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Quilters Find a way to care

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Anne asked -

 Does anyone remember seeing a paper one especially  during WWII?

I visited with my mother today and asked her about the banners -- she didn't remember much about them, but said they weren't paper, but fabric, probably not wool, but she didn't know what. When I asked if she had one or just my dad's mother she said no, just grandma -- dad was in the Navy from 1939 to 1945. They were married in 1943 so she would have been a wife during part of the war but she indicated that they were for mothers/parents. This was in Philadelphia. I got the idea she saw them in windows, but didn't have "up close" contact with them, but when I asked if they were made of paper she gave a firm "no, they were material" -- which is the word I grew up using for what I now call fabric <grin.

Barb in beautiful southeastern PA where all the fabric shops are ready for next week <grin

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Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 21:21:53 -0800 From: "Marilyn Maddalena" <quilting@marilynquilts.com To: "Barb Garrett" <bgarrett@fast.net, <QHL@cuenet.com Subject: RE: QHL: Blue Star Revision Message-ID: <LPBBKIAFGFCKLFLOKDOOIEANCDAA.quilting@marilynquilts.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

I was a child in Iowa during WWII, and my father and all my uncles were overseas in one branch of the service or another. My grandparents had these in their windows, and they were white satin with yellow fringe, as I recall. I don't remember ever seeing paper ones or quilted ones, though.

Marilyn Maddalena Professional Quilt Appraiser, Quilt Judge, Historian and Speaker website: www.marilynquilts.com

-----Original Message----- From: Barb Garrett [mailto:bgarrett@fast.net] Sent: Friday, March 28, 2003 8:06 PM To: QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL: Blue Star Revision

Anne asked -

 Does anyone remember seeing a paper one especially  during WWII?

I visited with my mother today and asked her about the banners -- she didn't remember much about them, but said they weren't paper, but fabric, probably not wool, but she didn't know what. When I asked if she had one or just my dad's mother she said no, just grandma -- dad was in the Navy from 1939 to 1945. They were married in 1943 so she would have been a wife during part of the war but she indicated that they were for mothers/parents. This was in Philadelphia. I got the idea she saw them in windows, but didn't have "up close" contact with them, but when I asked if they were made of paper she gave a firm "no, they were material" -- which is the word I grew up using for what I now call fabric <grin.

Barb in beautiful southeastern PA where all the fabric shops are ready for next week <grin

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Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 21:21:08 -0800 From: "jajb" <anne_j@worldnet.att.net To: <qhl@cuenet.com Subject: purposeful mistake Message-ID: <014301c2f5b3$01f24180$2f8e520c@computer Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

I've just re-read the Mennonite information by Sara Reimer Farley in the book "Kansas Quilts and Quilters" but didn't find mention of the humility block. I may have just missed it. The article I read did not have extensive interviews so it must be another book that you found it in Gaye. I was hoping it would be KQ&Q as I have it here at home. I'd really like to know if some Mennonites do or did carry out this practice. It would be best if I had a reference so I could send people to the book or paper. The KQ&Q article emphasized how varied the practices are among Mennonites. I know this is true of the Amish as well. So perhaps some communities did make humility blocks and other's didn't.

The idea of the purposeful mistake as a superstition really makes sense to me. In another topic in KQ&Q it was mentioned that there is no documentation of the idea that black slaves thought it to be bad luck to make a perfect quilt and that an imperfection would keep the devil away. Jennie Chinn who wrote the article suggests that most quilters got the idea from books rather than tradition.

So much is uncertain but I still think it fits into the myth topic but needs to be rewritten a bit.

Anne Johnson

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Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 08:21:10 -0500 From: Joan Kiplinger <jkip@ncweb.com CC: QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL: Blue Star Revision Message-ID: <3E859DC6.6070709@ncweb.com Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="------------040206080900080306050001"

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Anne -- As public services, I recall newspapers and magazines printed blue & gold star hangings suitable to be taped to windows; and cardstock versions, about 8x10 or so were available in some grocery and other stores, usually free and on the countertop by cash register, also banks and government buildings. Many service and fraternal organizations and local businesses made these available, their name in fine print on backside. I think my parent's first gold star was the cardstock per above until a cloth one was presented to them by Gold Star Mothers or American Legion.

Does anyone remember seeing a paper one especially during WWII?     

