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Subject: re Pattern Quilts From: "Charlotte Bull" <charlou@mo-net.com> Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 08:47:29 -0600 X-Message-Number: 1

I was pleased to read Bobbie's comments re the term Pattern Quilts vs. Sampler Quilts. I wonder if part of the differentia between the two would not be that Pattern Quilts have blocks of all sizes and fabrics and quite often have no sashing. Perhaps you might think along the lines of the recently popular Country Set quilts, although these are carefully planned to look random!!! : ))) I have seen Pattern Quilts (well, what I now would term that since you've taught me the name!) in which blocks were even sliced in two pieces in order to bring the rows into the same size. Sometimes I've noted several blocks of the same pattern design but different sizes, or other obvious experiments. Would you say that the Pattern Quilts rarely have sashing or lattices added? Am I thinking right? What I am seeing in my mind is a total lack of obvious planning. A random piecing together of interesting blocks of many types & colors. Am I thinking correctly? A NAIVE Vintage Country Set?


click on this thumbnail for a closeupclick on this thumbnail for a closeupHere is the first example from my collection of what is being called a "Pattern" quilt. This is from Tenth Legion, Rockingham County, VA, in the Shenandoah Valley just a few miles north of Harrisonburg.  Purchased in 2002.  (click on the thumbnails for a closeup)  

click on this thumbnail for a closeupThis is a "Pattern" Quilt I found on ebay. It contains fabric and blocks from 1842 - 1940s.  There is one block on the quilt that has writing on it. It states:  From thy Friend Anne Chestnut Hill, NJ 4th mo. 6th day 1842.  I believe it was actually put together as a 'double-sided" quilt in the early 1990s because the the last border on one side appears to have a possible 1990s reproduction fabric in it, though each "top" appears to have been put together much earlier than 1990.

click on this thumbnail for a closeupThis is the other side of the double-sided "Pattern" Quilt from PA that I bought on eBay in 2001. According to the eBay seller, it comes from Lehigh County, an area in which she frequently buys quilts. I have bought from her before and she has proved helpful in providing info for me on the pieces I buy from her. I can only assume her info is correct

Karen Alexander


Subject: 19th century quilt poetry and prose From: <mreich@attglobal.net> Date: 

This Thanksgiving week we are blessed and have a double reason to be grateful. As a military family, this will be the first year since 1995 that we are all together for Thanksgiving. To honor the occasion even more; my daughter gave birth to our first grandchild last Friday. Baby Owen, who weighed in at 9 lbs. 8 oz. will make his family debut at Thanskgiving 2003. I found this article in a few papers from 1885. It is appropriate for the occasion of a new grandchild. I can just imagine that Owen will have similar conversations about his Grandma's quilts in a few decades.

Trenton Times Trenton, New Jersey July 2, 1885


The Quilt “Grandma” Makes Is as Big and Warm as Her Own Blessed Old Heart” The Family History

(Burdette in Brooklyn Eagle) “Young Funnyman” No, I did not decline your joke about the quilt containing 8,865,477 stitches because it was so much funnier than anything I can write myself. That was one reason, it is true. When a correspondent sends me anything funnier than my own stuff, I do decline to insert it over the correspondent’s name. But I do not, as you assert, reject it in a mean spirit of petty jealousy and envy. Oh, no; I steal it. I chuck it right into my own funny column, as one of my own. I appropriate all the funny things sent in by funny correspondents just as calmly as the business manager appropriates the stamps enclosed for the return of the manuscript that never returns. Me and the business manager has soft things of it, speaking after the Bostonese dialect. 

Nor did I intimate that it was too old. That is, the quilt wasn’t. But I declined to publish a libel upon that good old quilt and the dear good old woman who made it. There is no guile in the woman or the quilt. The quilt is no patchwork fraud and comforter. It isn’t one of these things that seem to weigh ninety pounds when you first crawl under it, and let you wake up in the night, shivering at the rate of sixty-five miles a minute, frozen stiff as an introduction from chin to instep, to find forty-five pounds of cotton in each end of the comforter and nothing in the middle, while the old thing strides you like a pair of great saddle bags. 

And these “old women” quilts are never made scant, either, like these delusions that grace the guest chamber, that are narrow in one direction and short in the other, so that you have to coil up like a snake to get under them. Nor is it one of these tormenters with always a small hole torn in them, into the which, every time you turn you thrust a toe and either dislocate your toe or tear the hole bigger. Nor is it one of these terrors, a quilt so much longer than it is wide that if you draw it over you lengthwise you feel as though you were covered with a dress braid or the bell cord, and if you twist it around sideways you think you are trying to cover yourself with a whole bolt of muslin stretched clear out and only three-quarters of a yard wide. 

Ah, no, “Young Funnyman,” the quilt that “grandma” makes is none of these. Dear old grandma, 98 years old, reads without glasses and eats her pie with her knife, never had a day’s sickness or wore a bustle in her life, and doesn’t believe in sewing machines or the Revised Bible. Why, the quilt she makes is as big and warm as her own blessed old heart. You can tuck it under your feet until it comes to your shoulder blades and then tuck the other end in around your shoulders until it reaches down to your feet again, and then you can toss and kick and tumble and roll around under it for a week before you can find your way out. 

The patchwork quilt is generally, but quite erroneously, supposed to be a family history. This is a piece of Aunt Susan’ dress, and this is a piece of grandpa’s vest, and this is a piece of ma’s old dress, because with six girls in the family there are no new dresses for ma; these four squares came from the girl's new dresses and there the family record ends. The other 984 patches the girls begged off the neighbors, stole from other girls and obtained from the dry goods clerks under the specious pretense of showing them to ma to see if she liked them, before ordering a dress pattern, the invariable experience of the poor clerk being that ma didn’t like them.


