Friday, December 18, 2015

Ulster Inspired Quilts

I wrote in 2011 about Ulster inspired quilts…or possibly Ultser inspired, per the research of Valerie Wilson published in 1991. You can click here to see that post.

The other day I stumbled across a top on eBay that so reminded me of a photo in that 1991 Uncoverings American Quilt Study Group (AQSG) research paper that I snapped it up.

And so the research continues.

Again, refer back to my original post on this subject by clicking here.

 UPDATE - 2017 February: Barbara Brackman posted some interesting photos of quilts on her blog today that contain the "shamrock or hearts" appliqué pattern that I have been writing about. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Marie Webster's Influence?

Love Comparing Quilt Patterns

I stumbled across this quilt yesterday on eBay and immediately thought…"Is this a Marie Webster pattern I have never seen before?"

The quilter seems to have taken one element from Marie's May Tulips….the "skyscraper-like spikes" in the border….

(page 32 from Rosalind Webster Perry's book "A Joy Forever", 
granddaughter of Marie Webster.)

(A shrunken version of May Tulips  from my collection.)

….and the flower in the eBay quilt (see below) reminds me a bit of Marie's Cluster or Roses….

See Marie's Cluster of Roses block (below)….

So did someone just make up their own quilt pattern from two elements of some of Marie Webster's patterns?  Or does this quilt simply represent a published pattern I have never seen before? If you know the source of the eBay quilt pattern, please let me know. Comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Thank you!

KarenQuilt @ Quilt History Reports

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Comparing Mt.Mist Patterns to Marie Webster Patterns

I follow eBay a lot. Some sellers really make an effort to properly identify the name of the quilt's pattern. Some don't.  It really is a challenge identifying quilt patterns if you dont' study quilts or don't have a good research library or don't know where to find the comparisons on the Internet.

In my experience, the most commonly mis-identified patterns are those "called" Marie Webster when they are actually Mountian Mist patterns.  Marie Webster's patterns came first in the history of quilt making. Then Mountain Mist came out with their own variations of Marie Webster designs. The two are often confused.  Here are some prime examples.

One of the most commonly mis-labeled patterns is the Sunflower pattern. The 3rd quilt in the composite photo below is the Mountain Mist pattern. On eBay it is often leabled a Marie Webster pattern. It is not the Marie Webster pattern.

Below is Marie Webster's Sunflower quilt pattern.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Playing with Stripes & Color

I  was mesmerized by a very graphic B&W striped ad 

I found last fall

in one of the many magazines that pile up 

next to my reading spot 

at the dining room table. 

I tore out the ad and decided to play 

with the leaves 

falling from the red Maple 

outside my window.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton Football Quilt

A New Research Avenue to Pursue

Here is another quilt in my collection which I am now beginning to research. I am hoping that it may be a block from Marion Cheever White Newton's football quilt but until I see a full photo of that quilt or the pattern, I don't know in fact if this is a block fron a MCWN pattern. 

There is a photograph of Marion's football quilt on page 87 of the published papers of the 1995 Uncoverings by the American Quilt Study Group but the quilt is bunched up in Marion's lap and I cannot see all the blocks clearly.

Has anyone ever seen a clear straight on frontal photo 

of Cheever's Football Quilt? 

Above is a blow-up of the quilt on Marion's lap in the photo from the 1995 Uncoverings published by AQSG.

Here is another photo from this same source 
blown-up a bit as well.

Here is a link to the article:

Here is a link as to how to order a copy of the 1995 Uncoverings, 

if you are interested:

I was so hoping a photo would show up in Rose Lea Alboum's compilation of Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton's Story Book Quilts. Unfortunately, there is no photo of the Football Quilt though it is listed as among those that Marion designed.  However, if you like Cheever's quilt designs, you will thoroughly enjoy having a copy of Alboum's spiral bound research.

However, there is a copy of a newspaper article in the Alboum book.

