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Quilters Find a way to care

01212 - 01213

- ----------------------------

Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 22:48:17 -0400
From: "Phyllis Twigg" <ptwigg@radix.net>
To: "

Today I discovered a delightful cotton "huswif" or roll-up sewing or
needlework case. It stretches out to 23" in length and is less than 
6" wide.
A tiny half inch very old paper note attached inside says "mother's 
1830".
It is possibly from the Annapolis, Maryland area.

The sections include a pouch with a black silk drawstring and four 
flat
sectional storage areas that seem to have cardboard linings for 
stiffness.
These are enclosed by buttons (bone?). In addition there is a 7" long
section divided by rows of stitches into ten pockets each only one 
half inch
wide. Perhaps these were for crochet hook storage? When rolled up, 
the case
is tied with a string made with beige woven cotton tape.

This huswif is constructed from only one fabric overall. It is a dark 
brown,
red, yellow, and white cotton print that is strippy in appearance.

I would like to read more about these cases. Despite having a 
bookcase full
of quilt and textile books, I can't seem to put my hand on much 
information
tonight. So far I found some brief descriptions in Labors of Love by
Weissman/Lavitt (pages 114- 115) and Classic Crib Quilts and How to 
Make
Them by Woodard/Greenstein (page 84, Dover version). I would like to 
hear of
additional resources.

Thanks!
Phyllis Twigg

- ----------------------------

Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 10:21:39 +0100
From: "Sally Ward" <Sally.D.Ward@btinternet.com>
To: 

> I would like to read more about these cases.

Some time ago these were discussed on the British Quilt History list 
and a
lot of members had recollections of the hussifs which were still 
issued by
British Armed Forces
until some time in the 60s. The earliest example I found in a 
Services
museum was held by the archivist of the Royal Flying Corps, which 
became
the Royal Air Force in (I think) 1918. Members also recalled having 
to
make them as part of school needlework classes in the 60s, which 
presumably
was the last vestige of a very long tradition of needlwork for girls. 
There
is a small web-page about the Services hussifs at
www.geocities.com/qllsite/Hussif.html

Probably not the sort of hussifs you're looking for, Phyllis, but 
the
conversation at the time demonstrated that they are a traditional 
needlework
item which only seems to have died out very recently. We are all now 
so
keen on organising ourselves into plastic boxes etc, when the humble
home-made hussif would do just as well.

Sally Ward

- ----------------------------

Date: Sun, 02 Sep 2001 15:24:00 +0000
From: quiltsnbears@att.net
To: 

"An Illustrated History of Needlework Tools" by Gay Ann 
Rogers (ISBN 0-9622310-0-2)has some B&W photos of 
hussifs which were manufactured.She states,"The word is 
derived from housewife and describes various types of 
sewing containers.Hussifs were made in Germany, 
primarily in Augsburg, from the late 17th century. Many 
hussifs had a foot adapted to serve also as a letter 
seal.....Many modern hussifs were amusing novelties..." 
Using this definition I have a lot of hussifs I've 
picked up from hotel chains!
Seriously,we hand-sewed felt rectangles in grade school 
for the American soldiers during WWII. They were small 
envelopes into which the teacher placed needles,thread 
and buttons. These were then placed in white boxes with 
red crosses on them along with various other essentials. 
I still fold wash cloths as we were taught to do for 
these Red Cross boxes!
Roberta in FL

- ----------------------------

Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 12:12:55 -0400
From: "Suzanne Cawley" <ccawley@alleganyinternet.net>
To: 

Hi all!

I have been a subscriber for a while but have never posted until now. 
My
name is Suzanne Cawley (no relation to Cinda, but she is a new 
friend!) and
I reside in wild, wonderful West Virginia. I have had an avid 
interest in
antique quilts since the late 1960's but must confess that I have 
more
fabric and books than antique quilts!