Subject: Textile Reference Books for Sale From: danabalsamo@yahoo.com Date: 

Hello all,

My apologies for the cross post. With Kris' gracious permission:

I am reducing my personal collection of textile reference books ranging from 1910 to 1987. I will be listing them for sale on my website next week, but would like to offer them to list members first. Prices include Media Mail shipping. Add $1.30 for insurance if so desired. If you would like to upgrade shipping, please ask and I will ship at a reduced rate depending on your zip code. I will accept Paypal, check, or money order. And will ship internationally. First come first served. Please contact me privately at danabalsamo@yahoo.com if you are interested or have any questions.

“Textile Fabrics and Their Selection” 6th Ed, 1970, Isabel B. Wingate -Hardcover Textbook with dj in worn condition – How to choose, use, and care for fabrics in fashion apparel and home furnishings $20

“Textiles and Fabrics – Their Care and Preservation” – 1st American Ed,1961. A.J.E. Moss, Hardcover with dj in very good condition - Drycleaning, furs, leather, upholstery, carpets, etc. Water repallants, mothproofing, flameproofing, weaves, finishes, sizes and stiffenings, bleaches, stain removal and more $50

“Basic Chemistry of Textile Colouring and Finishing” 1956 S.R. Cockettand K.A. Hilton, Harcover with dj in worn condition. Dyes, machinery,theory, finishing and proofing, textile printing, tests, and defects. Very technical book $20

“The Textile Arts” 1973, Verla Birrell, Softcover (edge and corner wear) A handbook of weaving, braiding, printing, and other textile techniques with 216 illustrations $10

“A History of Costume w/ Over 600 Illustrations” by Carl Kohler 1963 Dover, softcover (edgewear, spine wear but still strong) Costumes from Egyptians, Middle Ages, up until 1870 Woman’s Dress $20

"Five Centuries of Italian Textiles – A Selection from the Museo del Tessuto Prato." Includes Paterson Museum Pamplet and invite to Renaissance Fair 1987. Softcover, stunning photographs of textiles from 1300-1800. $80

Introductory Textile Science 4th Ed, 1981, Marjorie L Joseph, Hardcover Textbook – discusses fibers, yarns, finishes and more $10

“Handbook of Textile Fibres” 3rd Ed, 1964, J. Gordon Cook, Hardcover with dj in good condition, some wear. All about every fiber. Technical and includes a directory. $10

“Guidebook to Man Made Textile Fibers and Textured Yarns of the World”,3rd Ed, 1969, Adeline Dembeck. Trademarks and classifications of fibers by countries, companies, and continents. $45

“The Melliand, The Authoritative Reference Library of the World’s Textile Industry” Vol I, No 2, May 1929, Marcel Melliand. Blue Hardcover. Lots of textile advertisements and various articles about the industry andtextiles. Reads like a medical journal with different experts authoring different articles, worldwide. $25

“Textile Fibers and Their Uses” 5th Ed, 1954, Katharine Paddock Hess. Hardcover, no dj, looks like a textbook. Goes into all the natural fibers (wool, silk, linen, cotton) in detail, consumer textiles, selecting fabrics for clothing, etc, and care of fabrics. $10

“Fiber to Fabric” MD Potter, 1945, Hardcover Home Ec Textbook $10

Remember, please contact me privately, not to the list: danabalsamo@yahoo.com

Thanks all and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

My Best, Dana Balsamo, NJ Material Pleasures www.rubylane.com/shops/materialpleasures ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Laurene Sinema (The Quilted Apple) From: <chrisa@jetlink.net> Date: 

This is very sad news, although not a surprise as Laurene has been sick for quite awhile. She was so warm, upbeat, and sharing. She loved quilts and quilting. her shop was started at the beginning of the "fad". Spending time with her was relaxing, joyful and very interesting. Audrey Waite and I had many laughs with her at the 2000 AQSG meeting held in Lincoln. She got sick on her way home from there in fact. You never would have known it by the energy she had. She was making plans for her retirement, but she would have stayed involved in teaching quilting. She planned to sell her shop in Phoenix, which was/is wonderful. It took hours to shop there, as she had so much to offer. It was very big with a great variety of patterns and fabrics and gifts. The staff was super too. The samples in the shop were exquisite.

Laurene has given a great deal to quilt history too, through books she authored, and many reproduction fabrics and patterns she designed. Her last line of fabrics(that I am aware of) heralded back to the Revolutionary War and my favorite, G. Washington featured on some of the prints. I will miss seeing what she would have brought to us next. Her Baltimore album appliqué patterns were beyond my ability, but I bought some anyway, just because they were so pretty to look at.

My condolences to her family, friends and staff. May she be at rest and peace now. She will be missed!

Kim Wulfert

> Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2003 5:35 PM Subject: Laurene Sinema

> Dear Friends, > Our sweet friend, confidant, and mentor, Laurene Sinema, has passed from > this mortal life > to an eternal one.


