Subject: Quilting News - Mourning Calico
From: <>
Date: Sat, 22 May 2010 21:47:47 -0700
X-Message-Number: 1

The Agitator
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
July 23, 1857
Page 1
WIDOW'S WEEDS.--A friend tells us that
some dozen or fifteen years ago, when he had
the melancholy duty to stand behind the
counter in a country shop, dealing out the
very best selected stock west of the Allegha-
nies, he was once brought to a state of un-
utterable wonderment. A youthful and pret-
ty woman, robed in deep black approached
him and asked to look at his "Gleam of Com-
"At what madam?" said he, puzzled, con-
founded and confused, at what appeared to
him a singular request.
"Gleam of comfort, young man; haven't
you any, or don't you know what it is?" re-
plied the lady.
"Yes, madam, most likely we have it
what is it like--is it dry goods or groceries?"
"Dry goods or groceries!" echoed the la-
dy, looking at our friend in a way that made
him feel decidedly uncomfortable. "Sir, it is
a mourning calico of the second grade for
widows of three weeks. It is well known
sir, with us in the city. I'm astonished at
your ignorance."
The frightened young man could only
stammer--"they hadn't any of that particu-
lar kind of calico."

Sue Reich
Washington Depot, Connecticut


Subject: Back in PA (long)
From: <>
Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 8:00:29 -0400
X-Message-Number: 2

The third rotation of quilts from the Chester County documentation is up at
the historical society in West Chester. You can see some of them in "Laye
rs: Unfolding the Story of Chester County Quilts." I'll put the page # aft
er to my descriptions. Once again they have tried to include as many quilts
as possible from contemporary to early 19th century. Many are rolled or f
olded but part of a great quilt is better than not seeing it at all. The f
irst thing you seen in the gallery is the small Scattergood silk quilt, 60"
x63", (1850-1900). It is stunning. Red and yellow strips are framed by a
tiny grey plaid with the red and gold repeated as borders. It looks Amish
not Quaker. The colors glow and the quilting is exquisite. (p. 8)

Stars and Sunburst (mid-19th century) made by Margaret Hanna Gordon has a c
entral Sunburst surrounded by a double dogtooth circle. The rest of the qu
ilt is 6" Evening Stars with alternating plain blocks containing a quilting
sampler. It includeds a huge variety of prints (brown, blue, vivid plaids
and stripes). A Lone Star (1840-50) made by Guenne S. Hall is huge (106'x
103"), like many Chester Co. early quilts. Set on a tiny scale blue on gra
y leaf print it has Sunbursts and half-Sunbursts between the Star points.
The diamonds are turkey red, green, butterscotch, cheddar, blue, yellow and
brown. Glorious! (p.133)

Speaking of huge, an Oak Leaf and Reel with Stars (18403D60) measures (123
"x105". It was made by Anne Thomas White. It has blue floral sashing and
various prints. (p.154) Martha Thomas Lewis made her friendship quilt in 18
47. It is turkey red 4-Patch with diamond sashing forming white stars that
contain the names. (p. 68) A funky summer spread made in Gap by Elizabeth
Boyer has a variety of turkey red Delectable Mountains appliqued to the bac
kground--folky. (detail p. 109).

The ladies of Chester Co. used more various turkey red prints than anyone e
lse. If I could have one thing from the exhibit (a game I always play) I w
ould forego all the great quilts for the box of turkey red pieces gathered
for a friendship quilt by Margaret Gordon in the 1840s. The many 10 to 12
inch bits of fabric have been kept in a box for 150 years. They colors are
as intense as when they were new--a feast for the eyes. I have a set of 2
5 Rolling Stone blocks with names attached on papers in turkey red and chr
ome yellow that are in the same amazing condition and give me joy every tim
e I look at them. Although there is no example in this exhibit I have noti
ced that Chester Co. quilters sometimes used a double blue, red and green c
ombination in their mid-19th century friendship quilts. I made an Album Bl
ock quilt for my daughter Franny's 40th birthday using every turkey red in
my stash against a double blue background with green sashing and Judy Roche
's super turkey red stripe as the border (one of those fabrics I bought a b
olt of years ago and love so much I've been unable to use it until now).