Several of you may be interested in the latest (October 2001) issue 
of Early
American Life magazine. There are four articles about antique 
textiles.
Two relate to the fabric mills of old New England, one shows a quilt 
made
from reproduction fabrics, and another by Rabbit Goody discusses the
importance of proper identification of antique textiles.

I do have a question for QHL members: Is anyone familiar with a 
product
called Vintage Textile Soak? The ad states that it safely removes 
yellowing
and brown spots from old textiles. For years I have heard that acid 
spots,
etc. could not be removed without weaking the fabric. Is this 
product
archivally safe? Has anyone used it and care to comment on the 
results?
Thanks for any info you can provide.

Suzanne in Keyser, WV

- ----------------------------

Date: Sun, 02 Sep 2001 20:49:24 -0400
From: "Kris Driessen, QuiltBus.com" <krisdriessen@yahoo.com>
To: 

In this weeks Quilters Nuggets from about.com, Sue Druding gave some 
links 
for Drunkards Path history, stating quite confidently that the 
pattern was 
used to advise slaves not to follow a straight path while escaping. 
(Not 
to be a smart-aleck, but did they really need to be told that?) I 
followed 
her links and found this 
site: http://www.bvlearnnet.org/inncurr/civilwar/lesson2.html, 
evidentially a childrens site which expands on the UGRR myth and 
refers 
visitors to fiction books for more information. Discouraging.

But on the Drunkards Path question, has anyone ever seen one that 
predates 
the Its use in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), founded 
in 
1874?

Kris

- ------------------------------
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 19:20:48 -0700
From: chrisa@jetlink.net
To: 


<But on the Drunkards Path question, has anyone ever seen one that 
predates
the Its use in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), founded 
in
1874?>

I don't know about the start of the Drunkard's path block, but I did 
learn
something new about the Temperance movement this summer, at the BAQ 
exhibit
actually. Appearently there was quite a Temperance movement already 
going in
the 1840s (and maybe earlier, but I learned this at a quilt exhibit 
from
that era) by the women of the Methodist Episcopal Church, here and in
England. They put symbols on their quilts, such as a triangle 
surrounding a
star and large garden water fountains with cups on either side.

The people against drinking held conventions and the Maryland Historical
Society Museum showed silk ribbons from these, where the virtue of drinking water was made into a poem printed on the ribbon, along with dates and pictures. A ribbon dated 1841 from the MD State Temperance Movement said that "cold water is our countries best beverage."

There was a lady from England in the group and she was well aware of 
this being a very strong Methodist movement in England, and she said 
worldwide.  This made me wonder about only using the Women's Temperance Movement as a benchmark for quilts relating to temperance. Any thoughts on this?

Kimberly Wulfert
Ojai, CA

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 23:28:25 -0500
From: "quilt97" <quilt97@prodigy.net>
To: 



The following sites mention 'hussifs/huswifs.'

http://www.anzacday.org.au/miscellaneous/battle.html

http://www.quilttownusa.com/Quilt_Gallery/kathleengallery2.htm

http://www.users.waitrose.com/~grandad/text/memoirs1.html It grieved 
us 
to have to buy all our cleaning equipment out of our measly 11 
shillings 
per week. One item of equipment I forgot was something our sergeant 
would insist on calling "Hussif" and it was some days before we 
learnt 
he meant "Housewife", which was all our needles and cotton and wool 
for 
stitching things like badges etc., and darning woollen socks. For 
those 
lads who could not darn for a toffee, and once I'd passed out at the 
end 
of the training session, I'd darn theirs for 1 shilling a time, but 
that's some time in the future, we haven't got to that part yet.
http://burt2000.dhs.org/hinckley/slang.html#H HUSSIF
Housewife, a small canvas roll containing needle, thread, buttons 
etc, 
used for the personal maintenance of a soldier's kit. Often used 
during 
interior economy.20

EKarenbeth

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2001 07:48:16 -0400
From: Judy White <jawhite@infi.net>
To: 

Phyllis, in the book, "For Purpose and Pleasure - Quilting Together 
in
Nineteenth Century America" by Sandi Fox, there is a little blurb 
about
huswifs on p.16 and on p. 18 there is a picture of three of them - 
one
is ca 1825, one is ca 1830 and one is early nineteenth century. It
gives the demensions and says they are at the Los Angeles County 
Museum
of Art.

