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.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Rainbow Quilt---Shaded Squares #2289

20th century quilt from the Arizona Project and the Quilt Index.
I bet the tans were once green.

One of my favorite designs, nothing but squares.

Shaded on the diagonal.

Popular about 1900 to show off these
fashionable new prints at the time:

grey, black, pink red and blue, blue, blue.

I made a repro in the 1990s
when those colors were fashionable again.

I noticed the design actually has a BlockBase number
2289, published a few decades after the first craze.
Rainbow Quilt in Country Gentleman magazine in 1932.

This one from French72 Antiques is colored true to the name.

Even though I've already made one the version below is
making me think about another.

Fussy-cut polka dots.

More on tessellating squares:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bouquet Quilt Block

I've been pinning pictures of quilts date-inscribed 1853 and
came across this pretty applique quilt from an eBay post in the last year.

It's a beautiful quilt in worn condition.

The embroidered inscription says 
"Margaret Stambaugh
Israel Stambaugh

Unusual border with dots and tear drops echoing the
smaller block in the main part of the quilt.

UPDATE: Laurette Carroll tells me she was the lucky bidder on
this quilt.

The unusual main block works in negative and positive fashion.
Is it a star?
Is it a ring of 8 flowers?

It does have an Encyclopedia of Applique number
A Traditional Block published in the magazine Comfort
as Bouquet Quilt Block. 
Probably published about 1910 with that name.
It's a lot cooler block than it looks in the drawing because of that negative/positive aspect.

This pink & white version (once Turkey red and white)
also shows the ambiguous nature of the design

The negative/positive action works better in the top block
because the flowers
actually touch.

Here's a terrible snapshot of another mid-19th-century version.

These are the only three examples I have.

A 1935 issue of Comfort
The magazine had a high circulation about 1910 and
was an important source for quilt patterns, but
this pattern is a generation or two older than the magazine.
Wish I knew what Margaret Stambaugh called it.

I did find a fourth similar quilt---offered on eBay this summer:

Looks mid-19th century-maybe 1850 - 1880?

And this pieced variation from Augusta Auctions
a couple of years ago.