Monday, July 24, 2017

Carolina Mystery Pattern: Plume Circle

Quilt from eBay.
An unusual pattern.
Classified as 8 identical arms in the design elements.
There aren't a lot of these 8-armed designs as
they don't fill up the square block too well.
The corners are empty.

This design is quite familiar to pattern historians
as a regional Southern design from the last half of the 19th century.
The North Carolina quilt project gave it the generic name
of  Plume Circle Design.

Very similar quilt from Cindy's antiques.
Often done in two colors, solids---prints rare.
Reverse applique slashes in the spokes, usually two curves.
It looks like the pattern might be cut from folded paper like a snowflake.

Mary Caroline Rhyne, NC Project & the Quilt Index.

But it is amazing how close some of these are indicating that
an actual pattern was handed around.

In my Encyclopedia of Applique it's #15.31
My source called it Snowflake but what
that source was I don't know.

This one looks to be mid-19th century. It is one of four
in the collection of the Lexington County Museum in South Carolina.
A little extra: a pinked edge along the outside of the petals.

They showed all four a few years ago.

Instagram post on the "Carolina Mystery Pattern."

A lot of bedcoverings in an auction.
The print border is uncommon.
One slash per petal unusual too.

Skinner's Auction sold this Georgia example.

The fabrics are often prone to fading.

Here's a variation: additional leaves.

And one documented by the North Carolina project
with hearts. It was photographed in black & white.

The same quilt, I bet, in blazing color.

I found this photo at a guild show n tell I think.
Heidi brought it, saying it was from her
husband's family and it had a North Carolina project
label on the reverse.

Some examples have 6 arms rather than 8

The Charleston Museum showed this quilt in 2008.

The Press Release for the exhibit stated:
"Providing an unusual twist on the floral theme is the Sundew quilt made in the mid-19th century. Each square bears an unusual appliqué and reverse appliqué motif based on the Sundew or Drosera plant.
"These pink plants lure, capture and digest insects using tentacles covered with glistening drops of mucilage, resembling drops of morning dew. The plants are found in boggy areas in many parts of the world, but this quilt pattern has only been found on central South Carolina quilts (Lexington area)."
Oh, that must have made them mad in North Carolina. And Tennessee and Georgia. But I digress.

Sundew's a good name but it would be nice to know the source for the name. Did it come with a  quilt?

Larushia Turnbow Holman
The Tennessee Project & the Quilt Index

Another design option is to fill up the square block with additional flowers in the corners as Larushia Holman did. Her quilt was found in Tennessee. The family said:

"The quilter made this quilt to show. 
It won blue ribbons in county fairs. 
The maker, earlier in life, had connections with North Carolina."

Emma Poovey, January 23, 1877
Lincolnton, Lincoln County, North Carolina

A tulip-like design added to one signed & dated and found
in the North Carolina project.

Erma Kirkpatrick and the other North Carolina historians
showed several regional designs in their chapter on applique in
North Carolina Quilts.
This one they called a plume-circle quilt.

"The pattern seems to lack a traditional name."
But one NC quilt owner called it Wonder of the World or World's Wonder.

More corner action

The variation with the corner designs have a different number

Sarah Felker, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Found by the Arizona Project. 

Another digression. Note how that greenish blue dye
is migrating in terrible fashion. I'd guess hot storage
might aggravate that migration.

Very fancy variation.
No number

Monday, July 17, 2017

Flying Swallows

BlockBase #3758
All the quilt photos are from online auctions.

Ruth Finley called this variation on a star block
Circling Swallows, Flying Swallows and Falling Star.

The pattern is hard to see. Here's a BlockBase/EQ7 drawing.

In her 1929 index to patterns, Finley wrote that the pattern dates from about 1800, a very dubious date. I don't have any pictures of the design earlier than the 1930s or '40s. Finley was probably responsible for popularizing it in the 1930s.

The Quilt Index has 8 examples that I could find, dating from the 1930s to the 1980s.

So it's not a really old pattern, but one with a lot of potential.

Laura Wheeler pattern for "Wreath"

Monday, July 10, 2017

Oak Leaf & Cherries: Dots, Dots, Dots

#14.86 in my Encyclopedia of Applique.
My source for the pattern was this quilt pictured in the Texas Quilts, Texas Treasures book from 1986.

Oak Leaf & Cherries, 1890-1900 by Mrs. Dillingham,
Ardmore, Oklahoma

 I was glad to find a second example in the files of the
North Carolina project.

Quilt by Lena Applewhite Thompson
Wilson County, North Carolina.
Last quarter of the 19th century.

Here's a variation, the symmetry based on 8
rotating arms with dots. 

From a dotty sampler pictured in Woodard & Greenstein's Crib Quilts

The caption says Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Then I found this spread on the Cumberland County, Pennsylvania book on quilts seen
in the Letort Quilters Documentation Project.
The documenters saw several examples. They call it Flowers & Bubbles.

A regional favorite. Notice the dots are arranged in threes.

Variations from various places:

A simpler version from 1880-1910.

From an online auction.
Note the checkerboard cornerstone is the same
as the earlier North Carolina quilt.

And if you liked making dots, you could make 12
as in this sampler quilt from the collection of the Briscoe
Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Another quilt from the Texas project.

From an online auction years ago.
Fill up those empty corners with more dots and a few stars.

Print this out 8 inches square
and double it for a pattern for an 18-22" block.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Pineapple ala Carmen Miranda

I found this pineapple on Tim Latimer's blog.
He bought it on eBay.
It has an Encyclopedia of Applique number

I saw a similar pattern in the 1978 Quilt Engagement Calendar,
probably this one that is now in the collection of the New England Quilt Museum.

Quirky as the design is with its reverse appliqued fruit,
I've got several photos of similar quilts.

The whole thing has a Carmen-Miranda look.

International Quilt Study Center and Museum

The one below was documented by the North Carolina Project.

Rowan County, North Carolina

Judy Roche owns this 20th-century block. Dots
instead of slashes in the fruit.

And I found this one on a Pinterest page;
I think it's in Teddy McMahon Pruett's collection.
No reverse applique, no dots.

Tim was inspired to make a copy by the example at the top of the page

He added texture to the fruit with quilting rather than
reverse applique.
Amazing quilting.

See more pineapple patterns here: