Friday, January 29, 2021

Flower Friday: January 29, 2021

Happy Flower Friday!
Take heart for all of you who have awoken to freezing temps today: only 50 days until Spring!

Alice sent a photo of her Amaryllis which is in full bloom:

Isn't that a great color of red?  

Libby sent an image of her Thanksgiving cactus which is about to bloom again:

Libby lives in Tennesse and she is already seeing small clumps of daffodils coming up!

And finally this week I finished this top:

The pattern is from Lori Holt's book Farm Girl Vintage 2 and called Bright Zinnias.  Each flower is a 12 inch block.  

I loved making this and using scrap fabric.  What I don't understand is: how could I use all these scraps and afterwards have more scraps in my bin? 

Have a safe and happy day!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Eye Candy: Are you a Fan of any of these quilts?

I've only made 2 dresden style quilts and that was before the digital age.  I decided to hunt for dresden style photos from my collection (in all honesty--to postpone walking the dog in these cold temps).   I found I had more dresden style quilts than I thought.    

Anyway, I am wondering which of these pieces you find appealing!  

1.  Late 19th early 20th century fan:

A very common Dresden from the 1930s-40s.  I like this quilt because it was made locally and is done well:

This 1950s/early 1960s piece looks pretty common until you see it up close:

Some of the blades are a newspaper print that discusses the beginning of the Cold War including the Marshall Plan and Dean Acheson's attempt to contain Communism. 

There's no batting in this piece.  I call it "The Cold War Summer Spread." 😁

4. This was from my Mother-In-Law.  The maker decided to use REALLY BIG motifs.

The background is why I bought this one locally: 

I wonder if this design would appeal to modern quilters.  Maybe with Kaffe Fassett fabric in the background and white or silver dresdens?

Another local piece!  This top using sateen for the background.I think that using something other than white for the background is really interesting.  But I also wonder why it was never quilted?  Was she criticized for her background choice? Or did she just run out of time or inclination? 

Leave a comment or email me your favorite!

Tomorrow is Flower Friday and if you have a floral image you wish to share, email me a!
Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Crazy Quilt Craze


I'm not sure what started the Crazy Quilt craze, the last time I checked the scholarship, most historians were unsure as well.  But here is what I do wrote in one of my copyrighted research papers:  I think it was the first really national quilt pattern phenomenon.  And it went international because we know there were British and Canadian and I think French crazy quilts.

Only a year after the above quilt was made, this article appeared in our local newspaper:

And later this same year, this lovely poem appeared:

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Quilt Detecting: Fun with Flags

 Last week I got a text with a photograph from a woman in my guild.  She asked about a quilt her cousin in Ohio had received.  No one really knew much about the quilt and she was wondering if I had any insights.

This quilt intrigued me.  From the initial colors, I thought it might be from the 19th century.  Although flag quilts were popular in the early 20th century, most quilters used tobacco flannels.  You can read about them here.

This quilt appeared to be pieced.  I asked for more photographs and began to investigate flags.  I found some good clues and maybe you will too.

It appears to me that much of this quilt has fugitive colors (colors that faded or changed with time--a clue about that is the khaki toned colors in the piece).  One clue:

This flag has a claret (burgundy) color, a color that was printed after 1890.  

Of course the flags themselves hold keys to the age of the quilt.  This can be tricky.  I never studied flags a great deal but I studied 20th century geography extensively and I know how much boundries changed.  Countries disappeared off the map and the colonization of much of the world makes this task even more challenging.  Additionally, a lot of posters and ephemera featured different kinds of flags, including maritime ones or ones that were used in specific cases.

But when I saw this photo yesterday, I had a better clue.  This photograph shows the quilt upside down but that works.  Top left flag has a red field with a while elephant on it.  Gotcha!  That's the flag of Siam.  Siam became Thailand in 1939.

But there are better clues in this piece:
The flag of Egypt from 1882-1922

This weird look flag was German.  The Reich War flag from 1890 until 1918 or 1921 (the end of World War 1/Treaty of Versailles).

Lastly, there was the dragon flag:
At first I thought this was a celtic country flag like Wales or Scotland.  That red dot at the mouth though...I'm wondering if was the flag of China used between 1890 and 1911.
This image is from a 1905 flag poster.

I could literally lose myself in researching all these flags but I actually have other work to do.  Feel free to research some of these yourself.

So my gut instinct on this one is that it was a unique quilt designed by the maker.  I am speculating but I think the quilt dates from 1900-1920 (although I suspect it is more like 1900-1917--remember the U.S. entered World War I in 1917).

The one thing I am certain is that this quilt should be appraised.  I've never seen anything like it and it is a true slice of history.  Once the pandemic is over, I heartily recommend that the owner find a quilt appraiser near him and have it appraised.

One thing for sure--it's a wonderful quilt!

Have a wonderful day and stay safe!

