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Subject: Pattern/photo on line? From: "Linda Heminway" 

Can anyone refer me to a pattern to make a repro of the Sanitary Commission quilts on line? I think I have a photo in a book someplace, forgive me, but we recently moved and I can't seem to FIND anything lately in this _____ house of mine. I think I need one of those TV Mission Organization people to come! At any rate, someone mentioned making those quits for soldiers in Iraq or their families recently on this digest and the thought really intrigued me. I keep thinking about it and may just have to start one of these quilts. Might even invite a few people who are interested enough to make a block to share this experience. Linda Heminway In beautiful, sunny, not humid for a change, Plaistow NH


Subject: Sanitary Commission Quilts From: Patricia L Cummings 

Dear Linda:

Please contact Don Beld: Donald Beld <donbeldpacbell.net>

He has done a lot of study and writing about Sanitary Commission Quilts and has organized groups to make them (in California). He also wrote a fine article for the American Quilter magazine which he is offering to be included with the presentation of one of these reproduction quilts so that the gift can be placed within an historical context.




Thanks Pat for the kind words.

The most common US. SANITARY COMMISSION quilt block is the one used in the Lincoln Shrine's quilt: which is most properly to the period called simply "the Album Block". It was popular before the Civil War and after. In Brackman's Encyclopedia it is on page 351, #2881, called the Old Italian Block. It was also sometimes called Album Cross.

Other popular Sanitary Commission blocks were Chimney Sweep (Brackman, p. 393, # 3266), the simple 9 Patch, Georgetown Circle (Barckman, p. 257 #2048, Cross and Crown (Brackman, p 259, # 2069, and the one seen at the N.Hamp. Hist. Society Museum, which I cannot find a name for, but can be seen in STITCHED FROM THE SOUL, SLAVE QUILTS FROM THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH, by Gladys-Marie Fry,2002 edition on page 78.

There were countless others, I am sure, but these are the only ones I know of that still exist today. There is one in the DAR, but I don't know the pattern. The DAR also has a US SANITARY FAIR QUILT, which is a duplicate of one given to Pres. Lincoln at the Washington D.C. Sanitary Fair in 1864 that is made of Silk and is just stunning.

The only other US SANITARY FAIR QUILT, that I know of is in the St. Louis Historical Society Museum and is one that was presented to Gen. Will. T. Sherman after the war and which he gave to the Society.

Hope all this info will pique interest in the Sanitary Commission quilts as there are bound to be more out there--Remember the soldiers' quilts would normally measure 48 by 84 inches and would be stamped on the back or front with an ink stamp that says "US Sanitary Commission".

By the way, the Home of the Brave quilt project that I am chairing for my guild that is making reproduction size quilts of the Lincoln Shrine's quilt has made over 40 quilts in just two months--more than we need for our 20 War Dead.

We gave one to the father and sister of one Marine at our meeting last Friday and it was very emotional for us all--killed in his second tour of duty in Iraq, just after returning from leave where he married his childhood sweetheart and saw his daughter--5 months old-- for the first and last time. We are sending one to the daughter as well. I have guilds in three states and five guilds in California making quilts with this wonderful historical connection.

If you want more info on the project, e-mail me privately.

Don Beld


Subject: Oh no - another Underground RR book? From: Judy Kelius 

I was looking on Amazon for new quilt books and found one called The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom (a children's book) - sounds like you know what! This is to be published in December. This seems to be snowballing and destined to join the Betsy Ross story and others.


Subject: Really king quilt From: Xenia Cord <xenialegacyquilts.net> 

if you've nothing to do today, at the start of a 3 day holiday weekend, have a look at the following site. I am extracting some information from a message sent to a British list:


<...last year the quilt group I belong to was involved in an event here in Singapore called "Fabric of the Nation". Following SARS, the Bali bombing and the economic downturn the mood in the country was pretty pessimistic. The local TV station in conjunction with a government department came up with the idea to make a quilt that would be big enough to get in the Guiness Book of Records. They called on locals here and abroad as well as expats to to make a 6" square which would express how people felt about Singapore.

They hoped to get about 3000 squares and set a deadline to have it all sewn up for 6 weeks later! Well, they received over 15.000 squares from people of all walks of life. There were pieces from expert quilters as well as total beginners, whole families with even the youngest doing a stitch, soldiers, school children etc. Every square sent in was recorded, then sorted by theme and given to quilters who designed a panel 2m wide by 4 m long. By the time the deadline came for the Prime Minister to sew on a patch in a public ceremony 24 such panel were put together but not yet quilted.

Now all 60 panels have been finished and quilted, many of them hand quilted, and are on exhibition here in Singapore until 2006. The website of it is finally up and running so you can see for yourself. I think the people sorting and designing the panels have done a fantastic job. If you have the chance to come to Singapore don't miss this exhibition--walking in the hall and seeing the riot of colours is just breathtaking!

You can see the number "38" many times; last year Singapore celebrated 38 years of independence; other frequent sights are "NDP' which stands for National Day Parade in August (around the time this project happened) and red and white are the colours of Singapore flag.>



Subject: Re: Really king quilt From: Midnitelaptopaol.com 

thank you xenia..for that wonderful fwd. about the singapore quilt... i plan to spend some time on sunday and monday at the site...and i'm going to suggest a similar project for our guild for our next show... jeanL


Subject: more UGRR From: Joan Kiplinger <jkipncweb.com> 

There is going to be a guided tour on Sept. 30 of the secrets of our county's underground railroad sponsored by the Historical Society and Council on Aging. We have two famous sites -- Rider's Tavern and Unionville Tavern [Northeast Ohio close to Cleveland] still in operation since 1830s. Both have underground caverns which were used by get-aways making their way to Cleveland and on into Canada. Other sites are a church that was once splattered with graffiti as a warning to abolitionists and the home of an abolitionist. I have been in both tverns many times as they are in my backyard so to speak but never on a guided tour. If I can get out of a commitment for that date, I would love to go and take with me one of the posters mentioned on this list. Where can I order one? I would also like to take a list of websites on UGRR just in case quilts is part of the lecture. Does anyone mind my referencing their sites?


