Subject: books available
From: Andi <>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 17:13:48 -0500
X-Message-Number: 1

I'd like to let people know about two new books that may be of interest
to those who like show catalogs and books about museum collections.
However, to avoid messing up on the list with a commercial, as I am
definitely affiliated, I thought it best to just suggest that if these
areas interest you, you might want to look at the AQS Publishing Blog,
located at

Andi in Paducah, Kentucky, where the annual Dogwood Trail has been
cancelled due to remaining debris piles and dangerous hanging limbs from
January's epic ice storm, but next week's AQS show will go on


Subject: Red and Muslin Quilt
From: Patricia Cummings <>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 19:49:00 -0400

Tonight, I posted a photo of a tied quilt. It is located on the front page
of my website. I am not familiar with this design and wonder if any of you
have seen this as a published pattern?

Thanks in advance for any information.

Patricia Lynne Grace Cummings


Subject: Wallpaper and textile design
From: Karen Alexander <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 09:56:50 -0700
X-Message-Number: 3

Marge Farquharson wrote: < The guides tailored our tours to the quilts
and textiles in the homes. Many were interested to see the daring colors
that were used in paint, wallpaper, and fabric during particular periods of
the 19th century.>

Speaking of wallpapers and color, I just discovered a very interesting book
in our wonderful little island library -- <Fabrics and Wallpapers: Sources,
Design and Inspiration> by Barty Phillips with Mary Schoeser as Consulting
Editor and the forward by Gill Saunders, curator of wallpaper collection at
Victoria & Albert Museum.

In Aug of 2007 while visiting the Whitworth Art Gallery associated with the
University of Manchester on Deb Robert's Textile Study Tour, we were
fortunate to encounter not only textiles but a special exhibit titled
<Featuring Walls: Celebrating Three Centuries of Wall Paper Decoration>.
This exhibit lent itself nicely to the study of what could have inspired
certain textile and even quilt patterns. They have another wall paper
exhibit going on right now.

Check out another exhibit as well <Cloth and Culture NOW>.

Karen in the Islands


Subject: Machine Quilting
From: "Greta VanDenBerg" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 13:32:17 -0400
X-Message-Number: 4

I've been way behind on reading posts but the discussion about machine
quilting has been interesting and I just had to add my two cents.

How many times have we discovered what was thought to be a new technique has
actually been done before? The same can be said for machine quilting.

I have to agree with those who believe the GFG/Seven Sisters quilt on Ebay
was probably quilted at the time it was constructed. I have in my files
information about many early 20th century machine-quilted quilts with
similar designs, and based on the wear it is clear the quilting was original
to the time period of them.

Someone said recently that we learn about our predecessors by doing and I've
always believed the same thing; which is why I have a collection of 19th
century sewing machines, all in working order, and the original manuals that
came with these machines. I use these machines as a method of better
understanding the sewing technology available to women (and men) in the 19th

Every machine in my collection has instructions for doing braided
embellishments (i.e., letters and curves) which is a free-motion technique,
as well as other ornamental work. My 1871 Howe manual explains for
braiding, "... start the machine, guiding the material according to the
pattern already marked out. In turning square corners, have the needle
about half way down." My Wheeler & Wilson 8 (c.1880) braiding instructions
read, "By having a pattern first stamped or marked upon the goods, the braid
may be stitched on in beautiful designs." It is not a far stretch to think
that using the idea of free-motion to apply braided initials and other
embellishments would not have inspired free-motion quilting.

I like to think that 19th century women were at least as creative in their
thinking as the men who were designing these machines. While I've found no
proof yet, I suspect at least a woman or two may have been behind some of
the ideas that were patented and incorporated into sewing machines.

Early machines came with multiple accessories including a variety of presser
feet, each designed to accomplish particular tasks. My WW8 has glass and
metal inserts that fit into the main presser foot frame; each designed for a
specific tasks. One of the glass feet is designed specifically for braiding
and it works beautifully for free-motion quilting also. Yes - glass. It
was a popular feature of the early Wheeler & Wilson machines because it
improved visibility right up to the needle.