Monday, January 25, 2021

Men Who Quilt #8


Sometimes quilters have strong competitive sense.  Do you know how many quilts you've made in your lifetime?  I sure don't; I just like making them.  A valid question about these men would be:  do these articles reflect the quilter and or does it reflect the writer?

1908:  "No woman can do more exquisite or more durable work than he can."

I couldn't find anything on Mr. Johnson's invention nor could I find any photos of his quilts.  I sure would like to know what he invented!

In 1915, the gauntlet was thrown:

Again, no images of his quilts.  But today I looked him up to see what further I could find on him (as I had with Johnson).  It seems my initial gut reaction was correct when I filed these articles under Y for "yucky":

So this intrigued me.  I thought I'd like to see this quilt...until I read the last paragraph:

Yep.  Yucky.

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, January 22, 2021

Flower Friday: January 22, 2020

 Happy Flower Friday!

Spring is only 57 days away!

Today Lorraine shared some wonderful photos:

Her violets are in full bloom and so is this lovely orchid!

This past week was Lorraine's birthday and she received a lovely bouquet of alstromeria:

Happy Birthday Lorraine!

Alstromeria are my favorite bouquet flowers.  They last for a long time and don't tolerate the cold here in the Northeast.  I hear they grow wild in California.

I'm not the garment maker--Beth is.  But I am an embroiderer and even if I wasn't, I'd have to point out Dr. Jill's wonderful dress from the evening of the inauguration.  Check this out:  She had flowers from all the 50 states embroidered on the dress.  Over her heart were the flowers of Delaware.  This is lovely so check it out here.

Also love that wonderful table topper!  GORGEOUS!

Here's a hexagon/floral quilt from the early 20th century.  It was made well before the hexie craze of the 1930s and the top is in tough shape but we always liked the layout:

Have a safe and happy day!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A New Morning in America


Today I'm relaxed and happy after a perfect Inauguration Day!
I hope you are too!

I thought I would share another quilting comic I found, again by Stanley in the 1930s.  I wonder if he or his wife was a quilter?
Anyway, enjoy.

Tomorrow is Flower Friday and if you have images to share, email me at

Stay safe and have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The First State's First President


My Dad once said that Ben Franklin had wanted Pennsylvania to be the first state to ratify the constitution.  After all, we are the cradle of liberty.  But Delaware beat us to it and they are the first state.  Historians always note where the President was born and we are proud that Joe Biden was born in Pennsylvania.  But in truth he has spent most of his life in Delaware and he is a son of the First State.

Today we all pray for a peaceful transition of power and pray that our new president can heal our country.  Last night as I awaited to watch the prayer service to mourn the more than 400,000 people who have passed from Covid, one of the pundits said something that has stuck with me.  Joe Biden, like Lincoln, now has to unite a divided country.  Like FDR, he takes on the task of rebuilding a country that is broken economically and emotionally.

In the early 20th century, the magazine Hearth and Home published state quilt blocks.  

AQS would later republish the pattern (I think there was a book sometime in the 1970s as well):

You can find instructions here.

Stay safe and pray for a peaceful day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Men Who Quilt #7


Many many years decades ago, I saw an interview of George Burns.  He discussed how difficult it was after his beloved wife Gracie Allen died.  In particular, he had trouble sleeping at night. Then he discovered that if he slept on Gracie's side of the bed with her pillow, he could fall asleep.  He told this story to help other widows and widowers who experienced insomnia due to grief.

Today is my seventh post on Men Who Quilt and time to think about connections between the many men who quilted.  One connection that I've found is that some of these men quilted while their wives were sick or after they died.  You will see this similar theme in post one and the sixth post.  We can speculate why they chose to sew after their wives passing: maybe the scent of their wives' perfume in the sewing room comforted them.  Perhaps they wanted to continue the legacies their wives had begun in sewing or they needed to do something with what they had available.  Whatever reason they had to begin sewing--the one thing that we can be sure of is that they found that sewing comforted and pleased them.

Many of you have written to me about the solace you are finding by doing piecing versus other kinds of quilt making (such as applique, embroidery, or other techniques).  I concur with you.  Piecing forces me to concentrate on what I'm doing and in doing so, I block the chaos and anxiety of these days.  

From 1939, Austin, Texas:

Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday Potpourri


Reflecting on peace and justice during 
Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Lots of things to share including some items from readers!

Dawn sent a quilting quiz.  Hit here.  It's a lot of fun.  The answers appear at the bottom of the page.

Sue sent a recent story about a sweet man who quilts.  Hit here.

In December I shared some sew-a-longs.  Barbara Brackman is also sponsoring one that celebrates the Alcott family (as in Louisa May's family).  The first block was just issued recently here.  You can explore her blog here.  

A while ago, I received a photo from Sue.  Sue joked that if Covid continued any longer this might be her new shed--or even her new house.  She thinks this was in England:

I know some of you are bloggers too.  I would like to share your blogs with the group in a post.  If your game, email me at

Lastly, I'm getting spam in my comments so I've added some extra security.  Let me know if you are having any problems commenting or just email me.

Have a safe and happy day!