in Ladies' Legacy.

Read more about the Cooper-Union Civil War quilt here:

Monday, June 21, 2021

1912: The Old Quilt #3


1912 Mary Fairs?

Third in a series trying to figure out what Marie Webster was looking at when she began publishing  quilt designs --- her series of "New Patchwork Quilts" at the end of 1911.

One reason there are relatively few cotton quilts in my 1912 dated files is that quilters like Mary were enthused about wool quilts. Her comforter (it isn't quilted) looks to have several pieces made of wool suiting samples cut to rectangular form.

Less embroidery on this one.

And this one. You pulled swatches from a sample book 
of men's suitings (and probably cut more rectangles to match.) 

1919-1920 Suitings

Some times these are called postcard quilts as you could use a regulation postcard for a template.  Thousands of rectangle utilitarian bedcovers were made. It's hard for us to see these as fashionable, but they must have been in 1912. 

1912, China Grove, North Carolina

Made perhaps by people at the China Grove High School.

The embroidery style with linear patterns covering the seams is derived from crazy quilt style, which by 1912 was 30 years old. 

What had started out as a fad in elegant silks about 1883 was by 1912 typically done in wool and wool and cotton blends. Political problems with Chinese imports had made silk relatively expensive and the expansion of ready-made clothing factories made wool and blends an accessible option (particularly cheap if pulled from sample books or obtained as factory cutaways.)

From Betsey Telford-Goodwin's Rocky Mountain Quilts inventory

Embroidery was for the most part rather minimal in these 20th-century crazy quilts.

Although the seam-covering patterns could be quite fancy.

Quilt with label saying it was from Aunt Helen, 1912.
New York project and the Quilt Index.

"1912, Mother"
Related styles included wheels, twenty years later
to become a huge fad in cotton prints.

Cotton wheels on wool and blend backgrounds.

Related to the fan fashion that had thrived since the

A few quilters adapted the sampler style to wools as in this 1912
Pennsylvania example from GBBest quilts on Ebay.

Pattern samplers were influenced by the abundance
of catalog and magazine designs. Hearth & Home magazine,
for example, asked readers to send in pieced patterns 
named for their state and state capitols in 1912.

1912, Kansas
One finds fancier embroidery on the redwork quilts,
another fashion begun in the 1880s. These occasionally have patchwork too.

The Nebraska project files show this one in blue,
which was just becoming a popular alternative to
Turkey red embroidery.

Another fashion that might distract one from piecing calicoes:

Cigarette silk premiums from Cindy Brick's Crazy Quilts book

New and old styles on the line at Marie Webster's house,
Indiana Museum of Art

It does seem that Marie Webster with her magazine articles, pattern and kit business and 1915 book really did change quilting, particularly applique, but it took about ten years or more for the style revolution to occur and for the "Old Quilts" to actually become old-fashioned.