Subject: Laurene From: "Julie Silber" <quiltcomplex@starband.net> Date: Mon, 24 

dear...Laurene Sinema...will be sorely missed. Julie Slber


Subject: Lone Star quilt pattern From: "Lisa Erlandson" <quilter@cooke.net> Date: 

Got a strange one here - I was asked by a client if Lone Star quilts were considered bad luck. She said her grandmother told her that she would never make "one of those" because they were bad luck. I told her I thought they were just difficult to make a flat quilt with - but not bad luck! Has anyone heard of this "legend"

Thanks, Lisa


Subject: RE: Lone Star quilt pattern From: "Jane Melohn" <jane@jcsm.com> Date: 

Hi, I read or heard somewhere that giving a lone star with 'empty' = background corners and triangles was bad luck to the recipient. I think I = remembered this because my favorite lodestars are the ones with tons of little = stars in those areas.

Take care,


Jane Melohn Apple Valley, MN jane@jcsm.com

"Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting."


Subject: Re: Lone Star quilt pattern From: JBQUILTOK@aol.com Date: Wed, 26 Nov 

I wish I could remember just where I heard or read it - maybe in a magazine back in the 1980s. "You should never start a Lone Star because you won't live to finish it." I thought at the time it was a strange stmt, considering how many finished ones there are & how few are attributed to multiple makers.

Janet Bronston


Subject: "Pattern" quilts From: KareQuilt@aol.com Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 

Per the recent discussion about Pattern Quilts (called Sampler Quilts by some but that does now seem to me a misnomer after reading some of your posts), I sent Kris photos of two in my collection. One such quilt is from a small community called Tenth Legion in Rockingham County, VA, in the Shenandoah Valley just north of Harrisonburg and was purchased in 2002. The second quilt I confirmed is from Leheigh Valley in PA. It is not only a Pattern Quilt, it is a two-sided quilt -- but I believe it may have been put together as a two-sided quilt in the late 1980s or early 1990s. You can see them both at http://www.quilthistory.com/2003/319.htm

Karen B. Alexander Independent Quilt Historian Press Secretary www.quiltershalloffame.org 


Subject: Pattern quilt From: Judy White <jawhite@infionline.net> Date: Wed, 26 

The quilt from the Leheigh Valley is very interesting in that the one side looks like someone's block collection. Whoever made the quilt may have decided that would be a good way to keep those blocks for posterity.

Judy White


Subject: Lone Star quilt pattern From: "Wanda" <fattyoldkid@houston.rr.com> 

Well this is scary...as I've been trying to finish one for three years...the star is done but I can't get rest done....in between that time I found out I had cancer....now I dont' believe that had anything to do with it...but I think I'll go ahead and finish it...that way I can get this subject off my mind...after doing one..I think they make you NOT want to do another...they are ALOT of work...but very beautiful!!! And very time consuming....Happy Thanksgiving ALL Wanda in cool Texas


Subject: "Pattern" quilts From: WileneSmth@aol.com Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 

I did a paper for AQSG in 1986 on this subject. It's in Uncoverings for that year and was updated in their anniversary book, Quiltmaking in America: Beyond the Myths published by Rutledge Hill. The paper's title is "Quilt Blocks? -- or -- Quilt Patterns?" with emphasis on "Patterns." The first side of Karen Alexander's 2-sided quilt is definitely what I consider as a "pattern quilt" because the blocks are all different sizes. In my mind, "sampler quilts" are made with all the blocks the same size. Just my 2c worth. --Wilene


Subject: Re: Lone Star quilt pattern From: Janstormy@aol.com Date: Thu, 27 Nov 

I remember reading that it was bad luck for an unmarried woman to make one, for she would be an old maid. It was because while she was making it, she would miss the opportunities to mingle with eligible bachelors. Janet


Subject: Re: Lone Star quilt pattern From: "Wanda" <fattyoldkid@houston.rr.com> 

Now I do like this one...I feel so much better...but I was single when I started it and I did marry this guy...so I guess I beat it or he married me in hopes that I'd finish it sooner....Thanks for making me smile.

Wanda with an UFO of a lone star quilt...who is inspired to finish it.

> was bad luck for an unmarried woman to make one, > for she would be an old maid.


Subject: Counting our blessings From: "Nancy Kirk" 

On Thanksgiving Day we pause for a moment to count our blessings.

Consider yourself counted.

Nancy Kirk The Kirk Collection www.kirkcollection.com


Subject: Lone Star quilts From: "Nancy Roberts" <aquilter@alltel.net> Date: Thu, 

The Lone Star quilt pattern is part of the history of the Lakota Sioux and other native tribes. Maybe some of the lore you've heard comes from this tradition? Type "lone star quilt" or lone star native american quilt" into one of the search engines and you'll find related information that may be helful. Nancy Roberts


Subject: Re: Lone Star quilts From: "Laurie Magee & Tom Blajeski" 

I don't know how many of you caught the national news coverage of the Lakota soldier who was killed in Iraq. On one of the channels there was a picture of several women standing in a row as the casket went by, holding lone star quilts. Laurie


Subject: Lone Star/Dakota Sioux quilts From: Donald Beld <donbeld@pacbell.net> Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 22:12:59 -0800 (PST) X-Message-Number: 1

--0-237399534-1069999979=:32044 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Well, this really is an area I know very little about, but I will tell you that I worked a number of years ago before I retired with a young man who was part Dakota Sioux who was being "sponsored" into manhood (he was about 20 at the time) by an older Sioux and as part of his initiation ceremony he was to be given "his" quilt that had been made for him with secret symbols relating to his Indian name, but the basic design of the quilt was a Lone Star.

I wish I knew how to get in touch with him--but I have been retired for 5 years now and have lost touch with the folks I worked with.

