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Quilters Find a way to care

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Subject: Re: Wool batting -Wally's From: "judygrow" <judygrow@patmedia.net> 

I remember hearing about cheesecloth too. I think it was to help prevent bearding, which I hear that wool bats do. Just reading in my 18th century history that some of the whole cloth quilts, the calamancos, had batting dyed the same color as the top so that the bearding wouldn't be so noticeable. I don't remember whether that was in Britain or here or both.

Judy in Ringoes, NJ judygrow@patmedia.net ----- 

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Subject: Re: Wool batting -Wally's From: "Sally Ward" <sallytatters@ntlworld.com> 

batting > dyed the same color as the top so that the bearding wouldn't be so > noticeable. I don't remember whether that was in Britain or here or both.

This is a new notion to me. Of the few old wool-filled quilts I've seen I have not seen a dyed batting, but then English patchwork frame or wholecloth quilts are not usually on the dark side to need it. The obvious candidates would be the dark wool Welsh quilts, but the ones I've seen where damage allowed viewing of the batting all showed brownish/beige natural wool.

I must ask around....

Sally W in UK

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Subject: Wool batting in cheesecloth From: "Patricia Magyar" 

Hello all-The wool batting I've used for hand quilting and for making lovely warm tied quilts has always been encased in a cheesecloth covering. I get mine from the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Different sizes and thicknesses available. Because so many wool batts were used in tied quilts, the cheesecloth makes sense--the outer quilt top/backing can be 'untied' and washed, the inner batt aired out, and then the whole reassembled. Or, if hand quilting, the cheesecloth is good to prevent loose little hairs from coming through the quilt's surface. The cheesecloth adds nothing to the quilter's difficulty while quilting. I love wool for hand quilting. It takes more basting but then after quilting, when you let the basting loose and the wool puffs up, the effect is beautiful. Happy quilting-Pepper Cory from the NC coast

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Subject: Re:Dyed Wool batting From: "judygrow" <judygrow@patmedia.net> Date: 

For the first time in my life I'm actually able to cite the reference. It is in "New England's Early Wool Quilts" by Lynne Z. Bassett, in the symposium papers of "What's New England about New England Quilts" at Old Sturbridge Village, 1998.

............"Occasionally one finds that a wool batting has been dyed, usually blue. The reason for this is probably that the fibers from a dyed batting or one made from the wool of a naturally dark sheep would not create an unattractive white fuzz if they worked through to the surface of a dark quilt (an effect called 'bearding'). In one instance among the bed quilts examined, a dyed batting was used in a light-colored quilt:Shelburne Museum's yellow wool quilt, which is probably British, has a yellow batting."

Judy in Ringoes, NJ judygrow@patmedia.net

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Subject: Egyptian appliques From: QuiltAlive@aol.com Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2003 

Tracy:

Blaire O. Gagnon will give a presentation on Egyptian Appliques at next week's AQSG seminar in Dallas. Her paper is published in Uncoverings 2003, which will be available at the seminar. After the seminar, the volume is for sale at the AQSG office!

Merikay Waldvogel

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Subject: Quilt in c1860 book From: Barb Garrett <bgarrett421@comcast.net> Date: 

Good afternoon from chilly and rainy PA --

I was wandering around ebay and found this interesting listing of a children's book with a quilt in it --

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2194988433&category=13960

The listing states -- "NURSERY STORIES FOR LITTLE FOLKS", published by Thomas Nelson & Sons, New York. I found the book interesting -- unusual enough to share. Story and picture featuring a quilt are in the second picture down the page.

Barb in southeastern PA

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Subject: Egyptian Applique Hangings From: "Ann-Louise Beaumont" 

One of the papers that will be presented at the American Quilt Study Group in Dallas this month is on Egyptian Applique. I'm signed up for the round table discussion on them and am looking forward to this immensely. "Uncoverings" for 2003 should contain the paper that is being presented. At the moment I don't recall who is giving the paper. As I mentioned in Christine's post quite a while ago, Marie Webster's 1915 "Quilts. Their Story and How to Make Them" refers to them with some great pictures. Personally, I'm curious about the distinctive pieced border in many of them. Best Wishes, Ann-Louise Beaumont in Greeley, CO

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Subject: Re: Quilt in c1860 book From: Dana Balsamo <danabalsamo@yahoo.com> 