Subject: re: poster and site reference request From: Patricia L

Dear Joan:

The following is stated on my website file, toward the end of the article about quilts and the UGRR:

The colorful posters which feature various patterns named in the "secret quilt code" are available free of charge, simply by providing your name and address and the number of posters requested. An online report states that the posters have been a "big hit nationwide".

For more information, or to order posters, please contact Toni Jones at 304-285-1580 or _tjonesfs.fed.us <mailto:tjonesfs.fed.us>._ To see the poster online, please visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/na/morgantown/nanews/apr03.htm

Pat's note: Keep in mind that the block configurations depicted may not have existed at the time of the Underground Railroad, and that if they did, they may not have been known by the particular names by which we call them today. Quilt block names were not commonly published until after 1880.

* * * * *

Yes, you may most certainly share the link to my site. If you want, I'll even mail you business cards, for easier access. LMK

Pat www.quiltersmuse.com :-)



Subject: RE: Oh no - another Underground RR book? From: "Candace Perry" 

Doesn't it just make you tired? Candace Perry


Subject: American fancy exhibit NYT article From: "Candace Perry" 

Still gonna need some convincing on this kaleidescope stuff. It's a great idea, but kinda like HIPV...where's the beef, to quote a bygone cliche... Candace Perry

ART REVIEW | 'AMERICAN FANCY' Whimsical Yankees. Fancy That. By GRACE GLUECK

Published: September 3, 2004

ALEM, Mass.

THINK of "Fancy" not as a term for the hifalutin or overly ornate, but as covering a definite period in American taste, like neo-Classical or Victorian. Viewed not only as a style but also as a cultural phenomenon, it is the theme of a big, sprawling and ambitious show at the Peabody Essex Museum here titled "American Fancy: Exuberance in the Arts, 1790-1840."

With more eye-teasing chairs, chests, clocks, chinaware, quilts, ceramics, toys and assorted tchotchkes than you can twirl a whirligig at, this show was organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Chipstone Foundation, which promotes scholarship in the American decorative arts. It celebrates the explosion of patterns, designs, colors, whimsies and whatnot that gave a new look to American households from the turn of the 19th century to its middle, fading out when the somber Victorian era creaked in.

Fancy, with a capital F, can not only be seen as a style in the arts but also as "a distinctive attitude and novel way of perceiving the material world," the show's guest curator, Sumpter T. Priddy III, a scholar and antiques dealer in Alexandria, Va., writes in the catalog. He suggests that the fancy for Fancy, born in England, was linked to the rational 18th century's growing acceptance of the emotions as a foil to reason and "came to signify almost any activity or object that delighted the human spirit or stirred the imagination."

Because the style had no particular identity, beyond that of what pleased the senses, the show reaches wide, high and low, its more than 200 objects including everything from painted furniture to a fireman's hat, from ornate quilts and textiles to an elaborate hotel sign, from formal chairs and tables with lots of embellishment to a country washstand of pine painted bright yellow.

Not to be mistaken for folk art — although often in this show you could fool me — Fancy had an intellectual basis in a moral and cultural liberation movement of staid 18th-century England that encouraged recognition of the senses. The style, Mr. Priddy holds, "was best identified by intangible means, by the wide range of response it was able to elicit — delight, awe, surprise and laughter."

And despite its bewilderment of objects, the exhibition, with its bounty of ornamental and Fancy painting techniques, vivid color schemes, over-the-top ornamentation and whimsical designs, keeps the eye and the mind on steady alert.

A powerful impact on the new freedom of design was made by the kaleidoscope, an optical device that fractured colors by means of polarized light. Invented by a Scottish physicist, Sir David Brewster, and perfected by him in 1816, the kaleidoscope had a dazzling ability to produce crazy but symmetrical abstractions from glass chips as they were rotated.

It had a strong effect on popular taste, expanding the design repertory into new realms. (Several kaleidoscopes in the show enable viewers to see the phenomenon for themselves.)

Carpets, textiles, wallpaper and quilts offered perfect surfaces for Fancy kaleidoscopic designs, as did painted woodwork and furniture, particularly painted chests. A handsome example of the latter is a chest over drawers from New England (1825-40), painted with glazes of varied shades of browns and partly adorned with round bursts whose radiating lines seem to quiver with celestial energy.

With patterns that were far out yet based on geometrical order, the kaleidoscope stimulated farther out ideas for the ornamentation of mundane objects, like fancy marbling and graining of wood. The techniques were varied, but a popular one was relatively simple: applying a solid color, letting it dry, then overpainting it with a thin layer of a contrasting hue. While wet, the second layer was manipulated with a brush, a rag, a feather, a graining comb, putty, etc., then finished with varnish to produce wayward and eccentric surfaces.

The goal of Fancy painters was to create imagery that was novel and whimsical, Mr. Priddy points out, and one of the most extreme examples in the show is a yellowish-brown chest over drawer from New England (1825-40). Brushed, combed, sponged and otherwise manipulated, the finish on this one completely disguises the original wood with a rambling design of no pattern that suggests both sinewy tree trunks and dizzying trails to nowhere.

Another treasure in this vein is a chimney or wall cupboard, probably from Connecticut (circa 1825). A tall, freestanding case made of poplar, it was painted with a slightly different "dry brush" technique, with most of the paint wrung from the brush. In this lovely example, the bristles were probably thinned out, too, and the cupboard was touched with quick, feathery swoops and turns of the brush, resulting in an overall scheme that suggests the fraktur writing of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

By no means neglected was more formal ornamental painting, another field where practitioners blossomed out. A host of specialized decorative techniques came into play that enabled artists to enhance effects dramatically: bronze powder added to gilding, stenciling and the transfer of printed scenes from paper. They decorated furniture, walls, chimney pieces and wallpaper with lively scenes and patterns, as can be seen in the huge and elaborate sign for the Vernon Hotel in Connecticut, done by William Rice in 1834.

It depicts a richly inventive coat of arms with an eagle perched on a gold-framed shield against a star-studded background of faded blue, set in a bombastic gilded frame that is paved with carved curlicues and painted red swag. No one could mistake the hostelry proclaimed by this imposing sign for a second-class roadhouse.

Even a fireman's parade hat, probably made in Philadelphia around 1850, was fancied up. Made of painted red felt, this high-crowned topper is adorned with gold and black insignia surrounding a fetching portrait of a young man in dress uniform.

One of the show's most whimsically engaging examples of decorative painting is a trompe l'oeil mantelpiece and chimney board from the Daniel Whitmore House in North Sunderland, Mass., circa 1800. Designed to seal an unused fireplace from drafts, it simulates a clean brick fire pit with andirons, tongs and all, topped by an ornately carved mantel.

Portraits in the show have been chosen to reflect the Fancy clothes and backgrounds of the day. One example is the portrait of Martha Eliza Stevens Edgar Paschall, done by an anonymous folk artist in St. Louis aound 1823. Wide-eyed, wearing an elaborate hairdo and a serious portrait look, this young woman sits stiffly on a chest or bench that seems to be covered with a fancily patterned rug, her hand resting on a chair handsomely touched with gold decorations. In the other hand she holds a gold-trimmed purse.

Her blue Empire-style gown sports ruffles at collar and sleeves; an ornate lace shawl falls off her shoulders. A glittery necklace and earrings, and blue shoes adorned with rhinestones, complete her ensemble.

As a proud portrait of a trophy wife, it equals any present-day image of a nouveau consumer.

Women, of course — perhaps including Mrs. Paschall — did their share of what was called Fancy work. An accomplished but morose example is a "Mourning Piece for Mrs. Ebenezer Collins" (1807), attributed to Lovice Collins of South Hadley, Mass. Cleverly contrived of silk satin, silk velvet, watercolor, pencil, ink and various threads, it depicts a family, with children and a babe in arms, in sorrowful vigil at an urn-shaped tombstone, as weeping willows in the background join the mourning.

Seating of one kind or another plays a huge role in this show, with chairs and settees of every description clamoring for attention: armchairs, side chairs, Windsors, Hitchcocks and whatever; painted, gilded and otherwise ornamented.

One of the Fanciest is a writing chair from Boston (1820-25), plushly upholstered in red, with a swollen side arm that serves as a desktop. Its beautifully veneered mahogany surface is inlaid with a compass star. Beneath the seat is a carved, gilded and painted sliding drawer for storage.

The crest topping the chair's back bears a wide, charmingly painted scene of boats and a river.

In sharp contrast is the wonderfully minimalist settee of maple, walnut and poplar attributed to Thomas Renshaw and John Barnhart, or John and Hugh Finlay, from Baltimore (1805-20). Its long, bench-type seat is backed by four joined uprights, each with an elaborately carved crest that bears a painted scene, and each supported by four vertical rungs in the shape of balusters. Brilliant red paint enhanced by gilt decorations covers its legs and back rungs. (An anonymous painting, circa 1840-50, of the well-kept house and shop of a Newark chairmaker, David Alling, suggests that chairs were a prosperous business.)

In his enthusiasm for establishing Fancy as a distinct American style, Mr. Priddy has assembled a humongous show that takes in a lot of ground. Yet as a scholar working to refine the tired catchall category of folk art, he has put out some refreshing ideas. Fancy-schmancy, the show is a stunner.


Subject: Re: American fancy exhibit NYT article From: "Lynne Z. Bassett" 

Thank you for providing this review, Candace. I hope to go to the Peabody Essex Museum this weekend to see the show. I am speaking at the museum at the end of the month for their textile symposium, held in conjunction with the American Fancy exhibit. I am to speak on bed covers, which means I have to deal head-on with this kaleidoscope issue. I have been gathering early examples of various quilt designs that the curator claims were not seen until after the invention of the kaleidoscope (like hexagon mosaic and eight-pointed stars). I think it's possible that the kaleidoscope had some impact in furthering the popularity of some of these designs, but his assertion that the kaleidoscope "revolutionized" American quilt design is wildly overstated. I think it had more to do with the availabilty of inexpensive calicoes, myself. It should be an interesting discussion, anyway!

Best, Lynne ----- 


Subject: Re: qhl digest: September 01, 2004 - Just don't get it??/ From: Anne Copeland 

I just have a different outlook on life; I am open to all possibilities until I have read enough other information that successfully points the way to a different conclusion.

The book is a theory. Not history, as some of you seem absolutely mired in concrete to make it. Not history--theory. Do you see any historical "evidence?" No? Then it is a theory, not history. And there is a place for theories, just as there is a place for history. Most books based on oral history would need to be theories unless there was some other documented evidence that supported the oral history.