My Wilcox & Gibbs (c.1890) manual explains how to do embroidery - bearing in
mind the WG is a chain-stitch machine and tambour embroidery was quite
popular. The machine features an 'embroidery spring' that if not threaded
for embroidery "the stitch will not be sufficiently loose for ornamental

Sewing machine manufacturers (it is estimated there were hundreds) were very
competitive in the 19th century just as they are today and imaginations were
running wild with ideas to trump the competition. It's not surprising that
many of the features found in modern machines can be traced back to the last
half of the 19th century. In addition to special features offered most
early machine came with, or had available, a guide to attach for machine
quilting almost identical to the guide that came with my Bernina (1998).
Most manuals demonstrate with straight line, grid and or diamond quilting.

There are even early machines that can drop the feed dogs but the most
common method to accomplish free motion work is to reduce the pressure of
the pressure foot.

For anyone who is interested, there are two very good sewing machine sites
to check out - and Both
sites offer discussion lists about sewing machines and the wealth of
information available is amazing. Also, the Smithsonian collections have a
great deal of literature on sewing machines some of which can be accessed
online at

Sorry this is so long winded, there's a lot more that could be said on the
subject. But the long and short of it is, sewing machines revolutionized
women's (and men's) lives and they are a significant and important part of
quilt history.

Greta VanDenBerg-Nestle
Still making imaginary quilts on both 20th and 19th century machines . . .


Subject: Rochester, MN
From: "Steve & Jean Loken" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 11:15:46 -0500
X-Message-Number: 5

I don't see any quilt shows in the area that weekend, but I can recommend
the greatest fabric shop ever. Ginny's fine fabrics is supported by the
wealthy patrons of the Mayo Clinic, including the many Arab sheiks who come
with large retinues. You'll find
silks, cottons, batiks and anything else that appeals to you in the way of
fabric. Last visit, I fell in love with the batik rayons. It's at 12 S.
Broadway, near the city center. Rochester geography is no challenge if you
remember your east, west, north and south. There are similar addresses in
every quadrant so you need to remember the NE or SW, etc. We're in a nice
weather stretch so have fun.
Jean Loken, MN


Subject: Fasco fabrics
From: Judy White <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 13:23:54 -0700 (PDT)

Question: Does anyone remember the old Fasco line of fabrics first introduced by Roberta Horton? They were woven plaids, stripes and checks of all colors but the ones I liked the best were the grays and oatmeals. They were very lightweight and I loved working with them. My question is whatever happend to those fabrics? Did the company go out of business, were they absorbed by someone else? Somewhere in the back of my mind, it seems to me that Roberta Horton bought Fasco but I could have made that up. Anyway, are they still being made somewhere? Just wondering because I sure would like to have somemore.

Judy White


Subject: RE: Fasco fabrics
From: "Kim Baird" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 16:26:23 -0500
X-Message-Number: 7

Fasco is now Clothworks, still selling fabric.

Do you realize it's been 25 years since Roberta's plaids came out? They're
just not made anymore. I suspect they were a little ahead of their time, and
slow sellers.

You might contact Roberta, see if she has any left to sell.

There are woven cotton plaids out there, if not in quilt shops, then made
for shirting.



Subject: Windham Fabrics Launches Marie Webster-Inspired Line
From: Karen Alexander <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 17:24:20 -0700
X-Message-Number: 8

The Quilters Hall of Fame is excited to announce the launch of a Marie
Webster-inspired line of fabric by Windham Fabrics. With the launch of thei
Marie Webster line, Windham Fabrics is honoring MarieB9s thirty-year career
as an early 20th century businesses woman who designed her first quilt
patterns at age 52, patterns that would revolutionize applique in North
America. Her patterns first appeared in Ladies Home Journal in Jan 1911 and
her book on the history of the quilt was published in 1915. Marie lived in
Marion, Indiana until 1942 when she retired from her quilt pattern business
She spent her last years with her son's family in Princeton, New Jersey,
where she died on August 29, 1956, at the age of 96.