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<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" <html <head <title</title </head <body &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Anne -- As public services, I recall newspapers and magazines printed blue &amp; gold star hangings suitable to be taped to windows; and cardstock versions, about 8x10 or so were available in some grocery and other stores, usually free and on the countertop by cash register, also banks and government buildings. Many service and fraternal organizations and local businesses made these available, their name in fine print on backside. <br &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; I think my parent's first gold star was the cardstock per above until a cloth one was presented to them by Gold Star Mothers or American Legion.<br <br <blockquote type="cite" cite="midLPBBKIAFGFCKLFLOKDOOIEANCDAA.quilting@marilynquilts.com" <blockquote type="cite" <pre wrap=""Does anyone remember seeing a paper one especially during WWII? </pre </blockquote <pre wrap=""<!---- </pre </blockquote <br </body </html

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Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 07:45:22 -0600 From: "Avalon" <malthaus@idcnet.com To: <qhl@cuenet.com Subject: Re: Blue Star Revision Message-ID: <00b301c2f5fc$fb6ec6e0$fc03bece@idcnet.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

While watching an interview with a family re: a son who was deployed in Iraq, I noticed one of these banners hanging on the wall behind the couch.

Mary

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Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 08:01:21 -0800 From: "Leah Zeiber" <leah.zieber@verizon.net To: "Quilt History List" <QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: Blue Star Banners Message-ID: <001501c2f60c$72164de0$6501a8c0@dslverizon.net Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Hi - If anyone has watched the news in LA recently, they have been talking about Blue Star Moms. The news mentions that mother's of military service men are "Blue Star Moms" and they send care packages to the service men (even to those who are not their children).

There are many places on the web that talk about Blue Star Mothers and Banners. Just type in Blue Star Moms in your search engine and you will get a ton of links.

There are many of these links that mention "Blue Star Banners" and "Blue Star Quilts." A good link was www.bluestarmothers.org but there were many links that provided histories and other information. Some sites even gave detailed directions for making your own Blue Star Quilt.

If any of this info is a repeat, sorry -

Praying for our service men and women....

Leah Zieber

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Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 09:30:37 -0500 From: "Lloyd E. Miller" <lemiller@nycap.rr.com To: <QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Blue Star Message-ID: <BAAC69BA.1137%lemiller@nycap.rr.com Content-type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit

About the blue star. Sorry it took so long for me to find ours. We have one that is 8 1/4" by 5 5/8" printed on silk moire. There is a 2' star in the middle. It is bordered with blue, natural with red on the edge, each about 5/16" wide. The top border is just red and in each top corner has a 1 1/4" x 1" rectangle of red containing 13 stars. On the bottom above the border "OUR COUNTRY" is printed in red. It hangs from a dowel with fancy finials with a gold cord.

The note with it indicates it was displayed by my husband's grandmother during WWI for her brother-in-law who was in the service while still a medical student and who perished of flu in the great flu epidemic while caring for flu victims. She again displayed it for her son, my hussband's dad, during WWII although his service was all stateside with the veterinarian corp. She had hand printed his name and dates of service (1941-46) at the bottom. I am guessing from this information that it was not uncommon to display the blue star for a family member in service, not just a son, and not just for one who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

I am sure there were many different versions of the blue star. Hope this helps to add to the picture.

Linda Miller

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Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 07:04:37 -0800 From: Judi Fibush <judi@fibush.net To: "Lloyd E. Miller" <lemiller@nycap.rr.com CC: QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL: Blue Star Message-ID: <3E870785.50507@fibush.net Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

The ones who paid the "ultimate sacrifice" had gold stars not blue stars. Thanks for sharing your family history

Judi

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: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 21:13:21 -0600 From: Pat Kyser <patkyser@hiwaay.net To: QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Looking for film Message-Id: <BA64C53B-6326-11D7-AF60-00306551237E@hiwaay.net Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

On behalf of the Huntsville (AL) Museum of Art, I am looking for a copy of a film about the Hardman crazy quilt owned by the Haggin Museum in Stockton, CA.

"The Hardman Quilt: Portrait of an Age." 10 minutes, 16mm, video, 1975.

The Stockton folks don't have a copy. 'Way back then, we bought a copy of it for the Tennessee Valley Quilt Authority,and no one knows where it is now. Our local museum wants to show it in conjunction with a pristine, wonderful crazy quilt that was bequeathed to them that will go on display June 126.