And Gail, your statements about persistence are those I also believe. I am one of the most persistent people you will ever meet. I don't need to play mind games to prove I am right; it's not necessary. I am just hoping people will remain open-minded and consider all possibilities until they have read up adequately on the subject.

Many years ago, a man named Thor Heyerdahl set out to prove that men might have traveled in reed boats to other continents. And he did it by building a reed boat with his team from drawings he saw. His theory caused a huge stir among the archaeologists and anthropologists, because they were at a stage in their own development where the "experts" did not express theories. They did early on, but then that was viewed as "unprofessional," so for a short time, no one espoused any theories. They only wrote on what they uncovered as evidence, and many would not even draw any conclusions from the evidence they found.

He built his boat, and he sailed it a long, long distance. I can't remember now if he actually reached another continent or not, but I do remember that he showed that the reed boat was certainly capable of traveling across the open seas. And eventually the archaeologists and anthropologists changed the way they looked at things and now they recognize the value of theories. A theory doesn't have to be true in every detail because it IS a theory. It's not 100% absolute truth. Theories are meant to be tested and to give us something to research further to prove or to disprove. But they DO make us think of something we may not have thought about before. We shouldn't be threatened by theories.

Actually, I am grateful for this discussion even if some of you are enraged about it. I am not angry or insulted by anything anyone has to say, for I love a good and lively discussion, even if it means that people get upset. At least we know you are alive! And the really cool thing for me is that now, having read all the lively discussions about the topic, I am inspired to really do my own research and independent reading on slavery in America and the escapes of the slaves.

Thanks to Karen for the referral to Giles R. Wright. I found it interesting that he is so adamant about anyone but an African American writing about the history, for there have been some fine papers and books written about the history of the slaves by non African Americans. And really, it is like saying that none of us should be writing about 19th century quilt history because we don't have the larger historical experience since none of us lived in those times (at least I don't believe any of us did). He offers some interesting rebuttals, and some of them may be well grounded, but there are some small flaws in his thinking as well or so it appears, but I don't have time to go into those right now for I have a lot of other more pressing matters to attend to.

Some interesting web sites I found were: http://www.civilwar.com, http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/article.jsp?id=h2719, and http://www.nica.on.ca/cson/undergroundrailroad.aspx. Perhaps we ALL need to read up extensively on these issues before we form any opinions one way or the other. I certainly am going to be one of those people who checks out ALL the possible resources I can get my hands on. Then, and only then, will I know for certain one way or another, and even then, I am sure there will still be many unknowns. As it is with quilt history, there are no volumes of first-hand accounts from the people who actually lived through these experiences. Much of the country was wild and even uncharted so many things could have happened that we may never know just as there is much in quilt history that we may never know except by second-hand accounts. Peace and blessings, Annie


Subject: Seeking a caring community From: Patricia L Cummings 


I never mind debating a subject with anyone. I was on the Debate Team in high school, as a matter of fact. Mental sparing is not bad.

However, it seems that list etiquette would demand a more civil tone than I'm seeing here lately. Pointedly calling people by name and challenging them in a confrontational manner is not playing fair and is upsetting not only to the victim of this abuse but to the rest of us who want this to be a caring community of support.

There is no need to be insulting, ever.

In the interest of "peace and blessings", it would be good to pass those two things around. There is a shortage in our current world. Above all, let's care for each other, whether we disagree or not.

I am willing to read anything. I attempted to visit all three of the links provided in the last qhl email I received. Two did not work and one was a general site which had an introductory paragraph that some would dispute. (Some say that WWII was the greatest war ever fought, with five million lives lost, worldwide). So, seeing that introductory statement, I doubt the validity of the rest of the information provided, but will revisit when I have more time and patience.

Education is essential to the full understanding of any subject and education is and should be a lifelong pursuit.

Gosh, guys, let's be a little more kind. O:-)



Subject: Re: qhl digest: September 01, 2004 - Just don't get it??/ 

Where is our list mom?!

The recent posting in which a member calls another member "gal" shocks me and, I feel certain, shocks and offends others. I thought that such terms of condensension and derogation were no longer tolerated in civil discourse. It seems to me that apologies are in order.

It would be good for all of us to remember that these postings may be accessed via Google and other search engines and that they remain in the archives. They become part of an easily accessed public record. I myself would not want to leave a print record of such social insensitivity. And I regret that our list would include such a level of discourse.

My own recommendation of persistence was for persistence in demanding sound scholarship and objecting to inadequate scholarship. I would never recommend persistence in general, for it as easily be persistence in error as in truth.

And for what it's worth, Thor Heyerdahl had a reason for building those reed boats: the existence of physical evidence in the form of artifacts that appeared to come from an area previously believed inaccessible to the area where they were located.

His effort was to suggest one means by which the items might have been transferred. He was seekng to test but one explanation for an indisputable physical fact.

Thus the comparison between his project and the HIPV tale is not apposite.

I shall not respond to such an uncivil posting again.

But I do want to know this: Who is al contraire?

Gail Ingram


Subject: changing the subject From: Kris Driessen <

List mom can't do anything about private conversations except to *insist* that they not be taken to the list. Professional disagreements and reasoned thoughts belong on the list. Petty disagreement and mud slinging will get you unsubscribed.

How about a change in subject?



Subject: Quilting - scrap roots? From: Patricia L Cummings 

Good morning:

How many of you have run into people who publicly present or portray the idea that quilting in this country started as a way to recycle and salvage parts of old clothing? How did you handle the situation? What did you say? Or did you avoid saying anything? Did you recommend any specific books to enlighten the person? Or did you, sheepishly, not address the situation at all, and just thank the person for the talk (a typical reaction of a woman, so afraid to offend, and not wanting to be confrontational), and admittedly, exactly what I did. I just did not have the "heart" to get into explanations and seem like a blow-hard, know-it-all. Yet, much of the presentation was not historically correct.