I have never seen a really clear photo of this particular Cheever design but the quilt I found reminded me so much of Cheever's designs, I bought it anyway …. in hopes that it is a Cheever Whiteside Newton design. 

I personally have never seen a quilt in person that has an appliqued football player stitched on it. If any of you reading this have seen this football pattern before or any others that pre-date 1960, please leave me a comment below.


PS: Here is a link to another article about Marion Cheever White Newton in a 1947 magazine. Just click here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Story Book Quilts of Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton

At the January meeting of the Enchanted Quilters of Lopez Island, I presented a program on the quilts of Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton with accompanying quilts from my own collection.  

A few blocks from Newton's "Little Women" pattern series.

Newton was a trained artist who had one leg rooted in New England and the other in Portland, Oregon. About mid-career, she turned from her success in art to designing some very special Story Book Quilts in the late 1940s, making an international name for herself by the 1950s.  

I based my talk on the research presented by Naida Treadway Patterson at the 1995 annual seminar of the American Quilt Study Group*. You can read Patterson's published research of that 1995 lecture by clicking here, which will take you to the website of the Quilt Index. However, you can't see any of the photos that appeared in the originally published article. But the text is well worth the read. 

You can see the full story of my presentation about Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton with many more photos by clicking here.

I wrote briefly once before about Newton when I was trying to track down the possible source of a quilt I added to my collection in 2013. That post I called Is She Dutch or Hungarian? (Click on the name to go to that post.)

Please feel free to leave a comment if you, too, love the Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton Story Book Quilts or have one or made one!  Also, please leave a comment if you know of others designing similar story book quilts today!

Where to go for accurate Quilt History?

As an aside, I can never resist sharing AQSG*. I have been a member of AQSG since 1981.  This group has provided me with some of the greatest friendships of my adult life as well as some of the most stimulating research seminars one could hope to attend in the field of textile/quilt history!

Many Regional Quilt Study Groups have been formed around the country in the last 20 years, most by members of AQSG, though the regional groups are NOT formerly associated with AQSG.  Yours truly helped form the Washington Quilt Study Group in 2005, along with Joy Neal and Susan Underwood, also AQSG members.  

You can read about the various regional groups by clicking here on Kris Dreissen's Quilt History website.  I highly recommend joining this discussion group so that you can access our past as well as present discussions. There is a wealth of in-depth quilt history discussions that have taken place since 1997 archived on this website. Kris charges a very nominal fee to help with overhead.

Sometimes it feels to me like Kris has been in the quilt business forever. That must say something about how old I am getting myself, not Kris's age! I do know she and her husband once had their quilt business on wheels -- yep, the original Quilt Bus!


I have two more exciting stories to share that have been brought to my attention in the past two weeks. One is about a Comfort Quilt made by young primary school students in Leeds, England, based on a quilt they found on the Quilt Index via the Internet. It just so happens that the quilt their teacher discovered on-line was the Hearts Signature Quilt made by the members of the Enchanted Quilters in 1999 for my mother-in-law, Wini Alexander, when she diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer! Can't wait to share the students' story with you!   Wini's quilt is on the right in this photo.

Just a few of the students who made blocks for this quilt!

Staff writerFebruary 6, 2015 

The other story is about a new Quilt Documentation Project led by A'donna Richardson that is beginning this weekend in the Seattle area. You can read the beginnings the story here by reading this news article whose link was sent me just three days ago.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to get to the first couple of meetings but I am very excited about keeping track of this project.

Read more here:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Anne Orr or Ruby McKim pattern?

A shout out to all my quilt history friends.

Is this an Anne Orr or Ruby McKim pattern?
 I saw it on eBay.

Amazing! No sooner posted to the AQSG discussion list and the answer came through. 

It is Anne Orr's "Star Flower" pattern, according to AQSG member Joanie Howe. 

Click here for a link to one of Anne Orr's quilting booklets.

Click here for an interview of Merikay Waldvogel, an Honoree of The Quilters Hall of Fame, known for her research on Anne Orr

This 2nd link is to a paper Merikay sumbitted to AQSG about Anne Orr. Unfortuantely, there are no photos included in the Internet version.

