QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Morris Earthly Paradise

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Morris Hexathon 8: Greenwood

Morris Hexathon 8: Greenwood by Bettina Havig

Greenwood is a single diamond shape: 12 of them.

Greenwood by Ilyse Moore

Greenwood by Becky Brown

Becky fussy-cut a tulip shape from the Compton print in Morris Earthly Paradise to give the curved look here. There are no curved seams this week.

Compton by John Henry Dearle

The diamond

A Victorian tile floor at St. Albans

The block set with red triangles about 1900

I named this basic block Greenwood for a mythical place, a symbol of the English forest. Greenwood refers to the Anglo-Saxon culture before the invasion of the Norman French in 1066. The image is in classic British literature from Robin Hood to Shakespeare---half of a dichotomy:
  • Forest and city
  • Anglo-Saxon and Norman
  • Ancient and Modern
  • Freedom and Authority
 William Morris spent his childhood near the Epping Forest, a landscape that seduced him with a "ferocious enchantment". That two-sided view of the world shaped Morris's life and work. 

The pattern is BlockBase #239, and variations have different numbers
as there are so many ways of looking at the 12 diamonds.

From the Tennessee project; photo from the Quilt Index.
A typical silk example date-inscribed 1876

with a very atypical back.
The label (the same size as the quilt) says: 
 Franz(?) C Smith
Elkhart Co. Ind.

Here's a version from the 1930s set all over.

Early-20th-century example, set with triangles.

About 1940 from Cindy's Antiques
If you are careful with your coloring you
get a 3-D illusion.

The Ladies Art Company showed it as an all-over
diamond pattern and called it Variegated Diamonds...

and also fit it into a rectangle and called it Hexagonal.

Pattern for an 8" Hexagon
(4" sides)

To Print:
  • Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11". 
  • Click on the image above. 
  • Right click on it and save it to your file. 
  • Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". The hexagon should measure 4" on the sides.
  • Adjust the printed page size if necessary.
  • Add seams when you cut the fabric.

Marnie had a date question about this large version fit
into a rectangle, Could it be from about 1800? Could be,
those are some o-o-old prints.

This is another hexie example were quilts in the design were made earlier than the paper patterns.

A British medallion with the pattern in the borders, date-inscribed
1808, in the collection of the International Quilt Study Group and Museum.

We see it in silks in the last half of the 19th century.

This variation is set all over in velvets.

It was also done often in calico scraps.
Above and below
cheater cloth, printed patchwork, from about 1875.

A top date-inscribed 1945

An unusual set, dated 1909

One More Inspiration

Circle of Stars from Kaffe Fassett's 
Simple Shapes-Spectacular Quilts

Epping Forest is the largest green space in London. Visit Morris's childhood Greenwood:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

An Indiana Pattern?

I remember this quilt that we documented in the Kansas Quilt Project
very well. It is signed in bold applique "Mary A. Turley 1869"
It's certainly an unusual pattern.
It's in my Encyclopedia of Applique, #44.9, but up till recently this was the only 
example I'd seen.

The two-way mirror image symmetry is interesting as is the layering of the pink and red feathery flowers. 

Nancy Hornback did a good deal of research on the quiltmaker, finding Mary A. Turley (1854-1917) probably made the quilt in Indiana before coming to Kansas to marry Levi Morgan in 1871. She stitched the quilt at 15 and married at 17. 

Mary was born in Marion County, Indiana, in what is now a suburb of Indianapolis.

See a little more about how the Turleys came from Virginia to Indiana at this site:

When I saw this one documented by the Iowa Project I made a note. Twins!

This top belonged to Mary Barton, a famous collector in Iowa.
Coxcomb by Alice Rose Klein (Mrs. Madison C. Klein) of Indiana.

Perhaps this is the maker:
"Alice Rose Smith, daughter of Squire and Sarah Smith, was born in Marion Co. Ind. Oct. 3, 1853. was married Oct. 25, 1871, to Mat Klein who was born in Delaware Co. Ind. Oct 6, 1848. 75 There have been born to Alice Rose and Mat Klein 3 children, namely: May, Harry and Russell Madison. Alice Rose and Mat Klein are living in Crawfordsville, Ind. and Mr. Klein is engaged in the jewelry trade."

