Wednesday, November 25, 2015

An Eagle Quilt for Baltimore's Mayor 1852

Baltimore about 1850

I found this story in an Indiana newspaper.

"Handsome Present.
The Mayor of Baltimore has been presented with a quilt by a lady of that city over seventy years of age---The quilt is entirely her own handiwork and contains in the centre a beautifully finished American eagle, surrounded by stars representing the thirty-one states, the initials of the Presidents of the United States, and the names of the last four Mayors of Baltimore---The four corners are bordered with exquisitely proportioned flowers, which together with the devices described above, are worked in variegated silk. The accomplishment of this tasteful piece of work by such a venerable dame presents an example which should excite the emulation of misses forming the rising generation."

The Evansville, Indiana Daily Journal printed this article July 9, 1852, copying the article from the New Orleans Picayune.

The Mayor of Baltimore mid-1852 was John Hanson Thomas Jerome (c 1816-1863).

John H.T.Jerome
owned a large grocery store.

He and his wife Henrietta Dyer (married in 1837) had at least two daughters:
Sarah Armitage (about 1845- 1906) who married Elmon Allen Shipley (1835-1912) and had at least one  child.
Mary Viginia who married Matthew Kelly Aiken and had 9 children.

The previous four mayors of the city:

1842-1843 Solomon Hillen, Jr.
1843-1844 James O. Law
1844-1848 Jacob G. Davies
1848-1850 Elijah Stansbury

In case you come across a silk eagle quilt with their initials on it.

Of course, the first seventy-plus woman I thought of was Anna Catharine Garnhart (1773-1860).
She would have been about 79 in 1852 and she liked to make eagle quilts.

Three similar Catherine Garnhart eagle quilts in three different museums.

See more about Catherine Garnhart here:

Three Garnhart eagles....but none is silk.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Baltimore Album Quilts Set 6x7

Baltimore Album Quilt,
 Friends and family of Samuel Williams. 1846- 1847.
 107½ x 119½ inches. 
The Baltimore Museum of Art: 
Gift of Serena O’Laughlen Wagner, BMA 1988.206.

Most Baltimore Album quilts were constructed in groups of 25 blocks in a 5 x 5 grid, but a few ambitious projects included nearly twice as many blocks. The quilt made for Samuel Williams includes 42 blocks. I've found five quilts set as rectangles of 42 blocks, each in six rows of seven blocks.

The Samuel Williams quilt is the frontispiece photo 
in William Rush Dunton's 1945 book, in which he studied
these "Old Quilts." 

Baltimore Album Quilt,
Dorcas Goodman Brashear Harvey, 1856,
 85" x 98"
The Baltimore Museum of Art
Gift of Marion Farrow Noldt, Tulsa, Oklahoma
BMA 2007.353

The  "Ladies of  Prince George's County" also used an applique border but simpler and narrower,
one reason this quilt is about 20 inches smaller than the Williams quilt in both dimensions. 

On the top left a Pineapple? A Bee Hive?

Quilt sold at Freeman Auctions, 1847
from Baltimore and Cecil County
100" x 117"

A little space between each block and the repetition of a feather wreath give a nice balance to this 6x7 example.

Anna Putney Farrington
Collection of the Fenimore Art Museum

Farrington was a New Yorker but this quilt has several Baltimore-like blocks. It's sometimes shown with scallops on all 4 sides---a restoration?

Baltimore Album Quilt made for the Rev. George Roberts,
Collection of the Museum at Lovely Lane in Baltimore.

We get so interested in the complex blocks such as this basket from the Williams quilt (similar to one at the bottom of the Roberts quilt above) that we tend not to notice the simpler blocks...

From the Roberts quilt (6x7-5)

like these stars with dogtooth appliqued rings around them.

From the Brashear Harvey quilt (6x7)

Another simple block from the Williams quilt:
14 petals of Prussian blue rainbow dress print,
some framed with Turkey red.

If you are keeping an index to Baltimore Album Quilts here are five examples set 6 by 7.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Alice's Scrapbag: Auntie's Fichu

SuznQuilts is making one of her mini Dresden Plate samplers from my Moda collection
Alice's Scrapbag plus Milles Coulores by Three Sisters. See more pictures at her blog post:

"Auntie's Fichu" is the name for a little floret in a regular grid set
in Alice's Scrapbag.

It's a little nosegay or puffy flower found in Alice's Four Patches.

Document print from Alice' quilt
atop the reproduction print from Alice's Scrapbag

Those grid prints or foulards were fashionable for neck wear,
so I named it Auntie's Fichu

Woman in a paisley print fichu,
what we'd call a scarf.

Mid-century necklines required a collar accessory
(or maybe two)
Lace collars were quite the rage.

Ribbons were an alternative

Often a white fichu finished off the outfit.

Fichu from The Ladies' Home Magazine, 1860.
Such elegant fichus are usually finished with a "fall of lace"

New York Public Library

Fiche at the top, fichu at the bottom.
Was it length that made the difference?

Sometimes the fichus were patterned
(or is it a trimmed ribbon)

I imagine Alice's Auntie (probably a great-auntie) to look like this woman
 in her black lace cap, foulard print dress and patterned scarf.

A little touching up the old photo

Alice's original quilt shows how eye-catching those foulard-style
prints were. The original is the spotty print that jumps out at you. We toned down the contrast a bit.

A compromise between their taste for spots and ours.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tessellations 5: An Unusual Quadrilateral

Vintage Quilt, About 1890-1920

Perhaps this odd shape is the perfect charm quilt/paper pieced pattern
if you're looking for some challenging piecing and an unusual design.

About 1830-1950
It's a quadrilateral---a four sided shape---so it tessellates,
covers a surface with one pattern piece.

About 1880-1900
I was surprised how many examples I have seen
from about 1870 to 1983

This may look like a a triangle but it is a four-sided shape.

I've found several examples where they are pieced into rows.

"1983 Mother Adcock"

In EQ7 you can do a sketch of a One-Patch Quilt->Patch Style-> Kite

And change the proportions.

by sliding the Width and Height sliders.

Here is an unfinished project from about 1940.
Perhaps she intended to set these into hexagons
rather than kites.

About 1950-1980

Many of these four-sided shapes are drafted as part of a hexagon.
So they can be reassembled as a hexagon.

BlockBase #243

Or part of a triangle

No BlockBase number for this arrangement.

See this webpage from The Fat Quarter Shop
for a contemporary take on the arrangement....several contemporary takes.

Fractal by Michele-Renee at Quiltmatters

This silk show quilt from the 1880-1900 period
is not a tessellation since it requires two shapes.

Sort of like BlockBase  #233
Star Fish from the the Ver Mehren pattern firm
in Des Moines in the 1930s

One of them the cone shape or kite shape in question.
The other shape (two odd triangles) can be seen as an arrowhead.

An arrowhead will tessellate.

Jasper Johns Screen Print, Cicada

Elizabeth W. has been looking at Jasper John's print for a while and decided
to try interpreting it as a four-sided patch like the arrowhead.

She sent me the first steps.
"Indeed, any quadrilateral will tessellate."

Can't wait to see the results.