If you want really early there is a Framed Center top dated 1812 made by Ma
rgared Hanna Gordon who made the Stars and Sunburst quilt (1776-1868). (p.6
2) Ever notice how many quilters live to a great age? A second Framed Cent
er, circa 1820, is a fabulous finished quilt lent by The State Museum of PA
. Made of glorious chitzes is alternates frames of stars and fairly large
pieces of many different fabrics around a central large chintz. (p. 63) In
contrast to exhuberance of these is a brown silk Quaker wholecloth. Ann W
ickersham made a scrappy Lemoyne Star when she married in 1843.

In another part of the museum there was a display of linens and the account
of Ann Gregory jailed in 1767 for stealing 3 sheets. She was fined, order
ed to pay costs and make restitution. She also received 25 lashes on her "
bare back" Determining value from the past is difficult even with the vari
ous online resources, but the severity of the sentence clearly shows the va
lue of household linen.

Our second stop was at the Schwenkfelder in Pennsburg. Candace told her ho
w her plea for Dutchy quilts brought in GFGs and Double Wedding Rings. She
has put together a charmingly eclectic small exhibit. The star of the sho
w is the ultimate Dutchy quilt, the oxblood on chrome yellow Prince's Feath
er (circa 1890) with matching scalloped pillow cases. It's beautifully mad
e, hangs straight with great 1" grid quilting overall. The women of the Pe
rkomen Valley had very strong views about what quilts should be. An Autumn
Leaves top has the leaves pinned to a white background. The pattern was v
ery popular in Montgomery County. Old timers insisted that each quilt have
exactly 384 leaves. The Rainbow is the local version of Trip Around the W
orld. The recipe states that the quilt must use four shades of each color
(usually red, yellow, green and blue).

A Berks Co. Lemoyne Star top (late 19th century)has scrappy stars on a pink
background with a green and yellow zigzag border. Sarah Ehrhart made a gr
eat Sunshine and Shadows Log Cabin in the 1920s with 3" 9-Patches as the ce
nter square. An early 20th cen. 8 Point Star from the Schultz family uses
red, pink, green, yellow and blue to piece small Blazing Stars. Triagles b
etween the points float the stars inside a circle.

Cinda in Central NY


Subject: Nancy Crow
From: <>
Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 9:52:03 -0400
X-Message-Number: 3

The Schweinfurth Gallery in Auburn, NY presents Nancy Crow: Recent and New Work, May 29 to Aug. 15, 2010. On Saturday, May 29 at 2 p.m. there's a lecture by the artist followed by a reception. Sounds good to me.

Cinda in Central NY


Subject: Re: Back in PA (long)
From: Gaye Ingram <>
Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 11:41:41 -0500
X-Message-Number: 4

---- wrote:

> The third rotation of quilts from the Chester County documentation is up at the historical society in West Chester. You can see some of them in "Layers: Unfolding the Story of Chester County Quilts."

Oh Cinda, you really hit your stride when you are among PA quilts! Thanks for the tantalizing descriptions. Any idea why the Turkey Red was so prevalent/preferred in Chester County?

I could not find the book "Layers: Unfolding the Story of Chester County Quilts" on Amazon. Is it only available locally? How might we secure a copy?

Thanks again for the description of your visit.

Gaye Ingram----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Back in PA (long)
From: <>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 15:36:25 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

Hi Gaye,

Google Chester Co. HS. I know they have the book in the shop.
As far as the turkey reds go, Dawn Heefner has done some research on the subject. I can't remember what she told me (scary). Maybe we can get her to post something.