The majority of Marie's original floral patterns were done in solid colors
but in this 150th anniversary salute to Marie Webster, Windham Fabrics has
ventured into a collection of small prints inspired by MarieB9s overall quil
designs, in addition to the four solid colors offered. You can see many of
them on the TQHF blog and click
thru to the Windham line from the blog.

Be sure to ask your local quilt shop to order the Marie Webster line from
Windham Fabrics and make something to celebrate Marie's 150th birthday. Sen
a digital photo to me at and I'll post the first 20 I
receive on the blog.

Also, please help us celebrate this remarkable womanB9s life by asking your
quilt guild or womenB9s group to throw a 150th birthday in her honor! You ca
see the details of the contest by clicking Marie Webster Birthday Party Blo

Karen Alexander
Public Relations
Past President
The Quilters Hall of Fame


Subject: Websites
From: Teddy Pruett <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 22:51:50 -0400

Hello all - I'm making a handout for a class and I'd like to add a list
of quilt history websites.

I've added Kim's Judy's Pat's Kris' Joan's and a couple of othe
rs and I know I am forgetting some excellent info. Not because the site
or the person is less worthy but simply because I am of a certain age an
d can't remember what I had for breakfast.

DId I have breakfast? If you have a site or two that you feel is particul
arly worthy please let me know off list.

I do 'preshate it.

Teddy Pruett
Trying to live life from one "A-Ha!"
moment to the next.


Subject: RE: Websites
From: "Kim Baird" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 22:30:13 -0500
X-Message-Number: 10

You didn't forget IQSC, did you?


Subject: Roberta's plaids
From: "Kimberly Wulfert, PhD" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 21:59:02 -0700
X-Message-Number: 1

I'm with you Judy- her woven plaids were divine! The feel, drape, colors,
shine, plaid and stripe 3-D patterns- all yummy. I made a quilt using most
of them, I'm not kidding- it was about 8 feet long and 4.5 ft. high, all
different plaids, mostly hers. I made it in 1997 I think it was and won a
green ribbon at the Mancuso show in San Jose, Pacific international Quilt
show, to my complete surprise. So they were being sold then for sure.

I haven't seen them for sale for a long time, but I cherish what I have left
over from that quilt and others I made with them. The quilt at PIQF was a
scrap quilt. My goal was to use every color and type of plaid made and have
the colors flow into one another with sqs and triangles, and not small
pieces like colorwash and this pre-dated colorwash method in the US I
believe. It was a challenge I sought because of the plaids and strips
contrasts. I used men's and women's shirt plaids and Roberta's together.
What was interesting is that this was not noticed by the viewers at PIQF.
Instead, they stood back and tried to see a whole scene, such as mountains,
water, city. It was fun to watch and listen to their comments. The entire
back is a beautiful Scotch plaid of greens, blue, and red and white. The
border was beige Duponi silk with a red piping braid against the plaid
edges. What else could work with a huge quilt of plaids!!

FY for the dicussion on the Aussie book- - USPO postage is going up in May.


Kimberly Wulfert, PhD
Women On Quilts


Subject: Re: Websites
From: Barbara Burnham <>
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 04:13:19 -0700 (PDT)
X-Message-Number: 4

Maryland Historical Society has a wonderful online exhibit including lots o
f historical info about their collection and the evolution of the Baltimore
Album quilt:

--- On Fri, 4/17/09, Teddy Pruett <> wrote:


Subject: Storage question
From: Sally Ward <>
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 12:57:33 +0100
X-Message-Number: 5

Calico or Tyvek? Or something else?

