Subject: RE:Quilts mentioned in non-quilt books
From: ad <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 09:12:01 +0300
X-Message-Number: 1

In My Father Court by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Written in Yiddish a

<<.found the entire family asleep while all around, benches,
prayer stands, prayer books, and holiday prayer books were aflame8Afinally
aroused us8Atore off our QUILTS and set to smothering the conflagration.>>

My maternal grandmother came to Israel in the Twenties, from Byalistock,
Poland, which had prior to WWII a large and thriving Jewish community,
similar to the communities described in Bashevis Singer's writings. As
Eastern and Middle European Jews had no quilting traditions whatsoever, I am
guessing the translator used "quilts" for the feather filled duvets that
were, indeed, the traditional bed-coverings in Eastern Europe. My
grandmother emigrated as a young woman and came with what she could carry,
but when she married, she bought for herself what in Europe would have been
a part of her dowry - feather filled eiderdowns, encased in special, closely
woven pink fabric to prevent the tiny feathers from escaping, and covered
with fine cotton duvet covers she hand embroidered herself (blue thread, a
pattern of doves and carnations). In Eastern Europe these were prepared
prior to the wedding and formed a part of the dowry. By the way, when my
mother married my Dad my grandmother had a set of eiderdowns prepared for
In Yiddish, these are called Pereneh (perenehs in plural). If one could not
afford real feathers, they were filled with a sort of cotton wool filling
and covered with a satin fabric that was then machine-stitched into largish
squares (5-6 inches square) to prevent the "batting" from lumping up or
migrating - the closest these ever came to a quilt. These were considered
second best and were extremely uncomfortable to sleep under, as the satin
would slip and slither and usually end up on the floor, or in a lump at the
foot of the bed. I should know, I slept under these plenty of times at my
grandmother's. However, they being quit heavy, would be extremely efficient
at putting out a fire.
I'll try and find a Yiddish copy of the text to see what the original term
Ady in Israel


Subject: Advent of block construction in America
From: Gaye Ingram <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 14:29:31 -0500
X-Message-Number: 2

I would appreciate any suggestions for sources of information on early development of block construction process in American quiltmaking---or information on the phenomenon itself.

Looking through older notes, I have the tantalizing note that the block format "resulted from mixture of English sewing traditions and German artistic traditions" in Delaware River Valley. No evidence. From pop magazine.


Gaye Ingram


Subject: Re: Quilted Gardens
From: "Dale Drake" <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 15:46:41 -0400
X-Message-Number: 3

Yes, but ...

"Think of an individual piece of grandma's afghan, ..."

Afghan? AFGHAN?!?!?!

But it's good to see the northern counties working on tourism ... and in
such a cool way!

Dale Drake in central Indiana

Teddy said:
Those of you who are looking for quilts in news headlines may want to peek
at this.


Subject: Re: Advent of block construction in America
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 20:45:19 +0000 (GMT)
X-Message-Number: 4

In reply to Gaye's query about blocks: interesting query and a topic about which I'd love to know more myself.

I would just mention that the earliest DATED example of patchwork currently
know to exist is in the UK Quilt Museum, run by The Quilters' Guild of the
British Isles. It is dated 1718 and is entirely constructed in blocks in a
variety of piecing and appliquE9 techniques.

Also, the jacket illustration on the UK edition of Quilted Planet shows an

English silk coverlet believed to date from around 1700. It, also, is const
ructed in blocks, sets of 9 blocks being divided by embroidered black sashi

A mid-eighteenth century German 'hunger cloth', shown on Page 6 of QP is co
nstructed in blocks, too.

These examples suggest that the block method was certainly used in Europe f
rom an early date. What's fascinating is how and why blocks became the favo
urite method of quilt construction in America and, indeed, were developed i
nto what can only be described as an art form.

Best wishes

Celia Eddy
The Brown House
Fleming Place
Cumbria CA15 6ES
Tel: 01900 814959



Subject: Re: Advent of block construction in America
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 17:18:29 EDT
X-Message-Number: 5

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Another early silk coverlet with block piecing is in the McCord Museum in
Montreal: _
( . It's
from 1726.