I think this would be a wonderful study area for someone. Don Beld


Subject: Re: Lone Star/Dakota Sioux quilts From: Gaye Ingram 

Don, the symbolism would be particularly interesting. Ronda McAllen, in Houston, is working with some Baltimore Album Quilts which she believes to use animals symbolically to represent names, either of those for whom they are being created or of the men whose wives were the makers.



Subject: Deep South Quilt Study Group From: Gaye Ingram 

As many of you know, some of us are planning a new study group, which we've tentatively called the Deep South Quilt Study Group.

We are planning to meet in Ruston, LA, the weekend of February 7th, 2004, to look at quilts and organize.

Because I had an email crash in October, I lost some names of people who expressed interest in this group. If you do not receive a mailing today, please send me your contact information and questions again.

As I organized by states, I realized I had no one from TN, and I recall a Tennessean (an EAST Tennessean, no less!) contacting me. So I know there are omissions.

I would hope Tennessee would take part in this group, since many of the older quilts that come into the Deeper South come from Tn and because while it is in the mid-south area technically, culturally, many parts of TN are at one with the Deep South. The research done by Bets Ramsey and Marikay Waldvogel are particularly pertinent to southern studies. So please consider the possibility of coming to thi organizational meeting.

Naturally, we would welcome the North and South Carolinians, but distances might preclude some of them.

In short, if you have not been contaced and are interested in associating with such a group, please let me know so your name might be added to the mailing ist.

This project, once merely a thought in the back of some of our little minds, has attracted a surprising amount of interest, and I am excited about its prospects.

Looking forward to hearing from interested QHLers, Gaye Ingram


Subject: Business of Quilts From: "Mary Persyn" <Mary.Persyn@valpo.edu> Date: 


I just received the alumni magazine from Creighton University and it contains an article about a professor who is trying to develop a price index for quilts. If you'd like to see the article, it can be found at


Look for "The Business of Quilts".

Although there are some unfortunately references in the article (i.e, underground railroad), the concept of the price index is interesting.

Mary (in really gray and overcast Valparaiso)

Mary G. Persyn Law Librarian School of Law Library Valparaiso University Valparaiso, IN 46383 219-465-7830 FAX 219-465-7917


Subject: Re: Lone Star/Dakota Sioux quilts From: KatieDidQuilts@aol.com Date: Fri, 

Hello! --- I am usually a lurker, but this is one area I can be involved in. I live in South Dakota and have done business with Lakota quilters over the years. Research has been done and has been published in "To Honor and Comfort -- Native Quilting Traditions" edited by Marsha MacDowel and C. Kurt Dewhurst copyright 1997 Museum of New Mexico Press in association with Michigan State University Museum. In this volume are many descriptions of various North American Indian and Native Hawiian quiltmaking including the Sioux Indians from South Dakota. 

Under "Quilts and the Tradition of Honoring " on page 49 --- "Giving quilts in recognition of special achievements, occasions, or activities is a common practice in Native circles, just as it is in many other cultures." --- " Among the Sioux, few things measure up to the meaning inherent in the gift of a star quilt." --- P.50 --- "In Sioux country, quilts are often given to members of the military service when they return home from duty and to veterans on Memorial Day or Veterans Day. These quilts, referred to as veteran quilts, are usually red, white, and blue and often contain eagles and stars and stripes." 

Page 48 gives a brief description of funeral quilts --- "At Sioux funeral services, a folded star quilt often is placed on the coffin of the deceased, and star quilts are presented to each of the pallbearers as well as to the person who conducts the funeral ceremony. Because death is often unexpected, the demand for quilts can be sudden, causing women to work through the nights preceding the funeral in order to have the quilts completed in time. The Sioux in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota commonly wrap additional star quilts and matching pillows to the tombstones until unveiling." One year after the persons death a huge memorial feast is held for friends and family. This is known as the "giveaway" and quilts and other items are given away to people instrumental in the deceased's life. 

Page 50 --- "Large giveaways involving many quilts --- sometimes purchased from quilters from other tribes --- are becoming increasingly common at contemporary powwows in several parts of the country." The first time I attended a Sioux funeral I was overwhelmed at the number of quilts that lined the small country church!!!!!!! What an awesome sight that was a humbling reminder of what friends and family can mean in difficult times. The quilt that covers the casket is usually buried with the deceased to keep them warm wherever they may travel in the afterlife. Quilting is a large income for women on the reservations of South Dakota --- an area that is probably not included in the Quilts Inc survey!!!!!!!! Women who do both hand and machine quilting are often a primary source of income who support an entire household from their home. Jobs are few and far between in one of the most remote areas of the United States and these women have increased the quality of life through their quilting. ----------------------Kate Bradley, South Dakota Quilt Documentation Project Coordinator


Subject: lone star quilts From: "Jean Carlton" <jeancarlton@att.net> Date: Fri, 28 


A wonderful book for both text and photos of the lone star design is = "To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions." I was fortunate to be in Phoenix when the Heard Museum hosted this = exhibit several years ago and at that point I fell in love with the huge = 8 pointed stars. I had seen it in quilts before that, of course, but = until I saw this particular collection and became aware of the history - = and ceremonial use - I hadn't paid much attention. 