1. New England Quilt Museum


Subject: New England Quilt Museum
From: Pam Weeks <>
Date: Tue, 25 May 2010 07:24:37 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

Content-Type: text/plain; charsetISO-8859-1

Hi all,

If you are anywhere in New England in the next few weeks, do not miss the
exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum that runs through July 11. Lorie
Chase and co-curator Laura Lane put together a wonderful show of inscribed
quilts, titled "Women's Writes". There are friendship quilts, quilts for a
cause, including a c. 1840 anti-slavery quilt, and a Civil War quilt with
the US Sanitary Commission stamp.

Besides the usual short info label, many of the quilts have a notebook full
of on-going research about it. You can spend hours pouring through the
genealogy of the groups, or the information about the organizations that
organized the quilt. There are double pinks, PA red/yellow, 10's mauves,
New England calico crazies, and lots lots more.

A wonderful Rye/Portsmouth, NH quilt is my personal favorite (after the
Civil War quilt). The blocks, many different, are pieced in red, white and
blue in many cases, and all set in a vibrant double pink. The blocks are
arranged symetricaly, with matching pieced patterns in a mirroring
arrangement down the center, which contains two double-sized presentation
blocks. All this set on-point in a huge quilt made for a four-poster bed.

This, plus the quilt show at the NH Historical Society (NHHS) in Concord,
(about a 45 minute drive from Lowell) would combine to make a lovely day for
any quilt history enthusiast. I saw the NHHS show a couple of weeks ago, and
it's not very interesting, except for its focus of quilt block patterns
collected by a woman in the 10's and 40's. She created an interesting
record of what she was seeing in the collections of friends, and made the
patterns by cutting out cottons to create the blocks pasted up on cardboard.
Still worth the trip.

Best to all from sunny NH, where I'm missing the lilacs. They went too fast!

Pam Weeks
Quilt Historian, Teacher
AQS Certified Appraiser of Quilted Textiles
PO Box 123
Durham, NH 03824


Subject: N H Historical Society quilt exhibit
From: "Munsey" <>
Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 18:43:19 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

So far, I have been hearing only reports about the NHHS exhibit from their
collection that Pam Weeks mentioned, although it is in my calendar along a
visit to Pam and Lorie's "Women's Writes" at NEQM (love the title, Pam).

I have to admit that the quilt charts are what are piquing my interest to
attend, because I have seen the photos of them in the wonderful e-book
produced by Patricia Cummings and her photographer husband James, who
photographed all 162 charts - and more The charts are presented on
full-size printable pages in the e-book!!! Every single one! Patricia
thoroughly researched the life of Ellen Emeline (Hardy) Webster, discovering
much information never before collected, much less published, taking a great
deal of time, tracking every possible lead. The resulting research is a
complete and interesting profile of Ellen Webster. "Ellen Emeline (Hardy)
Webster (1867-10" is a monumental, totally voluntary undertaking by Pat
and Jim for the NHHS!

The e-book, "Ellen Emeline (Hardy) Webster (1867-10", a 355 page biography
sold as an e-book on CD was published in 2008. It is available in the gift
shop of the New Hampshire Historical Society, along with Pat's book on quilt
care. Both are in pdf format, and can be viewed on any computer that has
Adobe Reader. The e-book is also available from Pat's website, Quilter's
Muse Publications, , and at

Pat's e-book is the opportunity for everybody anywhere to learn about this
amazing turn-of-the century woman, scientist as well as a quilt enthusiast
and lecturer. Not all of our grandmothers sat home knitting - or quilting!

In addition to the book, Pat wrote a five-page article about Ellen Webster
that appeared in September 2008 issue of The Quilter magazine, .

I close with the customary disclaimer of no personal profit. This is just
my wholehearted endorsement of the acquisition and enjoyment of my first
e-book. I can't wait until I finally see the charts "in person".

