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Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 23:59:22 -0400

From: "Jan Drechsler" <quiltdoc@sover.net>

Dear Judy,

Re: Sandpaper, templates, adhesive tape, Civil War bandages, Morse Code and

long pieces of newspaper...

You need to get more sleep!

Am sending my yoga book, meditation tapes and chocolate by express mail. A

one week supply of sleeping pills and herb teas will be included. Try to cut

down on your caffeine intake (except for chocolate) and eat plenty of fruits

and vegetables. Breathe deeply from the diaphram and follow your breathing

for 5 minutes.

Find a large piece of blank paper, about 11' x 17", and a big black or red

magic marker. Write as large as possible the words 'SO WHAT!.'

Prop it by your sewing machine and your hand sewing chair. 'So What' if

every point doesn't meet. 'So What' if some of the compass parts aren't

quite equal. Your son will not love you any more or less due to

imperfections. He will get married in June whether the quilt is finished or

not. So What? Who needs a quilt in June when you live in NJ anyway? Give

yourself permission to finish only a portion of the quilt for display at the


And thanks for letting us know that sandpaper was invented in the late

1820's. Now there is a great job description. 'I glue sand on paper.' Good

to know that someone else's head rambles off into the blue about these


Hang in there.



Jan Drechsler in Vermont

Quilt Restoration; Quilting teacher



Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 23:04:05 -0500

From: Mary Waller <mswaller@iw.net>

To: J. G. Row <judygrow@rcn.com>

In Northern Comfort - New England's Early Quilts, a paper template is

pictured on pg. 93. It's an oak leaf design and is cut from an 1831

anti-slavery meeting's program.

Two pages from a student's geometry notebook are on pg. 99. Assuming

this girl could use a compass as well as she did pen and ink, she would

have been able to draft any quilt pattern (and probably build bridges, a

space station, etc.).

Mary Waller

Vermillion SD USA


Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 04:16:28 EDT

From: JBQUILTOK@aol.com

>How did they do it, those women who were never taught math

>and geometry, nor did they have the fabric to waste, or freezer paper, or

>even newsprint to fold to get the size to cut swags or do cable quilting in

>the borders?

I think one thing previous generations had going for them was less

distractions. They sat down to sew with a fabric, scissors, needle, & thread

often kept in a very small basket by their chair. No TV or radio blaring.

No sewing machine to worry about stitch length or bobbin thread running out.

They could work on their quilt during the day instead of late at night.

Without a library full of quilt books, they concentrated on one quilt at time

without falling prey to the 'I want to make them all' syndrome so common now

when 5 new magazines a month land at our doorstep filled with 'gotta do that

one' patterns.

And for every wonderful, perfect heirloom quilt there were hundreds of women

making 'good enough' quilts. After all, winning the blue ribbon at the fair

would not have been any fun without some competition!



Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 14:04:21 +0100

From: MARK POWER <mpower@coventry.ac.uk

Dear QHers,

I recently bought Nebraska Quilts and Quilt makers and Indiana Quilts,

both are excellent. Presumably there are books covering every state in

the union- does anyone else have favourites? The thing I like about

them, apart from the beautiful reproductions, is the window it gives the

reader on to the lives of people who would otherwise be ignored by

history. The big historical processes are fascinating but for me the

lives of 'little' people as expressed through their quilting and other

art work is even more so. I've also been looking at the history of

British quilting and was struck by the similarity between some British

designs and Amish ones. I know the Amish came to quilting later than

the surrounding community but I would still have expected their

influences to have been more from continental europe given their Swiss

connections. Any thoughts.


Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 08:30:20 -0500

From: Laura Hobby Syler <texas_quilt.co@airmail.net>

To: MARK POWER <mpower@coventry.ac.uk>

Hi Mark,

It's so nice to have "new blood" on the list, and someone that has just

jumped in with both feet! Kris has developed a wonderful research tool

with the QHL Archives and pages on the web site. She can give all the

correct particulars, but there is a book listing section on the

website/archives as well. Several months ago we collectively compiled a

list of all the state projects. My computer died and I have only a hard

copy, but I'm sure someone will offer to send it to you. It is a great

and ever growing resource.