There is a moving = video as well as a whole chapter in the book on the presentation of lone = star quilts at basketball tournaments in Montana. Since then, I have made one queen-sized star quilt and several smaller = ones (nothing bad has happened so far!) and developed a class on the = design because I was so excited about it's possibilities. There are lots = of UFO's in this design as precision is important and if it isn't coming = out flat many give up. A member of a class was excited to get all her = points sewn together and when she was done, the center stood up like Mt. = Vesuvius.....How could it be THAT out of whack!? We discovered she had = made only 7 points ---assembed them and was very puzzled until we = realized she just needed to make one more large diamond! What a relief! Don't let superstition stop you from trying this exciting design! Jean



Subject: Lone Star/Dakota Sioux quilts From: "Wanda" 

Kate...Thanks you so much for sharing this bit of history...It's very interesting. I'm no fulling understanding the meaning of the lone star quilt and am very moved to finish mine....thanks again Wanda in Texas


Subject: Fat quarters From: "Nancy Roberts" <aquilter@alltel.net> Date: Fri, 28 

What do we know about the history of fat quarters? Did some enterprising = shop owner or some creative quilter come up with this method of cutting = fabric in a way that is more useful to quilters? I'm preparing a = magazine article about using them. Even though collections of fat = quarters are widely available and very popular today, it occurred to me = that I don't really know how and when they came into being. Do you = recall? Nancy Roberts


Subject: Lone Star Quilt superstitions From: Gaye Ingram 

While I know of the Lakota tradition, I wonder how old it is. Does anyone know?

As for a general superstition re this quilt pattern, I suspect it arose either from the difficulty of making points match or from something no one would even guess.

I grew up with a college-educated, brilliant mother who was working alive with superstitions. And she had reasons for all them----her own, in many cases.

For instance, my husband and I were married in June, at the end of the college spring semester. We had planned to be married in August, had a church date calendared then, but then in December just decided to move the date forward. We were going to graduate school and thought it would be nice to have the summer together, free of long nights with the books. We had dated for five years (!) and were ready for marriage.

Well, so was everybody else in Louisiana---on the weekend we chose. So right after Christmas my close friends and I set about working out weekends so we could attend one another's weddings. We pretty well had it worked out. But one of us was going to have to be married on a Friday night. We drew straws. I got the short straw.

You would have thought I had hit my mother with a Zeus-sized thunderbolt when I gave her the news. "Absolutely not! No way! No daughter of mine will be married on Friday!" Why? Because if one starts anything on Friday, she will be doing it forever, she said. Will never finish. She had often produced this explanation to discourage starting sewing projects on Fridays, and I could understand the reasoning there: usually I wanted to finish a dress in a weekend, a practice not conducive to good sewing.

But a wedding? I said it would be good it would never end---thinking marriage, of course. "Oh no!"she said, "you will just keep GETTING married. It's the weddings that won't end." I would beat out Elizabeth Taylor and Zsa Zsa Gabor combined, it seemed. So I started brokering other days of the week. What about a Monday on the Memorial Day weekend? Nope: start something on Monday, you'll be doing it all week (that beat a whole lifetime, but still lacked sufficient appeal---seven weddings in one week?). Sunday? Oh Heavens no: no good Presbyterian minister would marry us on "The Lord's Day." Although we didn't attend, Wednesday was Prayer Meeting night throughout the South, aside from having other obvious disadvantages. I don't recall mentioning Tuesday and Thursday, but I'm sure there would have been something terribly wrong with either. Conclusion? One of my friends with a less "superstitious" mother agreed to take Friday. My mother was vastly relieved the family had been spared such ignominy. As my new husband and I got in the car to leave the church, Mama looked at the sky and sniffed. "Rain!" she announced, although the stars were shining brightly and the air was clear. "Every drop of rain that falls on your wedding day, you'll shed a tear," she declared, adding that she would just have to pray it did not rain until after midnight.Sometime around 1 a.m., the sky opened and the rain fell by buckets. But we were safe.

(By that time, I was re-thinking marriage in general, I think. For on our way out the church after the ceremony, my new husband, a history major, bent down and whispered in my ear this sweet nothing: "My God, Gaye, do you realize this is the anniversary of D-Day in Europe?" )

This same woman saw that Santa brought me a toy sewing machine for my sixth Christmas, which fell on a Sunday. I was thrilled and could hardly wait to try my hand at it. "Uh Uh Uh!" Mama said, hand firmly on machine. "You can't sew on Sunday. When you die, you will have to pick every stitch you sew out with your nose in Heaven. And you have a pug nose." I remember wondering what hating my mother would merit me after death.

My mother knocked on wood constantly, as I do now. Anytime she said, "I will do such-and-so" she would add, "the Lord willing" and knock wood. I would point out her error and foolishness, mention tree spirits, etc., and she would quote me long passages from a bad translation of Oedipus Rex. "Hubris," she would conclude, "is the one thing the gods cannot tolerate." And there we were. Presbyterian for generations but placating the Greek gods. .

Who knows? Maybe some young woman did not wish to embark upon the tedium of a Lone Star and invented the superstition to ward off her mother?



Subject: Re: Lone Star/Dakota Sioux quilts From: Marthapatches36@aol.com Date: 

Kate, Has South Dakota completed their documentation yet? Have you published a state book? I like to collect each state book. so if and when you have one I would like to order it. Thankyou a quilter from Washington state. Martha


Subject: Re: Fat quarters From: "Judy Kelius (judysue)" <judysue@ptd.net> Date: 

I don't know exactly where they originated, but I remember them coming into being sometime in the 1980s - I was teaching at a shop and am pretty sure they weren't around when I started. I went to Houston in 1989 and bought lots of FQs. I bet Judie Rothermel could tell you.