Lisa Evans

Subject: re Advent of Block format in American quilts
From: Gaye Ingram <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 17:03:38 -0500
X-Message-Number: 6

Lisa and Jill, thanks for reminders. I've seen the one in the Canadian collection and had looked at "Quilted Planet" (yet once more---for many "once mores"). I know this technique was used in Europe and, specifically, England.

But what was the catalyst that fast-forwarded it to what became, as C. observes, a distinctive American form?

How did German and European influences combine?

When? Where?

I know the general assumption is the Delaware River Valley.

I'd never realized until I started this search that most books skip from the whole-cloth quilts, either plain or chintz appliqued, to Baltimore album in their discussions of evolution of the form.

One happy result of my frustration is that I've again had cause to read Willene Smith's and Barbara Brackman's essays in "Quiltmaking in America: Beyond the Myths," one of the first books that made me realize people were doing serious, analytical research into American quilts. I am reminded of the value of graphics, too. The maps in BB's essay make clear what even words cannot. What a wonderful contribution that book made possible.

Still searching,
Gaye Ingram


Subject: re Advent......
From: Gaye Ingram <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 18:37:33 -0500
X-Message-Number: 7

re "Lisa and Jill" in preceding post: that should be "Lisa and Celia."

Obviously, I subconsciously conflated our British quilt history list mom wi
th Celia, whose "Quilted Planet" sits right next to B.Brackman's well-worn
volumes on the bookshelf immediately above my computer. Just down the row f
rom Mesdammes Hall and Kretsinger. Good company.

Sitting here looking at the shelves into which my computer is built, I am r
eminded of a poet friend, Dannye Romine Powell, whose first published volum
e has a Double Wedding Ring quilt in those "North Carolina colors" as the
ground on its cover---"At Every Wedding Some Stays Home," a book I shamele
ssly encourage all to obtain. Our discussions of quilt making so often invo
lve the effort to balance sentiment and the objective means of scholarship
E28093E28093E28093 partly, I believe, because we've too often forg
otten the distinctiveness of the female gender and its validity. Well, in "
At Every Wedding...," Dannye deals with that same perilous balancing act. A
nd she is bold enough to get it just right. And, as I think of it, quilts f
igure in a number of her poems therein.

Anyway, this is the connection between her and Jill and Barbara and Celia.
Dannye did the premiere book of interviews with major Southern writers in t
he last quarter of the 20th century. Among them was one with the noted nove
list Walker Percy ("The Movie Goer," "The Last Gentleman," etc). Percy was
as unaffected as one can imagine, but every woman I've ever known who spent
any time in his company, remarked being swept off her romantic feet by him
. All noted the power of his eyes, the sensitivity and interest in one they
conveyed. Dannye had been enthralled and though happily married, she could
describe Percy's power persuasively. And she did that often.

I received the published copy of her book just as I was tidying up my livin
g room for a party, and I carelessly tucked it into a space next to Allen T
ate's "Collected Poems." Tate was noted for his amorous powers as well as f
or his literary powers, and only the week before, I had snatched him from b
eside an unsuspecting Eudora Welty in the secretary that held my Southern l
it first editions. Now, there he was next to Dannye! I emailed her I had
preserved her "virtue" by removing her to a side table. She wrote back than
king me for the concern and asking if she might possibly sit next to Walker
Percy. I complied, of course, and I have to say, they look very companion
able there.

I had a medieval lit prof at Auburn who had forgotten the titles and author
s of most of the books he recommended. But he knew exactly where they were
on the library's shelves. So in my notes I will come across "third shelf fr
om rear of room 1, halfway down, big red book." Maybe I'm getting what he h

Would that be "old"?



Subject: let me vent
From: "Steve & Jean Loken" <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 18:00:16 -0500
X-Message-Number: 8

I agree with Arden on library buying. I did that before retiring and books
outside the usual sources are very troublesome for the acquisitions clerks.
On the other hand, I just ordered a copy for my own guild's library. I think
it's a great source for patterns for that very specific need.
Jean Loken in MN


Subject: Block Format
From: Tracy Jamar <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 07:39:05 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

On Jun 15, 2009, at 12:01 AM, Quilt History List digest wrote:
> I'd never realized until I started this search that most books skip
> from the whole-cloth quilts, either plain or chintz appliqued, to
> Baltimore album in their discussions of evolution of the form.


I suggest Lynne Bassett's recent book, Massachusetts Quilts: Our
Common Wealth. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2009.

