|Fran's Vintage Friends met in Meyersville, MD on Monday,
March 21, 2005. There are views there which haven't changed since the
Civil War (Antietam is not far away).
We were, of course, looking at quilts. A beautiful Basket quilt (3rd
quarter 19th cen.)came all the way from Texas for our inspection. The
baskets are filled with flowers and birds (3 different species) are
perched on the handles. The baskets are set without sashing and oriented
toward the center. There's a narrow half-square triangle border and wide
border of appliqued birds and flowers.
Fran had her sister's wedding quilt, a Grandmothers Flower Garden made
in 1939 by the ladies of the First congregational Church of Chester, NJ
(see p. 204 of New Jersey Quilts by Rachel Cochran et al.). We saw lots of
neat sewing items: a turquoise blue enameled thimble case in the shape of
a walnut; a ribbon chatelaine possibly Shaker; a whole collection of
housewives pretty much spanning the 19th century. There was an exquisite
handmade lace tablecloth from Venice, c. 1900 and a carriage rug with
multicolored spiral designs and a double scalloped border.
I often joke about my identical-twin-separated-at-birth Suzanne Cawley,
but I'm beginning to believe my own story. She and I share a real love for
the weird in the world of quilts. It's been a long time since I've seen
anything quite as strange as Suzanne's vintage appliqued carrot blocks
(obviously affected by some horrible blight) and the quilt appliqued with
64 squat red bells. In the center was embroidered "40th anniv."
There was a great top alternating 9-Patches with Ohio Stars in many
1830-1860 fabrics and a Crosses and Losses top from New England with just
about every madder brown print you could imagine with fussy cut sashes and
cornerstones. Another pink and green top (PA, of course) had plus signs
appliqued in the borders.
We saw two sets of circa 1870 blocks (Album and Flying Geese) bought on
Ebay where they were listed as 1940s. A red, white and green Pine Tree
quilt (1920s) was found in a Schenectady, NY church rummage sale with a
picture labeled "Forbidden Fruit Tree." Peggy Armstrong told us
about the plans for the Franklin Co., PA quilt documentation.
Exciting to think that we have another book and exhibit to look