While I am certain that some salvage activity did happen, this probably occurred most often amongst the poor, and during a certain period of time in history. As I told friends, in the thousands of old quilts that I have seen, never has there been "recycled flannel from a farmer's shirt from the part that went underneath the vest he wore" used as part of a quilt. Of course, no time period was specified.

Lately, it seems that much of quilt history is being reported on and interpreted to the general public by people who have read the writings of early historians, whose work is sometimes flawed or incomplete. I suppose I could have suggested that this person join the American Quilt Study Group, or do more reading. I'm just mystified at the continuation of these kinds of myths.

This makes me feel as though I should carry a reading list to share, but then again, I suppose that would seem too presumptive, too. The shame of it is that the public is at the point that they want to know more but sometimes have no clue as to how to go about it. The above scene was an uncomfortable one for me. I'm just wondering if anyone else has recently run into a similar situation and if you have any suggestions for handling it. Thanks.



Subject: New book & Old Sturbridge Village Quilting Party From: "Karan Flanscha"

I just received my long awaited copy of Barbara Brackman's new book "America's Printed Fabrics: 1770-1890". I haven't had much time to study it... but I think this will easily be in my top 5 quilt history books!! Right now the only thing I could complain about is it isn't long enough... I want more!! VBG The book includes "historic notes and photos" of a variety of quilting fabrics, with photos of both vintage fabric, and of contemporary reproduction fabrics that emulate the old ones. There are patterns for 8 quilts, suitable to be made to have the look of vintage quilts, interspersed with quotes from women's diaries. Photos of women from various periods in history, with notes on their clothing, add another tie to our quilting ancestors. This book makes me want to take time to study and savor the text and photos... but also to get out my fabric, I have many of the repros shown... I think it would be fun to add real "swatches" to the book!! And then, to get busy sewing - which gives me time to contemplate my place in quilt history - or maybe I should call it the "quilting continuum"... perhaps sometimes we delve too deep and forget the joy of stitching and sharing with kindred spirits, who understand our need to cut fabric apart into little pieces and sew it back together again :) On another note... I received a postcard invitation to "A Quilting Party" at Old Sturbridge Village, Nov. 6 & 7, 2004. Maybe we have QHL members who are involved with this event, who can share more details. It certainly sounds wonderful, just wish Massachusetts wasn't so far away :) For more information on this, they give the phone number: 1-800-SEE-1830 or www.osv.org Happy Holiday weekend... Karan from Iowa, where summer has finally arrived, now that the kiddies are back in school :)


Subject: Re: changing the subject From: Gail Ingram 

I have always loved your circumlocutions, dear Kris! None of that straight-to-the-subject stuff.

In my remark (below), I felt I was calling on a good fire chief!

You are a dear, Gail


Subject: Old Sturbridge Village events From: Patricia L Cummings 

Dear Karan:

Thanks for the great news about Barbara's book. Happy to hear that this long awaited volume is out already.

I went to Old Sturbridge Village last Tuesday, as I was in the area for another reason, but hoped to purchase a ticket to the afternoon tea and lecture by Dr. Patricia Cox Crews that will be part of the events on Nov. 7 & 8.

The gift shop attendant directed me to the admissions desk where I was told that no advance tickets are being issued for this event, although I was sure I had read otherwise.

There will be two days of quilt "happenings" at the Village, and they sound like a lot of fun. I just love this "living museum" and was certainly very appreciative of the chance to attend the wonderful symposium/conference/exhibit of antique quilts that Old Sturbridge Museum hosted in (1996)?.....think that was the year.

Wish you lived a bit closer, too, Karan. These will be great days!



Subject: Re: changing the subject From: "Candace Perry" 

May I say one thing before we change the subject...and I think I've commented on this before: perhaps Giles Wright meant a "historian of the black experience" rather than a "black" historian... I won't go much further down this road, as it can be a painful trip, HOWEVER, I will say this; there are still issues of race, tender spots that may sadly include HIPV, no matter how sophisticated we hope we are. It grieves me, personally. I for one don't have enough personal fortitude to bear it. I have spoken before of my great lawn jockey debacle, which never became what HIPV is...but it has the elements. Candace Perry


Subject: Re: Old Sturbridge Village events From: "Monica MacDonald" 

Hi Pat, I made my reservations last weekend through their website. You can purchase a special combination ticket that covers the Tea and Lecture plus Village admission for $40. I think you have to purchase in advance to get this price. http://www.osv.org/Welcome.php?L=/pages/quiltparty.php I am looking forward to going! Monica in Maine jmacdon6earthlink.net

> > The gift shop attendant directed me to the admissions desk where I was > told that no advance tickets are being issued for this event, although I > was sure I had read otherwise. >


Subject: tunnels on the river From: Barbara Woodford 

Re tunnels on Mississippi,

Just a note. Around here, in East Dubuque, Illinois, the tunnels are=20 rumored to be those used by Al Capone and his gangs to be used to get the hard=20 stuff spread far and wide. Nothing to do with slaves or quilts.

Barbara Woodford


Subject: Re: qhl digest: September 03, 2004 - A Caring Community From: Anne Copeland 

I totally agree with you Pat. If you recall, I originally wrote what I thought was a nice post simply saying that there are lots of ways to look at things. 

