Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jane Stickle Quilt

Well, it's Saturday, but I'm not able to take you on the type of museum tour I had hoped to do.  Finding permissions has proven to be much harder than I had anticipated.  I will continue to pursue that, and as I have the time, I will create facsimiles of original quilts in EQ7 and share them with you.  Maybe it will be a once-a-month treat!

In the spirit of the same, though, I want to share a story with you.

During the Civil War, a woman named Jane Stickle created an amazing quilt.  Many of you know of it because of Brenda Papadakis' work, "Dear Jane," and there are many webistes and blogs that have information about it.  My favorite is this one, by Kathleen Tracy:

All  Roads Lead to Bennington

When I say "amazing," it's as if the word is wholly inadequate to describe this work of art.

At first glance, it looks like a very full sampler quilt.  At second glance, it shows a complex border of pieced triangle blocks.  At third glance, it becomes a long, long look, and the realization dawns that this woman had a marvelous sense of color and balance and that she must have come up with many of her own designs and made patterns for each of the little blocks.  Then the questions start rolling......What did she use for those patterns? Newspapers, holding accounts of the War raging to the south of her? A pencil she sharpened with her paring knife?  Where did all the fabrics come from? Was she well-off and therefore had many beautiful fabric scraps at her disposal?  Or was a close and generous friend a dressmaker?  How was her sense of color and placement developed?  Was she gifted with that sense?  Was she educated by the women around her?  Did she have an artist mother or father?  What were her circumstances during War Time?  Did she have loved ones on the battlefield?  What responsibilities did she have in her daily life?  How many hours did this take her???

We get  a little peek into who she was from the inscription on one of the corner blocks:

"In War Time.
Pieces. 5602.  Jane A. Stickle."

It was War Time.  She finished it in 1863, which would have been about halfway through the War. She counted the pieces.  Her name was Jane.

Oh, to meet this woman.  I would love to have these questions answered, as would many others of us!

From the book, Dear Jane
Photograph by Ken Burris, Shelburne, Vermont

So, this past week, we received a message from a woman named Barbara looking for fabrics to create her own "Dear Jane" quilt.  She wants to use colors and patterns as close to the original as she can, and was on the hunt for what might be found.  She asked if we had such things, or perhaps a kit.

That really got the wheels turning for us!  We went through our inventory and discovered that we had more than 60 fabrics that would work for her.  We also realized that we had new stock coming in this week that would most likely fill out a collection.

So we wrote back and forth, sent pictures of what we had, and settled on a 70-piece fat eighth bundle that is true to the feel of the original quilt.  We sent that off to her on Thursday.

In response to this collection, she has posted in her online Dear Jane group about the bundle, and we received another order yesterday for the same.  We are delighted, of course!

So, I spent yesterday cutting more bundles, getting ready for the introduction of our "Dear Jane-Friendly Fat Eighth Bundle" in this week's newsletter.

In the process, I have become more and more interested in this quilt.  If I ever go to the east coast, I will hope to time my trip to coincide with the time when the original quilt is on display each year at the Bennington Museum.  It would be truly amazing to be able to sit and look at it in person.

What a national treasure.

Here are pictures of the collection we put together.  We are grateful to Barbara for the initial question about fabrics for a Jane Stickle quilt that gave birth to this idea.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturdays at the Quilt Museum - Baskets



Over the weekend, in talking with some folks about this idea for the blog, I realized I had "spaced" on the necessity of obtaining permissions for the use of the images I had originally included with this post.  In this increasingly "social" age with all the sharing of information on Facebook, Pinterest and the like, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that I need to ask, as I would want to be asked, for the use of others' photographs.  So, I am on a quest to obtain the permissions I need.  In the meantime, I'll be doing two things.  One, I'll be creating a facsimile of as many of the quilts as I can in EQ7 so you at least have an idea of what they look like right here on the blog. Two, I will be linking to the original photographs and posts, which makes an extra step for you in looking at these beauties, but well worth the effort. Thanks for understanding!

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Okay, so I had this idea yesterday.

