QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Odd Log Cabin: A Free Quilt Pattern for JellyRolls

Vintage Log Cabin quilt in the Courthouse Steps variation
with darks and lights opposite each other.
From the prints I'd guess this quilt was pieced about 1880-1900.

Same time, similar pattern, different look.
The center square in each block is white, which makes the background shift into the foreground and vice versa. The blocks are not square.

I love this little antique top of rectangular blocks I found somewhere on the internet. Inspired by the way the blocks float I designed a similar pattern in  EQ7. First I'll show you the blocks in conventional manner as squares.

The block here is based on a grid of 7 x 7.
If you use 2-1/2" pre-cut JellyRoll strips
the finished block would be 14".

Combine a JellyRoll of my Old Cambridge Pike
with a JellyRoll of Moda Bella Solids in a white....

Cutting a 14" Block

A - Cut 2 white strips 14-1/2 " x 2-1/2".
B - Cut 2 print strips and 2 white strips 10-1/2" x 2-1/2".
C - Cut 2 print strips and 2 white strips 6-1/2" x 2-1/2".
D - Cut 2 print squares and 1 white square 2-1/2 " x 2-1/2".

How to Piece 

Start in the middle with a strip of 3 and add strips to either side. Work
your way out.

Set 16 square blocks in a 4x4 grid and the finished top will
be 36" square.

But this is not what the antique looks like.

 I realized it looks different because it's a rectangular block.

If you made your blocks 10" x 14" you'd get the same effect.

6 blocks across, 6 down---but the blocks
are rectangles so you wind up with a top
that is 60" x 84".

The only difference between piecing the rectangular
block and the square block is you leave off piece A.
Easy enough to do.

Mi Casa by Carrie Nelson (Miss Rosie's Quilts)

And here's a fabric idea I pirated from
Carrie's Moda blog. She used a variety of Moda Layer Cakes
new and old in her Sun and Shadow log cabin block. It's a great period
look with some contemporary drama.

The pattern is in a new book I Love Log Cabins.

See her post about it here:

She says:
"Mi Casa finishes at 77" x 77" and it uses a diagonal setting to make a "sun and shadow" or checkerboard of lights and darks. The strips finish at 3/4" wide so there are a few tips included about cutting and sewing log cabin strips, especially those that are a bit narrower."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Quilts For Sale: Models and Samples

Voysey Improv by Linda Frost, 2015
36 x 42

We are selling some of the models for my books and fabric lines
in my Etsy shop.


Dottie for Scale
(No not for sale---for SCALE)

Linda made this one from my Morris Modernized: CFA Vosey fabric for Moda.

We've got a few others up there such as this
double fan or snake trail, hand pieced and hand quilted by me from
1930s repro prints. It was pictured in Making History.

Georgann Eglinski and I did this one with a trapunto fish in the center. It's 33" x 33".

There's a section called Georgann's Jumble Sale where we
donate the proceeds to a charity.

And a little Round Robin
with a house theme that the Sewhatevers did around
my improv house in the moonlight.

Check the store every once in a while to see what we've posted.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Antique Quilt Exhibits: Winter, Spring 2016

Grab your valise and a trolley to see some antique quilt shows this winter and into spring.

Detail of Wheels Quilt

Collection of the Quilt Museum

California, San Jose
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. Blanket Statements: New Quilts from Kaffe Fassett and Historical Quilts from the Collection of the Quilt Museum and Gallery, York, England. Fifteen historical quilts from 1780 and 1949 and twenty from Kaffe Fassett's studio. March 12 – June 28, 2016

California, Santa Ana 
Bowers Museum. The Red That Colored the World; Cochineal. 100 objects-textiles, sculpture, paintings, manuscripts, decorative arts, clothing and more- the exhibition explores the history of cochineal and the seductive visual nature of red.
Through February 21, 2016

Indiana, Bloomington
Wylie House Museum is hosting an exhibit of Chris Allswede's collection of 20 antique quilts. March 3-5, 2016.

Poppy Quilt by Marie Webster
Collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Indiana, Indianapolis
Indianapolis Museum of Art. A Joy Forever: Marie Webster Quilts. March 4, 2016 - January 8, 2017.

Kentucky, Paducah
National Quilt Museum

The Other Side: Backs. "Quilts hung so you can see both sides,a chance to see the other side of the story!" February 12 - April 11, 2016
The Pieced Empire: Antique New York Beauty Quilts with New Quilts from an Old Favorite: New York Beauty.
March 4 - May 10, 2016

Quilt Week is April 19-23. This year's Rotary Show of antiques Quilts Patriotic & Presidential  is curated by Sue Reich. 

Massachusetts, Lowell
New England Quilt Museum. Red, White & Green: Antique Quilts from the Permanent Collection
November 5, 2015 - February 20, 2016

First Impressions 2016: New to the Collection. Classroom Gallery. February 24 - May 15, 2016

From Quilts of Southwest China
Michigan, East Lansing
Michigan State University Museum. Quilts of Southwest China. American and Chinese museums led by the MSU Museum and the Yunnan Nationalities Museum (Kunming), have documented Chinese patchwork tradition for this exhibit up through April 30, 2016.

