The cross fertilization of needlework patterns across all cultures has interested me since I lived overseas as a teen-ager. I began studying quilt history as a vehicle of community and family history in the 1980s after I inherited a family quilt. My blog reflects all these influences.
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ON A MUSICAL NOTE
GARY ALEXANDER on the clarinet here and scatting and singing here.
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QUOTE: When [photographer] Clara Brian began her education
in 1913 home economics was very new as a national movement. It was a time in
American society when, as Richard
Hofstadter described it, "that
broader impulse toward criticism and change that was everywhere so conspicuous
after 1900... effected in a striking way...the whole tone of American political
life." Americans had a feeling of evangelical optimism, the conviction
that by hard work and education, through the application of scientific
principles and with the spirit of sacrifice and cooperative action, people
could improve and reform society, each other, themselves, for a more spiritual
and idealized order.
Which led to this QUOTE which sounds so much like our
political situation today:
“As a member of the avant-garde who is capable
of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused
public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as
something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working
politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good
and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight
things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and
totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated–if not from the world, at
least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his
attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly
unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable,
failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial
success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began,
and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying
quality of the enemy he opposes.” ― Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays
All because I started studying Clara Brian who, for a short
time in the 1930s, wrote a newspaper quilt pattern column!
I love the serendipity and synchronicity of research!!!!
How many of you viewed this quilt when it went up for auction earlier this year? It sold for an astounding amount for a Sunbonnet Sue, in my opinion. But it truly is one very interesting and unique quilt due to its extensive embroidery. It would make for a great pattern series.
Since I have two in my collection that are somewhat similar but much simpler (one even rather primitive due to the "hammerhead" style of Sue ), I have tried tracking down possible pattern sources of this style. In the photo below of the next SBS quilt, the embroidery is very simple but the fabrics in the dresses are very colorful and varied.
Don't you just love that "dainty" hand and arm!"
Betty J. Hagerman Book
One of the most likely influences to me is L-3 seen on page 27 of Betty J. Hagerman's 1979 book A Meeting of the Sunbonnet Children because it shows an embroidered fence in the background.
You can usually easily find a used copy of Hagerman's book via the Internet. I highly recommend it.
Wonky "Hatchet-head" Sue
My other quilt that only somewhat resembles the quilt in the recent InvaluableAuction is actually no longer a quilt with three layers. It is now only a top but shows that one time it was tied. It needs a good pressing but no time for that right now. I'll press it before the exhibit goes up October 5th. See the photos below.
Another one of my funky SBS quilts
The hat in this SBS top (once a tied quilt) rather resembles several of the SBS patterns on pages 46 & 47 in A Meeting of the Sunbonnet Children written by Betty Hagerman as mentioned earlier.
Unfortunately, there is no last name on what is written on this separated quilt top but at least someone thought to make a stab at labeling it for the next generation. Obviously, by analyzing the fabrics, you can tell the top was made well before 1990.
The heavy red fringe on this block ran when someone laundered it.