Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Morris Flowerpot in Broderie Perse

I have been Photoshopping throughout the long winter, thinking about the May Morris vase in a post a few weeks ago. 

What if you cut the stripes from this Daffodil Morris print
from the Morris Tapestry line I did for Moda?

And appliqued the vase as one piece.

And found some other flowers from say this Morris Apprentice line?

You'd have to consider the scale of the various flowers

And then there are plenty of leaves to add.

Most of the Morris collections we've done at Moda
go together across lines. We tend to stick to the same sage greens and indigo blues,
madder oranges etc.

You could do a cut-out-chintz (Broderie Perse) applique combined with embroidery.

You'd probably want to stick with the same color backgrounds for the flowers and for the block background. A white background wouldn't really work because most of the Morris reproductions have dark grounds. Appliqueing a flower with a dark ground to a light background is a lot more work.

I'd make the background dark, matching the florals.

I've got some new Cross Weave Wovens from Moda that are substantial enough to make a background.

Click here to see the colors:

More later---probably much later.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spencerian Penmanship in Albums

Signature with a flourish and perhaps a poem

My Ladies' Album reproduction fabric collection from
Moda takes its inspiration from 19th-century album quilts.

Woman about 1860 holding an important book.
An autograph album? 
Religious tract?

Before there were album quilt blocks there were
bound autograph albums.

Some are filled with graceful flourishes and drawings.

Detail from the Hoyt Quilt,
Stamford [CT] Historical Society

Birds were popular in both quilts and bound books.

The inspiration was Spencerian penmanship or copperplate penmanship,
where "flourishing" was an artform.

One could buy books with instructions
and sample flourishes.

A bird flourish sample from H.S. Blanchard, a prominent designer.

One could take classes in schools
or from private teachers, such as Harry R. Kelly whose
card is below.

Professional calligraphers, then and now, will
draw something special for you.

But most Spencerian signatures in autograph books (and quilts)
have the naive charm of the amateur about them.

For more about calligraphy see Jane Farr's blog and shop

And see a fine drawing of Penn's Treaty at the Quaker Quilt History Blog:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tuesday Afternoon Gallery Talk by Jean Mitchell

Bill and Jean
from a LJW photo by Thad Allender

Well I didn't mean to put this up on this blog but you will probably enjoy the photos that belong on the guild blog.

Do plan to stay for the afternoon program Tuesday after the regular guild meeting at the Spencer Museum of Art at the KU campus.

At 1:30 on  April 15, Jean Mitchell will discuss her quilts in the gallery, talking about the themes and symbols in the pieces.

Gallery Talk Virginia Jean Cox Mitchell
1:30 – 2:30 PM / Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 316

See more here: 

A photo of Jean by Jim Richardson from the National Geographic archives.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Meanwhile in Boston

Quilt by New Yorker Mary (Betsy) Totten,
called Rising Sun in her will.
Collection of the Smithsonian Institutuion

Read more about Betsy Totten's quilt here:

During the mid-19th century, city expositions showed off the best of local industries to encourage American entrepreneurs. The mechanical institutes sponsoring the fairs encouraged ladies to visit to add a cultured tone. One incentive for women was display categories for domestic needlework production. Surviving lists of prizes and entries give us a little insight into the hot quilt designs of the era. In Baltimore in 1851 the Mathematical Star was popular.(See the last post.)

Quilt about 1840-1860 from an online auction.

Exactly what defined a mathematical star? We pattern historians guess some kind of a Star of Bethlehem----maybe any kind of a Star of Bethlehem.

Faneuil Hall, Boston, about 1890

Meanwhile in Boston, the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association listed notable entries in their fairs. In 1850:

" (#869) Mrs. Lucy A. Parker, Boston. One Patch Quilt. (Rising Sun)—contains 1,152 diamonds. The design is pretty and the work neat."

Ten years later:
(#1021) Mrs. G. A. Faxon, Boston. Patch-work Quilt. 'Rising Sun.' Very ingenious.

Interior view of a
Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association,
19th century,
The textiles above look knitted or crocheted.
Was a Rising Sun the same type of quilt described in Baltimore as a Mathematical Star?

Mid 19th century quilt from the Binney collection

It might be that Lucy Parker's "One Patch Quilt. (Rising Sun)—contains 1,152 diamonds" looked like the quilt above---a kind of concentric wheel of diamonds rather than a star of diamonds?

In my BlockBase digital program the pattern is #4006, The earliest published name I could find was Sunburst. But that name wasn't published until 1974 when Carleton Safford and Robert Bishop wrote America's Quilts and Coverlets.

I assumed they were labeling the central pattern here as Sunburst or Rising Sun,
but it the caption is vague.

Westerfield collection Brooklyn Museum

The Safford and Bishop name stuck and we still tend to call these Sunburst designs.

Quilt on the cover of the Maryland project book
A Maryland Album

Was a Mathematical Star in Baltimore the same as a Rising Sun in Boston? No answers here....but a good excuse to show more of pattern #4006.

From the Quilt Index, in the collection of the Museum of the
Daughters of the American Revolution

Unknown source, with cutout chintz
Different diamond shape from an old Quilt Engagement Calendar

From the Maine State Museum

A Philadelphia Quaker named Rebecca Scattergood Savery
has four of #4006 attributed to her hand, the one
above from the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

This one from the WinterthurMuseum

You see the pattern continuing into the end of the 19th century.

From an online auction as are the others below.

The Amish picked the pattern up and took it in new directions.