Sunday, July 22, 2012

Apple Pie Ridge Star quilt pattern

Those who love antique quilt patterns owe much to the dedication of a few who meticulously and patiently seek out the names of old patterns or "first appearance" of old patterns by tracking obscure leads back-in-time.

Collection of Karen Alexander - won at AQSG Auction - previous owner Mary Bywater Cross

True Lovers Knot?

One such pattern created quite a stir in 2006 when a brief presentation was given at the annual AQSG Seminar. The pattern was already known in Kansas but the new lead showed a possible earlier date in the mid 1800s in Virginia among Quakers.

For those unfamiliar with this pattern, Mary Holton Robare has written at length about the version found near Winchester, Virginia. Read her research on the Virginia variation of this pattern blog by clicking here.  

You can also see a couple of samples of this pattern "Quilts of Virginia 1607-1899: The Birth of America Through the Eye of a Needle" [Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA. 2006 by Virginia Consortium of Quilters; ISBN0-7643-2465-9] on page 58-60.

The International Quilt Study Center has a version of this pattern which has been named "Snowflake". Go to the Collections' search page here and enter the collection # 1997.007.0263.1

To my friends on the facebook Quilts-Vintage & Antique discussion list....this is the center of the Four Block Red & Green applique quilt on page 82 of Ricky Clark's "Quilted Gardens: Floral Quilts of the Nineteenth Century" (Rutledge Hill Press/Nashville-1994-ISBN 1-55853-272-2) whose center resembles the Apple Pie Ridge Star/True Lovers Knot design. This quilt is dated 1850-1875 in the book.

Here is another variation but a much "fatter" version. This quilt is dated 1850ca. and is found on page 84 in the same book.

You can see this image as the center of still another quilt as well by clicking here. These are a matching pair of Princess Feather quilts sold at auction in 2010.

From the Woodward and Greenstein website:

Pair Antique Quilts: Princess Feather Applique
America. Ohio.

Pair of exceptional, large, finely stitched and quilted spreads in traditional pattern. Each quilt has slightly different configurations in design. Possibly made for the dowries of the maker's two daughters.

height: 7 ft. 3 in. (221 cm)
width/length: 7 ft. 3 in. (221 cm)
Number of items: 2
Materials/Techniques: Cotton, hand-quilted
Creator: unknown
provided by 1stdibs
Woodard and Greenstein
506 E 74th Street
5th Floor
New York, NY, 10021
Phone: 212-988-2906

Ref. : 0902058422130

Here is another version. According to Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Applique (page 127) this pattern has appeared as "True Lovers Knot" (1912 in the Omaha World Herald); "Conventional Scroll" (in the Nancy Cabot pattern column in the Chicago Tribune - 20th c.) and "A Kansas Pattern" by Whitehill in the Denver Art Museum.

Brackman also noted that a variation of this pattern was seen (but unnamed) in an Album quilt dated 1847.

Below is a series of applique and pieced blocks that were sold on eBay in 2007. An example of this rather fleur-de-lis inspired pattern was included in the lot.

Below are more close-ups of the quilt in my collection of this pattern.

Turquoise or Mint Green? Fabrics of 1870s-80s

I was drawn to this quilt top because I personally seldom see this shade of green in quilts prior to the 20th century. For certain I have never seen one made predominantly of this color in the 1800s. I wonder why that is? It's a lovely color and very "modern" looking.  In this top it is beautifully contrasted with pinks and browns and rusts with just a little red. I'd date this 1870s-1880s.

Barbara Brackman refers to it as Nile Green or Caledon Jade Green in Issue #11 (Jan 17, 2010) of her newsletter "The Quilt Detective" Prints, Colors and Dyes".  She writes that Log Cabin and Charm quilts were full of them but, again, I personally haven't seen a lot of this particular green in quilts. Other greens seem much more common than Mint Green or Nile Green or Caledon Jade Green in the 1800s. I guess that is why this top caught my eye instantly.

See page 89 of Eileen Jahnke Trestain's book "Dating Fabrics : A Color guide 1880-1960" as well. You can also see a hint of this color in the 1830s and 1840s but it was much more subtle than the "brightness" of the Mint Green in this top, and, according to Brackman, had a very different dye source than that of the 1880s Mint Green.

As I read all the comments that are being left about this post, I am beginning to question my perception of this color!

So, I decided to google "turquoise" and "mint green" and compare.  I have to admit, it's a close call but after further review, I agree with Patricia Cummings. It looks more turquoise..

Of course, we all know that every era seems to create its own name for various colors. You know the game, I say potato, you say "patato".

Can you see the tiny "patching/seaming" in these photos this quilter did to create a whole square out of odds and ends of tiny pieces of fabric?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ruby McKim's Big Bad Wolf - Update

As I continue to browse the Internet and as the word gets out about my efforts to show as many examples of this particular Ruby McKim pattern as possible, leads keep coming in.

Here are the latest discoveries.  I have also added them to my original post on this pattern so that you can scroll down thru them all at once time without having to go back and forth between blog pages. Click here to see the original post.

Another version of Ruby McKim's Three Little Pigs / Big Bad Wolf quilt. The quilt above is being shared with permission from the blog Garden of Daisies. Please click here to see this quilt on her blog. Also check out her quilts, paper dolls and vintage linens.

Below are two photos of this same Three Little Pigs pattern in the collection of the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts.   Their quilt is a bit different from the others I have shared with you.  The top is “wholecloth” cotton muslin with cotton print circles appliqued on.  The back is silk and there is a thin blanket or flannel for filler.  There  is no quilting but the applique stitches of the circles go through to the backing.  There is an embroidered inscription on the back: Christmas, 1935 

Used with permission from the New England Quilt Museum

The maker was Florence Elizabeth Heisler Tate of Mechanicsberg, PA, the 62 year old wife of an Episcopal minister.  Florence Heisler made this crib quilt for her granddaughter and the granddaughter eventually donated it to NEQM.

This delightful version of McKim’s the Three Pigs/Big Bad Wolf crib quilt will be on display in NEQM’s next exhibit called "Great Quilts, Great Stories", which runs from Oct.18 through Dec. 29, 2012. Thank you to Laura Lane, the acting curator of NEQM, for bringing this quilt to my attention and for granting permission to share the photos with you.

November 2012 Update

Another McKim Big Bad Wolf has just shown up on eBay.

Click here to see the post I wrote for The Quilters Hall of Fame about 
Ruby Short McKim. Ruby is one of their Inductees.

Do you like quilt history? Is there a particular type of quilt you would like to hear more about? I always enjoy hearing from readers!