Sandra on Cape Cod where summer came in like gangbusters this week


Subject: Shameless commercial plug (for a good cause)
From: "Newbie Richardson" <>

My appologies for posting to both lists simutaneously - but the exhibit and
catalogue are REALLY wonderful!

There is a great exhibit and accompanying catalogue now available from the
Fashion Archives and Museum of Shippensburg University titled
Nineteenth-Century Costume Treasures of the Fashion Archives and Museum,
1800-1900. Anyone with an interest in nineteenth-century clothing and
textiles will want to own a copy! At nearly 100 pages long and full color,
it has everything a costume historian needs: informed commentary, detail
photos, period photos and commentary, and full-length views of the garments.
To see it and sample pages, go to
<blocked::> and click on the online store
link. For those of you who can get to Shippensburg (PA), the exhibit is
well worth the trip. Since it runs until December 8, you have plenty of
opportunity to plan a visit.


Newbie Richardson

The Costume and Textile Specialists


Subject: A true potholder quilt!
From: Pepper Cory <>
Date: Sat, 29 May 2010 11:36:02 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

When I saw this I burst out laughing! Enjoy-

Pepper Cory
Teacher, author, designer, and quiltmaker
203 First Street
Beaufort, NC 28516
(252) 726-4117


Subject: QN - Calico at the Pioneer Settlers Association.
From: <>
Date: Sat, 29 May 2010 9:38:50 -0700
X-Message-Number: 2

Davenport Daily Gazette
Davenport, Iowa
February 13, 1858
Page 1
from proper authority, that it was never in-
tended that the ladies should appear at the
Festival at the Burtis House, on the 22d inst.,
dressed exclusively in calico. The idea of
avoiding ostentatious display in the he way of at-
tire, was the ground-work of the suggestion,
and it is now perfectly understood that every
lady who may be in attendance, shall dress
exactly as best suits her taste and convenience.
If so often occurs that persons are undecided
as to what is expected of them, that in this
case, as well as others, appropriate costume
became a matter of speculation. Hence the
seeming difficulty which has arisen, and which
has been so promptly and sensibly settled by
those having control of the arrangements.
Sue Reich
Washington Depot, Connecticut


Subject: Re: A true potholder quilt!
From: "Stephanie Whitson" <>
Date: Sat, 29 May 2010 15:32:02 -0500
X-Message-Number: 3

What a HOOT.
Had to be a rug, not a quilt. . . didn't it?
Now where's my crochet hook and that old metal frame we used for making
those things. . . . .

Steph Whitson


Subject: Re: A true potholder quilt!
From: Laura Syler <>
Date: Sat, 29 May 2010 18:26:27 -0500
X-Message-Number: 4

You've made my day!!
Pam, you just can't let this one get away!!! You MUST have it for
your collection!!! ;)
I'm with Stephanie...where's my crochet hook. Problem is, they still
sell this stuff at HobbyLobby!!!
so, I'd be little leary of the 50 year time frame...hahahaha!!!

Laura Syler
Certified Appraiser of Quilted Textiles
Teacher, Lecturer, Judge
Richardson, TX


Subject: RE: A true potholder quilt!
From: " Barb Vlack" <>
Date: Sun, 30 May 2010 05:26:46 -0500
X-Message-Number: 1

Thanks, Pepper, for this link.

The description of the quilt is part of the fun. I would have
never in a
million years thought to make a quilt out of those woven potholders I
to make (oh, dear, 50 years ago  just like the date given for this
quilt!). I think the suggestion that this could be intended for a
makes some sense. I can imagine this is rather stiff for a bedcover ---
can92t be a quilt, technically  no layers! I especially like the
bottom of
the piece, with the unfinished potholder  just the loops hanging
Nice artistic effect.