If any of you own a copy or are in a group that does, or knows where I can find a copy, I'd really appreciate hearing from you. Am leaving town Thursday, back Sunday night, so won't be able to reply to you until then.

Many thanks, Pat Flynn Kyser

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Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 19:22:01 -0800 From: "jajb" <anne_j@worldnet.att.net To: <QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL: Blue Star Message-ID: <000b01c2f734$b2eafd60$3e8d520c@computer Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Linda, Thanks for sharing your family's experience. I can just imagine that silk banner with gold cord and all.

This has been so interesing hearing from all of you who have added to this discussion.

I knew nothing about these banners until someone wrote to me through my website asking about them. I'm so glad I started digging for information!

https://www-perscom.army.mil/tagd/tioh/FAQ/ServiceFlagFactSheet.htm gives exactly under what conditions the flag/banner can be used and regulations on color and star arrangement. I assume we should follow the same standards when making a Blue Flag quilt.

Anne

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--- Kathy Moore <KathyMoore@neb.rr.com wrote:  Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 13:49:11 -0800  From: "Kathy Moore" <KathyMoore@neb.rr.com  To: <QHL-Digest-request@cuenet.com  Subject: Re: Re: QHL-Digest Digest V03 #80   Hi all. I've been lurking for some time  learning from you all. I'm a  grandmotherly graduate student at the Univ. of  Neb., Lincoln in the Textiles  department working on a master's degree in  Textile History and Quilt  Studies. I've been doing some research for a  paper and ran across a  reference to something discussed in February on  this list. On the 21st Teddy  Pruett posted a comment about "toilet covers"  and I seem to recall some  discussion about what that meant. Well, I may  have found the answer. Sally  Garroutte's paper "Marseilles Quilts and Their  Woven Offspring" written for  Uncoverings (sorry, I don't know the date)  notes that some variations of  machine woven imitation Marseilles quilts from  the 19th and 20th centuries  had common names like "toileting or toilets".

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Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 01:02:42 -0800 From: Gaye Ingram <gingram@tcainternet.com To: QHL.QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL: purposeful mistake Message-ID: <BAAD4432.D458%gingram@tcainternet.com Content-type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit

 From: "jajb" <anne_j@worldnet.att.net   Subject: QHL: purposeful mistake   I've just re-read the Mennonite information by Sara Reimer Farley in the  book "Kansas Quilts and Quilters" but didn't find mention of the humility  block. I may have just missed it. The article I read did not have extensive  interviews so it must be another book that you found it in Gaye.

It was another member whose reference you saw, Anne. My evidence was strictly anecdotal, from my own practice and experience with an older generation of women whose practices were, I think, rooted both in a fear of hubris and acquired and mighty powerful superstitions. None were Mennonite. All were southern and most were of Scots-Irish descent-----Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists.

Gaye

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Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 10:13:49 +0100 From: "Sally Ward" <sallytatters@ntlworld.com To: <QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL: Blue Star Message-ID: <001e01c2f765$d9692760$0200a8c0@home Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

As an outlander I have been fascinated by the correspondence on the Blue Star banners. We have nothing comparable in the UK. I suppose the nearest would be the British Legion's Poppy Campaign once a year, but wearing a poppy is a general mark of respect, not necessarily a personal one . But I was astonished this morning to read the website Anne suggested outlining the regimen under which these flags can be made and displayed. I thought you were talking about something spontaneous, like the yellow ribbons. I know these regulations are written for the benefit of licensed manufacturers (so, no running some up in the quilt shop then?)....do they apply equally to the common masses?

So who started it? Did some mothers think this up and then have it appropriated by the Army and its regulations, or did some suit think this up as a good idea for family morale?

And reading the regulations....are you actually allowed to make your own, or use it in a quilt, or display it when not 'in a period of hostilities'. And if so, who are the Blue Star Police? I'm confused....

