Saturday, May 27, 2023

Star With a Southern Spin


Sifting through my files of pictures from online auctions.
What about this?

It's not in my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

But it's easy to draw in EQ8

So here's a pattern for a 12" block.
Spin Cycle.
Probably an  unpublished Southern design about 1900.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Interesting Solutions to Common Design Problems


Certain patterns must be adjusted in some fashion to fit a format
with 90 degree corners.

The half-block might have been a more practical solution.

Some do reject the common solutions and explore new options.

Any hexagonal pattern has to be tamed....

You cannot just let them run free.

The large star of diamonds often presents problems when you
draft your own diamond. Here we have a 9-pointed star. Best
solution is probably to applique it to a background and hope no
one can count beyond eight.

Related problem. Fill in the gaps and call it eight.

Another Lone Star problem is a bump in the center.

Not a good solution--but a solution....

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Regional Clue---Run-on Corners


Quilt from about 1900.
Note the multiple strip borders, 3 on one side,
1 on 2 sides, and none on the last side.
Many style characteristics tell us this is probably a Southern quilt: 
The fabric with an emphasis on solid chrome orange, brown and teal green/blue.
The use of strip borders and, in particular, the way the corners were handled is often a clue.

Attributed to the Allen Sisters of Tennessee
5 Strips, pieced as individual border units and then attached.

Attributed to Nannie Vanzant Moore of Tennessee

This kind of border resolution is never going to win you any prizes today when mitered symmetrical border corners are the standard. One name for the non-conforming border style is "run-on borders." They are a product of strip + strip borders---the way the strips are attached.

Wooten & Wooten Auction
Ester Maples of Georgia

How regional is the corner style? 

Southerners liked a triple sash set and as Ester did, often
extended it to the edge as a border.

I looked at all 924 quilts that the New Hampshire project (Phase II) has loaded onto the Quilt Index. I looked for strip borders but I wasn't looking for a single strip. I looked for two or more. Of those 924 only 13 quilts used a strip + strip border.

And NOT ONE of those had run-on corners, all nicely planned like this basket, about which they had little information. That is less than .02% of the nearly 1,000 quilts. I think we can say that a triple strip border, mitered or butted or run-on, is NOT a clue to a New Hampshire quilt.
Ollie Mooney, Shelby County, Alabama
seen in the North Carolina project

To contrast with New Hampshire I looked on the Quilt Index for quilts made in Alabama---No Alabama project quilts up there yet but 207 quilts made in Alabama are pictured. Of those 9 had more than one strip pieced into the border and one of those, this one by Ollie Mooney had run-on corners. That is about twice as many strip + strip borders as New Hampshire but I don't think I have enough data to support my hypothesis.

Comparing New Hampshire to Tennessee might be more illuminating. The Tennessee project recorded 2055 quilts on the Quilt Index. I saw 51 that had more than 1 strip (unpieced) border and of those 17 had run on corners.

So here's a Scoreboard

Southeastern Pennsylvania, about 1900

Apparently multiple strip borders and corner style are indications of  regional taste, style that needs to be explored in greater detail. Pennsylvania Germans also favored multiple borders but often in a variety of widths and corners were resolved without running on.

As did the Amish

Recorded in the Arizona project. No source information
but likely Southern

See posts on border style:



Friday, May 12, 2023

Kentucky River Rose Pattern


One of my favorite patterns
is this fruit full of dots---a pomegranate or pineapple.

This one from a quilt in the DAR Museum attributed to Lucy Kemper West
(1792-1876) of Garrard County, Kentucky

The Quilt Index file on this museum quilt tells us that it won a blue ribbon at the Missouri State Fair in 1926. Lucy's son Lysander West II moved to Cass County, Missouri and his descendants may have entered this quilt in competitions.

Here are he and wife Ruth in Cass County right before the Civil War.