It is much more than just selected quilts from the Mass.
documentation files; she/they set up the social/economic context in
which the quilts were made. If I remember correctly, the block format
became popular about the time of the proliferation of textile mills
(along with new technology for printing) and the whole widening of
the economic base with a general increase in incomes. Previously, the
whole cloth quilts (many imported) had been available only to the
more affluent.

I highly recommend the book! Lynne (as well as the other writers) has/
have wonderful writing styles and the book is full of good stuff!

Tracy Jamar, NYC


Subject: More on quilts with piping
From: "Beth Davis" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 09:01:43 -0400
X-Message-Number: 2

We were discussing the unusual technique of piping on 20th century quilts,
during the last few weeks. I think that it was more of an interest in
piping used as a border, but I was just shown a lovely quilt, which has
blue piping that was used to represent flowers within the body of the
quilt. It belongs to a friend of mine, and was made by her grandmother in
the 1940's. It is so unlike the other quilts which her grandmother
made-which were mainly appliqué (many are Marie Webster-style). I've
posted the picture of one of the flowers on the eBoard:, with the permission of the owner.
Beth Davis

Subject: Advent of block construction
From: "Kimberly Wulfert, PhD" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 08:06:06 -0700
X-Message-Number: 3

Hi Gaye,

You might check this out if you haven't already- Jonathan Holestein
about this development in America in the Quilters Hall of Fame CD
by Georgia Bonesteel. I can't lay my hands on my copy, but the name of
it I
believe is The Great American Quilt Revival (Karen, correct me if this
wrong) It's a fabulous rundown of quilt history in America spoken by

A more location specific explanation comes from the RI book, Down By the
Mill Stream. There it is suggested that the block style developed as
favorite because the "single-pattern block style" showed the new
they were manufacturing to their best advantage, and dominated RI quilt
making, "taking over the whole-cloth, medallion and honeycomb styles."
is a table showing the frequency of block patterns that begins with 1800
through to 1949.

The RI book begins with discussing earlier patchwork seen in England,
The Levins Hall quilt ca. 1708 is cited for it's pieced work and
exemplifying the methods that "would later develop in the United States,
patchwork and appliquE9." Then Montreal's McCord Museum quilt is cited
as the
example of America's the oldest dated patchwork, 1726. The footnote
says that the place of origin of it's making is unknown, English
is suggested. Similar quilt style to it are found in British, Dutch and
museums indicating patchwork was "fairly widespread by 1800." The
blocks surround a medallion center in the McCord, which would suggest
is me talking, not the book) that the blending of methods came first. So
many quilts are seen like that, including quilts with the Hewson panel
the center, or cut-out and appliquE9d in the center area.

I don't think anyone knows for absolute certain, yet anyway. In part
because exact dates are not usually available. Second, in my thinking,
because communication was slow to get around so things might be
happening at
the same time at different places around the world and no one would it
the time. And would they record it? I don't know.

We finally have awoken to a sunny day in southern Cal. yippee! It's
been a
dreary sky all day for a few weeks.


Kimberly Wulfert, PhD
Women On Quilts Julie Silber and slide quilt show


Subject: Pennsylvania quilt exhibit
From: "Candace Perry" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 12:36:45 -0400
X-Message-Number: 4

(I'm just the messenger on this on...Candace Perry)


A Century of Antique Quilts

from the

Packwood House Museum Collection

Lewisburg, Pa. 17837

now on exhibit

June 9 to October 24, 2009


August 21, 22, 23

Workshops, Lectures, Exhibits
Jeannette Lasansky, Donna and Brian Ruppert and others

go to

for information and registration
570 524 0323

Packwood House Museum
15 North Water Street
Lewisburg, PA 17837


Subject: Hidden City Philadelphia and quilts on display
From: Laura Fisher <>

Went to the see imaginative exhibition HIDDEN CITY PHILADELPHIA, which you
should try to see over the next couple of weekends before it ends--really i
ntriguing sites and performances in shuttered spaces that had beenlittle
known in the city, and performances in majesticspaces that had beeni
gnoed for decades

