Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quilts My Mother Made

My mother Etta Bower Davis (1910-1964) would have been 101 years old tomorrow, October 27th. So to honor her birthday, and in her memory, I've posted a few of the quilts she made.  

This picture was taken in 1935 when she became engaged to my dad.

In 1936 she made this unbacked Yo Yo quilt. The Heritage Quilt Project of NJ included it in their book New Jersey Quilts 1777-1950.

The 16-patch yo-yo blocks are sashed with white yo-yos. 

Years ago, I made some repairs. Can you tell which yo-yo is mine? It's the only one that isn't a small-scale print.   

My mother made at least two or three quilt tops before she turned to making quilts from kits. The first one was called "Early American" by Paragon Needlecraft, #01108. 

 It took her three years to make.

Here's her signature and the dates when she started and finished the quilt. 

The second quilt she made was "American Eagle" by Paragon #01128. It was a wedding gift for my brother.

This quilt is made up of only two colors--gold and white.

Mom was really good about signing and dating her quilts. 

The last quilt she made was "Garden Bouquet." It was designed by Florence Peto and offered by Paragon Needlecraft. I've often wondered if my mother knew of Florence Peto as we lived in a neighboring town. This quilt is in The Heritage Quilt Project of NJ's newly published book, A Passion for Quilts:The Story of Florence Peto. Photograph by Peter Jacobs Fine Arts Imaging.

This block closely resembles one in the original Baltimore Album Quilt which Florence Peto owned at one time. My mother worked on this quilt from 1960-1964 and I quilted it after she died.

This "Horn of Plenty" pillow kit was also offered as a Paragon kit. My mother had completed the applique but I quilted it and gave it to my aunt one year for Christmas. 

In addition to making quilts, my mother created applique pictures depicting different family members. Here is one that she made of her and my dad "at home." I just love this one. It is framed and hangs in one of our bedrooms.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

1860s NJ Quilts on Display

The current exhibit at the Newark Museum, "Patchwork from Folk Art to Fine Art," has some wonderful quilts that were made in New Jersey during the 1860s. 

This Bride's Album Quilt was made in 1864 by Mary Nevins Potter and others in Pottersville, NJ. Garden State Quilters of Chatham, NJ, provided the funding for the conservation of this quilt. I've been a member of this guild for more than twenty-five years.

The stencil in the center of this applique block contains the name 'Emma Flomerfelt.' Emma was one of ten children of Zaccheus and Elizabeth Flomerfelt of Bridgewater, NJ, and was fourteen years old when this quilt was made. 

Flower Basket Quilt made in 1864 by Rachel Kingsland Oakes and Abigail Baldwin Oakes of Bloomfield, NJ.  Each block is signed by a member of the Oakes family or by friends and neighbors. Abigail was Rachel's daughter-in-law having married Rachel's son, David, about 1830. David built his own textile factory which, during the Civil War, produced materials for military uniforms for the Union Army. In 1989 The Heritage Quilt Project of NJ held a Quilt Discovery Day at the Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center which once was the Oakes family home.       

The Hurley Family Album Quilt was made in 1867 by members of the Hurley Family of Wall, NJ.

The center block contains the names of all the Hurley children.

This block has an inscription "Mrs. John Morris."

Here's a detail.

Star of LeMoyne made in 1860 by Maria Washington Layfield Miller of Newark, NJ. Maria was the mother of a local Episcopal minister.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Great Newark Quilt Turning

It was a wonderful treat to see thirty-two quilts up-close and personal at the Newark Museum's "The Great Newark Quilt Turning" on September 27th. Four stations--each with eight quilts--were set up in the main area of the museum and those of us who had signed up for the event were directed to start at one of the stations. Five full minutes were spent on each quilt and then it was time to move on. I was particularly interested in quilts with a known NJ provenance. 

This c. 1800 Orange Peel quilt was descended in the family of Phebe and Isaac Nichols of Newark, NJ.

 Here's a detail.

A c. 1815-1825 Star of Bethlehem top only. Perth Amboy, NJ.

A broderie perse bird.

A wonderful pillar print quilt 1825-35. 

  A total surprise! Check out this fabric on the back of the quilt.

An 1830-40 Chimney Sweep quilt with signatures. 

Inscribed Willy H. Eddy.

An 1862 Flower Basket quilt made in New Vernon, NJ. 

Rinehart Album quilt, 1852. Made by members of the First Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth Port.

There are 121 blocks in this quilt. This one is inscribed William R. Price. 

Red and White Album Quilt, 1840-50. Made by the Ladies Aid Society, Salem Baptist Church, Salem, NJ.

Here's a detail.

I'm looking forward to going back to the Newark Museum tomorrow to attend the screening of the documentary film "Stitched" by Jena Moreno.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

American Quilt Study Group and HQPNJ

The American Quilt Study Group Seminar was held in Cherry Hill, NJ, September 21-26. Rachel Cochran and I represented The Heritage Quilt Project of NJ by exhibiting a couple of Rachel's quilts at the Welcome Icebreaker, presenting a study center on the Characteristics of New Jersey Quilts, and leading a roundtable discussion, A New Look at Florence Peto.

Rachel and her Presidents Medallion and Manahawkin Signature Quilt drew lots of attention.

Bowmansville Star, another quilt in the Icebreaker Exhibit.

 A beautiful Baltimore Album quilt from the Arlan and Pat Christ Collection.

Here's a detail.

 An interesting quilt at Sharon Waddell's NY Quilts study center. There's even an appliqued red elephant.

New Jersey Quilts Study Center on the scrolling list of events.

There were 40 people in our study center. Madge Ziegler is showing the group a NJ quilt.

At the end we "wowed" everyone with a c. 1840 quilt that we borrowed from the Montclair Historical Society.

 Our new book was so popular we sold over 100 copies at the seminar. 

This short story was written by Florence Peto in 1920. We included a copy of it in a packet that we handed out to everyone who was at our roundtable discussion.  

A while ago, I started making this reproduction of Florence Peto's quilt, Where Liberty Dwells. I guess it's time to start quilting!

Here's Julie Silber auctioning off a copy of New Jersey Quilts, the book Rachel and I co-authored with Natalie Hart and Rita Erickson in 1992.

The Oak Leaf and Reel table decorations were made by quilting friends, Jill Reid, Susan McDermott, and Barb Vedder.

Everyone attending the seminar received a small organdy pouch with 4 pieces of fabric and at the closing luncheon I won the jar of "preserves" in the center of the table. : )

The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and Andover Fabrics have collaborated to reproduce this original John Hewson fabric in their Winterthur John Hewson line. Check it out!