Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eleanor Beard and Vera Neumann

My title for this image is: Modern New York Beauty by Vera Neumann

Designer Vera Neumann

What do you think, did Vera Neumann's designs influence quilting?

TQHF Honoree Jean Ray Laury started designing and making her "modern" quilts about the sometime. The Alliance for American Quilts has a copy of her first House Beautiful article (1960) on its website. It's worth checking it out to compare the two.

Vera Neumann certainly seems to have borrowed freely from quilting designs for her fabrics adding a very "modern" touch. One Etsy seller has several pages of her designs. It's worth taking a peak. No affiliation whatsoever with this seller.

Here is another interesting blogger Starfishes and Sundresses who writes about color and design influence.

Today I also stumbled across the company that bought out the Eleanor Beard Studio in 2002. You can read a short history of Eleanor Beard here.

Quilt historian Cuesta Benberry wrote about Beard's quilting business in "Cottage Industries: A Chronicle," in Quiltmaking in America: Beyond the Myths edited by Laurel Horton and published by AQSG in 1994. Copies are readily available of this book on used book sites.

Xenia Cord also mentions Beard in her 1995 paper "Marketing Kit Quilts in the 1920s and 1930s" (pages 139-173) in Uncoverings, the annual volume of quilt research papers published by AQSG.

Here are a couple of quilts bearing the Eleanor Beard label that apparently sold on eBay about a year ago.

Enjoy exploring!


To see an UPDATE October 2011, click here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Patchwork Dress - WWII Era

Here is a recent very interesting find from an antique shop in Sisters, Oregon.

At first I thought it was a wrapper but on closer inspection discovered it was a dress for it actually has to go on over your head. It has a metal zipper on the left side to facilitate this.

The interfacing of the neckline contains the following numeric and alpha symbols " 011-Allen P."

It doesn't strike me as a summer dress. The dress is fully lined in flannel! Well, actually, the flannel is used as the "ground" of the patchwork. But this alone makes it an extra warm dress.

Upon first inspection, I dated the fabrics late 30s to early 40s.

Upon closer inspection, I found a fabric scrap bearing a military insignia on both the front and the back of the dress. That - and the way the shoulder detail is handled - made me think of the WWII era.

Sorry the photo is slightly out of focus but this shot gives you a good look at how the waist is handled.

The waist has the look of a cumber bund on the front and can be tied tightly to some degree, but it is not a draw-string.

It is a bit too loose for me to fit my taste but that made it easy to get on and off.

I was really quite pleased to find this garment, especially since I had just finished reading *Sue Reich's book about WWII era quilts and military insignias.

(Click on photos to enlarge.) One of the quilts from my collection is in Sue's book.

If you look on pages 122 and 123 of Sue's book you will see two different quilts made from insignia patches from a sailors uniform. The "ranking" on these Navy patches on both quilts range from one to three stripes.

The Navy insignia that appears in the fabric in this dress has 2 stripes. The graphic under the eagle, however, is neither two crossed flags or two crossed keys as seen is Sue's book. Instead, it looks like an X with a tiny dot on each of the spokes of the X, rather resembling a lug wrench.

(full view of back of dress)

Have you made any patchwork clothing yourself? I'll share some of my mother-in-law's work in another post.

Meanwhile, keep those needles flying or those fingers recording the history!


PS: My 1941-42 Navy Signature Quilt is included in Sue's book. To see a complete list of all 250+ names posted on line in the Quilt Index Signature Quilt Project click here.

*To contact Sue Reich about WWII quilts, click here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Southern Belle

Can you figure this out at a glance? Or do you need to do a double take like I did?

I got as high above it as I could but I still couldn't get far enough away to capture the whole quilt. But I almost did.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Does anyone irecognize this pattern? My friend Mary Cross found it at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show last week. She gave me permission to share it with you.

Here is one-fourth of it, i.e. one corner.

The first thought that came to mind was a modern day version of the Goddess Eris with the Golden Apple (ball in this case) dressed as a Southern Belle!

Please drop me a line of you know the source of this pattern. It is rather reminiscent of the Colonial Parasol Lady pattern but without the parasol.