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Title: Quilts - Their Story and How to Make Them
Author: Webster, Marie D. (Marie Daugherty), 1859-1956
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Quilts - Their Story and How to Make Them" ***

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QUILTS

Their Story and How to Make Them

by

MARIE D. WEBSTER

[Illustration]

Illustrated



Garden City      New York
Doubleday, Page & Company
1916



[Illustration: INDIANA WREATH

Made in 1858. Colours: red, green, yellow, and pink]



Copyright, 1915, by
Doubleday, Page & Company
All rights reserved, including that of
translation into foreign languages,
including the Scandinavian



CONTENTS


    CHAPTER                                                       PAGE
          Introduction                                              xv

       I. Patchwork in Antiquity                                     3

      II. Patchwork and Quilting During the Middle Ages             16

     III. Patchwork and Quilting in Old England                     34

      IV. The Quilt in America                                      60

       V. How Quilts Are Made                                       89

      VI. Quilt Names                                              115

     VII. Quilt Collections and Exhibitions                        133

    VIII. The Quilt's Place in American Life                       149

          List of Quilt Names, Arranged Alphabetically             169

          List of References                                       177



LIST OF COLOUR PLATES


    Indiana Wreath                                      _Frontispiece_

                                                           FACING PAGE
    *The Bedtime Quilt                                              24

    The Iris Design                                                 40

    Morning Glories                                                 56

    Daisy Quilt                                                     72

    *Poppy Design                                                   86

    *The Sunflower Quilt                                           102

    "Pink Rose" Design                                             120

    *The "Wind-blown Tulip" Design                                 134

    Golden Butterflies and Pansies                                 140

    The "Snowflake" Quilt Design                                   146

    *The Dogwood Quilt                                             150

    The Wild Rose                                                  156

    *Morning Glory                                                 160

    *"Keepsake Quilt"                                              164

       * Made by Marie Webster.



LIST OF BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                           FACING PAGE
    Section of Funeral Tent of an Egyptian Queen, Made
    in a Patchwork of Coloured Goatskins                             4

    Old English Appliqué                                             5

    Fifth Century Appliqué                                           6

    Armenian Patchwork: St. George and the Dragon                    7

    Persian Quilted Linen Bath Carpet: Seventeenth Century          10

    Old English Hanging with Appliqué Figures                       11

    Modern Egyptian Patchwork: Four Cushion Covers                  12

    Modern Egyptian Patchwork: Panels for Screens                   13

    Modern Egyptian Patchwork: Panels for Wall Decoration           16

    Double Nine Patch                                               17

    Pieced Baskets                                                  20

    Bedroom, Cochran Residence, Deerfield, Mass.                    21

    Jacob's Ladder                                                  28

    Conventional Tulip                                              29

    Old German Appliqué, Metropolitan Museum, New York              32

    Double X                                                        33

    Puss-in-the-Corner                                              34

    Tea Leaves                                                      35

    Feather Star                                                    38

    Drunkard's Path                                                 39

    Star of the East                                                42

    White Quilt with Tufted Border, Metropolitan Museum,
    New York                                                        43