Quilt by an Unknown Maker, Cargo Collection
Nebraska, Lincoln
International Quilt Study Center & Museum/Quilt House.
African-American Quilts from the Cargo Collection. Through May 25, 2016

Favorites from the Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Collection showcases beautiful and rare chintz, toile, and calico in quilts and textiles that express the Dillows’ passion for fabric. Through August 23, 2016.

Applique quilt,

Ernestine Eberhardt Zaumseil, ca. 1865. Chandlerville, Illinois. 

Gift of George E. Schoellkopf, 2013 (Detail)
Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York, Manhattan

Metropolitan Museum of Art. American Quilts and Folk Art includes recent quilt acquisitions in two rotations: The second rotation is up through August 7, 2016.

Lancaster County quilt shown at the last Poole Forge show in 2014.

Pennsylvania, Churchtown
Antique Quilts in the Mansion, Lancaster County’s Historic Poole Forge. March 14-19, 2016.

Pennsylvania, Doylestown
James A. Michener Art Museum. Blanket Statements: New Quilts by Kaffe Fassett and Historical Quilts from the Collections of the Quilt Museum and Gallery, York, UK. Through February 21, 2016.
The show will travel to the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. See above.

Texas, LaGrange
Texas Quilt Museum. Antique Ohio Amish Quilts from the Darwin B. Bearley Collection. March 31-June 26, 2016.

String Quilt from the Texas Tech exhibit

Texas, Lubbock
Museum at Texas Tech University. Legacy of a Thousand Stitches includes almost 50 quilts spanning more than 150 years of history. Curated by Dr. Marian Ann Montgomery. Through May 15, 2016.
A bed-turning showing of other quilts from the collection is scheduled for March 31. Two quilt documentation days: April 9, May 14, 2016.

Vermont, Essex Junction
Vermont Quilt Festival. June 24-26, 2016.Two antique exhibits this year:
Lobby Lights: Red and White Quilts.
Plain and Fancy. Curators Donna Bister and Richard L. Cleveland are showing quilts from their 1991 book.
Quilt from the Etter Collection

Virginia, Harrisonburg
Virginia Quilt Museum. The American Quilt Study Group's Civil War Era Quilt Study will be up from November through March 1, 2016.
The Mary Spitzer Etter Collection will be up through May 7, 2016.

Virginia, Lynchburg
Lynchburg Museum. A Feast for the Eyes: Quilts and Textiles from Central Virginia. Through December 31, 2016,

Washington, LaConner
LaConner Quilt and Textile Museum. A Stitch Here, a Stitch There: Quilts from the Permanent Collection. Through March 27, 2016.

West Virginia, Charleston
Clay Center. Visual Systems: The Quilter's Eye, a traveling exhibit from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. Through March 6, 2016. Plus other exhibits and programming.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lidian from Old Cambridge Pike

Each of the prints in my latest Moda reproduction fabric collection
recalls a person or place along the Old Cambridge Pike
that ran through literary New England.

The largest floral is named Lidian.

The document print above, a gift from collector Arnold Savage.

Woman posing with a similar furnishing print, about 1890.

A perfect piece of cretonne from the 1870-1900 era.

We toned down the colors.

The repro print comes in 8 colorways across the whole range---
blue to red and pink.

And it has a butterfly for you fans of fussy-cut

It's named for Lidian Emerson (1802-1892)
This photo with son Edward Waldo was taken in the late 1840s.

Lydia Jackson married widower Ralph Waldo Emerson when she was 32 in 1835. They moved to a large house on the Cambridge and Concord Turnpike in Concord (It's now called Lexington Road). Emerson, a former minister, became a philosopher and surprisingly a philosopher who made a good living writing and lecturing about his ideas. 

Emerson called his wife Lidian and this became her name, although he had several other nicknames for her.
"Queenie (who has a gift to curse and swear) will every now and then despite of all manners & christianity rip out on Saints, reformers, & Divine Providence with the most edifying zeal."
Ralph Waldo Emerson diary, 1841.
The house was large and visitors like Henry Thoreau and Margaret Fuller stayed for months on end.

The Emerson House on the old Cambridge Pike was the center of literary New England, home to transcendentalist philosophers, novelists, poets and dreamers.

You can walk from the Emersons to the Hawthornes to the Alcotts--- something every one interested in American literature should do.

We used the Lidian print in brown for the strips in the "Wild Oats"
(pattern picture from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company).

Here's my reading list for this month:

Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall. If I were Lidian I would have spoken sharply to Margaret who lived in the attic entirely too long. I imagine Queenie did have a few words to say.

The Selected Letters of Lidian Jackson Emerson,
edited by Delores Bird Carpenter.

The People of Concord: One Year in the Flowering of New England by Paul Brooks.

And if you like historical fiction there's a hot novel:
Mr Emerson's Wife by Amy Belding.

Melissa Corry stitched the model quilt for "Wild Oats."
She used the blue colorway.

See her post here:

I'm going to show some antique quilts with cretonne borders
over on my Facebook page this week.