Welcome to the ever changing world of Quilt History!

Laura Hobby Syler

OH, if you can find a copy of Fall 2001 QUILT I have several articles in

there...one on Julie Silber and The Quilt Complex and Hearts & Hands B&B

just up the road. What a wonderful place for a quilt retreat!!


Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 08:41:56 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kris Driessen <

Hey! Y'all talking about me? <G>

I have been working on making the site a little more attractive and

useful lately. You should be able to access everything from the

first page - any member is more than welcome to go to the site and

constructively criticize! I do want this to be a good resource for


Nancy Cameron Armstrong wrote a great article called "The Top Ten

Articles for the study of quilts from seven Quilt Historians" which

can be reached from the articles page.

(http://www.quilthistory.com/articles.htm) The link to the state

book list is on that page too. It is NOT done yet, I want to

hyperlink to amazon any book that is still in print. (The amazon

commission and occasional donations supports the site.)

Please feel free to explore and make liberal use of the comments







Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 10:43:11 -0700

From: Denise Clausen <nadyne@oregoncoast.com>

To: "QHL@cuenet.com" <QHL@cuenet.com>

In the search for more info regarding indigo/white quilts...

I would like to try a survey of members...

If enough replys come in, I will assemble the info and share it with the



Do you have an indigo/white quilt in your collection?

Description of print...

What is the pattern?

What is the circa date (your best guess)or documented date?

Location of origin (if known)?

Maker (if known)?

How is it quilted?

Example for my collection......

Indigo/white quilt

Print has tiny white keys about and inch appart (discharge print)

Pattern 5" circles, possibly a snowball pattern

1830 - 1930 (B.B)

Origin - Unknown

Maker - Unknown

Quilted - recently

Example from Latimer Quilt and Textile Center collection

Indigo/white quilt

Print is small dots (discharge print)

Pattern - Feathered star

before 1900 (family estimate)

Tillamook, OR

diagonal, lines straight across pieced blocks, cross hatching between



Denise Clausen


Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 22:35:03 EDT



Four or five years ago I called the Art Dept at our local college and ask for

some instruction on using French Curves. I thought if I new how to use all

the little curvy pieces of plastic I have I would be able to make better

designs. The professor said "you have to be kidding. We use computers now."

I put the French Curves away and continued to do what I had been doing. As

a result, I try to teach whole cloth and quilting designs the "way the

grandmothers did it". They didn't have fancy things - probably only paper, a

pencil (to be sharpened with a pin knife), a piece of string for making

circles and a straight edge of some kind. I also discovered that in most

cases the way to draw a perfect heart and tulip is when both sides match.

Now this is not to say that these modern gadgets are not useful. Some are.

As a result, many students are delighted when they learn that they can do

satisfactory original design just by folding paper. I also read somewhere in

a little self published book that "God didn't make all feathers on a ducks

back absolutely alike. Therefore, the feathers we quilt in our quilt do not

have to be perfect either. These discoveries have certainly freed up my

designing skills.

Now, talking about feathers. I'm trying to find out if there was a time in

which the style of quilted feathers changed. It appears from some of the

quilts I have seen, that in the 1800's they appeared to be separated from

each other and those after this time became more overlaping.....Anyone else

had this thought.

I'm working on a program for ASQG on wholecloth and think this may be an

interesting observation.



Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 11:53:09 +0200

From: Ady Hirsch <adamroni@netvision.net.il>

>I think one thing previous generations had going for them was less

>distractions. They sat down to sew with a fabric, scissors, needle, &


>often kept in a very small basket by their chair.