Quilts from my shop are hanging the the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Chuch as part
of artist Sanford Biggers examination of myths about the underground railro
ad,including the quilt 'codes'. This church wasa principal site. Fasc
inating, He's intrigued by why this quilt codeideawas so readily seiz
edupon and captivated thepublic so swiftly, like the phenomenon of wh
y places that had nothing to do with it want so much now to be identified a
sunderground railroad site. And that part of the abolishonist movement
was not so underground, evidentlywidely known as it occurred,with
many locations in Philadelphia. (When I saw he was dealing with the undergr
ound railroad theme I feared he was going to relate the quilts to the code,
though the patterns he chose were more all
over, not so distinctively pieced, and some quilts are not African American

Anyway, go see, the architecture of the sites chosen have commissioned art
projects installed relating to these distinctive and overlooked locations
which have languished closed for 40, 50, even 100 years. Domed rooms and
Grecian-like marble columns atop the main building at Girard College, a bo
arding school for orphans with a fantastic campus from the early 1800s; inc
redible Romanesque Revival wooden ceilings and painted beams intricate bric
kwork and huge pipe organsatop Shiloh Church, and more.

A several-years undertaking that the organizers are hoping to replicate in
other cities, so if you live in a place that would be a likely candidate
. let me know and I'll pass the information along.

And p.s. the quilts are for sale, they are having a benefit auction at the
Armory on June 25 I think.



Subject: perfect timing
From: "Lucinda Cawley" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 14:31:19 -0400
X-Message-Number: 6

I was in Central NY last weekend (June 14) and went to the Genesee
Valley Quilt
Club's biennial show in Rochester. I'm grateful to Beth Davis for posting
the info on QHL. I saw it at the last minute as I was catching up on email
accumulated during our week in Savannah and Charleston (I don't think it's
possible to get a bad meal in Charleston).
I had three hours at the show which was enormous. The Club started in
1936 with 10 members and now has 375. They filled the field house at
Rochester Institute of Technology with fabulous quilts and super vendors. I
divided most of my time between the antique quilt exhibit and the Club's own
booth which offered a microcosm of mid-twentieth century quilt history.
I was captivated by a NY Album quilt from Palmyra (just east of
Rochester) which had 12 large blocks with folky floral motifs: Christmas
cactus, roses and tulips in variously shaped urns and baskets. The borders
were very interesting. Two adjacent sides had a dogtooth and a zigzag
(both on each side); the other two sides each had two dogtooth strips one
blue, the other red and green with white between. The dogtooth strips were
pieced, not appliquéd as I'd expect to see in MD.
There was a Crazy with beautifully embroidered animals: lots of horses,
a monkey, a fox, frogs, birds and more. A charming circa 1850 Peony with 6"
blocks in pink and green had very fine quilting: double diamonds in the
setting blocks, a running feather border. A delightful pieced Sunflower
circa 1930 had blocks of 2 shades of yellow with brown center, yellow
sashing with green cornerstones and a triple border of the two shades of
yellow and green. A Feathered Diamond (c. 1930) in lavender and white with
marvelous quilting was made of the silkiest cotton sateen.
But the best part of the exhibit were the quilts of Lena May Cooke, one
of the early members of the club. Lena was born in Rochester in 1885 and
died in the early 1970s. She was a prolific quiltmaker and her
granddaughter owns many of her quilts. Lena seems to have hit her stride as
a quilter in her fifties and to have tried just about everything that we
identify with the first 20th century quilt revival. Her Paradise Garden
took my breath away. Her Anne Orr Flower Basket is signed and dated 1936.
She made Marie Webster's French Basket too. There was a Chrysanthemum kit
quilt in pinks and purples and a yellow Dogwood medallion. There were
pieced quilts too, some scrappy and utilitarian. What a thrill to see so
many quilts by a skilled and enthusiastic quiltmaker!
The Genesee Valley Quilt Club has had a historian since its beginning.
They seem to have kept everything. There is a fascinating collection of
blocks. For many years when a member brought a quilt to the group she
brought an extra block for the archives. This practice continued for
decades. The blocks are arranged chronologically, many basted on muslin
into fabric books which provide a visual record of fabric and pattern
choices over many years. The Club historians have been just as
conscientious about keep written records. There is a goldmine for research!
If you find yourself in Western NY this summer (and there are many good
reasons to visit) Genesee Country Village has an exhibit of vintage garments
complimenting its collection of sporting art. The blurb below is from their
website. The GCV is Western NY's answer to Old Sturbridge. It's really
worth a visit. Early 19th century buildings from all over the area have
been lovingly preserved in a village setting. It's one of the largest
outdoor museums in the country.