Hi Barb, I know men quilt and quilted back then, too...but it is interesting that the story of a man and the quilt he made is in a children's book. As acceptable as it was, wouldn't it have been considered "woman's work"? Would young boys and men be encouraged to quilt? Thank you for sharing that. Hugs, Dana

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Subject: Re: Wool batting -Wally's From: Marthapatches36@aol.com Date: Sun, 5 

My mother used two quilted wool batts for at least thirty years that I remember. They were encased in a cheesecloth like fabric and quilted about every four inches. They were then covered with patchwork much like a duvet cover. She could then take the covers off to wash an d air the batting out. Once my brother was returning from summer church camp by ferry across Puget Sound . He had used the comforter as a sleeping bag, had it rolled up and tied. He put it on the railing and leaned on it, unfortunately he dropped it overboard int to the salty Puget Sound. Someone fished it out the ladies at a local church around Bremerton WA washed and dried it. When it was returned to us it was no worse for the wear. I must mention most of us don't swim in PugetSound because it so cold year around. Since it was cold no felting occourred. After we suffered a house fire in 1965 Mom sent both comforters to us to use. She sent several old family quilts. My kids loved them literally to death. We used them until the 10 kids grew up so the ey were at least 45 years old or older because I don't know when she made them before I could remember them in the early forties. Jan I would recommend the wool batt. I bought one several years ago it was sold like other batts specially for quilts. Quilted like butter. Martha

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Subject: Yet more quilts in Rochester From: QuilterB@aol.com Date: Sun, 5 Oct 

Well, feast or famine! I don't write for months and then I have yet another opportunity to see some neat quilts. This weekend a local antique co-op sponsored a show and sale of some quilts which included a "bed turning". Much to my surprise, there was a wonderful collection of about 30 quilts from one family spanning 130 years of quilting (great grandma, grandma and mom). They were all extremely well made and some were for sale as well. There was extensive documentation on the family and the current daughter who was selling some of the quilts was there to answer questions. Needless to say, I came home with four and got a hug from the daughter. Many were 30's quilts, some of which were obviously kit quilts. I bought one of these but searching through my books couldn't find an example of it. Our local appraiser suggested I write Xenia which I will do as I know she is an expert on these!

I got the opportunity to help the owner with the "care and feeding" of the ones she was keeping (museum quality I think) and recommending that at some time she think about donating them to RMSC as they are all so Rochester centered but had a story with them (her mother was born in the Okla territory but came back to Rochester). We are also considering asking her if we could display them at our club quilt show next fall that we do at the museum (we always have museum goodies to show as well including last time several examples of quilted petticoats).

It was a great way to spend the day and such a surprise. You just never know when the next discovery will be made.

Beth Brandkamp

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Subject: Quilts of Dorchester County From: "Cinda Cawley" <lrcawley@dmv.com> 

First a brief geography lesson. Dorchester is Maryland's largest county in area and the smallest in population. This is primarily because most of the huge area is marsh; dry land is as scarce as people. The Chesapeake Bay is on the west; the Choptank River on the north and the county is a spiderweb of streams, rivers and swamps. You can't get anywhere directly if you venture off route 50, the highway which takes people from D.C. and Baltimore to Ocean City. There are parts of the county where it's a forty mile round trip to buy a gallon of milk. This isolation has definitely affected quiltmaking in the county which was the most exciting thing about the quilt exhibit sponsored over the weekend by the public library. 

The centerpiece was a c. 1840 album quilt made by Mary Dove Travers who probably designed the very large, rather primitive motifs herself (8" wide leaves, pineapples on crossed branches). The quilt has 25-16" blocks and is finished with a double scallop applique border. They had her 1790 sampler, 1820 quilt frame and 1830 sewing table on display as well. The family still owns four other quilts she made. Wonderful as that was I was more interested in the many quilts made in the mid-twentieth century which seemed out of sync with the times in which they were made: a church fundraiser, 1953 constructed as a strippy with a painting on silk of the church as a central medallion; an album made in 1970 for a bride with appliqued and embroidered scenes and symbols of her life; a Delectable Mountains, c. 1900 made (in Ely Walker fabrics) for Leander Talmadge Morris whose name is embroidered across the center of the quilt; two quilts from Elliott's Island (one of the forty-mile milk runs) circa 1950, a Maple Leaf and Cake Basket. 