Judy White - Ct

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2001 08:58:26 EDT
From: Cathy Grafton <silkribbon@juno.com>
To: 



I too love the small sewing kits known at hussifs, housewifs, etc. 
When
I was writing my book on silk ribbon I did a bit of research and 
included
a pattern for making one. The earliest reference I could find for 
them
was about the time of the French & Indian War in America, I found
references to sailors carrying them and lots of different spellings 
of
the term. At the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, they have a
wonderful collection of them all types, sizes time periods. 

I have talked to a WWI vet who remembered being issued a sewing kit
called a housewife and have seen some very fancy leather ones from 
the
Am. Civil War era.

Have seen only brief mention of them in needlework books, Gay Anne 
Rogers
book mentioned has some tidbits. Only included a bit of their 
history in
my book as that was not the focus, but am always interested in 
learning
more about them. My book is "Nature, Design & Silk Ribbons" published 
by
AQS.

I make and sell them at historic festivals and people love them.

Cathy Grafton

_

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 09:39:09 EDT
From: Tubeywooby@aol.com
To: 


In a message dated 9/2/01 8:55:40 PM, QHL-Digest-request@cuenet.com 
writes:

<< I do have a question for QHL members: Is anyone familiar with a 
product
called Vintage Textile Soak? >>

I got a pack I used on a wonderufl c. 1870s feathered star - white 
(somewhat 
spotted) background with red and blue (fugitive green?).
It cleaned it up beautifully, and two years later no sign of damage 
from the 
"vintage soak".
I used my mother method which may cause some to cringe as it involves 

washing machine. She fills the washing machine to the highest setting 
with 
warm water and soap -without the quilt inside- and lets the agitation 
mix the 
soap. Then stop the machine, add the quilt, and allow to soak. Gently 
push it 
around with your hands after a good soak, and allow to spin dwon, 
Rinse 
without agitation in the same manner (trickier because you must watch 
the 
machine to stop the cycle after it is almost full of rinse water but 
before 
agitation starts). Spin to dry. My mother claims this spinning helps 
because 
the weight of the water is removed from the quilt, so lifting it is 
less 
likely to cause thread breakage.
Maybe more than YOU wanted to know?
Melissa Young in the deep wet south


------------------------------

Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 10:05:54 -0400
From: "Cinda Cawley" <lrcawley@dmv.com>
To: 

The last issue of Blanket Statements (the American Quilt Study Group 

newsletter) had a notice about an exhibit on the art of the 
Pennsylvania 
Germans at the Lancaster Heritage Museum. Drove up there yesterday 
to 
combine it with a visit to the Fraktur exhibit at the York Co. 
Historical Soc.
They are showing a spectacular chintz applique quilt for which, 
according to the label, there is no PA German provenance (kind of 
makes 
you wonder why it's included--not that I'm not grateful). The only 
information is Northeastern U.S., circa 1800-1825.
The quilt is a framed medallion with the center set square. All 

the applique pieces are very large and there are not many of them 
considering the size of the quilt. The center is a gnarled branch 
with 
huge peony-like flowers and two birds, about 14 inches from beak to 
tail, which look like raptors but have the colors of macaws. 
Wonderful! 
There is an extraordinary amount of white in this quilt filled with 

glorious quilting. The medallion is enclosed by a frame of 
half-square 
triangles. The outer border is composed of very large flowers on a 
serpentine vine.
I started looking for something similar and came up with the 
George 
Washington Peter quilt in the collection of the Shelburne Museum. It 
is 
the quilt on the cover of Chintz Quilts: Unfading Glory by Bullard 
and 
Sheill it is on page 43 of Quilts from the Shelburne Museum (the 
catalogue of the collections trip to Japan). This is not the book by 