I am working with a collection of textile samples, some of which are
so fragile we want to store them on individual boards. The question
is how they should be protected once on the boards. Cost is a major
factor, which is why they don't have individual boxes. At the moment
we are designing purpose-built 'wrapping cloths', and have some
quantities of both unbleached calico and white Tyvek (is that the
correct spelling?). Neither will be sufficient for the task, so we
have to buy more of something and might as well start as we mean to go

What do listmembers think would be the better option, and do you have
any other suggestions? Also, does anyone have experience of creating
wrappings like this and have advice on aspects they wish they had
thought of at the beginning? I see no sense in re-inventing the


Sally Ward


Subject: RE: Storage question
From: "Kim Baird" <>
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 10:10:19 -0500
X-Message-Number: 6

Soft, clean fabric such as calico (muslin in the US) is better than Tyvek if
it's actually touching or supporting the textile samples. It need not be
cotton, either. Polyester or a poly-cotton blend is suitable, as long as
it's clean and as free of chemicals as possible.



Subject: Fun Dye Trivia
From: Teddy Pruett <>

You know the web is absolutely full of fun things to trip over by accident.
Here's a link that I found verrrry interesting!

SO much of our small local history is lost to us so when I find that
someone has researched and recreated that history for us I am thrilled b
y it all.

Teddy Pruett
Trying to live life from one "A-Ha!"
moment to the next.


Subject: Re: Storage question
From: Patricia Cummings <>
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 13:06:49 -0400
X-Message-Number: 8

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Sally - To protect fabric from the acidic content of boards or cardboard,
use aluminum foil as a barrier.



Subject: Question for a friend
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 19:50:04 EDT
X-Message-Number: 9

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A friend is making a quilt with the bottom corners cut out for a 4 poster.
I tried to access some history about this style and since I believed it
to be called a T-quilt, I typed it into Google. Well, of course I got 100's
of sites for tee shirt quilts.

Can anyone help steer me to some information about these quilts? I
suspect the style was brought from England, so in the early 1800's? and when do
they disappear? Were they used primarily to accommodate four posters? by
mostly well to do folks? as a fabric saver when cloth was so dear?

Thanks for any help.

Margaret in a lovely slowly developing spring. Isn't it great when buds
and flowers are not forced so everything blooms at once...then it's gone?


Subject: Cut out corners
From: "Newbie Richardson" <>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 06:58:00 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

Margaret et al,
As far as I know, cutting out the corners when designing a quilt was
strictly a practical matter when making one for a four poster bed. I don't
know if it was only a higher income thing per se - other than the fact that
a wooden bedstead with posts and canopy was more expensive to begin with -
especially when hung with curtains.

Having the bed hung with curtains was universal regardless of economic
class. It was practical (as well as decorative) as it closed out the (cold)
night air and provided a modicum of privacy, a mong other things. Folks who
did not have wooden posts hung the bed curtains from hooks in the ceiling.
Most bed curtains were made of wool.

The fashion for curtaining the bed started to wane in the late 18th/early
19th centuries ( just as fabric became cheaper andmore available and changes
in the understanding of public health came in). As with any ingrained
tradition, it took a while to disappear completely ( only to reappear as
solely a decorative conceit.) However, just becase you no longer curtained
the bed did not mean you threw out a perfectly good bed - so women have been
mading their quilts with cut out corners continuously until today.

Newbie Richardson


Subject: Re: Question for a friend
From: Sally Ward <>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 13:04:24 +0100
X-Message-Number: 2

Certainly a lot of early English quilts and coverlets were made to fit
around four-posters. I doubt if it was a fabric-saving exercise, more
like practicality for bedmaking, or a desire to show off the coverlet
without bunched-up, tucked-up fabric, or even (the nearest thing to
fabric saving) a decision to sacrifice a bit from the corners in order
to prevent the whole of the bottom section of the fabric being
destroyed by manhandling. Some are carefully designed to fit round
the bed, others may be brutally cut out at the corners to achieve the
purpose. Quilts also turn up with other bits altered to accommodate
what must have been one-off bedding arrangements, or with borders only
around two sides because the bed was presumably up against a wall.
However your friend decides to do it I'm sure there will be a
historical precedent <G>

And while a lot of them are indeed the higher-end expensive
bedhangings or quilts which lived in well-appointed establishments,
there's no reason why those in simpler accommodation wouldn't do the

Here's a wonderful utility four-poster quilt on the Quilt Index:

Sally Ward


Subject: Websites
From: Teddy Pruett <>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 10:11:11 -0400
X-Message-Number: 3

I know I didn't give yall much time to send in your fave sites but "not
much time" is all I had to give!