Irene Blanck and the DAR cooperated on a pattern for a Tribute
to Lucy Kemper. Do a websearch for Lucy Kemper Irene Blanck to
find this complex pattern.

I thought I might need a simpler pattern and came across several inspirational block quilts

An example from Cindy Rennel's inventory. With the
half blocks and the fading solids it's probably Southern.

Bad picture found on the internet of a four-block set.

Nine-block set, probably 20th century, by Vicki's great grandmother
Alice Wright Morris of Troy, Alabama

I did index this pattern with fruit in a four-way symmetry in my Encyclopedia of Applique, number 13.43 with the reference "Edith Hall's Rose" in Quilts of Tennessee

Neva Hart posted this one on our QuiltHistorySouth Facebook page

But I haven't seen a pattern for it so I drew one and gave it a name Kentucky River Rose

Here's about 1/4th of a pattern for a 13" or larger finished block.

Julie Silber's inventory

Read a ten-year old blog post about Garrard County fruit here:

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Where'd You Get That Quilt?

"Bought it on an Ohio Riverboat west of Louisville."

Not the answer you expect to hear. Who knew Riverboats had gift shops?

The Louisville Courier Journal included arrivals and
departures of the river boats with traffic from New Orleans
and Indiana.

The Kentucky Historical Society has in their collection
three quilts attributed to the Chescheir/Owsley family, two of them silk log cabins.

"Quilt was possibly made by either the donor's mother, Elizabeth Chescheir, or the donor's grandmother Catherine Elizabeth Bodley Owsley.....Her daughter, Catherine Innes Owsley (born April 9, 1843 in Danville, Ky.) is another potential maker." Catherine Elizabeth Bodley was born March 3, 1816. She married Erasmus Owsley and they had nine children. The oldest child was donor William Chescheir grandmother Catherine Elizabeth Bodley Owsley.

The three quilts were donated in 1980 by William B. Chescheir, active in the Kentucky Historical Society and several other historical organizations. His mother Elizabeth Booker Chescheir died the year he donated many family heirlooms and World War II memorabilia to the Society.

Chescheir Collection 
Kentucky Historical Society
Elizabeth Booker Chescheir (1894-1980) with her family in the early 1930s. William is the son right behind her husband George Maynard Chescheir. William guessed his mother Elizabeth may have made the quilts. 

But mother Elizabeth Booker Chescheir left a note that accompanied one log cabin stating that her grandmother made it:
 "In the 1880's; she was Catherine Elizabeth Bodley Owsley... daughter of Gov. Wm. Owsley [Governor 1844-1848]; when she came to Louisville...she became an ardent worker in 2nd Presbyterian Church [where a group of women] got together regularly and made quilts and other beautiful articles to sell to make money for missions.... One place they sold them was on the steamboat that ran from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. Wealthy people travelled on that boat and they got many orders for quilts and embroidered linens."

Attributions and family history as to who made the quilts are confusing. But the idea that the Presbyterian ladies sold quilts on the riverboats is intriguing. 

Link to another quilt from the family:

Monday, May 1, 2023

Coronation Fabrics


Being a fan of the Royals (both baseball team and British monarchs) I am excited to see the coronation of Charles III this week. I do remember watching the coronation of  Elizabeth II quite a while ago.

One might want to make a commemorative quilt. There is a lot of fabric out there on Spoonflower and other sites you can find with a websearch for Coronation Fabric Charles. I thought I'd make a panel suitable for a small medallion. You can print the panel above on an 8-1/2" x 11 sheet of prepared fabric.

The inspiration was a fabric flag printed for the coronation
of George V & Queen Mary in 1911

Edward VIII in 1937

His brother George VI with Queen Elizabeth 1937

George's daughter Elizabeth II, 1953
Many handkerchiefs were sold.

Simple repeat from hankie border showing the Tudor and 
Lancaster Roses, the Scottish Thistle and the Irish Shamrock.

Look for tea towels too.