Subject: Thank you all From: Patricia L Cummings <quiltersmuse@comcast.net> 

I love this list! What great information about the Lakota Indians and their practices related to quilts. And then, to finish off by reading Gaye's hilarious post. If I could be granted one wish, it would be to live next to Gaye. She totally cracks me up. Thanks for the continuing good information and some chuckles along the way. You "guys" are the best!

Pat Cummings


Subject: Re: Lone Star/Dakota Sioux quilts From: "jajb" <anne_j@worldnet.att.net> 

Someone asked about the time frame. The Morning Star design wasn't adapted from the traditional Lone Star pattern by Plains Indian women until the late 1800s.

in her paper published in the 1997 Uncoverings, Jill Hemming tells of a Waccamaw-Siouan woman who liked the Lone Star quilt her sister made so much that she made several herself. Later when she went to a conference of tribes from North Carolina she was pleased to learn the Native American symbolism associated with her star quilts. It looks like connecting the quilt with Native American heritage may have come after the quilt pattern became popular.

There is a heartbreaking and yet beautiful picture taken about 1890 of Chief Red Cloud's blind wife sitting on the edge of a bed covered with a lone star quilt at http://photoswest.org/cgi-bin/imager?10031434+X-31434

I have an introductory article at http://www.historyofquilts.com/lonestar.html about the lone star quilt. The page has several links to more information that might be helpful.

Judy Anne


Subject: Spkeaikng of superstitions From: KareQuilt@aol.com Date: Sat, 29 Nov 

Yesterday I discovered a copy of American Antiques July 1977, Vol 5 No 7, with an article by Barb Riley ,merican Patchwork: A Story within A= Story= (pg. 19-24) in a box of stuff purchased at the AQSG2001 Silent Auction. The Lone Star =superstition= is mentioned, among others, in the artic= le.

I dont really believe there is anything new in this list to most of= us. I just found it interesting to see the 19th century superstitions once again b= eing shared with a new generation of quilters in 1977 just as the late 20th century quilt revival was getting into full swing. Though Riley does not use=  footnotes, she lists 187 sources in the bibliography that accompanies her ar= ticle. That alone was well worth the cost of the magazine for any quilter who bough= t it in 1977! She also refers to nine individuals in the body of the article that are now Honorees in The Quilters Hall of Fame -- Orlofsky, Holstein, Co= lby, Hall, Kretsinger, Finley, Peto, Webster, and Ickis -- and lists an additiona= l three in the bibliography: Dunton, Gutcheon, and McKim.

Now to the "myths" or superstitions: pg. 22 =Certain conventions and= beliefs grew up around the quilting bees. These ideas ranged from the practical:

the Freedom quilt for the 21 year old male the Tithing Quilt the Mourning Quilt

to the superstitious:

* young girls were to have a bakers dozen ready for dowry * 13th quilt could not be quilted by the bride * none of the tops could be quilted until the engagement was announced * Brides Quilt could have hearts worked in it but hearts in any oth= er quilt were considered by many to bring bad luck * some pieced designs were considered inappropriate for a bride until her name changed (i.e. =Wandering Foot augured ill, but the identical pi= eced design worked as Turkey Tracks was deemed suitable= * another version of the only God is perfect myth: nother effort t= o secure good luck was to deliberately piece a =98wrong block. The col= ors would be mismatched or the pattern askew, a reminder that...= * the Lone Star -- =The Lone Star was never quilted by Mrs. Wm. J. B= aker because she believed that =98a person who begins the Lone Start doesn'= t live to finish it. According to an interview she gave in 1968, there is a C= herokee legend to this effect.=

So once again, in 1977 the superstition of the Lone Star is mentioned but no= t really addressed. Does anyone know anything about Barb Riley and if she is still =with us=?

Karen Alexander Reston, VA


Subject: Re:wholecloth quilts From: Hazelmacc@aol.com Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 16:28:05 EST X-Message-Number: 6

To Jane in Ontario. You asked about the history of wholecloth quilts. A great book for this study would be Averil Colby's "Quilting" published in 1971 by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Lynne Z. Bassett has done considerable research on wholecloth quilts. She gave a paper during a Symposium at Old Sturbridge Village back in June 1998. The book that was presented from this symposium is titled "What's New England about New England Quilts?" Do not know if it is still available but Old Sturbridge no doubt has a web-site.

Hope this is helpful.

Hazel Carter President, The Quilters Hall of Fame


Subject: Re:wholecloth quilts From: Kittencat3@aol.com Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 17:13:03 EST X-Message-Number: 7

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Jane - I second Hazel's recommendation on Averil Colby. Excellent book, thoroughly researched, with plenty of information on wholecloth quilts. And I believe Lynne Bassett is on this list..? :)

There's also at least one book on Welsh wholecloth quilts, plus information about British wholecloth traditions in Janet Rae's Quilts of the British Isles and Quilt Treasures of Great Britain, the book about the British quilt heritage search.

Good luck!

Lisa Evans Easthampton, Massachusetts [where we had less than an inch of snow today.....]