I have a full page of great sites and I thank you all for the input.

I used to give a pretty comprehensive bibliography but most of the books
were out of print and if you could find them at all they were prohibiti
vely expensive. SO I thought I'd just do websites this time. The times
they are a changin'.

On my way to Kain-Tucky in the mawnin'.

Teddy Pruett
Trying to live life from one "A-Ha!"
moment to the next.


Subject: RE: Websites State Quilt
From: "Maureen" <>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 09:26:06 -0700
X-Message-Number: 4

The State Quilt Documentation and Regional Quilt History Selected
Bibliography website is updated
regularly and includes not only official quilt documentation works, but
exhibit catalogs, dissertations, theses and other regional quilt history
works. Thanks to the many on this list who have contributed to it's
development and keep it up to date.

Here's a partial list of contributors: Cheryl Wolf, Jan Dreschler, Judy
Grow, Mary Persyn, Marsha MacDowell, Colleen Hall-Patton, Laurie
Woodard,David Crosby, Maureen Battistella, Shirley McElderry, Cuesta
Benberry, Mary Worrall, Mary Waller, Shelly Zegart, Carol Butzke,
Faust, Kyra Hicks, Ann-Louise Beaumont, Gloria Nixon, Karan Flanscha. My
apologies for leaving anyone out.

In Ashland, Oregon.


Subject: Question
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 17:20:19 EDT
X-Message-Number: 5

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I know some of you can answer this for me. When did the term poison green
come into use and what is the basis for the name? I have read (can't
remember where) that the apothocary bottles containing poisons were this green.
Also have read that the chromium used to make the color poisoned the
fabric workers who dyed the fabric. Are these myths or fact? Curious today.
Janet Henderson in Fort Worth


Subject: Re: Albert Small, Bertha Stenge and Hexagons
From: "Stephanie Whitson" <>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 16:09:58 -0500
X-Message-Number: 6

Following Susan's link to
I was fascinated to read more about Albert Small's hexagon quilts. The copy
about "The Second Quilt" says that "when a woman wrote for this pattern so
she could copy it, Mr. Small decided to make a third quilt. He wanted to be
certain that no one could match him!"

I'm a docent at the museum in Lincoln and Grace McCance Snyder's hexagon
mosaic quilt is hanging at the moment and as part of our training we were
told that Mrs. Snyder saw one of Mr. Small's quilts published in a hobby
magazine and wrote to him.

So the logical question is. . . . is "the woman who wrote" referenced on the
Illinois museum site Grace McCance Snyder?

Her Hexagon Mosaic also ended up as "one of the 100 best quilt of the
Twentieth Century". . . . and I just love the rest of hexagon quilts story.
. . that Mr. Small went on to make a third quilt "so that no one could
match him".
And 123,200 hexagons! I'd say he pretty well assured the championship in
that department.

How are these quilts with such tiny pieces even physically possible. . .
it's just astonishing to me.

I hope someone will give the quilt world a book about Albert Small someday.
What a fascinating subject.

Stephanie Whitson Higgins


Subject: RE: Question
From: "Janet O'Dell" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 08:30:38 +1000
X-Message-Number: 7

I believe that there is arsenic in green paint (or there was in the past). I
remember reading many years ago that Clare Booth Luce (when US Ambassador to
Italy) was found to be unwell because of minute flakes of green paint
falling on her from the ceiling in her bedroom in an Italian palazzo while
she slept.

