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Quilters Find a way to care

Subject: Re: qhl digest: May 25, 2003 From: Pat Kyser <patkyser@hiwaay.net> 

Re: Summer spreads This is not a scholarly answer, but one based on my growing up in the forties on the Gulf Coast of Texas quite close to the Louisiana border. I never saw a quilt growing up, though we did use cotton and light wool blankets in the winter. We had "bedspreads" (chenille or seersucker) to cover our sheets, but certainly never slept under even a sheet in the summer, due to the heat and humidity. We changed from summer to winter bedspreads (store bought woven plaids) as a seasonal, home decor kind of thing. I think what you are calling summer coverlets were merely bedspreads in our part of the world. I don't remember any decorative, embroidered or hand made ones. They were strictly utilitarian, probably to keep the sheets clean, for we were required to "take naps" after lunch in the hottest part of the day. We flopped on top of the spreads and sweated!

I never heard the word coverlet until we went to Massachusetts to visit my Dad's relatives.

I was told my grandmother, on the prairie near Houston, Texas, used old "mosquito bars" (nets) that had developed holes and hence were of no use to keep out the swarming mosquitoes of that locale, as filling in her quilts. She'd spread out several and use them instead of batting. Obviously a cotton batt would have been too hot for that climate.

Pat Kyser in Alabama

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Subject: Summer Coverlets From: Pat and Jim <jimpat@attbi.com> Date: Mon, 26 

Hi Barb:

Yes, I live in New Hampshire. The term "summer coverlet" is the only descriptive term that I have heard here to describe a lightweight, all cotton bed covering which is appliquéd, embroidered, or both, and which has only one, or sometimes two layers, no batting. If there are seams, they are finished in a variety of ways or not finished at all. Sometimes they are 1/2" wide instead of 1/4". On the old redwork coverlet from 1893, the lines of feather stitching between blocks serve a dual purpose: as a decorative stitch on the front, and as a seam stablilizer on the back. The seams, in that case, were pressed open, flat. Every coverlet in my collection if finished in a different manner, on the edges.

One thing that one notices when looking at the back of these coverlets is that, often, these ladies were not into precision seam work.

The wholecloth coverlets made a lot of sense in terms of durability, were the item to receive repeated washings. The use of old sheets as a background could have been an attempt to recycle. Appliqués could hide tiny holes or a multitude of other fabric flaws.

Is this typical in New England, to refer to an unbatted/possibly unbacked quilt as a coverlet? Or just New Hampshire?

Well, Barb, I have heard the term "summer coverlet" in Maine and Vermont, as well as New Hampshire. I can't speak for the other states in New England.

What are those heavy woven bedcoverings called in New England?

I am wondering if you are referring to the all white spreads that I have heard referred to as "Marseilles" spreads. These were made to simulate wholecloth hand quilted quilts and were an easy solution for those who wanted the "look", without all the work. Locally at least, these have been called other names, probably in error, by dealers.

I bought an antique one that has some provenance. Have not looked at it in a long time and will have to locate the information acquired at point of purchase. The dealer called it by other name of French origin that I can't think how to spell.

Carolyn's note reminded me that I used to put a "spread" on the bed in the 50s -- it was a chenille (sp?) spread -- no quilts in my family history <frown>. I must ask some older ladies <grin> what they called their appliqued covers -- summer spread or summer quilt is probably a new phrase.

I remember the 1950s chenille spreads, too. My mother always bought them in white, or ivory color. As a child, I had one in pink. They were lightweight and not too warm; just a decorative bed covering. No quilters in my family either. Boohoo. I am making up for that!

By the way, I was delighted to have seen Simply Quilts last week when you were on, Barb. I love your little Mennonite miniature quilt, "Joseph's Coat of Many Colors", and of course, it was very fun to see you! Keep up the good work. We all love minis!