Subject: Lone star posted to e-board From: "Jean Carlton" <jeancarlton@att.net> Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 16:14:41 -0600 X-Message-Number: 8

Hi I just posted a photo of my lone star on the Quilts tab on the Eboard. Just had a thought ---it's not vintage - hope this is allowed. Jean


Subject: Re: Spkeaikng of superstitions From: Kittencat3@aol.com Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 17:16:23 EST X-Message-Number: 9

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I never heard that Lone Stars were unlucky, only that they're beautiful and time-consuming. *That*, at least, is true. But the rest? I have serious doubts...:)

Lisa Evans



Subject: A child's storybook From: KareQuilt@aol.com Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 17:59:13 EST X-Message-Number: 10

Just received a book I bought on eBay "Katy's Quilt" by Ruth Holbrook copyright date 1940. On the dusk jacket it reads: "This book is a Junior Literary Guild selection, having been chosen by the Editorial Board consisting of Helen Ferris, Angelo Patri, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosvelt and Mrs. Sidonie M. Gruenberg as an outstanding publication for youngest readers." Made me wonder how many readers (children and adults alike) might have been exposed to this story? In the story the family is getting ready to move from one town (Calais) in Maine to another (Vanceboro) and 6/7 year old katy is very excited. They will be going by train a part of the journey and in the process cross over into Canada because the railroad tracks go that direction and then cross back over into the US again at the end of the journey via a new iron bridge that is being built jointly by the US and Canada. The inside cover of the book shows a map of the course of their journey -- the road, the towns, the river and the railroad tracks -- with the US on one side of the river and Canada on the other side of the river and various imporant places marked along the way. The map is surrounded by "markings" which in this context, upon first glance, looked for all the world like some kind of possible directional markings since the map was set in their midst. I did a double take. Nope, only Crazy Quilt stitching lines. At the bottom of this two-page inside cover is a row of quilt blocks repeated twice: Log Cabin, Bear's Paw, Double Wedding Ring, Pine Tree and Evening Star. Meanwhile, back to the story: all the female friends and family and neighbors help Katy's mother make a whole bunch of quilts to take with them. The quilt blocks shown on the inside of the front cover are the quilts they all make together -- plus a Crazy Quilt which will be given to Katy as a surprise just before they leave. Since President Grant (1868-1876) has a place in the story and all the illustrations have the people dressed in clothing more or less appropriate to the 1870s, this is well before the Double Wedding Ring pattern existed, right? Isn't it also a bit early for Crazy Quilts too? <g> During the making of all of these quilts, Katy experiences her first quilting bee. One of the "traditions" she in introduced to during this quilting bee was as follows: "When each quilt was finished it was taken out of the frame and thrown up in the air. Everyone crowded around hoping it would fall on them, because that meant good luck."

Have any of you ever heard of this particular "quilting bee tradition" or is this is new "quilt myth" for me to add to my list?

Karen Alexander


Subject: Re:wholecloth quilts From: Xenia Cord <xenia@legacyquilts.net> Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 17:52:33 -0600 X-Message-Number: 11

The current issue of Quilter's Newsletter has an excellent article by Dorothy Osler on Amy Emms, MBE, England's premier North Country quilter before her death a couple of years ago at age 94. Almost everything she did was wholecloth, including a wonderful quilted wedding gown for her daughter.



Subject: RE: A child's storybook From: "Jocelyn" <jocelynm@delphiforums.com> Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 17:11:22 -0600 X-Message-Number: 12

> follows: "When > each quilt was finished it was taken out of the frame and thrown > up in the air. > Everyone crowded around hoping it would fall on them, because > that meant good > luck." > Karen, Sounds like it was started by someone who'd had a bad experience with the old tradition of bouncing a cat on the freshly-finished quilt (the person closest to where the cat jumps off will be the next to marry). <G> >


Subject: Re: star quilts From: Mary Waller <mswaller@iw.net> Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 17:14:08 -0600 X-Message-Number: 13

Like Kate, I live in South Dakota, but on the eastern edge of the state.

I am not an expert on star quilts but I am trying to be a good student.

I am concerned that these quilts are in danger of being overinterpreted. Although symbolism and hidden meaning may be used in star quilts or in a specific quilt it worries me that 'rules' may be being imposed on these quilts that do not apply.

I KNOW I don't know enough to speak authoritatively about symbolism and meaning in star quilts beyond some general information. But I hope that information about them is based on fact and not assumption, misinterpretation or romantic ideas. I would hate to see them became the subject of popular but misinformed myth.

Sometimes a star quilt design may be just a star quilt design.

I also recommend the book, TO HONOR AND COMFORT..." Kate posted about.

I am taking American Indian studies classes at the University of South Dakota am seriously considering a Masters of Interdiscplinary Studies degree. The Dean of Fine Arts and I are working on an exhibit of Native American-themed pictorial/pictographic quilts for Fall 2005. I will post details about the exhibit to QHL as things come together.

Mary Waller, one of those self-confessed and proud-of-it non-trad student who pushes the grading curve up Vermillion, South Dakota, USA


Subject: RE: Spkeaikng of superstitions From: "Jocelyn" 

> a Cherokee legend > to this effect.= Karen, Ooh, a Cherokee legend. I'd be suspicious, unless a genuine Cherokee can confirm that. In my = experience, if people are attributing an urban legend to a tribe, it's = nearly always the Cherokee. :) The Cherokee tribe is (IIRC) the largest = tribe- but it gets a lot of legends attached to it. For example, a great = many people claim descent from 'a Cherokee princess'. It was a legend = in my family, until someone actually did some geneology, and lo and = behold, nary a Cherokee in our ancestry. Catawba, not Cherokee. :)


Subject: RE: A child's storybook From: Kittencat3@aol.com Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 

> > > Karen, > Sounds like it was started by someone who'd had a bad experience with the > old tradition of bouncing a cat on the freshly-finished quilt (the person > closest to where the cat jumps off will be the next to marry)

*wince* Not only is that dangerous to the bouncers, it must be sheer hell for the cat. Poor kitty!