I was astounded to see a beautifully constructed Carpenters Wheel dated 1960 with elegant quilting, made in typical 50s fabric (the setting fabric is a blue check with covered wagons!). The quilt was made in Crapo, MD--yes, that is a real place. John says it would be worth living there just for the postmark. One lady I talked to had brought in a Seven Sisters made in 1934 for her mother who was a minister by the ladies who attended a revival she preached. The same woman also exhibited a splendid 1840 Mariners Compass (its Turkey red turned to Swiss cheese, but still beautiful) with a delicate swag border and glorious quilting. An Alphabet quilt from the 1940s is a triumph of folk art. The letters are quirky; proportions change to fit the space and when she finished the requisite 26, the maker spelled out her name Rida Philips, each letter in a separate block. The maker's daughter who is in her eighties quilted it; she is working her way through piles of tops her mother pieced.

 I have the feeling that the remoteness of the area kept quilters doing things that the outside world had long ago left behind. I think it's in "Pioneer Quiltmaker" that Carolyn O'Bagy Davis makes that point about Dorinda Moody Slade who lived in the remotest corner of Utah. Or was that some other book entirely. 

Cinda on the Eastern Shore hoping to see some of you later this week in Dallas

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Subject: Wool Batting - Again From: Jennifer Hill <jennifer.hill@shaw.ca> Date: 

Help me here. I'm having lots of trouble visualizing how a cheesecloth layer can possibly prevent bearding of wool batts. Since cheesecloth is such an open weave compared to quilting cotton, I don't see how it can provide any kind of barrier protection to loose fibres. However, I can see its utility if it is meant to enclose a batt so that an outer cover can be removed and replaced.

Several years ago I recall reading on some other quilting list about wool batts. I seem to recall a NZ quilter saying that the bearding was a temporary phenomenon that was self-curing after the quilt had been washed and used. Of course, gentle laundering is required (no severe temperature changes, no agitation) to avoid felting and distortion, but after some use, the bearded fibres break off, and the surface of the batt itself undergoes some micro-felting, which stabilizes it. It isn't prone to the perpetual bearding associated with poly batts.

I understand wool batting is more common than cotton Down Under, so perhaps some Australian or New Zealand quilters can comment on its use and durability.

Jennifer Hill Calgary, AB

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Subject: orange & teal quilts From: Palampore@aol.com Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2003 

Finally the orange quilts, and teal quilts are on my site(www.textilepreservation.com). Pepper still needs to add text and we have about 5 more quilts to add, but I thought I would let you see some of them. I think that all but 1 are from NC. I am trying to get my life together so that I can head to Dallas on Thurs. Can't wait to see many of you! I am also tidy-ing up my research on stain removers so that I will have copies available then. We had a big family wedding this weekend out of town so I am running with my tongue out... Lynn Lancaster Gorges Historic Textiles Studio New Bern, NC

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Subject: Re:Dyed Wool batting From: "Sally Ward" <sallytatters@ntlworld.com> 

In one instance among the bed quilts > examined, a dyed batting was used in a light-colored quilt:Shelburne > Museum's yellow wool quilt, which is probably British, has a yellow > batting."

Judy, is there any possibility of a date, or a 'thereabouts' for this quilt?

Sally W

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Subject: Quilt Study Group forming in NC From: Kris Driessen 

I received this E-mail from someone interested in starting a quilt study group in NC. If anyone is interested, or has information for her, please contact Sandy directly at s.bmason@earthlink.net

I am looking for information for quilting in the 18 Century and early

19th Century in North Carolina. I think we are going to start a group at the Latta Plantation and I am having trouble finding information that I need. I want to reproduce quilts of that era. I am not sure what he has in mind for this group, but I would imagine one of the things he wants is for us to dress in that period and show quilting and quilts. I have been searching on the net and can't seem to come up with much. Would appreciate your help. Sandy s.bmason@earthlink.net

 

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Subject: Re:Dyed Wool batting From: "Lynne Z. Bassett" <lzbassett@comcast.net> 

Dear Sally,

Since I'm the one who wrote the essay that Judy quoted from, I guess I should answer this question. The Shelburne Museum did not venture a guess as to a date in its cataloguing of this quilt. It is a typical British quilting design of a framed center medallion with geometric patterns--such a standard design used for so long that it's hard to pin down with a date. My guess, judging from the fabrics used and from the design, is that it dates somewhere between 1780 and 1850.

Lynne

 
 

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