Sally W in UK

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Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 07:38:45 -0500 From: "Fawn Valentine" <fawn@citynet.net To: <QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Intentional mistake Message-ID: <003101c2f782$786d8dd0$494c953f@yourm5d4u9r2uv Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_002E_01C2F758.8F6CA540"

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I am would like to hear about documentation regarding any traditional = practice to include an "intentional mistake" in a quilt. My own = experience here in West Virginia, directing an oral history project to = interview older quiltmakers, is that no one was ever taught by their = mother, grandmother, etc. to make a mistake in a quilt. On the contrary, = they were taught to do the best they could. For the oral history = project, we were trained by Jeannette Lasansky of Pennsylvania, and she = told us that in Pennsylvania her group had not found anyone who was = taught to put a mistake in their quilt. I don't know when the = theory/myth arose or why--but would be very interested to find out. To = the best of my knowledge, Amish quiltmakers do not follow the "mistake" = procedure, either. I inquired with a collector of handwoven Oriental = carpets and was told the "intentional mistake" story arose (for carpets) = when inferior products were marketed--it is not a practice in the Middle = East to include a mistake in the weaving. =20

Fawn Valentine snow-covered Alderson, West Virginia

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<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" <HTML<HEAD <META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; = charset=3Diso-8859-1" <META content=3D"MSHTML 6.00.2600.0" name=3DGENERATOR <STYLE</STYLE </HEAD <BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff <DIV<FONT face=3DArial size=3D2I am&nbsp;would like&nbsp;to hear about =

documentation regarding any traditional practice to include an = "intentional=20 mistake" in a quilt. My own experience here in West Virginia, directing = an oral=20 history project to interview older quiltmakers, is that no one was ever = taught=20 by their mother, grandmother, etc. to make a mistake in a quilt. On the=20 contrary, they were taught to do the best they could. For the oral = history=20 project, we were trained by Jeannette Lasansky of Pennsylvania, and she = told us=20 that in Pennsylvania her group had not found anyone who was taught to = put a=20 mistake in their quilt. I don't know when the theory/myth arose or = why--but=20 would be very interested to find out. To the best of my knowledge, Amish =

quiltmakers do not follow the "mistake" procedure, either. I inquired = with a=20 collector of handwoven Oriental&nbsp;carpets and was told the = "intentional=20 mistake" story arose (for carpets) when inferior products were = marketed--it is=20 not a practice in the Middle East to include a mistake in the=20 weaving.&nbsp;&nbsp;</FONT</DIV <DIV<FONT face=3DArial size=3D2</FONT&nbsp;</DIV <DIV<FONT face=3DArial size=3D2Fawn Valentine</FONT</DIV <DIV<FONT face=3DArial size=3D2snow-covered Alderson, West=20 Virginia</FONT</DIV</BODY</HTML

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Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 08:52:22 EST From: Midnitelaptop@aol.com To: patkyser@hiwaay.net, QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL: Looking for film Message-ID: <15.df612b2.2bb9a216@aol.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

if you e mail webmaster@orpheus.ucsd.edu they might have a copy of the film The Hardman Quilt jeanL

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Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 10:36:57 -0800 From: Gaye Ingram <gingram@tcainternet.com To: QHL.QHL@cuenet.com Subject: re intentional mistake Message-ID: <BAADCAC9.D482%gingram@tcainternet.com Content-type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit

I located the posting which Fern probably had in mind. It follows:

"I agree with Gaye that the humility block is not a myth, although a lot of mistakes, of course, are not made intentional. But I have a couple of quilts where I don't believe the one changed block could have been accidental. Also humility blocks are mentioned as an occasional practice in a book about Kansas Mennonite quilters, which includes interviews with several quilters. sorry I can't remember the name of the book or the author! Tomlinson, maybe? Teri Klassen"

I hasten to add that the practice to which I referred was not limited to quilts. As I reflect, I think it was associated only with important or ceremonial sewing----special occasions or projects of some magnitude, which would include quilts.In other words, it involved something that would involve pride, and the "error" would be an effort to affirm humility and, if truth be stated, ward off the possible rebuke of a God who had noted that the meek were blessed. It usually involved some "invisible" error---a stitch omitted in hem of wedding dress, e.g. The women I knew would never have reversed a block in a quilt. They might, however, altered quilting design in some small way in an inconspicuous place in the piece.

I have seen--and believe I own at least one---red and white geometric quilts in which one of one corner block reversed.

Gaye

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Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 15:49:44 EST From: Hazelmacc@aol.com To: QHL@cuenet.com Subject: RE: Myth - purposeful mistake Message-ID: <1c4.775e4a9.2bba03e8@aol.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

The following was written about possible myth. I have a 1830 Sunflower quilt that came from New York state and on only one flower block, one of the diamonds is a different print than the other diamonds. This would not be a Mennonite nor an Amish quilt as it is mainly of prints. In the Kentucky state search book, Jonathan Holstein found an applique quilt that he felt the maker had mdae an obvious mistake. Jonathan saw my quilt and felt the one diamond was most likely an obvious mistake.

