Saturday, September 30, 2017


Here are two quilts that I have mentioned before.

These two quilts were made by members of the same family.  They both ended up with an antiques dealer, who sold them online to two different buyers.  End of story.

....except that the two buyers were keen quilt collectors and belonged to the same group on Facebook.  And one day the connection between the two quilt was discovered.

What did we do before social media?  But getting back to the quilts....

The first quilt was made in 1916 for Dr. Maria Jessup, a Quaker woman living in Indiana.  It was given to her on her 70th birthday.  Each block was made by a friend or grateful patient, many of them being Quakers too.  Every block has a name, and many have a date of birth - perhaps babies that 'Dr. Ria' delivered.

Maria died a few years later and it seems as if the quilt was returned to the makers.  It then traveled with the extended family to Palmer, Texas in the 1920s, where neighbours from Indiana remained neighbours in Texas.  After another generation the second quilt was made about 1938 - same block, similar colours and many of the same names.

How could you separate two such fascinating historic quilts? This split had to be repaired. 
So Janette McInnes - The Plain Needlewoman - and myself got together to compare notes.

We didn't meet in Indiana or Texas.  We met at Federation Square in Melbourne, cause that where you meet when you live in Victoria, Australia.

And when we said goodbye, both quilts came home with me. I am very fortunate and very excited to have another story to be researched and shared.  Two quilts at once is a bit of a challenge.

Grandmother Adeline Reeve, I'm looking forward to getting to know you.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ships Ahoy

This week's block is a Sailboat.

Sailboat - H. E. Putnam

There is the usual challenge of deciding which name to use for the block.  Options were Sailboat, The Ship, Little Ship o' Dreams, Sailboat in Blue and White, The Mayflower and Tad Lincoln's Sailboat. 

The pink Sailboat is from a 1937 friendship quilt from Oklahoma.  There are two Sailboat blocks in the quilt.

Sailboat - Lou Henslee

So how are the blocks set into the quilt? Not how you would think.  Notice too the dotted green border strip.  It keeps getting wider and wider the further you go.  Each block in this quilt is not quite square and is a different size to every other blocks.  It must have been a challenge to put together; it sits quite flat and the corners are almost right angles.

Maggie Malone (120 Patterns for Traditional Patchwork Quilts, 1984) shows a similar block called Flags & Ships.  She points out that, unusually, the block is rectangular instead of square.  The Sailboat adds a white strip to make it square which then becomes a perfect block for a signature.

Flags & Ships

My latest friendship top appears to have a Sailboat block.  I assumed that Fannie Brumbaugh had some issues assembling her block; the hull is upside down.  But apologies to Miss Brumbaugh, it is a real pattern from the Kansas City Star.

The Sailboat Oklahoma

I have Googled 'Sailboat Oklahoma' but apart from the original reference I can't find any images.  If you ever see the good ship Sailboat Oklahoma in your travels I would love to hear about it.