At the listing was a link to another item: #2903363128 (the URL was
long  better to search by item number on eBay). It92s a whole cloth
quilt with a description that begins with a paragraph about how the
moved back to the farm and loves to watch the goldfinches. The seller
has to
reluctantly give up some from her closetful of treasures that remind her
her grandmother. Anyway, her description of the quilt is quite
deceiving. In
one sentence she wants you to think this quilt is one of her items that
been expertly cared for and cleaned and in another she says this
quilt is
quite popular with her customers, it92s antique-like, and it92s brand
new in
the package! Buyer beware. VBG

Humorous and interesting wake-up reading this morning!


Barb Vlack
I have fulfilled a $1000 fund raising promise for Alzheimer's research
am working on a second $1000 pledge. Cheer me on at:
For lectures and workshops, see


Subject: Re: True potholder quilt
From: Pam Weeks <>

Would you believe that this is the second one I've seen? The first one was
all white, and was bed-sized. You may be right about this being a rug,

Connie Colom Barlow became an official member of the Potholder Posse when
she put me in touch with a dealer in Texas who had the white craft-loom
woven potholder "throw". I passed on it, because officially, it's not a
quilt. The blocks don't have two or three layers.

But I did buy the one made of real potholders printed with advertising
information from a hardware store in Kansas. All bound in red or green (I'm
foggy, and it's in it's box in storage) three layers, with big block printed
words including the store name and address.

These things are a hoot. Probably why I love them so.

Pam, in cloudy NH where I hope we'll get a little of the rain we need so

Pam Weeks
Quilt Historian, Teacher
AQS Certified Appraiser of Quilted Textiles
PO Box 123
Durham, NH 03824



Subject: Nancy Crow
From: <>
Date: Sun, 30 May 2010 8:25:54 -0400
X-Message-Number: 3

Whining works! Not for children but definitely for old ladies. Yesterday I drove an hour to Auburn, NY to hear Nancy Crow's lecture opening the Schweinfurth Gallery's exhibit of her work. Foolish me, I didn't see the note on the website advising advance purchase of tickets and the lecture was sold out.

"Surely there'll be some no-shows" I pleaded with the lady at the desk. "We won't know that; we mailed out the tickets." How about if come back just as the lecture starts and see if there are empty seats" I insisted. "What if a ticket holder is late?" she replied. I was running out of arguments when a man thrust a ticket at me. "My wife bought this for me" he explained. "Please, take it." Chivalry is not dead!

I am so glad that I persevered. Nancy's approach to her art is fascinating.
I was particularly impressed by her insistance on "protecting my time for creation." That's a lesson I wish I'd learned years ago. The exhibit fills sll six gallery spaces and includes works from the 1980s to 2009. The Schweinfurth is one of the great cultural resources of this area. They do the annual "QuiltsArtQuilts" exhibit.

Cinda in Central NY


Subject: True potholder quilt
From: "Munsey" <>
Date: Sun, 30 May 2010 12:25:17 -0400
X-Message-Number: 4

Well, while we are all laughing about the metal frames, jersey loopers, and
camp-made potholders, check out the March-April 2010 issue of Piecework
Magazine. It features "The Very Best Afghans in the World" by Robin Hansen
and the how-to "A Weave-It pillow or Chair Pad to Make" (pg. 23 ff.).

Weave-Its are a wood version (10s ancestor, I think) of those metal jobs.
Somewhere in my "stuff" is the Weave-It from my grandmother, given to me
when I was a (pre-50s) girl. I never really took to it, because knitting
seemed an easier and quicker way to make something with yarn. My kids
created plenty of the jersey looper pot holders in the 60's, however. I
keep running into leftover potholders around the house still. They may even
spontaneously generate!

And, yes, there are still devotees around. The "Piecework" article
references as a source of history of handheld looms.

Everything old comes 'round again in the craft and needlework world.

Sandra on Cape Cod


Subject: Re: Nancy Crow
From: Hiranya Anderson <>

Cinda, you are one of those special people in life who will never or NEVA as
some teens say, be "old"!!

Smiles, Hiranya Sydney, Australia : >