Monday, April 27, 2020

Prickly Path

Here's an interesting red and white quilt dated 1897.

Very typical of the time in color and use of a shirting
dot for the neutral.

But the pattern isn't typical.

It's like a Drunkard's Path in the repeat

which can be viewed as two alternating blocks.

But instead of curved pieces this is based on triangles---
Not half square triangles, but almost half-square triangles,
arranged as a pinwheel and an octagon.
Sort of a Path of Least Resistance.

Drawn in EQ8

It makes a prickly Drunkard's Path

The best way to do this would be to cut two squares,
draw a diagonal line, sew on the south side of that
and trim off the corners.

Sue Garman called it a Walk-Away Star

It would seem that anything one can do with the curved Drunkard's Patch
unit one could do with this straight seamed unit.

Pattern ideas from Aunt Martha

Monday, April 20, 2020

Unusual Border: Festoons & Cockscombs

The Oregon project posted this terrific applique quilt on the Quilt Index. Attributed to Iva Walker Kurtz (1866-1950) in Solon, Iowa. Iva lived a long life. She married in 1910 when she 44 years old. Her family believed she made the quilt about 1898.

We can wish somebody had asked her about the border. 

It's unusual but certainly not unique.

Mary Koval's inventory

Over at the Facebook group Quilts Vintage & Antique we've been discussing it. I volunteered to post all the photos I have.

The majority come from the files of the Indiana Project

Harriet Wimmer (1854-1894) Henry County, Indiana,
thought to have been made about 1890.

Agnes Menzis Sneddon  (1852-1932)
Brazil, Clay County
Agnes and her husband were immigrants from Scotland. The
family thought it might have been made in Scotland mid-century
but most likely made in Indiana late 19th.

No information about this one. See the faded reds 
in the lower border.

Elizabeth Eastburn Stockton, Lafayette, Indiana (1829-1916)
Collection Tippecanoe County Historical Society

Elizabeth from her Find-A-Grave site

Found in the Indiana project, attributed to Susan Rebecca Pierson in Ohio,
but family thought it made mid-century. Greens faded to tan indicate
date after 1880 so might have been made in Indiana.
 Extra leaf in the border swag.

No information other than names embroidered
in the border, but no record of the names. Again faded
green indicates late 19th or early 20th c date.

More like a tree than a swag

Documented in Wabash but no other information
as it was a purchase. Swags upside down.
20th Century?

The grandmother of them all may be this beautiful sampler

Pictured in Marie Webster's 1915 book Quilts: Their Story... in which she says it is a  southern Indiana quilt made about 1825. "The border is composed of festoons decorated with cockscombs and sprays of flowers." As it is an applique sampler it's most likely after 1840.

The quilt was later documented in the Indiana Project where it was photographed in light that shows the quilting. The family noted the quilting had been done about 1910 (Did Marie Webster's business have something to do with that?) 

A much better photo was published in their book Quilts of Indiana. That information indicates it was made by a woman named McCasson, grandmother of E.W. Ross of Terra Haute. 

The 1850 Indiana census recorded a Margaret McCasson born in Virginia about 1808 or 9, married to Dr Fredrick McCasson from New Jersey, living in Jackson township, Spencer County, which is down by the Ohio River.. Her youngest child was born in Indiana about 1846 but the others were born in Ohio, indicating they spent the 1830s there before coming to Indiana after Mary's birth in 1840. The quilt was likely made about 1850 according to the family. 

Family tombstone indicates they came to Indiana in 1837,
a conflict with Mary Jane's birthplace on the census.

Margaretta Dunbar McKasson (1808-1860) is buried in Pigeon Creek in Spencer County.

Other genealogical sites indicate Margaret Dunbar married Frederick McCasson in 1828 in Campbell County, Kentucky. Virginia, west to Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

This McCasson seems a likely candidate as the maker of the quilt with the festoons and cockscomb border.
Cockscomb in the bowl as well as in the border.
Two eagles also perch on the swags.

Five Indiana quilts by county

The Oregon project attributed this Rose Tree to the Gross family in Indiana.

Collection of the Illinois State Museum

Elizabeth Wells Perisho, (1839-1933) Paris, Edgar County, Illinois. The family thought it to have been made in the mid 1850s when she was 16. Paris Illinois is only 30 miles or so from Brazil, Indiana.

The rest of the pictures with the border have no place of origin listed. They are all red and green applique blocks except for one Star of Bethlehem..

Minnesota Project. No information

Art Institute of Chicago
Gift of Emma Hodge

Ebay in 2017



Unusual two part cockscomb

Scalloped edge and red print coxcombs

Madge Zeigler found in Pennsylvania

Teddy Pruett just purchased in Florida

Tony's grandmother

Trish Failla's inventory

23 examples