"From the 17th-century onwards, the sporting world helped shape and change
men's fashions-along with our view of the ideal masculine image. This new
exhibit traces some of those fashions with rare examples of men's clothing
drawn from private collections and area museums, juxtaposed with John L.
Wehle's superb collection of sporting art. How did today's baseball cap get
its start? Why do men wear ties? Who says dead men don't wear plaid? "
Cinda on the Eastern Shore


Subject: Block pattern development
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 14:20:58 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
X-Message-Number: 7


Celia Y. Oliver makes an interesting argument for Neoclassic influence in creating the block pattern as we have come to know it. See "What's New About New England Quilts" for her article on it. While she is specifically talking about New England quilts, it could apply to quilts in general.

Gail Bakkom


Subject: re block format (Kim W)
From: Gaye Ingram <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 20:23:21 -0500
X-Message-Number: 8

Thanks so much Kim. Oddly, I had neglected the RI book and don't yet have the MA book.

I've seen the fragment--for that is what it is---in the McCord exhibit several times. I confess it does look like it might have originated on the continent, not at all the geometric creation I'd hoped it would be. But interesting. I'd guess English or French.

Also found your site to be informative.

I think I've just hit on one of those hard places in material history. Many times the early starts are lost and we are left only with worked-out formats.

Yet I continue to wonder about the quilt goings-on Deleware region. I think the paths of samplers and a variety of finer art crafts moved back and forth along coastlines because of shipping routes. I've encountered many diarisists or letter writers in Georigia and the Carolinas who seem to be more in touch with what is new in Philadelphis than with what is going on in nearly places in the South.

I've read things written by Scots Irish noting the eiderdowns used by the Germanic people, and I know cabinet making traditions were exchanged freely. But quilt.....



Subject: Visual Jazz in Ashland, Oregon With Spectacular Fireworks
From: "Maureen" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 07:21:30 -0700
X-Message-Number: 1

Hi all,

If you're anywhere near Southern Oregon this summer, try to be here in
Ashland on July 4th. We're on the Gee's Bend exhibit circuit this summer
July 4th is the opening day of the exhibit at the Schneider Museum of
Art at
Southern Oregon University. But that's not all that's in the works.
has one of those huge, home town parades (with as many people in the
as watching) that lasts for hours, city band concerts and picnics in
Park. That night's reception on the plaza of the Schneider Museum will
be an
exquisite vantage point for fireworks, arching over the valley. And of
course there's white water rafting, dozens of wineries and
the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a hundred art galleries, restaurants to
for and lots, lots more.

Where Pizza Hut, McDonalds and Dairy Queen closed
Because of lack of interest from the locals

>>> "Michael Crane" <> 6/15/2009 11:40 AM >>>

For immediate release:
June 15, 2009

For further information contact:
Michael Crane
Director, Schneider Museum of Art

Jim Beaver
Public Affairs Officer

Visual Jazz Comes to the Schneider Museum of Art

(Ashland, Ore.) - The Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon
University (SOU) is presenting an exhibit of quilts and related works on
paper created by African-American women from Gee's Bend, Ala., from July
4 to September 14. Textile works by Ashland artist Kris Hoppe will
accompany the quilt exhibit.

The quilters from the rural Alabama area of Gee's Bend have their own
original way of piecing quilts, which are radically different from those
of traditional American patchwork quilts. Noted African-art historian
Robert Farris Thompson says, "Far from constituting an historical
sub-set, the Afro-American quilt is its own discipline."

Gee's Bend quilts relate to traditional American patchwork quilts the
way jazz music relates to European classical music. They are closer in
spirit to contemporary painting where spontaneous improvisation with
forms and colors yields abstract compositions. Imagine how a Matisse
quilt might look.

Hoppe's textile work is also very colorful and is influenced by her
travels around the world.

A special reception for both exhibits, including an opportunity to meet
the ladies of Gee's Bend and Kris Hoppe, will be held from 4 to 7 pm on
July 4 at the Schneider Museum. Following the reception will be a party
on the Museum plaza from 7 to 10 pm, featuring music by Salsa Brava and
Taste of Soul. The evening concludes with viewing of Ashland's fireworks
display from the Schneider.