Janet O'Dell
Melbourne Australia


Subject: Re: qhl digest: April 17, 2009
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 20:15:17 EDT
Re: P> etition state museum of PA
> Hasn anyone heard about the petition to the State Museum of PA in suppor
> of their quilts and requesting their exhibit?

I received an email with this note:
> "The goal is to make it possible for the State Museum to show these
> quilts to the public for all to enjoy. We will learn much from these
> treasures as we study them while enjoying their beauty. These quilts
> from various regions of our state which represent very different life st
> in the early history of Pennsylvania.

> We need your help! To achieve this goal we must receive at least 5000

> signatures showing support for this project by Oct. 2, 2009. The Stat
> Museum needs to know there is great interest concerning these quilts.
We have
> assured the Museum and Rep. Rock that many volunteers would love to work

> with these quilts. This would be a huge financial savings making this
> possible."

Does anyone on list have any more information?

Many thanks and bright blessings!

~Donna Laing


Subject: Re: Question
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 22:37:30 EDT
X-Message-Number: 9

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Don't know about apothecaries, but the idea of poisonous green dyes makes
sense to me. Chromium is very toxic, and there was a popular arsenic green
in the early 19th century that literally poisoned people who had that color
wallpaper or paint in their bedrooms. Napoleon Bonaparte may have died
thanks to arsenic green wallpaper, believe it or not!

Hope this helps -

Lisa Evans

Subject: website
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 11:34:47 -0500
X-Message-Number: 1

April showers here in IA. One of my favorite sites is Sue Wildemuth's.<
> What a wonderful job she has done--to promote Midwest quilters.
Catherine Noll Litwinow


Subject: Re: Albert Small's Hexagon Quilts
From: <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 9:08:27 -0400
X-Message-Number: 2

Stephanie Whitson asked the question . . is the woman who wrote Albert Smal
l for his pattern Grace McCance Snyder?

Feb-Jul 2007 the IL State Museum in Springfield Exhibition guide and catalo
g of Gifted Quilts specifically lists Grace Snyder.

It states Grace Snyder of Nebraska wrote for a copy o f his templa
te and a photo of his quilt and set out to match his accomplishment
. It goes on to describe her quilt.

Mosaic 3 the catalog states  Grace Snyders attempt to bes
t him inspired Albert to create a quilt that would overwhelm other challeng

Debra Tayes was the Associate Curator of the exhibit, You could contact An
gela Goebel-Bai, asst Curator of Decorative Arts at 217-782-7152 or agbmus

If they have copies of the exhibit guide/catalog Im certain they w
ill mail you a copy. I called in Oct 2007 and they mailed me 12 copies fo
r our Quilt History Study Group.

Im off to Paducah this morning, if you were unable to get a copy
form the museum, off line send me your address and Ill mail you a
copy when I return from Paducah.

I would love to see a book on Albert and his family, he was a dynamite han
dler in an IL quarry, his wife and daughter were quilters. He teased his w
ife about how much time she spent making one quilt, so she challenged him t
o do better, and it became his obsession

Pam Conklin
OFallon, IL


Subject: green poision
From: Joan Kiplinger <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 11:23:23 -0400
X-Message-Number: 3

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Content-Type: text/plain; charsetISO-8859-1; formatflowed
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The latest medical evidence determined that Nappy had ulcers
most of his life and died from stomach cancer. Supposedly poison
in his food was administered to him over a period of time but
that was not determined to be factual., or that dosage was too
weak to be effective. This was a subject of History or PBS a
few years ago.


Subject: Re: Poison Green
From: Mary Anne R <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 09:17:13 -0700 (PDT)
X-Message-Number: 4

From the Windham Fabrics website, in describing their line of Cheddar and Poison Green reproduction fabrics 1830-1860 by Nancy Gere:

"In the early to mid 1800s, "poison" greens and "cheddar" yellows were very popular colors, a pleasant diversion from the browns, indigos and turkey reds that were previously used in both garments and quilts...