Perhaps I didn't type the web sites correctly, for I looked at all three the other day and they were all fine. I would hardly point to dead web sites. And for the one you noted about WWII, I saw nothing whatsoever on any of those sites in the areas where I was looking. Actually, I did a search on the number of slaves escaping, so the sites and specific locations referred directly to that topic. All three had some very good information about slaves escaping, codes, etc. One mentioned a possible quilt but there was no conclusion. And it wasn't a HIPV site either. As I once noted, I read something about a quilt being used as a signal of a safe house many, many years before HIPV was ever written. I know that it was while I was doing research for the kit quilt book, and it wasn't something I was even looking for. I just came across it accidentally.

If anyone wants to correct my thinking, then offer me some unbiased and objective evidence, not a tirade against me for having something to say that doesn't fit his or her ideas. I have no vested interest in the book one way or the other. What is done is done, and the best thing to do is to write decent articles that remain objective and impersonal. I HAVE read a few of those and some were well written and objective. I know that some of the things in the HIPV book may not be totally accurate. But I don't read anyone slamming any of the state quilt history books, many of which have been full of inaccuracies.

If anyone on the list wants to be a good mentor, then show people the best you can be. Be like Cuesta Benberry or someone like Barbara Brackman. They are heroes to me, not just because of the things they have done, but because they are always kind, respectful, and supportive. I never read anything by them that was unkind or a direct put-down as I have here. Help those who are learning in a supportive way and present the facts objectively without all the personal biases and attacks. It does absolutely nothing to forward a cause, it makes the people writing that way seem unprofessional and their agenda behind their writing questionable.

Peace and blessings, Annie


Subject: Re: changing the subject From: Kris Driessen 

Hmmm, evidentially I didn't make myself clear. How about: what happens off list, stays off list.

By changing the subject, I meant lets talk about something else. How about: anyone want to see a picture of my grandson? He was born a week ago, 8 weeks early, but is holding his own at 3 lbs, 11 oz. You can see his picture at http://www.hickoryhillquilts.com/images/P9030006.JPG 



Subject: Thanks Kris From: "sue reich" <suereichcharter.net> Date: 

Your grandson is beautiful!!! and thanks for putting everything back into perspective. Congratulations. I'll be checking your web site for grandbaby updates. sue reich


Subject: Kris' grandson From: "Christine Thresh" 

Sweet little guy. He needs a soft, well-worn quilt under his head instead of that scratchy terrycloth.

Christine Thresh http://www.winnowing.com



Subject: Re: changing the subject From: "deb" 

Too cute! Congratulations to your whole family on their newest member!

Debbie in NJ


Subject: new grandbaby From: Patricia L Cummings 

Your grandson is precious, Kris. So tiny! Thanks for sharing.



Subject: sandi fox - anybody have an email addy pls? From: 

hoping i can get assistance please.

i need to contact sandi fox and have her snail mail addy and can do that but was wondering if anybody had her email addy or if indeed she might be on this list.

kind regards

kerry in sydneyx>



Subject: Re: changing the subject From: Sheryl Till 

Beautiful grandson, Kris! Congratulations!

Sheryl sctillmindspring.com

http://www.berrypatchproductions.com Producers of Louisiana's largest outdoor quilt event http://www.laquiltworks.com http://www.thequiltingpost.com


Subject: Kris's grandson From: Gail Ingram 

Oh Kris, you just keep beating around the bush!

Tell me, does this child have red hair?

Thanks for brightening the day for all of us with the thought of birth and love and a red-headed happy future.



Subject: Re: changing the subject From: "Lucinda Cawley" 

Congratulations Kris. What's his name? Cinda


Subject: Eagles From: "Lucinda Cawley" <lrcawleycomcast.net> 

I've been saving this question until Xenia returned from her travels. In the 2005 Barnes and Noble quilt calendar opposite the week Oct. 17-23 is a four block eagle quilt (and a real dandy it is). The caption reads in part: Appliqued "Union Quilt," c. 1880 maker unknown, Pennsylvania The "Union Quilt" desigh, although used earlier, was made popular after the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, when it became available as a kit." I've been looking at PA eagles for a long time and this kit is news to me. Sure there are 20th century crosstitch eagle kits and I think there may have been a kit from which the many copies of the Philadelphia Museum of Art eagle were made after the Bi-Centennial, but as far as I know a printed source of the 19th century eagle has not been found. Did something interesting happen while I wasn't watching? Cinda on the Eastern Shore


Subject: Vats of urine and strong stomachs..... From: Sally Ward 

The link I sent picturing the TV presenter trying out old-fashioned fulling showed a still from the programme which was actually transmitted last night. It made interesting viewing <G>

Two vats were set up, there was a little water and a lot of urine. Presenter Tony trod in one, while a female re-enactor took the other..the woollen cloth draped between the two. We had seen a close-up of the cloth, with quite a wide weave, and were told that it was heavy with dirt and lanolin. We were also shown finished cloth stretched on tenter frames, with the weave closed up and a soft, grease-free finish.

I have to report that the lady had the stronger stomach by far. Tony made odd retching noises as his stomach struggled to come to terms with the stench, but she just got on with the job <G>. Very quickly the solution clouded over as the grease transferred into it from the cloth, and also very quickly we were shown that the weave was starting to close up, although to complete the job properly they would have had to work for several hours. Of all the jobs he tried in this programme, focussing on the Middle Ages (AD 1000 - 1500) he voted this the most unpleasant. But since wool was our greatest export during that time it was vitally important.

After a while his stomach settled down, and he was surprised to report that he had become oddly 'accustomed' to the smell. The lady added that the bonus was he would have really clean toenails that night <G>

Sally W

-- Sally ('Tatters') Ward


Subject: Missing the Quilting Party From: Edwaquiltaol.com Date: 

Dog Gone......I'm moving to Sturbridge the end of this month but will miss the quilting party. I'll be in Houston that weekend. I hope to connect with the village when the unpacking is done.