This myth has various possible origins. One is from the Greek legend of Arachne the weaver. Another is found in Navajo weaving practices. Most likely the quilting version of this myth came from the belief that Amish and Mennonite women put a mistake in each quilt because only God is perfect therefore it would be prideful to make a perfect quilt. In reality all quilters make mistakes, it's almost impossible to make a perfect quilt. In fact it would be prideful to think one could do so. One wonders if reference to this myth is more of an excuse for inevitable mistakes.

Hazel Carter in No. VA

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Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 15:27:01 -0500 (EST) From: Teri Klassen <teresak@bloomington.in.us To: <qhl@cuenet.com Subject: red and green applique Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.33.0303311523511.25058-100000@kirkwood.hoosier.net Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

What is the earliest date for a red-and-green applique quilt? I was really surprised to see one dated 1818 I believe, in the new Connecticut quilts book (or was it Vermont? I think it was Connecticut). I had been thinking that they weren't around much until ca. 1840. Does that mean they started in Connecticut? I had thought of them more as a Pennsylvania German thing. Teri Klassen

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Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 18:25:02 EST From: Laurajbr@aol.com To: qhl@cuenet.com Subject: QHL: Red and green applique Message-ID: <1c1.777b69f.2bba284e@aol.com Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="part1_1c1.777b69f.2bba284e_boundary"

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Teri,

I have a red and green applique that has been appraised and dated circa 1835. It's a variation of the princess feather, with four blocks and a leaf and vine border.

Laura

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: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 20:56:21 -0800 From: "jajb" <anne_j@worldnet.att.net To: <QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL: Blue Star Message-ID: <001601c2f80b$0ab29680$1287520c@computer Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

The Blue Star Banners were both home made and manufactured.

This fact sheet may explain the background of Blue Star Banners better. It gives the origin during WWI and all. http://www.legion.org/attack/docs/bluebannerfact.htm

There are also Blue Star Mothers http://www.bluestarmothers.org/history.html and Gold Star Mothers http://www.goldstarmoms.com/history.htm

It appears the rules and regs came later.

Anne

So who started it? Did some mothers think this up and then have it appropriated by the Army and its regulations, or did some suit think this up as a good idea for family morale?

And reading the regulations....are you actually allowed to make your own, or use it in a quilt, or display it when not 'in a period of hostilities'. And if so, who are the Blue Star Police? I'm confused....<<

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Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 22:40:10 -0600 From: "Karan Flanscha" <SadieRose@cfu.net To: "QHL@cuenet. com" <QHL@cuenet.com, "Teri Klassen" <teresak@bloomington.in.us Subject: RE: red and green applique Message-ID: <CIEPIKDFFFFPHFAFBEEKOEMFCAAA.SadieRose@cfu.net Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Teri and others interested, Here are some notes I have on red & green quilts/fabrics, taken from several well-known books. Title, author and page numbers are noted.

Red and Green “Also around 1840, another type of appliqué quilt emerged in the mid-Atlantic region. This style has been called red-and-green because of the predominance, if not exclusive use, of that color scheme with a white or pale muslin background. This seems to have been a more middle-class kind of quilt than the chintz-appliquéd style. Strangely, quilt scholars have found little or no evidence of quiltmaking in Germany at this time; however, the geometric designs on many red-and-green quilts resemble those found on other German folk arts and crafts. These appliquéd designs, although often derived from nature, are much less realistic than those found on chintz quilts. The red-and-green color scheme probably derived from the new availability of fabrics, which heretofore had been too expensive and too rare for middle-class housewives to rely on for their quilt designs. The red was dyed with madder according to the very involved and time-consuming Turkey red process. Plain or small figured green fabric still often required a multi-step dyeing process with blue and yellow colors dyed over each other to create green. True to the contrariness of human nature, red and green fabrics became fashionable for quilts in large part because they were costly and hard to dye. The appliqué patterns for red-and-green quilts were made by folding and cutting paper to create symmetrical shapes. These quilts were made from squares of the same pattern laid side by side, usually within a red-and-green appliqué border. … In comparing the luxurious Maryland chintz-appliquéd quilts of the 1830s and 1840s with Baltimore album quilts with elaborately layered floral appliqué squares and borders, it appears that the layered-appliqué technique was devised as a method to replicate the appearance of chintz by using less costly textiles. Today, the labor-intensive and practiced skill required to create these compositions is considered astonishing.” From: “Lavish Legacies” by Jennifer Faulds Goldsborough (Maryland Historical Society) pgs. 9-10