Pat in rainy New Hampshire, www.quiltersmuse.com 

 

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Subject: Summer coverlet From: Lesters <jeanlester@ntown.net> Date: Mon, 26 

I have one in my possession that I rescued from my mother! She was going to throw it away just because of a couple of holes and some paint ;-) (my father had used it as a drop cloth--fortunately he didn't drop much). It looks to be a large muslin sheet with lavender applied border. She (my mother) appliqued two colonial ladies (6 inches) having tea/lemonade. There are tea cups but one lady is holding a pitcher. Lace and embroidery are the embellishments. She probably did it in 1920s or early 30s and in Nebraska.

Jean

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Subject: Summer Spreads From: "Cinda Cawley" <lrcawley@dmv.com> Date: Mon, 

I've heard the term used in Northeastern PA as long as I've been interested in quilts. I found my summer spread in Central PA. It's an enormous (42" square) Whig Rose in Nile green and tangee beautifully appliqued to a rather coarse muslin sheet. In each corner is a daisy with orange petals and a green center. It fits a double bed perfectly with a swag combining elements from the center and the daisy across the pillows. I'm glad this topic came up. It's prompted me to put the spread on the guestroom bed. Cinda on the Eastern Shore where the sun has forsaken us

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Subject: quilt spreads From: "Charlotte Bull" <charlou@mo-net.com> Date: Mon, 26 

Okay, you finally kept on the topic of Summer Spreads or Quilts or Whatevers until I was forced to take time to share! (I am not mad! I wanted to write, but it was thunder stormy for 3 days. I just did quick reads. Today is lovely.)

I have several of unquilted tops that have hems on the edges!!! One is a Log Cabin pieced top I bought in Tucson years ago. No backing. I used it as a special dining room table covering in our new log cabin after moving here to the Ozarks. Not with food! Just for looks. Late 1880-1900 fabrics.

One of my real Summer Spreads is from the 1930s - the well known KCStar applique pattern of a vase with 3 Hexagons as Flowers. It was done on a creamy heavy linen type fabric. The wide sashing is that 1930s green, in a very high quality cotton. The borders are very wide and mildly scalloped and the edges are encased in green bias tape. What is fascinating is the back. Every seam is whip stitched by hand so it would not fray! Today the maker might have serged the seams! But I wonder if this was a bed spread! Maybe it was a Table Covering for a long formal dining room table as it is so very VERY long! And quite narrow in comparison. Much too long to cover a twin bed gracefully. Well, maybe an elegant daybed, but the use of linen made me think of a table covering. I really don't care. I cherish it. I bought it here in MO. I thought it was just a top!

Another one is the one that Pat would love to see. Again, purchased in MO, it is a Redwork sampler of blocks or "penny squares". What is especially fascinating is that every block was seamed together with the seam edges to the front and they were then covered by a red bias tape which was stitched down by machine on both sides. No sashing. No border. The outer edges were, of course, covered by bias tape. No visible raw edges!!! The owner of the flea market was so happy to get rid of it as she said no one wanted a quilt that did not have batting, backing & quilting!!! So I just smiled sweetly and offered a lower price! Which she took!

I do not know where I heard the term, but I simply always thought of the latter two as Summer Quilts or Summer Spreads. I never used the term Coverlet as that was for woven items - but, then, I had VT relatives into weaving & collecting true coverlets.

As for the Log Cabin, I think someone later simply hemmed an old top so they could decorate a bed quickly. It was in very good condition. I actually planned on quilting it at that time but gave up. I loved looking at the perfect stitching on the back! And I got a kick out of the one weird fabric choice - a flannel plaid in pink & green. All the other "logs" were dark blues, maroons, mourning prints, and shirtings with the traditional red center square.

I may have a few others, but the latter two are the ones I considered as finished as they were planned to be!!! The goal was a light weight quilt. My idea of the one being planned as a table cloth may be offbeat! But I did use it as such at a quilt tea party - just as a display. It hung well down over an 8' long narrow table - the typical type found in a Fellowship Hall or School Cafeteria. And, oh yes, I have a real quilt in the same block design that has a weird story to share!

Char

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Subject: Re: Summer Spreads From: Midnitelaptop@aol.com Date: Mon, 26 May 

i remember my mother's chenille bed spreads(wish i had them now)...and i remember her using the phrase "spread the bed" ......was that a common phrase?....i know it's a phrase used in the masoner's world when laying bricks they "spread the bed" of mortar... jeanL

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Subject: Re: Summer Covers From: Barb Garrett <bgarrett@fast.net> Date: Mon, 26 

Hi Pat -

Thanks for the New England information. Most of our summer covers appear "finished" -- without raw edges -- an interesting difference.