The following afternoon (July 5) at 2 pm there will be a screening of
the PBS documentary "The Quiltmakers of Gee's Bend" at the Schneider
Museum. The quiltmakers will again be present for questions and answers.

All events are free and open to the public. The Schneider Museum is
located at Indiana Street and Siskiyou Boulevard in Ashland. Parking is
available behind the museum and in nearby paid parking lots. For more
information, please call 541-552-6245 or visit


James Beaver
Public Affairs Officer
Southern Oregon University
949-878-7752 cell


Subject: Lynn Bassett's Book
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 10:25:46 EDT
X-Message-Number: 2

Content-Type: text/plain; charset"US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

I totally agree with Tracy's comments about Lynn's "Massachusetts Quilts:"
book. It still sits out by the couch where I read because I have found I
must read it all, not just a quick overview. This is an example for us all to
follow. Excellent research, well written, and out there so we can all
learn. Thank you Lynn! Trish


I suggest Lynne Bassett's recent book, Massachusetts Quilts: Our
Common Wealth. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2009.

It is much more than just selected quilts from the Mass.
documentation files; she/they set up the social/economic context in
which the quilts were made. If I remember correctly, the block format
became popular about the time of the proliferation of textile mills
(along with new technology for printing) and the whole widening of
the economic base with a general increase in incomes. Previously, the
whole cloth quilts (many imported) had been available only to the
more affluent.

I highly recommend the book! Lynne (as well as the other writers) has/
have wonderful writing styles and the book is full of good stuff!

Tracy Jamar, NYC

Trish Herr

Subject: RE: Visual Jazz in Ashland, Oregon With Spectacular Fireworks
From: "Kim Baird" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 10:34:42 -0500
X-Message-Number: 3

I think this would be a good REASON to go to Oregon. I've been to Ashland,
and loved it.



Subject: Re: Lynn Bassett's Book (Herr)
From: Gaye Ingram <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 11:55:30 -0500
X-Message-Number: 4

My copy of MA book is ordered, Trish, but "bargains" sometimes take their time in transit, I've found. In this case, I should not be surprised to see a pony with rider at my front door delivering the book. Or a goat, hobbled from crossing the Rockies.

I know the quality both of Lynn's scholarship and of her generosity with her knowledge. When I was first trying to get a bead on Southern quilts, to set in place a research program that would let me discern their salient traits, Lynn sent articles, copy of "What Makes a New England Quilt New England?" and suggestions---without my asking. Such generosity is, I believe, the mark of the true scholar.

And Miz Herr, last evening I reread one of your books---well both of what I regard as a set. I thought I had both memorized, but obviously I didn't. I think that each time we come to a text with a fresh question, we see new things. What jewels!

I know that all of us recognize the remarkable work done in Lancaster County, but I find it interesting that such distinctive patterns of quiltmaking arose out of such a melange of influences. How that happened is a story of its own, not yet entirely told.

Early in this search, I began a data base and annotated bibliography, knowing how tiny minds are when they get stuffed to overflowing. It strikes me, though, that just such a seemingly simple question is always how we stumbled upon big questions and, I hope, big answers. I was writing a very, very brief history of quilt making and needed a solid, decisive, precise one-sentence way to account place the advent of the block quilt format. I never doubted it would be in first source to which I turned. Ever the optimist.

I don't know how many of you know the work of Fred Kniffen, but for anyone interested in sound studies in cultural transmission and exchanges, I recommend it. I recall BBrackman's noting it years ago. Kniffen and his students at LSU were able to clarify things like the origin of the American log cabin construction. Of course, log cabins do have a way of staying put, whereas the very portability of quilts makes their study more difficult.

His work was the first that made me aware of the rich exchanges that occurred in the Deleware River Valley and along The Great Wagon Road south and west. I've been rereading a lot of that as this question of block format has me by the tail.

I think we have probably not paid nearly as much attention to construction in seeking to account for many aspects of quiltmaking---pattern preferences, e.g. As I have studied construction, I've found patterns that help locate quilts in culture and time.

I appreciate all your suggestions. I've thought how much easier it is for the poets, who deal with universals in particular ways, to answer the questions they ask. Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty---with the reminder that is all we need to know.