I love antique quilts.  I look at them online and have found inspiration for my designs among those I've found at the Quilt Index and other sites.  I've also looked at online museums, and even gone to see Civil War era quilts that are housed at the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon.  Wow, was that amazing.  The history represented in such works of art just stops me in my tracks.  My favorite reading has always been historical fiction, the history of our country being foremost.  And here in front of me were quilts made during the early years of our republic.  Amazing to me.

So my idea is this: "Saturdays at the Quilt Museum!"

On Saturdays, I'll take us on an excursion to see quilts from a variety of museums and private collections, focusing on either a particular era, quilt pattern, type of fabric, or technique employed.  And who knows what else as we explore what is out there!  I am so grateful for the Internet which enables us to see things we would never get to see otherwise.

So, on this week's jaunt, we're off to see Basket Quilts.  For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise!

Basket - 1858

This one was the inspiration for my Little Blue Baskets.
It was love at first look. ☺

Click here for the original picture on the Quilt Index. When you're finished, click your "back" button to come back to this page.

Hand-pieced and hand-quilted by Mary A. Morgan
Dated November 22, 1858
Made in Buchanan, Michigan
73 x 83
Cotton Fabrics

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Baskets & 1000s of Triangles - c.1870

Did you count the triangles?? 1075 is what I came up with!
What a palette of fabrics from the period!  It kind of makes me
wonder what's up with that blue block....

This one is in the works, but rather complex.  Coming soon!

Click here for the picture on the Quilt Index.  When you're finished, click your "back" button to come back to this page.

Unknown Maker
Hand-pieced and hand-quilted
c. 1870
77 x 77
Cotton Fabrics

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Madder Basket - 1874

This one has the most beautiful madder paisley fabric used to great effect.
If you follow the link to more information about it, you'll be able to zoom in
and see the fabric in more detail.

Click here for the original picture on the Quilt Index.  When you're finished, click your "back" button to come back to this page.

Hand- & machine-pieced, and hand-appliqued by Harriet Bowerman
Wonderful information about the quilt-maker at the above link.
1850 - 1874
Made in Como, Colorado
74 x 84

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Basket Design - 1870-1880

The simplicity of this is striking to me, and the inscription is interesting.
So much history wrapped up in these gems.

Click here for the original picture on the Quilt Index.  When you're finished, click your "back" button to come back to this page.

Hand-pieced, machine appliqued, hand quilted by Delia Birdsey Crocker
79.5 x 80
Cotton fabrics
For John R. Reese
Bed quilt made by Delia Birdsey Crocker
Born 1812, sister of Eli Coe Birdsey I, Squire
Gift of Lillian Birdsey Frost

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More than 150 years have passed since the pink and green basket quilt was made.  It makes me wonder what it's seen in that time.  It has lived through the Civil War, the Industrial Age, two World Wars, the onset of the information age and the quilting revival of our time.

"If these quilts could speak....."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A new chart and a sneak peek!

I don't know about you, but I really enjoy reference charts.  I'm forever re-figuring an equation for something-or-other as I'm quilting along.  Here is another of the charts I've put together.

Diagonal Block Measurements

You can download it for free from our website on the Tips Page here.

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On other fronts, my little blue basket quilt is coming along!
I've used these cute little blocks.

And this is how the center looks.

I'll have more to show you very soon!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I've been having fun putting together informational charts for quilting-related things.  I've found myself going again and again to Google a formula or "how-to" on commonly used math in quilting.  I finally decided it was time to put together my own set of charts.  Here's one of them!

Bed & Quilt Sizes, Batting, Backing & binding Chart

I'm starting to post them on our website as free High Resolution PDF downloads, too.  They're on this page and I'm adding new ones often.  Enjoy!

Happy Quilting!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Woot! First order shipped!

Today is another red-letter day.  Our first ship-able online order went out this morning!

When it came in last night, we did a happy dance and then worked on processing through all the steps.  Such fun!  And I took a picture of the package, of course!

Thank you, Julie!