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Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 8:42:09 CST From: jocelynm@delphi.com

> >I just read an article about when a man celebrated his 21st
> birthday, the
> >New England Freedom Quilt was presented to him. It was a token of > >independence, which symbolized his freedom to leave home.

Kris, A day late and a dollar short (actually, quite a few of each!) but yes, I've heard of the tradition, but I always thought that it wasn't a unique pattern. The way I heard it, was that at 21, a son no longer owed his labor to his father or master (if he were apprenticed) and he was 'free and 21' eligible to set up his own business. Because he was just starting out, he wouldn't be able to take a wife right away, so that the women of his family would make him a quilt(s) so that he wouldn't freeze while 'baching it'. (See LE Wilder's books for a mention of how Papa Wilder did Almanzo a great favor by letting him leave to go homestead with his older brother Royal, instead of requiring him to work for him until 21). At any rate, my understanding was that the women used any pattern they liked, not just one official pattern. I made my nephew an emancipation quilt(top) but he'd've frozen by now 'cause I haven't even got started on the quilting. <G> Jocelyn

Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 06:48:54 -0800 (PST) From: Judy Schwender <sister3603@yahoo.com>

 How about a 1930's era quilt used to cover part of the deck of a boat that was parked with its trailer in front of the owner's home on the street. No lie. Made me crazy. ---

Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 11:57:03 EST From: DDBSTUFF@aol.com

This is for any of you that watch Ebay. Is this the same quilt that didn't reach its huge reserve several months ago? Ebay Item # 1484381283 Darwin

(Quilt Pic courtesy of Donna Vitale, the owner)

Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 12:16:27 EST From: "Leigh Fellner" <hcquilts@peoplepc.com> To: 

Yes indeedy. Got a rather terse confirmation of that from the seller this AM. This is the one that went up to $14,850 a year ago last October. Here's a messageboard thread on the old auction: http://community.otwa.com/3/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=386293084&f=936290905&m=309291 905 Opinions, please, as to whether this quilt is indeed 1830-1850? 


Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 11:17:23 -0500 From: "Cinda Cawley" <lrcawley@dmv.com> To: "QHL" <QHL@cuenet.com>, "
Only a month after organizing a wonderful weekend in Williamsburg for the AQSG Seminar Hazel Carter and Bunnie Jordan reconvened the Dating Club yesterday in Fairfax, VA. In honor of the approaching holiday season the topic was "Red and Green Quilts." The afternoon was the fabric equivalent of champagne and caviar. With apologies to anyone whose treasures I omit or describe incorrectly, I'll try to give you all idea of what we saw. I am always excited by a 4-block applique quilt; we saw four of them yesterday: a Whig Rose, a Prince's Feather (don't correct me, that's what I choose to call them not Princess), vases spilling over with acanthus leaves and the absolutely most funky-looking border I've ever seen (it won't do to speculate what the strange shapes attached to the trailing vine called to mind)--that one was my favorite. (I'll take wild over pretty every time.) 

I can't remember what the fourth one was, but there were four. Even more unusual was a four-block pieced quilt. The blocks were probably 36" square in a single black on red print with a variety of shirtings. I don't remember what the block was (it looked sort of like the elements of Burgoyne Surrounded, just bigger), but it was very effective: four big blocks with sashing and a border, probably 1st quarter 20th century. One lady brought a quilt her husband had given her for her birthday: apple trees in pots, mid-19th century. We had never seen that block before! We not only envied her the quilt, but the husband too. 

There were some fabulous tops: four eagles in cheddar, red and green with combs on their heads and snake tongues protruding from their beaks! (I loved it!); a more conventional top with lovely wreaths of flowers with a great border of huge green leaves on a serpentine red stem; beautiful Laurel Leaves set in an appliqued Garden Maze. Most of the quilts we see are from the mid-Atlantic states, but one New England top showed up that more than held its own. The center is a very large star surrounded by frames pieced almost crazy style. The fabrics are all 1830 or earlier. 

From the Eastern Shore came a mid-19th century Orange Peel variation set on point with peacocks appliqued in the filler triangles along the edges. This treasure came to its owner because she's the only one in the family who sews; sometimes things do work out right. There were a couple of quilts that stumped us on the dates. We all know that solids are tough and a limited palette makes it even harder. One puzzle was a very early framed center quilt. The center was a very large free-form cut star (obviously the maker just decided to cut a star shape out of fabric without any sort of pattern) of discharge or resist printed indigo surrounded by Flying Geese, assorted triangles and finally a border of appliqued chintz motifs, everything well-proportioned. The quilt was only about 60" square. The big question was whether it had been cut down from a larger size. I thought not, others disagreed. 

My own contribution was what I think of as my Moravian quilt. It's a Sawtooth Star in cheddar, green and the peculiar brick red which is often found in quilts made in Bethlehem, PA. I was glad that Barb Garrett was present to second my comments about this localized phenomenon. All of this and more happened in less than three hours. I wish I had hours rather than minutes to examine each of these quilts, but it's not a perfect world--just, thanks to people like Hazel and Bunnie, a pretty good one for quilt lovers. Cinda from the Eastern Shore

Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 10:31:35 -0600 From: "Leigh Fellner" <hcquilts@peoplepc.com> To: 
I've got to agree with you on this one, Cindy. Sticking my neck out here, but my undestanding is that the plumes of a Prince's Feather are imitative of the plumes that historically have formed the crest of the *Prince* of Wales:pattern first become popular in the mid-19th century? The Prince of Wales made a tour of the US in 1860. Coincidence?


