Monday, January 25, 2021

Harrison Rose


An intriguing pattern: Pieced & Appliqued

First published as Harrison Rose by Marie Webster in 1915, but
she gives us little information about whence the name.

Harrison  Campaign Toile, 1840 
William Henry Harrison was elected president on
the Whig ticket in 1840 but got a case of pneumonia
at the inaugural (it's said) and died after one month in office.

Marie Webster was an Indiana native and President William Henry Harrison was considered practically a native son although he was born in Virginia, lived in Ohio and only resided in Indiana for about 15 years when he was governor of the Territory before the War of 1812. 

Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)
Harrison Presidential Campaign Bandana circa 1890
He rose to the rank of Brevet General in the Union Army

We assume Webster refers to the first President Harrison. His grandson, Republican Benjamin Harrison who held the office from 1889 to 1893, spent more time in Indiana. 

Lucy Howland Bassett Thatcher (1803-1894), Massachusetts
Estimated date 1840-1860
Collection of the D.A.R. Museum.

The family who donated the quilt called it Full Blown Poppy.

Once a quilt name was published in Webster's book it became the standard and we now refer to many related designs as a Harrison Rose.

From my Encyclopedia of Applique.
If you have one write in Marie Webster 1915 under #31.26.

You could buy a pattern from Women's Day in 1924,
called Harrison Rose by Virginia Dibble.
Did Ms. Dibble have an old quilt?

The Nancy Cabot column in the Chicago Tribune sold one in 1933.
Yikes, call the art department!

Carrie Hall showed this block in her 1935 book as Harrison Rose.
She copied Webster's design remarkably well. That woman could sew.

But 19th-century quiltmakers definitely passed the pattern around
way before it was published.

The Indiana Quilt Project saw this one by Mary Magdalena Shorts Ringer (1826-1898)
of Millersville. Her actual maiden name may have been Hahn.

Mary Ringer married into a family that had enough respect for the Harrisons (some Harrisons somewhere) that inlaws named a child born in Maryland 1828 Harrison Ringer and he named his son Benjamin Harrison Ringer in 1860. Mary's descendants thought the quilt was made about 1860 but they had no name for the design.

Similar quilt dated on the reverse 1861
No source.

The blogger at AnnaLenaLand was at a bedturning at the Latimer Quilt Museum
in Oregon when she photographed this variation dated 1869

Almeda Bell Dickerson (1881-1965), Texas

Here's one from the next generation of quiltmakers.

Well documented by the Texas Project

Texas-born Almeda probably made the quilt in the early 20th-century. The style with strong sashing of triple strips, border on only two sides and the solids fading to tan are good clues to that late date and a Southern origin.

Similar set in a quilt seen by the North Carolina project. The family believed
the quilt to have been made before the Civil War and buried to protect
it from marauding Yankees but the quilt looks to have been made
at least 30 years after the war.

Terry Thompson and I have traded this mid-19th century
sampler of Caesar's Crown variations back and forth over the years
On the left side a rather elaborate version of the Harrison Rose.

Not the kind of pattern one would often see in a sampler.
Much more common as a repeat block.

I decided I needed a pattern. 

The blocks above show a consistency in design with the center a rather complex pieced pattern with many names, among them Caesar's Crown published in Ruth Finley's 1929 book. But the crown is not pieced into the background; it's appliqued to the edge of the block and a stem with simple leaves extends to the side. To accommodate the stem most of the vintage designs eliminate one of the 8 spiky points on the perimeter (those points are always green.)

My plan.
Begin with the pieced wheel.

Lots to choose from in BlockBase

The closest  I could find was #3649 published as a pieced King David's Crown by the Clara Stone group of the Hearth and Home magazines about 1900.

Two options. 1) Print the pattern out and add missing lines.

Or export #3649 to EQ8 and add the straight lines in there.

As this gave me more flexibility I did that and
add those pink shapes.
Pretty darn close.
Then I began Photoshopping my EQ drawing:

Erased one green point.
And the pieced background.
Moved it over.
Added a stem.

A pattern.
It fits on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of paper.
Double it to fit a larger block

Read a post about the pattern here:

And see Melissa McCaskill's Pinterest page:

PS My father's name was Benjamin Harrison Brackman and my brother's is William Harrison etc. I don't think it had a darn thing to do with politics although my immigrant grandma might have been working on her citizenship test. Ben named for grandpa Harry---Harry's son.


  1. beautiful flower blocks in the quilt you share.

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