"The origin of the name "Poison" green offers several explanations: most believe the name comes from its similarity to the arsenic-based and toxic "Scheele's Green" wall paper, used throughout much of the 19th century. Others argue that the original poison green dyes came from "wormwood", while another audience believes that it is aptly named for its use of arsenic as a mordant to fix dyestuffs; however, there is no evidence supporting these last two definitions."

Personally, I've only heard of the arsenic/mordant connection, not the others.

Mary Anne


Subject: bed hangings
From: "Steve & Jean Loken" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 10:22:04 -0500
X-Message-Number: 5

Can you expand the statement "just as fabric became cheaper and more
available and changes in the understanding of public health came in"? What
is the connection between bed hangings and public health? Are they bad for
public health? Do they keep germs in, for instance?
Inquiring minds wish to know.
Jean Loken, MN


Subject: Speaking of Old Beds
From: Patricia Cummings <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 09:12:09 -0400
X-Message-Number: 6

I was reading a book called, *At Home: The American Family 1750-1870*. In it
is described the master bedchamber in which more than just the married
couple slept. Often, servants and children slept in the same room, so
bedhangings, either suspended from hooks in the ceiling or from the bed
cornice, were desirable for semi-privacy. On the lowest level was a straw
mattress. On top of that was a mattress filled with down feathers from
geese. A set of stairs were required to reach the top of the bed, and it was
encircled in textile fantasy with peacocks and exotic images that stirred
the imagination of children.

Here's the rub:

Some geese went into a wine cellar where there was a leaking keg, and
ingested a considerable amount of wine. When the couple went downstairs,
they were convinced the geese were dead. Now, keep in mind that the geese
customarily were plucked once or twice a year (I'm sure they were quite
indignant about that!), but here they were laid out like corpses and good
for the plucking. The process seemed to be like that of taking dollars out
of the wallet of a dead man. The geese were plucked clean of feathers, and
when they awoke, were stark naked! Imagine that!

This book is a joy to read and does mention the other types of beds that
became more fashionable than the four poster beds, after a time, and why.
For other information about bedhangings, check out Jane Nylander's book on
the subject. Both books I highly recommend.

Patricia Lynne Grace Cummings

Life is a quilt made up of many shapes, colors, and threads that together
tell one story.


Subject: RE: books available
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 10:10:06 -0700
X-Message-Number: 7

I couldn't find what you were referring to. Could you name the books? I
don't think the list will mind. We all like to know what new books are
out there.


Subject: petition re. PA quilts
From: "Lucinda Cawley" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 15:43:27 -0400
X-Message-Number: 8

Donna asked about the petition regarding the quilts in the collection of
The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Several of the people
involved in the recently completed Franklin County Quilt Documentation
(there will be a book) are hoping to persuade The State Museum (note "The"
is always capitalized in the name.) to mount an exhibit of their wonderful
In the mid-nineties Lorraine Ezbiansky, Denise Nordberg and I documented
the quilt collection. The PA Historical and Museum Commission subsequently
published our book "Saved for the People of Pennsylvania." We had no luck
in trying to persuade the powers-that-were (sic) to do an exhibit. Peggy
Armstrong and Phyllis Shipman from Franklin County have very astutely gotten
their State Rep. interested. Lots of signatures from the people of PA may
do the trick.
The State Museum is woefully understaffed. A single part-time curator
is overwhelmed caring for all the objects in the Domestic Life collection.
If you are a resident of PA please make your wishes known. It's a fabulous
collection which needs to be shared.
Cinda on the Eastern Shore but still a Pennsylvanian


Subject: RE: petition re. PA quilts
From: "Candace Perry" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 16:19:49 -0400
X-Message-Number: 9

I would add to Cinda's excellent comments that you might consider a grass
roots effort to underwrite such an exhibit, if this is what you want to see.
Museum and cultural funding is not good at present in the state. Always
keep that in mind when you are making these requests...the money has to come
from somewhere, and presently, it might not exist at all.
Candace Perry


Subject: Re: bed hangings
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 18:53:30 EDT
X-Message-Number: 10

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I can imagine that bed hangings would gather a lot of dust and spiderwebs
over the winter, so wouldn't necessarily be all that sanitary after a few

Lisa Evans


Subject: Re: bed hangings
From: "Christine Thresh" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 16:10:27 -0700
X-Message-Number: 11

Everything gathers dust and spider webs, even today.