Date: 12 Nov 2001 11:33:37 MST From: Diane Pitchford <dpitchford@usa.net> To: 
 Leigh I was not able to access the above site. However, I did follow the previous messages with great interest when this was previously discussed. I would love to have this quilt (wouldn't we all) but unfortunately, it is out of my price range. I have started a replica though. As for the date, I have the book Quilts and Coverlets from The American Museum in Britain by Shiela Betterton. This is the book that has an almost identical quilt on the cover. I just checked to see what date the book listed and here is the info: "The materials used are mainly those of the 1820s and 1830s but at some time this quilt was remade - most probably 1840/1850. Fabric was hard to come by and thrifty housewives often remade their quilts." Diane Pitchford 


Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 20:02:00 -0800 From: Audrey Waite <awquiltr@sedona.net> To:  I recently purchased a yo-yo quilt that is not the usual gathered circles. Although circular in shape, the yo-yo units are pleated. Each yo-yo looks like 10 slices of pie - no stitches are visible. Is this unusual? I have never seen one like it before. Other than the pleating it is assembled in the traditional way and pale solid fabric used is from the 30's. Audrey Waite in sunny Sedona, AZ

Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 20:09:42 +1100
From: "kate knight" <kateknight@optushome.com.au>

Cinda Cawley wrote:

.... My own contribution was what I think of as my Moravian quilt. It's
Sawtooth Star in cheddar, green and the peculiar brick red which is often
found in quilts made in Bethlehem, PA. I was glad that Barb Garrett was
present to second my comments about this localized phenomenon.....

I found very interesting your comment about the brick red....I bought a
"red and green" quilt top last year made with this strange (solid) dark
red/brown and green on an off-white background...think cactus baskets
standing on their tippy-toes (they remind me of the Statue of Liberty's
torch), the person from whom I bought it dated it to around 1860. Thanks
for a possible clue to origin !!
(in Jacaranda purple Sydney)


Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 09:54:06 -0500
From: "Cinda Cawley" <lrcawley@dmv.com>

Did anybody see the Maryland quilt on the Roadshow last night? A family
name, the date 1812 and "Fredricks" Maryland was written on the back. The
appraiser was not an expert on quilts, although he did know enough to be
very impressed. Many fabulous quilts were made in Frederick County, MD
during the first half of the 19th century. This quilt is similar in style
to those made by Anna Catherine Markey Garnhart, several of which I've seen
at the DAR. The Roadshow quilt appeared to have at least some reverse
applique. I am a bit suspicious of the date. 1812 seems too early. How
about 1825-30?
Cinda on the Eastern Shore


Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 11:35:59 EST
From: Chyral@aol.com

> > >As for the date, I have the book Quilts and Coverlets from The American
> > Museum
> > >in Britain by Shiela Betterton. This is the book that has an almost
> > identical
> > >quilt on the cover.
> >
> The ebay quilt is "almost identical" to a museum quilt? Does this raise
> anybody else's eyebrows?

That's a provocative question... didn't this come up the first time this
quilt was offered on eBay?

My random disorganized 2-cents:

No raised eyebrows here.... the "museum quilt" is one that is not especially
well known, and it has a provenance that associates it with a venerable
NJ/mid-Atlantic family name... my gut feeling that it (the quilt in the
American Museum in Britain) is probably a NJ quilt, and that the Pennsylvania
attribution is probably incorrect. (NJ decorative arts are very often
misattributed to both NY and Pennsylvania, for what that is worth...)

The eBay quilt was purchased, very publicly, at auction, from a well-known
"little old lady" estate in NJ; said little old lady was from a prominent,
moneyed family. (Here's an article about the sale: <

Here in central NJ, a sale like that is where I would expect a quilt of this
quality to surface (though usually the auctioneer's staff will just stuff all
of the quilts into a cardboard box or draped them "artfully" across some farm
machinery, after dropping them in the mud for good measure.....)
But I digress..... the one caveat emptor eyebrow-raiser I get from reading
the eBay listing is that I *do* get the impression that the provenance being
offered with the quilt is a history of the family it was purchased from, and
not a provenance of the history of the quilt... Not that it is a
misrepresentation, just that there is a lack of clarity in the statement of
what is being offered there....

I've not seen the quilt in person (more fool me... this is probably a good
place to interject that I don't know the dealer who owns it, either), but I
have spent some time studying the photographs; the fabrics look "right" to
me (and in some cases are identical in both quilts, most particularly the
dark blue w/ white "Turks head-ish" print), and the amount and quality of the
quilting is consistent with the mid-19th c. NJ quilts I've seen and owned.
The overall "look" of the quilt is also consistent with "good" NJ quilts of
the period: the diagonal set, the appliqued Oak Leaf motif, the applique
border, and the lack of "white space" are all strong indicators a NJ origin.

The eBay quilt is actually "better" than the American Museum quilt, in that
it has not been cut down and re-bound (I believe that this is what is being
referred to in the Betterton book when it says the quilt was "re-made"...
the eBay quilt has a second sawtooth border which is missing from the
Museum's quilt).

To summarize (for the moment at least, I'm sure I'll think of something else
I meant to say, once I've dug out my file on this quilt from last year), my
amateur and long distance (and long-winded) take on this quilt is that it is
"good" and worth every penny that the dealer spent on it. Whether it is a
$14K + quilt is another question (at least in a venue like eBay!); that looks
like a price from the crazy '80s to me. ;)

-Cheryl, who wants to know what raised Leigh's eyebrows.... :)