Subject: Re: Vats of urine and strong stomachs..... From: Xenia Cord 

Sally Tatters said : <I have to report that the lady had the stronger stomach by far. Tony made odd retching noises as his stomach struggled to come to terms with the stench, but she just got on with the job <G>.>

Not quilt related, but do you suppose this is gender-related? After all, who usually cared for sick kids, changed diapers and emptied chamber pots, did the other noisome jobs?

There is a book by a man name Doddridge, about pioneer life on the Pennsylvania frontier pre-Revolution, where he describes a fulling bee: the cabin seating was arranged around the walls, the woolen goods were spread on the floor, and hot soapy water was poured over. Seated folks took off their shoes and socks (if any!) and pounded the soapy cloth with their bare feet. Result? Fulled woolens, clean floor, clean feet, and a jolly good time! He also reports that linen cloth was placed in a wood trough, urine poured over, and the entire buried in the ground for months, to whiten the linen.



Subject: Re: Quilting - scrap roots? From: Xenia Cord 

Pat asked about handling conversations where quilting is referred to as a salvage textile construction. While I surely don't have any hard and fast methods of dealing with these sorts of discussion points, I can ramble on with the best of them. The idea that our culture was historically ingenious and saving and resourceful is bred in the bone, I'm afraid, hence the "old shirt in the quilt" approach to quilt history. Add in the numbers of people who can point to bits in scrap quilts as "Momma's apron, and my first school dress" etc., and it doesn't take a giant mental leap to assume these are recycled scraps.

I usually try to suggest that the odd cuts remaining from home garment construction are what appear in quilts, and then drone on about 19th century home sewing and the idea that most garments were made in the home, not bought off the rack or couturier-made. I also suggest that most quiltmakers know that it is not good time management to spend hours, weeks, months constructing a quilt from used fabrics, as they may not wear like the companion new pieces, and point out that quiltmaking was more often a leisure activity than an effort born of desperation for bedcovers. With sentences like that <g> most folks have had enough! When their eyes get glazed I think I have made my point.



Subject: Re: Eagles From: Xenia Cord <xenialegacyquilts.net> Date: 

How *kind* <G> of Cinda to wait to ask her kit question until I was back from UK. Like it would make a difference? I will admit that I have always wondered about those fat PA eagles, and the fact that they all seem to have come from the same source. I have never seen a reference to (or an example of) a kit format for them, but it seems a possibility. I am wondering if the "kit" was actually a pattern, with colors suggested, rather than an actual kit with fabrics? Still, I have not seen anything like this. If the format were fabric, it would be the earliest commercial form of kit that I know. But why were they made just in PA?

It would be interesting to know where B&N got the information they have printed in their calendar. Cinda? BTW, there was an eagle/Union quilt on eBay recently where the eagles were all heads up to the top of the quilt, rather than slanted into the corners such as we usually see.



Subject: The Recycle Theory From: Patricia L Cummings 

Thanks, Xenia. You make some excellent points. So many people fail to realize that very early quilts were of the wholecloth type and that pieced quilts were made from bolt fabrics.

I'll never understand why people feel the need to romanticize things to the extent that they do, adding their thoughts about material objects, and then their thoughts suddenly translate into facts........rapidly, I might add, and become part of the lexicon.

I never thought about mentioning that clothing was mostly sewn at home and that (new) scraps might have been used, rather than recycled ones. That's a great idea, Xenia.

There are examples around of quilts that have been made from odd combinations of fabric types. One from northern Maine has 1960s polyester fabrics and was made by a (French) grandmother for her grandson in the early 1970s. I was given this baby quilt as the family no longer wanted it, and it needs some minor repair. Rather than have them throw it away, I accepted the offer to have it, although I have not yet gotten around to studying it more closely.

I have seen Wool Quilts that were either squares or were Crazy Quilts. They had a variety of weaves, colors, and weights, all in the dark brown, black, dark blue colors of wool suits, so I can say "maybe".... maybe this is recycled material. Then, again, the fabric does not look "shiny" or worn, so more than likely the quilts could have been made from Salesman's Samplers, or leftover remnants from sewing, as you say.

We can't make blanket statements in this case. :) However, in looking for a general rule, the recycling theory is more often just that, a theory. It makes some people pat themselves on the back for their foremothers ability to "make do", and it make some others feel warm and fuzzy to think that their ancestor /wore /part of a quilt/.

Never take any statement related to quilting, at face value.

/Pat www.quiltersmuse.com


Subject: Re: The Recycle Theory From: Xenia Cord 

And here's another type of "recycling." Just before Teddy Pruett and I headed for Lincoln, NE, for my seminar on quilt identification this summer, she told the list about an indigo/red/brown prints quilt she had found in Florida. I insisted she bring it to my house, in preparation for the class, and for the drive to Nebraska.

Teddy threw her quilt out on the floor and I goggled! I immediately brought out a quilt I had intended to take for the class; they were nearly identical! Then I showed Teddy a packet of fabric samples from the Arnold Print Works, the fall 1887 line of 108 indigo prints. These would have been sent to drygoods stores as an inducement to order for retail. When Teddy and I "tracked" the indigoes on both quilts, not only did they match, but they also appeared among the samples.

Obviously, astute quiltmakers could beg these 2"x3" rectangle samples from their local drygoods merchant when the buying season was over, and work them into their quilts. Another lesson learned...