"The year following his coming to Crawfordsville, [1870]Mr. [Madison Conard] Klein married and his wife, Alice Rose Klein, a son Charles Harry Klein, a daughter Alice Mae Klein and granddaughter, Katherine May Klein, survive him."

If so we have two similar quilts made by women born a year apart in Marion County, Indiana. An Indiana pattern?

But here's one from the Tennessee project.
Actually Quadruplets!


The Tennessee quilt was made by a Mrs. Ottinger in Parrottsville. The owner who brought the quilt to be photographed said she purchased it and that she had another one like it.

From the notes:
"There is another quilt identical to this one, but it is in very poor condition. This one is unused with the pencil markings for quilting lines still visible. Unusual applique design and an unusual quilting design used in this quilt. The quilt is longer (104 inches)than most quilts in this time period in Tennessee."

Ottinger is a common name in Parrottsville. I even found a tintype of someone's Aunt Mary Ottinger from Parrottsville, sold on an online auction.

Maybe it's a Tennessee pattern.

Are there any more out there?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Morris The Earthly Paradise

If you do a web search for Morris Earthly Paradise--- fabric is not what comes up.
You will see this book.

The Earthly Paradise is William Morris's famous literary work, a poetic saga.

He published it in many forms beginning in the late 1860s.

I love his utopian idea of an Earthly Paradise
although I don't read many epic poems.

The most collectible edition is Morris's own Kelmscott
Press edition, which he was working on when he died.
Printed on vellum in an edition of about 200 it sells in the thousands of dollars.

Morris designed the fancy letter designs associated with his name
for the Kelmscott Press and the pages are gorgeous.

But my favorite is this inexpensive, popular version printed in the 1890s.

I like the simple floral that floats around on the cover.
Print this JPG out at 8-1/2 x 11"

And you'd have a lovely applique design for some Morris prints
or a wall stencil for a period frieze. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Morris Hexathon 7: Avebury Stones

Morris Hexathon 7: Avebury Stones by Becky Brown

This week's hexie is three pieces, a hexagon, a diamond and a half a hex or tumbler.

Avebury Stones by Bettina Havig

I named it for a neolithic monument
that fascinated the young William Morris with its connection
to England's Druid past.

The Avebury Stone Circle, the largest found in Europe, is now a restored prehistoric monument similar to the better-known Stonehenge.

The village that grew up around the upright stones was recorded in 1723.
In the distance St. James Church, built about 1000 AD.

When Morris was fifteen or so he first visited the Avebury Stones, writing to his sister of "a Druidical circle and a Roman entrenchment both which encircle the town." He returned to make a study of the Norman church. The combination of ancient myth and medieval architecture became a life-long interest.

In 1876 he wrote wife Janey of a visit he and daughter Jenny made:
"We had a delightful drive to Silbury & Avebury on Saturday through a stormy afternoon...not many of the huge stones are left now..."

The particular block has a BlockBase number 241 and the rather uninspiring published name of Three Patch, given to it by the Laura Wheeler/Old Chelsea Station pattern company in the mid 20th century.

Pattern for an 8" Hexagon
(4" sides)
To Print:
  • Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11". 
  • Click on the image above. 
  • Right click on it and save it to your file. 
  • Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". The hexagon should measure 4" on the sides. 
  • Adjust the printed page size if necessary. See this post for adjusting information:
  • Add seams when you cut the fabric.
Avebury Stones by Ilyse Moore

Here's the same block in an early-20th-century hexie extravaganza,
recently sold at Gildings Auction in the U.K.

The maker used the block for a ring around the center.
If you made all six diamonds red you'd get the look.

See a large photo here:

One could fussy-cut hexagons from striped fabric and get the same effect.

Above early-19th-century patchwork that looks like a 
half-hexagon but it's cut from a stripe.

Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations

Or make your own stripes by cutting from half-square triangle blocks.

Mid-20th-century postcard

The Avebury Stone Circle, restored in the 20th century, is now a National Trust Site. 

One More Inspiration

Half a hexagon in a Cosmati floor mosaic 

Inner City by Jinny Beyer, 1980