Hi all,

I beg to differ. Except for the relatively few affluent ladies of the

leisured classes, the majority of women slaved from dawn till night, and

none more so than farm women. The romantic view of life in "previous

generations" is mostly a misconception. Just consider for a moment life

without electricity, indoor plumbing and convenient shopping and transport

facilities - ugh! (Shudder). Whenever I read a despcription of life on a

19th cent. farm, or even an urban house, I think of how fortunate we are. A

basic necessity like bread required lighting a wood stove, making bread

from scratch (from a home made starter - no store bought yeast for them),

etc. Soap had to be made at home - the recipes for home made soap are

enough to make anyone shudder. Before the invention of the sewing maching,

every article of clothing and household linen was made by the woman of the

house. Life was drudgery, and I doubt any of us would have lasted very long

in these conditions. If any of you have seen the British program about

domestic life in the late 1800's or early 1900's - the final conclusion was

that life was incredibly hard! And this in an urban middle-class house

rather late in the century. If memory serves me right, the one who suffered

the most (and quit halfway through the program) was the housemaid. These

women had plenty of things to distract them from quilting - these just

weren't TV, computers and books, but rather more basic things like food,

clothing and generally surviving. And I doubt very much people worked on

their quilts during the day - they were probably far too busy doing things

around the house and/or farm and would'nt have "wasted" precious daylight

hours on quilting. If they they had no TV, they wouldn't have had the

leisure time to watch it, either! Except the richer women who made quilts

to show off their skills, most quilts (certainly the humbler ones) were

made for the most practical of reasons - because you couldn't go into a

store and buy inexpensive, warm blankets for a large family.

I'll get off my soap box now and go quilt...

Ady in Israel


Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 09:23:40 EDT

From: QuiltFixer@aol.com

To: QHL@cuenet.com


Just wanted to share that I had two very successful classes teaching children

to do Redwork. We had a wonderful time learning stitch technique, history,

crayon coloring on cloth, and stamping on flour sack dish towels. To those

of you who sent and posted information on crayon coloring, I thank you very

much! I am very dedicated to teaching children as I feel that our needlework

heritage and women's history will slip away if this is not done. Any of you

who feel the same way or are teaching children's classes? Would love to hear

from you and to share experiences.

Toni B


Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 10:15:26 -0400

From: monicamacdonald@juno.com

To: QHL@cuenet.com

There are some really wonderful quilt-related books that give you a real

feel for what life was like for "ordinary" folks in the 1800's. I highly

recommend Pieced From Ellen's Quilt and Elizabeth Roseberry Mitchell's

Graveyard Quilt, both by Linda Otto Lipsett. I also enjoyed reading the

Trail of Thread series by Linda K. Hubalek.

Are there any others like this that anyone can recommend?

Monica Mac in Maine


Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 16:21:10 +0100

From: "Sally Ward" <Sally.D.Ward@btinternet.com>

. If any of you have seen the British program about

> domestic life in the late 1800's or early 1900's - the final conclusion


> that life was incredibly hard! And this in an urban middle-class house

> rather late in the century. If memory serves me right, the one who


> the most (and quit halfway through the program) was the housemaid.

In defence of that maid: she didn't quit, she was fired by the lady of the

house whose 20th century sensibilites got in the way of her playing the role

of mistress and giving orders, and having an outsider privy to all the

workings of her household. The maid was the one person who made a good fist

of living in the 19th century, as I recall the thing she found most

difficult was the master of the house being too keen on his role-playing as

a critical task master.

Sally W in UK


Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 15:03:31 -0500

From: Marcia Kaylakie <marciark@ev1.net>

I can also recommend the series "Life in Everyday America" There are 6

books to the series, all edited by different authors. I find them

invaluable when doing a talk on American quilt history. Marcia


Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 17:59:52 -0400

From: "Kris Driessen, QuiltBus.com" <krisdriessen@yahoo.com>

Thanks! I added hyprlinks to purchase these to our book list at

http://www.quilthistory.com/top_twenty.htm (and promptly ordered one:-))



At 03:03 PM 7/21/2001 -0500, Marcia Kaylakie wrote:

>I can also recommend the series "Life in Everyday America" There are 6

>books to the series, all edited by different authors. I find them

>invaluable when doing a talk on American quilt history. Marcia


Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 18:44:06 EDT

From: JQuilt@aol.com

i saw that series on pbs...and i thought the matriarch of the house, whined a

lot......i was amazed at how long all of the household chores

took...especially the laundry ugh!



Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 17:07:00 -0700 (PDT)

From: Judy Schwender <


I wore a corset for a production of A Christmas Carol,

and I gotta tell you, I would last about 5 seconds

doing ANY household chores wearing one. I would last

about 2 seconds doing the laundry. And here I sit in

Lincoln, Nebraska, thinking "How on earth did they

stand wearing corsets in the heat and humidity of the

midwestern summers???" No wonder British women who

went to India following their husbands succumbed to

fevers and such.

--- JQuilt@aol.com wrote:


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 01:24:46 -0400

From: "J. G. Row" <Judygrow@rcn.com>

>I can also recommend the series "Life in Everyday America" There are 6

>books to the series, all edited by different authors. I find them

>invaluable when doing a talk on American quilt history. Marcia


DITTO FROM ME! Especially the book on the transitional period that

describes life going into the 1800's, written by Jack Larkin. Judy Roche

put me on to that series when she quoted from that book at one of her


Barb Garrett was reading "Call The Darkness LIght", a very well researched

huge novel about a mill girl in Lowell during the 20 years before the Civil

War. By Nancy Zaroulis. Thank you Barb! I ordered it the next day from

Amazon.com and couldn't put it down until I finished it, about 2 weeks ago.

A wonderful read. It's about 20 years old, but is available in paperback.

I just checked and Amazon has it listed right now for $8.00 to $13.00

(gently used books).

Judy in Ringoes, NJ



Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 01:00:44 -0500

From: Gail Ingram <GIngram@tcainternet.com>

To: QHL.QHL@cuenet.com

Re Addy's reminder that "The romantic view of life in 'previous

generations' is mostly a misconception." Oh yes!

For two weeks, temperatures in North Louisiana have reached 95 degrees

before noon each day, with a heat-index consistently above 105. Walking from

my air-conditioned kitchen to the outdoor trash container literally takes my

breath away even at 8 A.M.

A ninety-year-old friend tells me she still feels dread early on July

afternoons because of her memories of childhood summers. Growing up, she

lived on a farm, and each day her mother arose early and cooked a big noon

meal for the farm hands. After the meal was served and the dishes cleaned

and put away, she threw more wood into the wood cookstove and summoned her

daughter, my friend, to the kitchen to help her can peaches, a job that

always lasted until first dusk. The kitchen was on the west side of the

house, and between the summer sun and the wood fire, my friend says it felt

like Hell. All these years later, she grows tense around noon in peach and

vegetable canning season! That's how much fun it was.

In this part of the country, women pieced quilts after the harvests were

completed and before spring gardening and planting work began. Most piecing

was done in stolen moments on dark days and at the end of the day's work, by

the light of coal oil lamps. Quilting was almost always a joint endeavor,

involving several family members or friends and was done after crops had

been harvested or on bright winter days. In our region, 85-90 percent of the

quilting done was "utilitarian," done with one thing in mind­­providing

winter warmth for large families who lived in drafty houses.

Women like my grandmothers, each of whom reared eight children and were

their household's seamstresses and cooks and kitchen gardeners, managed to

conceive and produce only a handful of really beautiful quilts in the course

of their lifetimes. It is no wonder they stored these in dark blanket chests

and armoires and brought them out only to display or to place on the bed of

a really important visitor.

Sitting here at my computer in my air-conditioned study, my freezer stocked

with enough peaches and peas to last my family a year, I hear the buzzer

that tells me the clothes I put into my dryer are ready to come out. I also

need to go into the sitting room and turn off the fluorescent lamp with

magnifying lens which I used to put a few stitches into a sampler earlier

this evening.