Subject: Re: Eagles and more From: "Lucinda Cawley" 

The commentary in the B&N catalogue is by Joel Kopp. All the photos are from the America Hurrah Archive. I don't think that anybody has yet found a pattern for the four-block eagle quilt. The caption on the "Union Quilt" also refers to "the difficult and seldom-used technique of 'reverse applique.'" Now, I consider myself "applique challenged," it's not my favorite thing, but I do not find reverse applique particularly difficult. In some instances it's the simplest way to go. Yet, one often sees references to how difficult reverse applique is. Is this coming from people who don't make quilts? Let's have a vote: is reverse applique hard or not? Cinda on the Eastern shore really glad that she went to the beach yesterday becuase the rest of the weekend looks pretty gloomy. Happy Labor Day; hope you're all doing good work.


Subject: Marco Polo's Travels-Quilt Reference From: "Ann-Louise 

This summer I was reading "The Travels of Marco Polo", (his own account) and in the chapter "Of the Kingdom of Guzzerat" came across this: "Here there is a great abundance of ginger, peper and indigo. Cotton is produced in large quantities from a tree that is about six yards in height, and bears during twenty years; but the cotton taken from trees that age is not adapted for spinning, but only for quilting. Such, on the contrary, as is taken from trees of twelve years old, is suitable for muslins and other manufactures of extraordinary fineness." Polo states in the chapter "Of Malabar": "In this kingdom there is a vast abundance of pepper, ginger, cubebs, and Indian nuts; and the finest and most beautiful cottons are manufactured that can be found in any part of the world." Marco Polo was on his return journey at this point as indicated by the map titled "The Routes of Marco Polo 1271-1295" Any comments? Best Wishes, Ann-Louise Beaumont in Greeley, CO


Subject: Re: Eagles and more From: Judy Kelius <quiltsptd.net> 

Reverse applique to me is about the same difficulty as regular applique. All depends on severity of curves and corners, etc. I think people who refer to as "rare" and "difficult" are not quilters!


Subject: Re: Eagles and more From: "Julia D. Zgliniec" 

Dear Cinda and All, Eagles - a topic near and dear to my heart! I too have never seen a pattern source for the wonderful four block eagle quilts. I "feel" there must have been some common point of refference for lack of a better term because of the similarities in these quilts. However I am no expert on this and would defer to others.

Reverse Applique:

I concure with Cinda. I find reverse applique no more difficult than needle turn applique. The stitch can be the same one used for direct applique. The manner of turning the seam allowance might differ depending on the shape being created - but - really - applique is applique.

Regards to all and Happy Labor Day!

Julia Zgliniec - Poway, CA


Subject: Reverse =?ISO-8859-1?Q?appliqu=E9?= From: Patricia L Cummings <

I don't live on the computer. I just happened to be here. teeheehee...........No, I agree with with Cinda. Reverse appliqué is not difficult, although it is a bit tedious and slow going when making a mola. Which leads me into my next statement. I have written an article about the history of molas which will be coming out in the very next issue of The Quilter magazine, due to hit the newsstands any minute now. There are large color photos of a number of these colorful pieces that are in my collection. And, yes, I have made 1/2 of a mola on my own. I've done all the reverse appliqué work, and now just have to do some "regular" appliqué and embroidery (on the reproduction). Hope those of you who subscribe to the magazine will love this article. There is a lot of good information there and also quaint examples. The work of the Kunas is so intriguing!



Subject: The Eagle's Beak From: Patricia L Cummings 

Has anyone else heard this: When the eagle's beak faces toward the same side on which there are arrows, it is time of war, or impending war? If the beak faces toward the olive branch, then it is time of peace?

I wonder how consistently true this is of the examples you've seen in museums?



Subject: The Recycle Theory From: Joan Kiplinger <jkipncweb.com> 

Xenia -- moving up a couple of centuries, your sales samples jogged a memory when during the 1950s-70s many of my friends belonged to fabric clubs. They would receive at least a dozen 3" or 4" swatches quarterly of the latest in fashion fabrics. These they would save and use projects for such as pillow covers, quilts, etc. Ditto, many I know also saved swatches from companies like Blair in PA which have mass mailings of apparel brochures containing fabric samples. So it's very possible that many quilts made during this time can contain sales promos. I believe fabric clubs [aside from quilt store samplers] still are in business today as well as Blair and other like manufacturer mailing. Anyone on the receiving end of either??

Regard Marco Polo -- I found the the part about using unspun cotton for quilting interesting. Would that be used for stuffing to get a trapunto effect, I wonder? And as I've read in various textile books including museum literature, the weavers then were able to create fabrics so fine -- 800 and upwards TC -- that yards at a time could be passed through a finger ring, and that the secret has not been able to be duplicated in these modern times.

Xenia Cord wrote:


Subject: Re: The Eagle's Beak From: Xenia Cord 

The direction the eagle faces is a time-honored symbol for peace or war. After the adoption of the eagle as the national bird, its image in hundreds of poses appeared in every conceivable form and on all kinds of surfaces, including textiles. The eagle grasps arrows in one talon, an olive branch in the other. Below are some references to textiles you may be able to look up:

Appliqué quilt, by Hanna Childs, ca. 1815, The Bird, The Banner, and Uncle Sam, p. 41 US Navy Quilt, ca. 1819, All Flags Flying, p. 12

Variant eagles with objects, in The Baltimore Album Tradition: Page 68-69, 1848, Designer II, block A4 (first in the 4th row) Page 81, 1850, possibly Mrs. Josiah Goodman, block D4 (bottom right corner) Page 95, blocks ca. 1850, quilted 1918, center block and A3 show different eagles, but both eagles face the arrows.



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