Lisa Evans


Subject: Lone star posted to e-board From: Joan Kiplinger <jkip@ncweb.com> 

Jean -- a lovely quilt, so much work and thought that went into it. Evidently you escaped the curse :-)

Jean Carlton wrote:


Subject: Re: star quilts From: Xenia Cord <xenia@legacyquilts.net> Date: Sat, 29 

I agree with Mary Waller re: interpreting symbolism on first nations star quilts. Those of you who have heard Barbara Brackman's excellent theory on "code" interpretations may wish to apply it here <g>.



Subject: Re: Lone and Other Star Quilt Traditions/cats/et al From: Gaye Ingram 

> In a message dated 11/29/03 6:13:06 PM Eastern Standard Time, > jocelynm@delphiforums.com writes: > >>> >> Karen, >> Sounds like it was started by someone who'd had a bad experience with the >> old tradition of bouncing a cat on the freshly-finished quilt (the person >> closest to where the cat jumps off will be the next to marry) > > > *wince* Not only is that dangerous to the bouncers, it must be sheer hell > for the cat. Poor kitty! > > Lisa Evans > > Oh come on, Lisa, the kitty might be having a good time. While I'm sure it frightens the cat for a while, in my experience cats are resilient critters. And it sure beats heck out of going all day long in panties turned inside-out or having an incantation recited over one before she leaves the house (sploying)!

While I understand Mary Waller's and Xenia's reservations about accepting every stuperstition that passes down the pike and while I took Barbara Brackman's point in her keynote address at the recent AQSG conference , some of these traditions are valid and their symbolism deeply ingained within a cultural group.

For instance, I know one which is a southern cultural version of the star tradition. It generally involves women of Scots-Irish descent who go around pestering folks and starting new quilt study groups south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Members of these new groups locate the most gorgeous star (lone or otherwise) quilt they can lay their southern hands on, wrap it in pure white archival tissue paper and an archival box (or a Hellman's Mayonnaise box from the grocery store), trot down to the Fed-Ex office with it clasped firmly in nicely manicured hands, and then post it in a Fed-Ex box to the pesky group founder along with these clear instructions.

"Before opening this box, sing one Nanci Griffith song, one verse of any Willie Nelson or Towns Van Zandt song of your choice, and close with a lusty rendition of "Take Me Back to Luckenbach, Texas" "Georgia on My Mind," "Stars Fell on Alabama," or "Dixie." Then recite all the names of the double-named women in your family for three generations. Every single Mary Margaret, Naomi Ruth, Edna Erle, Mary Elizabeth, Stella Rondo, and Betty Sue of them. Sit down, for the latter will take some time and thought). Then, (prayerfully but enthusiastically) thank the good Lord for having planted your bones so strategically on this continent.

"While you are resting, see how many Miss Americas you can name from Southern States.

"Now, look carefully at the box you have been handed by the Fed-Ex delivery person. Do you see any symbols or special directions? Think hard. Look at that arrow and the enigmatic "Open Here" sign. Follow all symbols. (Is the sun shining outside or is it overcast? Either way, that is a sign.) When you have discerned the symbolism, rip that box wide open and lay your sweet eyes on the most wonderful star quilt serious quilt-searching southern women could lay their combined clever hands on. Pause briefly and reverently.

"Then proceed to your bedroom and fling that quilt across your bed and stand there in absolute awe and gratitude oggling the old chintzes and calicoes. Take it all in. Talk out loud to yourself about it.

"Then proceed to your kitchen and mix up a 1-2-3-4 cake, using real butter, and eat half of it from the bowl before remembering you have an oven and cake pans.

"Now, you will be ready to telephone the members of your cultural group who have conferred this signal honor upon you. Say, "Girl! I caint BELIEVE you did this! Are you Scots-Irish? Presbyterian? I thought NOBODY knew that tradition except me and my mother, and my mother is no longer on this earth." Say, "This is the MOST gorgeous quilt I have ever laid my blue eyes on." Say, "I'm just speechless. Simply SPEECHLESS." Say, "Would you like my mama's recipe for a 1-2-3-4 cake?" Be niiiiiiice. Real nice. And humble.

And if you have a cat, set that cake bowl down with the remaining batter and let the kitty lick the platter clean. That will save gas or electricity required for baking and also dirtying up a 9-inch cake pan.

If I did not so firmly ascribe to this tradition (note how "superstition" has morphed to "tradition" in only 5 paragraphs), I would remind folks of what the late Mississippi writer Eudora Welty said to a graduate student who asked about the symbolism of a character in one of her stories who wore a black hat. She said, 'I grew up in a day when men wore black hats. This story is set in that time. So I gave my character a black hat.'

Not paying any attention to Eudora Welty tonight, Gaye


Subject: Re: Lone and Other Star Quilt Traditions/cats/et al From: 

> > > Oh come on, Lisa, the kitty might be having a good time.

Hm. Possible. I did know a cat that liked to be tossed through the air. My current three would, respectively:

Arrow - look bewildered, then jump off at the first opportunity and steal the ham from the buffet table.

Siren - squall LOUDLY, leap into my arms claws-first, and proceed to leave me with several wonderful scars before hiding under the bed for a week.

Hunter Moon - squeak a bit, claw the quilt to pieces, and then beat up on Siren before hiding under the bed for a week.

It's definitely a personality thing....:)



Subject: Re: Lone and Other Star Quilt Traditions/cats/et al From: "Judy Grow" 

> > "While you are resting, see how many Miss Americas you can name from > Southern States.

Except for Bess Myerson in 1945, weren't they all?

Judy in Ringoes





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