"Marseilles" spreads are called Marseilles spreads here also. This is a link for a picture of a Pennsylvania coverlet -- and is the only thing I've ever heard referred to as a coverlet until this week. If an auction lists coverlets for sale, or a museum has a coverlet exhibition, this is what they are referring to. I don't know the seller -- found it doing a search on ebay -- but it was the quickest way to share a picture with everybody --

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2534001614&category=2221

What is this type of bed covering called in New England? And elsewhere?

And thanks, Pat Kyser, for the information about using "mosquito bars" (nets) as filler -- first time I've heard that. Here in PA, in addition to old worn quilts and blankets used as batting, woven coverlets were used in the late 1900s -- sometimes worn and sometimes in very good condition.

Barb in very rainy southeastern PA

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Subject: Study group may 20th photos are up From: "judygrow" 

Kris has put up the photos from our last study group. She's even put captions with the photos from my narrative. 

http://www.quilthistory.com/study/May18.htm

Eye candy for the quilter!

Judy in Ringoes, NJ

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Subject: Re: Study group may 20th photos are up From: Midnitelaptop@aol.com Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 08:31:18 EDT X-Message-Number: 2

those photos are *wonderful*...i plan to go back and spend some more time there tonite.. jeanL

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Subject: Re: Study group may 20th photos are up From: Kris Driessen 

Thanks, Judy! I have been busy with the quilts that I have on consignment. They are destined for sale on Ebay to benefit an historic preservation fund. If anyone wants a sneak preview, you can see them at http://www.hickoryhillquilts.com/ebayy.htm

Kris

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Subject: Re: qhl digest: May 26, 2003 From: Denise Clausen 

Thank you to Kris and Judy for the review and photos of the study group meeting! Would love to sit in on one of them, but alas Oregon is too far from the meetings!

Sure have enjoyed the discussion of "summer spreads" or "summer coverlets". Nice to hear the related stories, gives a real overview of the subject.

Happy to be back on the list. But will be signing off for the month of June... will be driving cross-country with my DH (Dear Husband) in our TR6 (a wee convertable with the top down). We are aiming at Newburyport MA (where our son and his wife lives) and watching for quilt sightings along the way.

Will rejoin the list when we get back. All my best Denise Clausen.... quilter, calligrapher in Sandlake Oregon

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Subject: Re: qhl digest: May 23, 2003 From: "Candace Perry" 

That's why I used the term "visionary" to distinguish...much of what we originally labelled as outsider art is visionary...the artists have visions that compel them to create this art. There is one famous artist, in particular, who was compelled by his visions to make a huge series of paintings (can't remember his name right now). I don't think he was insane, unless we also consider some of our significant religious figures insane, who had similar mystical visions! Within the genre of outsider art, or folk art, there are still many sub categories...for example, Woelfi, the man whose work prompted this discussion, was commited to an instituion, I believe...but was not "criminally insane" as far as I know. Darger, the artist I referred to, was not a criminal but had visions that are certainly peculiar or puzzling to most of us. Apparently the AFAM has an entire program devoted to the study of his work... I knew an "outsider artist" from NC who began making stuffed toys for her grandchildren which eventually caught the attention of museums and dealers. Many of her creations were religious in nature (Jonah and the whale) but much reflected her world, her house and garden, her chickens, etc. Candace Perry

I shall report from a former place of employ, the Filson Club Historical Society in Louisville KY (which, incidentally, has some fab quilts that are stashed away...). We had, on exhibit, a pieced quilt top that was referred to as a summer spread. It was finished on all sides, I remember. I guess I should footnote this thought though...my supervisor there was an imported Yankee (like I wasn't), so perhaps the term came along with him. Candace Perry Who misses KY but loves PA!

