DECEMBER 25, 2015
Tree of Life Medallion Pattern, made by Hannah Elizabeth Hamblin Delano, Ferrisburgh, Vermont, cotton, 92″ x 88″. Collection of the Shelburne Museum.
This quilt is very reminiscent of Bill Volckening’s quilt from Day 8, and of other quilts, like palampores, from the late 18th and early 19th century.
This joyful composition is bright and cheery, light and energetic. With the direction and placement of the flowers on the inner border, the design bursts jubilantly outward. And the outer grapevine border is charming and the perfect finish for the rest of the quilt. I love how the vines do not connect and turn the corners at the top. Very liberated!
Thank you for joining me this year!
Happy New Year!
I wish you
and your loved ones
all the best.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram (where the party is these days!) or on Facebook.
See you there!
DECEMBER 24, 2015
Live Oak Tree, probably made by Mrs. Hickman, Scullville, New Jersey, c. 1880-1890, 67″ x 83″. Identified during the New Jersey Quilt Project.
This quilt has long been a favourite of mine. An unusual pattern, the maker’s expert use of colour and design has this quilt bursting forth with energy. It reminds me of a fall display of colours.
Pieced and appliquéd, it is said that the border is more recent than the main top of the quilt. This quilt has long been a favourite of mine. I might just have to add a block with this tree design to my sampler quilt! Small pieces of course!
DECEMBER 23, 2015
Tree of Life, made by Mary Jane Jackson Mason, Cedar Creek, Texas, l880. From Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association, Texas Quilt Search. Published in The Quilt Index.
From the curatorial notes: “Quilt reflects superb needlework. Florals are appliqued with a perfectly even small buttonhole stitch. This “Tree of Life” design may be an original one. It mixes cherries, a pear, perhaps, or grapes, and contains both leaves and a root ball. Fine embroidery connects the fruit, leaves, and tree root ball to the tree trunk. Karey Bresenhan speculates that the quiltmaker may have had Czech roots, which are common in parts of Texas.”
This quilt has a striking colour combination and is a lovely variation on the red and green quilts of the period. The brown in this quilt was originally brown and not a fugitive green faded to brown. What a unique, bold example of American folk art. Bravo for originality!
DECEMBER 22, 2015
Pine Tree (aka Tree of Paradise), maker unknown, West Virginia, c. 1880, cotton, 79″ x 90″. Collection Stella Rubin.
A carefully thought out and meticulously executed example of the Pine Tree pattern, this quilt is truly a masterpiece. I love how she has taken the “leaves” of the trees and used them in the cornerstones of the sashing. If you look closely, each of the cornerstones carefully mirrors it’s opposing mate in the design, with the centre one being unique and holding that bit of red right in the middle. Exquisite! The bold, dynamic border is, as Stella says, the “ultimate frame.”
And it can be yours. Find all the details on Stella’s website here.
DECEMBER 21, 2015
The Willow Tree Quilt (Tree of Life), maker unknown, c. late 18th, early 19th century, cotton, 84″ x 86″. Collection of Bill Volckening.
Bill Volckening describes this quilt “as a monumental example of early American Whitework. … It is all white, stuffed work, and includes a centre medallion with a large weeping willow tree. The tree is framed with laurel, surrounded by flowers and grapes, with a border that resembles the architectural detail of a cornice. ” Bill wrote a wonderfully detailed article about the symbolic significance of the willow tree on the Why Quilts Matter blog. And less than a year after purchasing this quilt, he found it’s twin. You can read more about it on his blog.
What I love about this quilt is the loose composition of the outer border and the whimsical nature of the flowers in it. The denser design at the bottom weights the quilt visually and balances the slightly heavier area of grapes and leaves in the upper left area above the tree. The design and execution of the tree and placement of branches truly gives it visual depth and a lifelike quality. As Bill said, a monumental example! And those dots in the outer border … sigh! (It is true. I have a fondness for dots!)