Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Little Quilts

Through the years I've made some small quilts which I display on a settle bench in our hallway. The quilts date from 1989 to 2008 and are mostly reproductions but there's one quilt that was a challenge between the four authors who wrote A Passion for Quilts: The Story of Florence Peto.

My husband and I actually made this bench a long time ago. It's great for displaying quilts both large and small.

I named this little quilt "Back Pond Geese" because of the Canada Geese that make their home on the pond behind our house. The 1/2 square triangles are all leftover fabrics from other repro quilts that I'd made and the striped border fabric was a gift from my friend Rachel Cochran.

One of my favorite books is Small Endearments by Sandi Fox. This is a reproduction of a quilt that she  featured on p. 13, probably New England, late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. I tea-dyed both fabrics on the front but not the one on the back.

I sewed a selvage strip on the back to identify the large print fabric on the front. It was a 1958 Williamsburg "Plantation Calico" decorator fabric which I purchased at an outlet store probably in the 1970s.

Another reproduction of a New England quilt in Small Endearments, p. 160. I pieced all the larger striped fabrics because I couldn't find any that were suitable. 

One of my earlier quilts--way before reproduction fabrics were on the market--is this lavender and white "Ohio Star" that I started making in 1980 and finished nine years later in 1989. It is entirely hand pieced. My inspiration came from a quilt in America's Quilts and Coverlets by Carleton L. Safford and Robert Bishop.

On a Florence Peto research trip to the Shelburne Museum in November 1997, an early snowstorm confined the four of us--Rachel Cochran, Rita Erickson, Natalie Hart and myself--to our motel rooms where we decided to make small challenge quilts in the Florence Peto-style. Each of us had purchased some fabric on our trip to Vermont so we had fabric. The rest of our sewing supplies were limited--one spool of thread, two pairs of scissors, a few pins, and restaurant business cards for templates. This is my version of our Florence Peto Challenge. 

We had seen a small "fabric" journal from the 1840s and were so inspired we couldn't wait to make our own.  I purchased a small notebook and began to paste in a few fabric samples from our Vermont trip.

The second page has a photograph of a detail of the above quilt and scraps on the right from the next quilt.

In between quilt-related fabrics and photos, I added some fabrics from clothing I had made in 1959. But that's another story . . . 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

John Brown Farm and Gravesite

John Brown Farm and Gravesite is a NY State Historic Site not far from the village of Lake Placid, NY. John Brown, the abolitionist, is buried here along with two of his sons and ten others who followed him in the cause of freedom. Plaques memorializing them and the women of the Brown family are mounted on a large boulder within the gates of the gravesite.

The farm which John Brown purchased for $1 an acre in 1849. 

John Brown and his sons, Oliver and Watson, are buried in these graves.


The names of John Brown and Oliver Brown are inscribed on the the gravestone of John Brown's grandfather which had been moved to this site.

 In Memory
Capt. John Brown
Who died at
New York on Sep’r ye
3 1776 in the 48th
year of his age
John Brown
Born May 9, 1800
was executed at Charles
ton A.D. Dec’r 2, 1859
Oliver Brown
Born May 9, 1839
Killed at Harper’s Ferry
Oct. 17, 1859

 Oliver Brown
Son of
John and Mary A.
1839 – 1859
His remains
with those of other associates of
John Brown at Harper’s Ferry
Brought here and reburied on Aug. 30, 1899
They all died for their adherence
to the cause of freedom.

Watson Brown
Son of
John and Mary A.
1835 – 1859
Remains buried here
Oct. 13, 1882
He died for his adherence
to the cause of freedom. 

Opposite the graves is this large boulder with two plaques:  

 John Brown of Osawatomie
Here Lies Buried
John Brown
Born at Torrington, Connecticut
May 9th 1800

He emigrated to Kansas in 1855 where he took an active part in the contest against the pro-slavery party. He gained in August 1856 a victory at Osawatomie over a superior number of Missourians who had invaded Kansas (whence his surname “Osawatomie.”)

He conceived the idea of becoming the liberator of the negro slaves in the south and on the night of October 16, 1859 at the head of a devoted band of 22 followers he seized the United States Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, with the view of arming the Negroes who might come to his fortified camp. In the fight with the United States troops and civilians which followed he was overpowered and taken prisoner October 16, 1859, was tried by the Commonwealth of Virginia, at Charlestown, Virginia, and was executed December 7, 1859.

Here lie buried with him twelve of his followers:
Watson Brown (son of John Brown) of North Elba, N.Y.
Oliver Brown (son of John Brown) of North Elba, N.Y.
William Thompson, of North Elba, N.Y.
Dauphin Adolphus Thompson, of North Elba, N.Y.
John Henry Kagi, Adjutant
William H. Leeman, Lieutenant
Jeremiah G. Anderson, Lieutenant
Steward Taylor
Dangerfield Newby, Negro
Lewis S. Leary, Negro
The above ten were killed at the Harper’s Ferry fight.

Aaron D. Stevens, Captain
Albert Hazlett, Lieutenant
The above two were taken prisoners and hanged March 16, 1860.

The following men of John Brown’s band escaped but were captured and hanged December 16, 1859.
John C. Cook, Captain
Edwin Coppoc, Lieutenant
Shields Green, Negro
John A. Copeland, Negro

The following men of John Brown’s band escaped:
Owen Brown, Captain (son of John Brown)
Francis Jackson Merriam
Charles Plummer Tidd, Captain
Barclay Coppoc
Osborne P. Anderson, Negro
John Anderson, Negro
Sacred to the memory of the women of the John Brown Family, and others who so gallantly aided their men folk, in their struggles against slavery in the United States of America and shared with them the bitter cup of sacrifice, meriting special mention among these are:

(1) Diane Lusk Brown, 1st wife of John Brown, and mother of their seven children;
(2) Mary Day Brown, 2nd wife and widow, and mother of thirteen of his children;
(3) Ruth Brown Thompson, daughter of Brown, and wife of Henry Thompson, crusader against slavery in Kansas;
(4) Anne Brown Adams, Sarah Brown, and Ellen Brown Fablinger, daughters of Brown, whose tender devotion to their widowed mother, gave her great comfort;
(5) Martha Brewster Brown, wife of Oliver, son of John, killed at Harper’s Ferry;
(6) Isabella Thompson Brown, wife of Watson, son of John, killed at Harper’s Ferry;
(7) Mary B. Thompson, whose husband, William, and brother-in-law, Dauphin, were both killed at Harper’s Ferry.

These noble women, by their hallowed devotion to the cause of freedom, and by their willingness to sacrifice to the death for it, have enshrined themselves in the hearts of all freedom-loving peoples: they are among the good and great women that have contributed much to the greatness of our America.

Erected by the members and friends of The John Brown Memorial Association in the Summer of 1940.

J.W. Shirley, Pres.
H.P. Johns, Vice Pres.
J.C.O. Temple, Sec.
R.W. Henry, Treas.
Inez Carter Pres. Lake Placid Chapter

I'm always on the lookout for wildflowers and this field of Camphorweed (just beyond John Brown's house) was absolutely breathtaking!