Meanwhile, here is an example of this quilt at The Quilt Complex, a business run by my dear 

friend Julie Silber, also an AQSG member.


My first mentor in quilting - my MIL, Wini Alexander on left.

Updated Jan 1, 2015

Some great Quilt History blogs and websites. This list doesn't begin to dent the great quilt history "stuff" now available via the Internet.

1) Antique Quilt Dating (Kim Wulfert)

            To see a list of Brackman's books, click here.

            To see her Civil War Quilts blog, click here.

3) Eye of the Needle (Sue Wildemuth)

4) Hart Cottage Quilts (Leigh Fellner) - Leigh has done an incredible job on researching the story behind the so-called Underground Railroad quilt code myth.

5) History of Quilts and Quilt Myths

6) The Quilters Hall of Fame

Signature Quilt made as fund raiser for TQHF in 2006, the year Virginia Avery was inducted into the Hall of Fame.   Owner - Karen Alexander

7) Quilter’s Muse (Patricia Cummings)

(8) Quilt History-Layer by Layer (Sue Reich)

(9) Womenfolk: The Art of Quilting - Judy Anne Breneman

(10) Why Quilts Matter - Shelly Zegart

Deletable Mountains - won at AQSG Auction

(11) Quilt Kit Indentification - Rose Marie Werner (a fee is required but you can then downlaod anything you want to research)

12) Collector with a Needle - Dawn Miller

13) Excellent article on Tim's blog about imported quilts

14) Taryn of Reproduction and Antique Quilt Lover always has something interesting up her sleeve.

15) African American Quilters and Cloth Artists -  Kyra Hicks has written several books about African American quilters and contributed to other books in the field as well. She is also a wonderful quilt artist in her ownn right.

16) Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, artist, writer and curator of African American quilts. Click here to see her interview Quilting Collective History.

Several of the links above also list many other great blogs and websites down the right side of their page. Check them all out and you will have no time to cook or clean. Not a bad trade-off, right!

Quilt History Online Discussion Groups

1)    check out Quilts-Vintage & Antique and Doll & Crib Quilts-Vintage & Antique on Facebook

2)    Quilt History List

3)    H-Net Discussions - have fun exploring this site!

And we quilt historians do have fun!!!

Minneapolis - 2009 AQSG Auction Assistants 
with our chief auction guru in the center wearing no horns, Julie Sliber.

Quilt/Textile Collections


2-c) Quilt Index  -  
             Signature Quilt Project - 

The Quilt Index is an online research and reference tool designed to provide unprecedented access to contextual information and images of over 30,000 quilts held in private and public collections. The Quilt Index was conceived and developed by The Alliance for American Quilts in partnership with Michigan State University's MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts and Letters Online and the Michigan State University Museum. The Index was supported in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

3) The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress 

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress was created by Congress in 1976 "to preserve and present American Folklife." The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, which presents the online project Quilts and Quiltmaking in America, 1978 - 1996, has been a valuable consultant throughout the development of the Quilt Index (a subgroup of The Alliance for American Quilts above).  All Q-SOS Interviews are housed here.

5) Center for Great Lakes Quilts Michigan State University Museum 

6) International Quilt Study Center and Museum - (Lincoln, NE) for a quilt history timeline, podcasts, quilt of the month online, exhibitions. For their blog, click here.

8) Winedale Center for the Quilt University of Texas 

Washington Quilt Study Group members discuss an 1840s-1850s quilt.

Quilt Study Groups 

(each of these links will lead you to more)

1) American Quilt Study Group  - the oldest quilt history research organization. AQSG offers seminars, publications, and online discussions.


Pacific Northwest Regional Quilt Collections

 LaConner Quilt & Textile Museum  703 S. 2nd Street, La Conner, WA 

ÓKaren B. Alexander of Quilt History Reports - 
Jan 1 2015 update