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Subject: shelburne in June From: Crm793@aol.com Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 17:01:00 EDT X-Message-Number: 7

A friend and I are planning a trip in June to Vermont for the Shelburne exhibit and the Vermont Quilt Festival. We also are going to Lowell, Sturbridge & Deerfield. Is there anything else going on during the last half of June, maybe a seminar like we had in Bird-in-Hand. Anybody in that area having a quilt study group? Respond privately.

Carolyn M. in North Texas

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Subject: Good news about the Lancaster/Esprit Amish quilt collection. From: 

Hi everyone,

I just got back from the Lancaster Pa. City Council meeting. After many, many months of negotiations the City Council voted unanimously to rent the Lancaster Trust Building, the historic and beautiful Beaux Arts building downtown near Central Market (our great farmer's market) and our original Heritage Center Museum building to us for the new Heritage Quilt and Textile Museum of Lancaster.

So we are off and running. Plans are to be open and operational in 10 months. Of course the former Esprit Collection will be there, always some on exhibit, but much more.

The other good news is that we have raised in money and pledges well over $930,000 of the million we paid for the quilts. That last part is hard. But in less than 10 months we are almost there! So anyone who can help, don't miss this chance. We can easily get information to anyone that needs it.

Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive.

Trish Herr

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Subject: Caddows and Boltons From: "Laurette Carroll" <rl.carroll@verizon.net> 

I'm forwarding this on for Joan, who is having too much fun on vacation in PA.

Re past discussion on Bolton and caddow quilts, I did find this additional information in F. Montgomery's book: Boltons were the same as counterpanes, all white with geometrical figures in looped pile technique. Caddow was a coverlet or blanket of rough wool; in 18 & 19C the name was used as a local trade name for coverlets of cotton with coarse wefts drawn up in loops made in Bolton, Lancashire. Joan Kiplinger

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Subject: State Bird, State Flower quilt designs From: Ark Quilts 

Hello! Just now getting caught up on QHL emails. For those of you who inquired about the state bird, state flower quilts, I have indexed more than 4 dozen different patterns (most have publication dates).

If you want something dated, you can send me a digital photo of a few blocks or a xerox copy of them via the US postal mail, and I will compare them to the list compiled in the last 2 years of my research.

When I started collecting this information 2 years ago, I never dreamed there could be so many different patterns for the same thing.

Just a note re: the "official" birds and flowers for states. They have indeed changed over time. New York State was the first to elect the rose as a state flower & school children helped select it. That was in the early 1890's. However, after studying several patterns, there were some patterns that were published with "official" flowers/birds that did not match the current flower/bird adopted by that state's legislature. The National Women's Clubs and school children were very active in the efforts to elect official state flowers/birds before and after women were given the right to vote.

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Subject: Shelburne Museum quilts From: Pat and Jim <jimpat@attbi.com> Date: 

Dear QHL members:

Just wanted to let you know that this afternoon, we posted an informative review of the recently mounted exhibit: "100 Masterpiece Quilts" at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. This is a stunning display and I can't wait for the exhibition catalog to be available in June.

Pat Cummings www.quiltersmuse.com

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Subject: Shelburne visit From: deedadik@att.net Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 20:34:12 

Hi all, Whoever is visiting the Shelburne this summer could look into the possibility of scheduling a visit to their workroom. I did this several years ago and it was wonderful. They will probably ask what you are interested in, so pick a time period, style, color, etc.. The initial time is free, with a small charge for extra time. Dee

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Subject: AQS Quilt Show book From: "Jo E. Williams" <antiquilts@wirefire.com> Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 23:29:28 -0400 X-Message-Number: 5

I just received my AQS Quilt Show Catalogue of Quilts with color photos = of the over 400 quilts entered this past April in Paducah, Kentucky. = It's the first year AQS has published a book of the quilts. It is a = beautiful 8.5" x 11", paperback book, with 112 pages, full-color.=20

The book is available through AQS at $12.00 for members and $15.00 for = non-members-while supplies last. Just give us SOURCE CODE EQ3 and you = get FREE SHIPPING. Just go to the website (http://www.aqsquilt.com) or = call 1-800-626-5420=20

By the way, you can view the winning quilts on the AQS website- = http://www.aqsquilt.com/03winners.shtml

 

 

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