“Appliqué artists in the nineteenth century favored a limited palette of red and green cottons on a white background. Many used only those complementary colors, while others added accents of bright yellow or pink. Even those who used a variety of colors let the red and green fabrics dominate the design. The same colors were also used in the best pieced designs, like Feathered Stars and Rocky Mountain (now called New York Beauty). We can only speculate as to why the red, green and white color scheme dominated nineteenth-century appliqué quilts. Since appliqué is usually an imitation of nature, green leaves and red flowers are a natural choice. Mid-century conventional appliqué quilts grew from the cut-out chintz appliqué style of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. The printed palampores and chintzes from which the trees-of-life and the floral motifs were cut were commonly printed in naturalistic reds, pinks and greens on white backgrounds. Red and green calico on white was an extension of that traditional look. On a practical level, Elisabeth Daingerfield, writing around 1920, noted that Appalachian women commonly made their “patch quilts” (appliqué) in red, green, and a “certain rather violent yellow” because of the reliability of those dyes. Only trusted colors were good enough for quilts intended to be heirlooms. Whether the reason was function, fashion or a combination of the two, red, green and white quilts were popular from about 1830 through the end of the nineteenth century. The earliest date-inscribed examples are cut-out chintz and pieced chintz designs from the 1830s. In the 1840s when block style calico album quilts became the rage, the red, white and green color scheme also became popular. Date-inscribed quilts in those colors range over the rest of the century. Of 112 such quilts in the database, 108 were made between 1830 and 1900, good evidence that a red, white and green quilt will be from that period of time, although four twentieth-century versions indicate that some quilters continued to use the old style. Other design characteristics of red, green and white quilts are the use of small scale calicoes and plain cottons (although many pre-Civil War quiltmakers combined chintzes and calicoes). Combinations of appliqué and piecing were common. A pieced quilt might have an appliqué border or vice versa. The color scheme is most associated with quality quilts of intricate design and elaborate quilting, but it was also used for everyday quilts with simple pieced design and functional quilting.” From: “Red, Green and White Quilts” from “Clues in the Calico” by Barbara Brackman pgs. 155-156

“Red and green appliqué quilts, most often with 9 to 12 blocks, were popular (in the 1830-1860 period). These quilts frequently included stuffed work in alternate blocks or borders. Many of these pieces were well-planned endeavors because the amount of red and green fabric used was sufficient to complete the entire quilt. These quilts were often designed with stylized or realistic flowers and leaves arranged in sprays, wreaths, or bouquets and placed in urns or baskets. A quiltmaker’s best work was often displayed in a red and green appliqué quilt, saved for special guests or to show on a bed. These quilts are now considered collectors items.” From: “Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide 1800-1960” by Eileen Jahnke Trestain pg. 46

"Beginning in the 1840s, American quiltmaking took another distinctive turn and New Englanders followed. Many quilters began to work with solid or printed red and green cottons in stylized symmetrical foliate and floral designs, which were cut out with the aid of folded paper patterns and appliquéd in repeating blocks onto backgrounds of plain white cotton. The fashion began in Maryland and Pennsylvania, areas heavily influenced by the German design tradition. The emergence of inexpensive and vibrant red and green cotton fabrics in the 1820s and 1830s propelled the style's popularity. By the mid-nineteenth century, pieced-block quilts were being influenced by the red, green and white color scheme of these appliquéd quilts, which continued their popularity through the 1860s. Red and white combinations for pieced-block quilts were particularly popular. ... Many mid-nineteenth century quilts combined block patchwork with appliqué technique, also using the favored red and green fabrics on a white background. Although these appliquéd quilts were made of inexpensive cotton fabrics, they appear never to have been criticized in the literature of fashion and domestic advice. One reason was undoubtedly the level of skill involved; creating the often complex appliqué designs could be quite difficult. Another may have been social class; these quilts were mostly the products of women from at least moderately prosperous households, and they did not incorporate scraps or recycled fabrics into their carefully planned designs." From: "Red and Green Appliqué Quilts” from "Northern Comfort" by Lynne Z. Bassett and Jack Larkin pg. 87

 
 

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