---- wrote:
> I totally agree with Tracy's comments about Lynn's "Massachusetts Quilts:"
> book.


Subject: Let me vent
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 15:41:39 EDT
X-Message-Number: 5

Content-Type: text/plain; charset"UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Language: en

Dr. Myrah Green has technical problems with her computer and ask that I

send in this comment for her.
Carolyn Mazloomi

I am amazed that such a wide range of discussions around the E28098alle
quilt codes continue to consume the QHL. Some of the dialogue even borders
disdain. Since the time before we can remember, victims of zealous, yet
marginal experiences in these vital studies have formed limited conclusio
Mainstream E28098scholarsE28099 have always attempted to alter what
they canE28099t
comprehend. Early civilizations added vowels to Egyptian hieroglyphics so
they could pronounce the words. Nineteenth Century travelers re-defined
African mask because they did not understand the essence of its meaning.

Later, descendents of the same travelers renamed the mask E28098abstra
ctE28099 while
using them to create Cubist paintings and sculpture; stripping them of th
indigenous purpose.
As we participate in these discussions, the above ideas have to be
calculated into the total equation in order to garner equitable, intellec
results. Because academia relies so heavily on cited sources, credited to
a limited scholastic pool, we neglect some of the most important facts fr
non- traditional sources; resulting in the stagnation of these waters.
Hence, conclusions are formed with limited information insight and intima
cy in
historical subjects. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. referred to this
phenomenon as the E2809Cparalysis of analysisE2809D.
By the end of the Civil War, there were over 5 million chattel slaves in

North America. Minimizing slavery, a diabolical act, is absurd. Though on
20 percent of White Americans directly participated, a much greater numbe
gained and enjoyed the fruits of that poisonous tree. In the attempt to

fully fathom the experiences, expressions, and elements of chattel slaver
one would have had to sit and speak with those recipients of this institu
personally. My grandmother spoke to her grandmother who was a chattel
slave in Virginia (the last slave died c.1948). My great, great grandmoth
relayed to her grandmother who relayed from hers both verbally and
subliminally expressed memories to include codes in words, songs, manneri
sms, and
African Diaspora symbols in North American quilts.
Until the batteries of history run out, I will continue to learn, discern

and share findings that may or may not always be a part of the popular
Submitted by Myrah Brown Green
**************Download the AOL Classifieds Toolbar for local deals at your




Subject: RE: Let me vent
From: "Candace Perry" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 17:06:06 -0400
X-Message-Number: 6

I don't think anyone here has ever minimized slavery. As a matter of fact,
though I certainly cannot speak with the authority of Dr. Green -- nor can I
speak as a descendant of slaves, because I am not -- I think all on this
list wish to see this issue treated seriously and not commercialized or
glamorized as it often seems to be in the media and in popular culture.
This is in fact a deadly serious matter. Should anyone have made light or
offended, I am sure they would apologize.
Though I am not African American, I am Pennsylvania German, a culture that
also has a rich folk oral tradition. Some nonsense has evolved in the
culture, such as the infamous PA Dutch hex sign, but admittedly, who knows
if the hex sign meant the same thing to one farmer as another farmer down
the road?
I think that where we err is making vast generalizations.
About any culture. About any artifact and its meaning.
Candace Perry

Subject: RE: Let me vent
From: Patricia Cummings <>

I love that term of Dr. King: "analysis paralysis." It exactly summarizes
the extent of thinking of those who would except the nonsense set forth in
very recent years and those who embrace revisionist history, just because it
seems to the "current thing."

In the words of Julia Louisa Lovejoy, my research subject (Ellen Emeline
Hardy Webster's aunt), who was a staunch abolitionist and who tempted fate
in moving to the Kansas territory to defend the rights of African-Americans
to be free, even though she was as white as Wonder Bread, I say:

"Amen and Amen."

Patricia Lynne Grace Cummings

I am amazed that such a wide range of discussions around the 'alleged'
> quilt codes continue to consume the QHL. Some of the dialogue even borders
> on
> disdain.


Subject: RE: Let me vent
From: Patricia Cummings <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 18:50:35 -0400
X-Message-Number: 8

Content-Type: text/plain; charsetISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

I interrupt you to bring you a self-correction. I certainly meant to say,
"those who ACCEPT," not "except."