Then, before I go to sleep, I'm going to ask God to take special care of all

our grandmothers who, living in far different conditions, created those

beautiful quilts all of us admire, discuss, and take care to preserve. Too

bad the art of appraisal cannot take into consideration the difficulties

under which they labored.

Gail Ingram






Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 11:30:47 +0200

From: Ady Hirsch <


><Now, talking about feathers. I'm trying to find out if there was a time in

><which the style of quilted feathers changed. It appears from some of the

><quilts I have seen, that in the 1800's they appeared to be separated from

><each other and those after this time became more overlaping.....Anyone else

><had this thought.

><I'm working on a program for ASQG on wholecloth and think this may be an

><interesting observation


>Hi Holice

I'm quoting from Dorothy Osler's Traditional British Quilts, p. 54:

"Three groups of border patterns can be distinguished on traditional

british quilts: (1) geometrically divided borders with the spaces between

the geometric lines filled with either motif or infill patterns; (2)

interconnecting or linking patterns like cable twist, running feather,

linked spirals and the various chain patterns; and (3) repeated motifs,

e.g. roses or snail creep.

There are almost as many border patterns as there are motif patterns [....]

Of the three goups of border patterns, the first two have a long

established history and can be seen on the earliest surviving examples of

traditional British quilting. Repeated motifs, on the other hand, are more

likely to be found on later quilts."

Hope this helps

Ady in Israel


Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 10:55:59 +0100

From: "Sally Ward" <


Thanks for your description Gail, which gave me a whole different

perspective on the past and just how big and varied a country yours is.

When we think of our foremothers' lives here in the UK the physical

conditions are just so different....their problems would be lack of light,

cold damp draughts, salting pigs for winter and trying to store the root

vegetables without them rotting....but canning .peaches? what's a peach?<G>

With our short days lack of light was a real problem. I talked a while ago

with someone who recalled her aged aunt quilting in a Northumbrian cottage

with the aid of a series of glass globes. They were filled with water and

arranged in a circle around a central candle, and - she reported - thus

radiated a much magnified light.

Sally W

Yorkshire, UK


Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 09:18:21 EDT

From: DDBSTUFF@aol.com

To: QHL@cuenet.com

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"

Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Hi everyone;

I'm just writing to say that I'm receiving the digest again on a regular

basis. It seems AOL had blocked it from it's subscribers. I made a lot of

calls and sent a lot of emails and I guess it had positive results. How many

of you had stopped getting it? Maybe it was only a couple of us? Well,

let's just hope it continues. I do enjoy receiving it even though I don't

always have time to read them all.

I would like to know if anyone is still having problems receiving QHL?

Of course, if you are you probably won't get this on either.



Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 09:54:44 EDT

From: SSQuilt@aol.com

Good Morning,

Many of you on the History list knew my Father, Garrett Raterink who brought

to quilters the first slotted quilting stencils in the 1930s and later the

first raised edge quilting thimble. It is with great sadness that I share

with you his passing on July 20, 2001, at the age of 90. He will be greatly

missed by his family, but as his daughter and a quilter I know we have all

been blessed by his contributions to our craft throughout the 72 years of his

owning the Needleart Guild.

Gay Raterink Bomers


Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 09:04:21 -0500

From: "Avalon" <malthaus@idcnet.com>

Right now, Wisconsin can match LA. with the F temp, but maybe a tad lower

humidity. When I romanticize about the "good old days", I always am "the

lady of the manor"----not the "scullery maid".

I gave a talk a week ago about the "Dear Jane" phenomenon. I wore my

"period dress" as I assumed the meeting place would be air conditioned. :)

Well, it wasn't. I gained a new respect for what a "country woman" in the

1860's had to endure with just a skirt consisting of 4 yards of fabric, a

bodice with long sleeves, and high top shoes. They had the addition of

petticoats, bloomers, and other "odds and ends".

I am just grateful for my Verilux lenses!