Celia Oliver. Anyhow, Peter was the great-grandson of Martha 
Washington 
and the quilt is thought to have been made by his mother Martha Parke 

Custis Peter, 1830-1840. The very large arborescent motif in the 
center 
of this quilt is very similar to that of the Lancaster quilt.
I found the birds on p. 49 of Quilts, Coverlets and Counterpanes: 

Bedcoverings from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. this 

quilt is attributed to Elizabeth Gramby Hertford of Perquimans County 

(in the Tidewater area near the Virginia border), North Carolina 
circa 
1800. The birds are not as brightly colored as those on the 
Lancaster 
quilt, but they look to be on the same scale and appear almost as 
fierce.
I haven't yet found a comparable serpentine border. 20
Cinda on the Eastern Shore who had great plans for the day until I 
discovered Shelby Foote on CSPAN-2 and spent three hours listening to 

the man with the world's most beautiful voice talk about the Civil 
War--I did work on binding a quilt at the same time.
20



------------------------------

Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 11:04:17 -0400
From: "pepper cory" <pepcory@mail.clis.com>
To: 

When Lynn Gorges (Palampore) gets back on the computer (she's at the 
beach
right now...) she'll enlighten us on this subject. Lynn has an 
extensive and
enviable collection of sewing kits, some dating from before the Civil 
War. I
made one for myself from an orphan quilt block. It has one small card
square, which gives it body, plus flannel 'leaves' for pins and 
needles and
a pocket for a thimble and small spool. The whole packet ties up 
neatly with
a ribbon. The woman who gave me the pattern said that type was early 
19th
century and that the frugal housewife kept her precious sewing tools 
with
her. This kit wrapped around a waistband string and was kept under 
one's
apron.
Happy (non) Labor Day.
Pepper Cory

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 14:41:21 -0400
From: "Cinda Cawley" <lrcawley@dmv.com>
To: 



Let me second "Cousin Suzanne's" recommendation of the articles 
in 
Early American Life, October 2001. In March 1993 Denise (a.k.a. 
Quiltdiva) and I took a two day course called "Dating Quilts by Their 

Fabrics" at Rabbit Goody's Cooperstown Textile School. It was only a 

couple of days after a blizzard had devastated the Northeast and I 
drove 
to Rabbit's studio in Cherry Valley, NY between banks of snow so high 
we 
couldn't see the beautiful scenery of New York's Southern Tier. 
Cherry 
Valley is a village whose population peaked about the time the Erie 
Canal was completed (late 1820s), just the kind of place a quilter 
would 
love. Because of the awful weather only one other participant showed 
up 
for the class. Rabbit was undaunted and we three had the advantage 
of 
her full attention. I don't think I've ever learned as much in so 
short 
a time. 20
Rabbit has a fascinating study collection. I was just looking at 
my 
notes which contain drawings of what various natural fibers look like 

under a microscope. One way to recognized someone who has studied 
with 
Rabbit is that she probably carries a 100x Radio Shack microscope. 
Fran 
Fitz seems never to be without hers.
Rabbit's "Textile Trivia Timeline" extends from 25,000BC to 
1889AD. 
I have stapled to my notes examples of woven cloth (worsted which was 

used for early wholecloth quilts, real linsey woolsey which could 
never 
be mistaken for the former and various other weaves).
Two things stand out about Rabbit as a teacher. She takes a 
scientific approach which encourages orderly thought. She is 
extremely 
knowledgeable about technology (an aspect of quilt history which I 
find 
ever more interesting).
I don't know if Rabbit still teaches at her studio, but if you 
have 
the chance to go take it.
Cinda on the Eastern Shore