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 6:03 PM, Patricia Cummings

> I love that term of Dr. King: "analysis paralysis." It exactly summarizes
> the extent of thinking of those who would except the nonsense set forth in
> very recent years and those who embrace revisionist history, just because
> it
> seems to the "current thing."

Patricia Lynne Grace Cummings


Subject: book for disabled quilters
From: Laura Fisher <>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 22:02:14 -0700 (PDT)

Forget the libraries--try Oprah or Martha!! The subject should be of intere
st for either to profile (Martha maybe more so 'cause she's crafty, I bet i
t would really appeal to her.)

Laura Fisher

p.s. I loved all the stuff about Egypt and hieroglyphics from Israel, fasci
nating, Ady must be an Egyptologist. There sure are interesting informed me
mbers on this list.


Subject: Re: framer in austin, tx?
From: "Marcia Kaylakie" <>
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2009 12:28:19 -0500
X-Message-Number: 2

I recommend Wordyisms in Pflugerville. Jean Garlick and her DH are skilled
and quite knowledgeable in this area. 1-800-468-3933 marcia kaylakie


Subject: MD Historical Society
From: "Cinda Cawley" <>
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2009 19:55:27 -0400

I thought I had all summer to see the exhibit at the
Historical Society. Luckily I stopped in on Thursday because it ends on
June 30. When I told the man at the reception desk 93I92m here to see
quilts94 he insisted on tell me all of the other goodies I could
checkout. I
knew that since I had only 90 minutes there was no way I was going any
farther than the quilt exhibit. I was right. There are eight quilts
all of
which are pictured in The Baltimore Album Quilt Tradition, the
1999 publication. I92ve seen all of these quilts several times before,
as Greta said on the subject of books, as we learn we see things in
different ways.

Most startling to me was my reaction to the 1850 quilt which
have been made by Mrs. Josiah Goodman. It92s the heavily stuffed 16
quilt in the 93Designer III style94 with realistic depictions of
animals, birds and insects. The motifs are much heavier than those of
BAQs with the forms outlined by embroidery; wool fabrics are used as
well as
cotton. Mexican War hero Capt. Samuel Walker shares a block with fruit,
birds and butterflies. There are giant bees, dragon flies and bugs that
look suspiciously like roaches. I92ve seen this quilt five or six
before, but somehow this time I just fell in love with it. It92s so
not-pretty. It92s quirky and interesting (an elephant inside a wreath
birds, for instance, and one of the most charming eagles to appear on
quilt). This is the dream of a six year old with a giant box of

The other quilts are much more conventionally beautiful.
has a block dedicated to Major Ringgold another Baltimore hero of the
Mexican War and two fondue bowls of fruit with watermelons with inked
pineapples, pears and grapes. Maria Louisa Harris Key92s 1816 sampler
hanging near her 1840 Touching Stars with chintz appliquE9. The nine
are each pieced of different fabrics the appliquE9s are from a single
There are no borders or sashing. The Mathematical Star with the giraffe
chintz is the first quilt you see when you enter the gallery. It92s
favorite of mine both because I love the story of the giraffe92s walk
Marseilles to Paris in 1827 and because this amazingly sophisticated
was made in 1830 by Catherine Mitchell in Dorchester County on the
Shore. The Bay and its tributaries were a super highway in the 19th
century. Women in the most remote places had access to the luxury goods

In 1843 Elizabeth Clark of Baltimore won the sliver medal
needlework at the Baltimore Agricultural Society Fair. Looking at the
appliquE9d chintz bedcover with wide fringe one wonders what the first
medalist entered. Designer II is represented by a strongly red and
quilt with diamond patterned sashing and a dogtooth border. The
border is a vine and cherries. One block has a bouquet of flowers in a
woven container of black velvet and red cotton. There92s a simple 16
summer spread with mostly large scale motifs (a huge pomegranate) and
crossed branches in each corner. The appliquE9d chintz album quilt
Calvert Co. (1845-55) has the most incredible floral stripe sashing and
border. With the exception of the summer spread all of these pieces are
exceptionally fine condition.

`There isn92t a lot of time left to see these quilts. As Polly says
have to see them when they92re out.94 Make a special trip if you are
near Baltimore. Don92t forget there92s also a lovely small exhibit of
BAQs at
the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Cinda on the Eastern Shore who may be making more mistake than usual
of my eyes