Monday, October 30, 2017

Modernistic Star

Modernistic Star
from an online auction.

Modernistic Star by Jeannette Dean Throckmorton, 1943
in the  Joyce Gross collection, Winedale Collection at the 
Briscoe Center at the University of Texas.

See much better photos here:

When I was designing hexagon blocks for the Morris Hexathon Quilt Along a few years ago I thought about including this pattern, but quickly decided that it would be pretty challenging in a hexagon 8" across.

Block by Carrie Hall in the collection
of the Helen F. Spencer Museum of Art
at the University of Kansas. 
It's about 20" wide.
You can see her beautiful seams. 
She was quite the stitcher.

It's 268.5 in BlockBase, given the name Modernistic Star
by the Aunt Martha Pattern Company. I can see in my BlockBase
index card that I've got typos in the pamphlet name.
Should be Prize Winning Designs, 1933.

Here's the source:

Prize Winning Designs: Many Quilt Patterns Never Before Published, Aunt Martha Studios, Kansas City, KS, 1933

The quilt is pictured on the cover---some young thing is showing
her new quilt to Aunt Martha who seems to be pleased with the design.

See that Aunt Martha catalog here at the Quilt Index.

But don't look for the pattern in there. I couldn't find it.
However, BlockBase will draw it any size for you.

Here's one the Wyoming Quilt Project found. No maker's name
given but she seems to have followed the Aunt Martha pattern down
to the borders and colors (I color corrected their very pink photo.)

And see Jeannette Throckmorton's pattern for her version. She drew it herself and she appliqued some of the points.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Asymmetrical Open Wreath

Block from quilt dated 1847 for Bernard Nadal
Smithsonian Collection.

What makes an album sampler a Baltimore Album quilt?
If I see 3 typical BAQ patterns in a sampler I file it in the BAQ file.

This one from a Hap Moore auction has several typical Baltimore designs---
that distinctive eagle with the flag, woven basket
and this one.

An asymmetrical kind of wreath or bouquet,
or as Elly Sienkiewicz classified it a Lyre Wreath.

It looks rather free-form and naturalistic and you'd never notice it as 
a "pattern", except that you notice it all the time.

Quilt dated 1847 from a 1985 ad in the Clarion magazine,
offered by Kelter Malce Antiques.

It's the layout of the flowers with one popping in from the lower left...

to fill an empty space above the stem juncture.
The two sides of the open wreath are not the same.
The top left stem curves in to fill another space.
It's a pretty way to fill a square block with flowers.

It's in my Encyclopedia of Applique # 43.65, "unnamed from an album dated 1847" (probably Bernard Nadal's). Page 135.

BAQ in the collection of the American
Folk Art Museum.

Does that space-filling floral ever pop in from the bottom left in a BAQ?

BAQ at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum

The flowers can be large or small, growing as triplets
or alone.

BAQ documented in the Arizona quilt project.

The earliest I've seen the pattern is in BAQs dated 1846, which
is also the earliest date-inscribed Baltimore album quilts I have
photos of.

Dated 1846 by Elizabeth Stansbury. Online Auction.

So it was part of the BAQ phenomenon from the beginning

Elly Sienkiewicz has been using the pattern
and inspiring other to make it too: Flowers popping in from left 
in this reproduction.

You also find the pattern in repeat block quilts.

All I have with this photo is a signature picture,
which the seller thought said
"Miss Harriet Welker

Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting did a pattern on a beauty from the IQSCM collection
in their December, 2012 issue. Here's a link to a free download. They called it Blossom Wreath.

I've seen several in online auctions over the past dozen years.

But one difference in most of the repeat block designs is the space-filling 
floral pops in from the bottom center.
The wreath is still asymmetrical with more of an arc on the left 
than the right.

Online auction from 2007.
I'd guess these are from the mid-19th century.

But here's one that looks more 20th-century 

at least in the fabric and binding.

Another 20th century version shown
in the Detroit News in 1934.
The woman holding the four-block quilt
said her grandmother made it recently.

Here's a version of Harriet Welker's. Print it 8"
or double it to 16".

Can't get enough Baltimore Album???? Check out the Smithsonian's picture file on Bernard Nadal's 1847 quilt.

Tulips on Bernard Nadal's quilt

Monday, October 16, 2017

Labyrinth by Carrie Hall

A quilt that's almost a Trip Around the World
but it's not.
The pattern was designed by Carrie Hall who
called it Labyrinth and published it in her 1935 book...

The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America

Hers was shades of that thirties green.
Someone actually made the pattern!
Keeping that straight would be way beyond me.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Postage Stamps and Trips

Quilt made for Henry Barnes 

"Made March 1922"
says the label on the back.
I bet that was quilted in 1922 and pieced in the 1880s or '90s.

Much like this silk version from Laura Fisher Heritage Quilts.
Probably about 1890.

It's a variation of what we'd call a Trip Around the World
but it doesn't go around anywhere

Well that's not true. It gets to a point in the center of the universe.

Most of the versions I've found on line are from about 1880-1920.

No BlockBase number and no traditional name except maybe Postage Stamp.

Olive Shurtleff
Brownville Historical Society Museum
I'd have guessed this one was from Bowmansville, Pennsylvania where
they loved to shade squares in novel and complicated designs, but the caption tells us
it was made in Brownsville, Nebraska.

Online auctions

My favorite.
That tan was probably another color once but it works great now as a neutral.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Lyre, Lyre

1847 Baltimore Album made for Bernard Nadal.
Collection of the National Museum of American History.

The lyre image is commonly seen in Baltimore Album blocks...
Inspired by a taste for classical form
exemplified in this chair back from the Duncan Phyfe workshop.

One could purchase a kit for a graceful block

or draft the musical instrument oneself.

Mary Couchman Album 
Bill Volckening Collection

1851 Baltimore Album by 
Eliza and Sarah Waring and other family members.
Collection of the DAR Museum

From an album dated 1847-1849, signed Margaret & Elizabeth Cameron.
documented by the Arizona project.

Baltimore Album in the collection of the Los Angeles Museum of Art

This single block with a heart is similar to three lyre blocks in a Baltimore Album
in the collection of the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

Lyre designs were also appliqued in repeat block format.

From the James collection at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum

We wonder about the symbolism in this popular image. One place to look for meaning is in funerary arts from the period.  

Gate in a New Orleans cemetery

Here's an analysis on the meaning from the blog Gravely Speaking.
"The lyre is a symbol of Apollo, the Greek god of music. In Christian symbolism it can represent harmony and Heavenly accord and song in praise of the Lord. In funerary art, however, the lyre can also represent the end of life."

Lyre & Swags, Moore Family,  1845-1860.York County, Virginia
Colonial Williamsburg Collection

Elizabeth Manning, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Collection: Historic Arkansas Museum

Darwin D. Bearley Collection
Again the heart at the base of the instrument.
This might symbolize harmony and accord,
But the weeping willows make one think of mourning
and the end of life.

And then there are medallion formats...

Sue May Billmyer Lemen, Jefferson County, Virginia
Documented in the West Virginia Project

Crib Quilt 
Pat & Arlen Christ Collection

Bayou Bend Collection
Houston Museum of Fine Arts

Sue Garman designed a repro block for her Simply Baltimore pattern.