Saturday, September 30, 2023

Ebony Suite :::: Best of Morris


William Morris and I have a new collection of his designs for Moda.
We've been following the trends.

Ebony Suite:
The Best of Morris

"Best" means our favorites.

The Give Away is over. Julia was the winner, picked rather randomly but I think she will like her Jelly Roll

Now, interior decorating fashions come and go but we want you to know we are absolutely on top of it here. Some thoughts on interior design trends: 

Butterfly chair of the '60s

As you can see, we study the media and we are glad to see that flowing Morris design is the thing after a few years of angular moderne.

Ebony Suites is riding the crest of three design waves:
1) William Morris revival
2) Wallpaper as interior design
3) Gray as interior palette

Designer Laura Hunter with Morris wallpaper

What goes better with your Morris wallpaper
than Morris accessories and quilts?

And we have noticed that the color of the year is 
As you might guess Ebony Suite is William Morris prints
in shades of gray from charcoal to taupe.

The solids that go with the line.

Gray---the height of cool

Project Idea

"It's certain that fine women eat A crazy salad with their meat."
William Butler Yeats

Here's a simple idea for a stack of Layer Cakes, cut to 10"
and finishing to 9-1/2" blocks. Plus your scraps of bright solids
cut to 1-1/2" wide.

Applique strips finishing to 1" in the center


If you want the background to flow across the block
you could try to piece strips cut from two 10" squares...but
Applique is easier.

And since you are appliqueing you could 
just sew rather rectangular strips onto the squares for a truly Crazy Salad.

We'll have plenty of ideas for projects and quilts in the next few months.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Lucky Star


If one were looking for an exercise in pattern complexity, one might consider Lucky Star from the Laura Wheeler syndicated newspaper column in the 1930s.

Syndicated to many newspapers in July, 1934

BlockBase+ Pattern ID 2989

BlockBase will draw setting arrangements for you as well as patterns.

Two mid-century quilts made from the newspaper pattern.

During the 1930s quilters loved white as a contrast to their pastel prints and plains.
These two vintage quilts highlight the blocks as separate units, using that emphasis on white (design idea revived today.)

EQ8 sketch of BlockBase #2989
But you might want to consider design interactions
in the corners using different shading.

Laura liked a template-cut block so here are two sheets
for a 12" finished block, drawn in EQ8 & BlockBase+.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Another Ohio Garden of Eden Quilt


Sylvia's grapes
And one more connection for a last post this week.

See previous blogposts about Sylvia Queen's quilts and other Garden of Eden quilts:

Those tightly stuffed grapes, likely of wool or mixed wool fabric, in Sylvia Queen's quilt in the Johnson County Museum reminded me of something I'd seen.

And then in the middle of the night (of course) I sat up and said
Olive Bachelor Wells, Spencer Museum.

The grape vine border---the Garden of Eden theme.
And Olive Bachelor Wells lived in Ohio, just a few miles from Sylvia Queen.

Olive Wells's Adam & Eve are "stump work," three-dimensional
 figures stitched to the surface.

As I recall the late Jean Mitchell came across this quilt in Kansas City and suggested that the owner, "the maker's great-grandson's wife," donate it to the Spencer, which she generously did in 1978.

The unusual dark background fabric was intriguing
and that is another design characteristic this Garden of Eden
shares with the Sylvia Queen quilt.

Jean and I spent some enjoyable time examining the Spencer donation. We communicated with Quilt Historian Ricky Clark of Ohio who was analyzing the Ohio Project's findings in Quilts in Community: Ohio's Traditions, published in 1991. 

Rhoda Wells Warner, Painesville Ohio.
 Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society
Each star represents a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Ricky had noted the Wells Garden of Eden's similarities to a patriotic-themed extravaganza by Rhoda Warner, summarized below by Aimee E. Newell in a footnote in her book A Stitch in Time.

Fading purple stuffed grapes in Rhoda Warner's quilt

These women all lived up by Lake Erie in eastern Ohio in Geauga and Lake Counties in the 1850s, within thirty miles of each other. Similarities in their quilts give us a glimpse of the influence of fair prizes, sharing of techniques and perhaps some professional quiltmakers. 

And a glimpse is all we have.
And that's the last post on the Garden of Eden quilts and the elusive Sylvia Warner Quinn (Queen.)

Rhoda Wells Warner's husband's grave:

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

More Garden of Eden Quilts


We've been posting about Sylvia Queen and her Garden of Eden quilts.



19th-century embroidered sampler
The theme is a popular religious image in the vernacular arts. 

Concrete Garden of Eden, Lucas, Kanas
S.P. Dinsmoor, early-20th-century

...Including quilts in a wide variety of imagery

Josephine Miller Adkins, collection of the 
DAR Museum, dated 1874, Maryland

But similarities in one group of quilts related to Sylvia Queen's pair raise many questions about patterns being passed around.

The Minnesota Historical Society attributes this quilt to Mary Worthington Walker Foster (1809-1907), born in Belchertown, Massachusetts. The caption implies Mary Walker may have sewn it in Massachusetts before her marriage, but this quilt that looks to date from the 1850s was probably made after Mary and her husband moved west, first to Wisconsin in 1846, then to Ohio and Illinois.

Do notice that Mary Foster's maiden name is Walker. Was she related to Sylvia Queen, who used the name Sylvia Walker before her marriage in Geauga County, Ohio to William Quinn?

Mary Walker Foster's son Addison Walker was a U.S. Senator from Washington state so we learn a little more about his mother. When he was a schoolboy about 1850 they lived in Geauga County, Ohio. (!)


Surely, the Great Geauga County Fair had something to do with
this mystery.

One more Ohio connection tomorrow.