Christine Thresh
on an island in the California Delta <-- my blog
and <-- website

Lisa Evans said, "I can imagine that bed hangings would gather a lot of dust
and spiderwebs
over the winter, so wouldn't necessarily be all that sanitary after a few


Subject: Civil War quilts
From: "Lynne Z. Bassett" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 19:39:09 -0400
X-Message-Number: 12

Dear QHL Friends,

My friend and colleague, Madelyn Shaw, and I are endeavoring to put together
a quilt exhibition and book in time for the Civil War's sesquicentennial in
2011. The subject is Civil War quilts and sewing on the homefront. We have
a museum sponsor and potential publisher lined up. Now all we need is
funding! :)

I would like to know if any of you are aware of and willing to share
information on quilts that have a Civil War connection, North or South.
Pictorial quilts, quilts from the Sanitary Commission, quilts made by
recuperating Civil War soldiers, quilts made for anti-slavery fairs, quilts
in which the family silver was buried as Sherman's army approached, quilts
made from homespun southern cotton, quilts made by womenfolk waiting for
their loved ones to come home, etc., etc.

We are also interested in other Civil War textiles and images of women, men,
slaves, free Blacks, etc. sewing in the c. 1850-1870 period.

Any information would be MUCH appreciated. Please respond to me privately

Many thanks!!

All best,


Subject: Poison Green
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 22:28:40 EDT
X-Message-Number: 13

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Thank you to all who shared their knowledge regarding my question about
poison green. The story of the apothocary bottles being this color for the
storage of poisons must be another myth. I will not pass this story on.
Arsenic seems to be the source of the poison instead of or in addition to
chromnium. The colorant site is very interesting and deserves more
exploration. Best regards, Janet Henderson in Fort Worth


Subject: bed hangings
From: Gaye Ingram <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 22:13:01 -0500
X-Message-Number: 14

I too recommend the book Pat Cummings mentioned, "At Home: The American Family."

Pat wrote, "A set of stairs was required to reach the top of the bed."

Those who stay in my guest room must climb bed steps to get in bed. It is an copy of an 18th-century Louisiana bed that had been in my family, and there is room beneath it for a trundle bed, often used by the younger children in the family.

Current mattress thicknesses elevate the mattress considerably, and there are times I fear a guest will fall off.

The headboard has a "rolling pin" that may be removed from the dowels that hold it in place and used to smooth a feather mattress. My grandmother insisted on sleeping on a feather mattress until she died in 1970. As a child I thought those things were like the tar baby in "Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby." The touch of a child's hand left a mark. And when one tried to smooth away that mark, the whole area got out of shape. Every effort to improve the situation made it worse.

In 1819, Washington Irving published "The Sketch Book," a collection of stories widely recognized as having the first truly American point of view in fiction. There is a fine allusion to a four-poster, curtained bed in that story.

It seems "the great error in Rip's composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labor." Irving describes him as "a simple, good-natured man; he was, moreover, a kind neighbor and an obedient, hen-pecked husband. Indeed, to the latter circumstance might be owing that meekness of spirit which gained him such universal popularity; for those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home. Their tempers, doubtless, are rendered pliant and malleable in the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation; and a curtain-lecture is worth all the sermons in the world for teaching the virtues of patience and long-suffering. A termagant wife may, therefore, in some respects, be considered a tolerable blessing; and if so, Rip Van Winkle was thrice blessed."

Obviously the phrase "curtain-lecture" was understood by Irving's readers, referring to the "lecture" the wife delivered once she had her husband safely corralled in the bed, with the curtains drawn.

Gaye Ingram