Monday, May 16, 2022

Washington Centennial 1889


Library of Congress
Mrs. H.H. Morey, perhaps in 1889, dated by 
the fabric hanging behind her.

[This photo may be a little yellow]

I had long thought this yardage featuring Presidents George Washington & Benjamin Harrison was campaign yardage for Harrison who was inaugurated in 1889. But no, it is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Washington's inauguration in New York.

New York had a three-day event at the end of April, beginning
of May in 1889. Triumphal arches, parades, etc.

The temporary plaster arch in Washington Square was so popular
they rebuilt it in permanent fashion after the parades.

There don't seem to be a lot of surviving souvenirs.

Here's Harrison giving a speech before the giant 
statue of Washington on the site of the 1789 inauguration.

St. Louis Post Dispatch
New York's celebration may have been the largest but towns
all over the U.S. celebrated.

Going back to Mrs. Morey, her photo is not of her home in Chelsea, Vermont but shows her at the neighboring Turnbridge World's Fair. (That's what they've called it for over 150 years.)

Turnbridge World's Fair, 1885
She's sitting in the Millinery & Dressmaking Exhibit.

The yardage came in at least two colorways.

And a few people made quilts out of it

Small piece displayed at the Virginia Quilt Museum

Offered at a Doyle Auction

Same style, different quilt

From Carol Weiss at Rue du Tresor 

Which makes one wonder if this is not
a Washington Centennial panel too.

International Quilt Festival Collection

James Julia auction
Washington Centennial quilts, Pennsylvania Style?

Front of a quilt recorded by the Western Pennsylvania project
from the Quilt Index

The Back

Another backing. They know what they have there at the Harrison site. Their caption
made it clear to me.

Everybody in New York must have turned out to see those three
days of parades, including my Irish grandparents---young
children in 1889.

Fifty years later in 1939 they had an even bigger celebration of the 150th anniversary, the 1939 Worlds Fair at Flushing Meadows.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Southern Spin: Extra Block For Fearless Piecers


Rhoda Ann Marshall, Arizona Project & the Quilt Index

I posted this block on my Facebook page to announce the Southern Spin block-of-the-month pattern  that will appear here the rest of the year on the last Wednesday of the month.

See the post with the first block here: 


It was just an image of a Southern flavored wheel with spiky points---it's not one of the nine blocks I'd planned. Too complicated ---for you to stitch--- for me to draft.

Another of Rhoda's blocks

But then people wrote they'd always wanted to make this very complex, rather popular block, three rows of spiky points. I was going to advise them to find a paper-pieced pattern on line. But I couldn't find anyone selling a pattern for three rows of points.
Jasper Auction

Well, I'll draw one I said. It's a public service.

Northeast Auction
Quilters living outside the South made these blocks too.

It has a number in my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, #3469. Since the book's been digitized into BlockBase+ I had the program draw a pattern for you fearless piecers.

Pattern A
And here it is for a 16" finished block (Patterns have to fit on the 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of paper.) I'd be printing this 50% bigger, enlarging it to at least 24 inches. You are getting 1/4 of the block, which you can make into templates or paper piece as arcs and assemble into a square.

I worked on my pattern for a while because if you look closely the two inner arcs are not balanced. The bottom left of the smallest arc is a half a point, the top right has a full point. If you are going to piece this over paper arcs repeating it four times will NOT work. But after looking at it for a while I realized what to do.

You will need two versions of the pattern. I flipped the pattern over, making the words backwards but also making the second of the paired designs.
Print Pattern x 2
& Flipped x 2

Pattern B

If you are making templates I don't think it matters. You make a template for each of the 6 triangles and then cut a whole lot of triangles.

Rhoda, whose quilt is at top, actually made two of these quilts.
You may notice she did not worry about the sharpness of her points.
(No paper piecing for her.)

Here's a version attributed to Eliza McCardle Johnson (1810-1883) President Andrew Johnson's wife. Unlikely, as she died before these prints in blue, black and reds were fashionable in the 1890s.

Jasper Auction. Middle ring has faded. Clues to Southern origin?
Fading solid green. Lack of precision points.
A charming approach to the whole thing.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Stacks of Rectangles: Plain & Fancy


Joyce Gross Collection
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Quilt attributed to Lucy Weeks Kendall (1858-1931), found in Oakland, 
California, where it was probably made sometime between 1880 and 1900.

Born in Maine, Lucy Kendall and her family moved to California about 1880, living in Humboldt County, Berkeley and Oakland. Her brothers were well-to-do, enough so that she and Harry traveled to France about 1930 as the Great Depression began. Her sisters-in-law were listed in the social register. Lucy remained single, active in civic and religious groups with time to make this outstanding silk quilt.

The brothers made their money as partners in the lumber business but
there was a falling out---some jealousy over who had the nicer house?

Bowers Museum Collection
These stacked rectangles of various silk scraps
were a show quilt fashion at the end of the century.

When silk scraps were available as inexpensive factory cutaways.

There certainly was a style to these.

Scrappy with optional embroidery

The narrow pieces here may have been scraps of ribbon.

Plain strips optional too.

Wool quilt from an online auction

Once silk became hard to find and more expensive due to
trading issues with China in the early 20th century the pattern
was adapted to wools and cottons.

BlockBase #477
I'm surprised that the earliest published reference in my Encyclopedia
of Pieced Quilt Patterns is to Marie Webster's 1915 book where
 she calls the design Roman Stripes.
She pictured a rather simple silk version.

Scrappy strips and a few cut from patchwork squares.

Amish quiltmakers found the design perfect
for their home sewing scraps

And created some eye-catching color studies.

American Museum of Folk Art
Sarah Miller, Haven, Kansas

We tend to call the pattern Chinese Coins today...

inspired by the way the coins stack up when threaded through
their center holes.

Possibly an Amish name for the design.

A 1979 reference to Chinese Coins from the Baltimore Sun.

Quilts in the design tend to range from organized stacks to wild abandon.

Most of these cotton strips in familiar early 20th-century prints.

Inez Lynn Daniels Austin, North Carolina
N.C. Project & the Quilt Index

From the late Laura Fisher's inventory

Stripes in strips....

And then you can just start adding strips


Another from Laura's inventory