    Sunburst and Wheel of Fortune                                   46

    Tree of Paradise                                                47

    Old Bed and Trundle Bed                                         48

    Two White Tufted Bedspreads                                     49

    Tufted Bedspread with Knotted Fringe                            52

    Unknown Star                                                    53

    Combination Rose                                                54

    Double Tulip                                                    55

    Princess Feathers                                               58

    Princess Feathers with Border                                   59

    Peonies                                                         60

    North Carolina Lily                                             61

    Feather Star with Appliqué                                      64

    Tulip Tree Leaves                                               65

    Mexican Rose                                                    66

    Currants and Cockscomb                                          67

    Conventional Appliqué                                           70

    Single Tulip                                                    71

    Ohio Rose                                                       74

    Rose of Sharon                                                  75

    Original Floral Designs                                         78

    Conventional Tulip                                              79

    Conventional Rose                                               80

    Conventional Rose Wreath                                        81

    Poinsettia                                                      84

    Whig Rose                                                       85

    Harrison Rose                                                   92

    Detail of Harrison Rose, Showing Quilting                       93

    Original Rose Design                                            96

    Pineapple Design                                                97

    Virginia Rose                                                  100

    Rose of LeMoine                                                101

    Charter Oak                                                    108

    Puffed Quilt of Silk                                           109

    Variegated Hexagon, Silk                                       112

    Roman Stripe, Silk                                             113

    American Log Cabin, Silk and Wool                              116

    Democrat Rose                                                  117

    Original Rose No. 3                                            124

    White Quilt, Stuffed Designs                                   125

    White Quilt                                                    128

    Old Ladies Quilting                                            129

    Quilts on a Line                                               136

    *Grapes                                                        137

      * Made by Marie Webster.



ILLUSTRATIONS IN TEXT

QUILTING DESIGNS


                                                                  PAGE
    Single Diagonal Lines                                           93

    Double Diagonal Lines                                           93

    Triple Diagonal Lines                                           93

    Diamonds                                                        99

    Hanging Diamonds                                                99

    Broken Plaid                                                    99

    Rope                                                           104

    Shell                                                          104

    Fan                                                            104

    Feathers in Bands                                              105

    Feathers in Waved Lines                                        105

    Feathers in Circles                                            105

    Three Original Quilting Designs from Old Quilts                108

    Design from an Old English Quilt                               112

    Medallion Design                                               112

    Pineapple                                                      112



INTRODUCTION


Although the quilt is one of the most familiar and necessary articles
in our households, its story is yet to be told. In spite of its
universal use and intimate connection with our lives, its past is a
mystery which--at the most--can be only partially unravelled.

The quilt has a tradition of long centuries of slow but certain
progress. Its story is replete with incidents of love and daring, of
sordid pilferings and generous sacrifices. It has figured in many a
thrilling episode. The same type of handiwork that has sheltered the
simple peasant from wintry blasts has adorned the great halls of
doughty warriors and noble kings. Humble maids, austere nuns, grand
dames, and stately queens; all have shared in the fascination of the
quilter's art and have contributed to its advancement. Cottage,
convent, and castle; all have been enriched, at one time or another,
by the splendours of patchwork and the pleasures of its making.

In its suitability for manufacture within the home, the quilt
possesses a peculiar merit. Although exposed for a full century to the
competition of machinery, under the depressing influence of which most
of the fireside crafts have all but vanished, the making of quilts as
a home industry has never languished. Its hold on the affections of
womankind has never been stronger than it is to-day. As a homemaker,
the quilt is a most capable tool lying ready at the hand of every
woman. The selection of design, the care in piecing, the patience in
quilting; all make for feminine contentment and domestic happiness.

There are more quilts being made at the present time--in the great
cities as well as in the rural communities--than ever before, and
their construction as a household occupation--and recreation--is
steadily increasing in popularity. This should be a source of much
satisfaction to all patriotic Americans who believe that the true
source of our nation's strength lies in keeping the family hearth
flame bright.

As known to-day, the quilt is the result of combining two kinds of
needlework, both of very ancient origin, but widely different in
character. Patchwork--the art of piecing together fabrics of various
kinds and colours or laying patches of one kind upon another, is a
development of the primitive desire for adornment. Quilting--the
method of fastening together layers of cloths in such a manner as to
secure firmly the loose materials uniformly spread between them, has
resulted from the need of adequate protection against rigorous
climates. The piecing and patching provide the maker with a suitable
field for the display of artistic ability, while the quilting calls
for particular skill in handling the needle. The fusing of these two
kinds of needlework into a harmonious combination is a task that
requires great patience and calls for talent of no mean order.

To our grandmothers quilt making meant social pleasure as well as
necessary toil, and to their grandmothers it gave solace during long
vigils in pioneer cabins. The work of the old-time quilters possesses
artistic merit to a very high degree. While much of it was designed
strictly for utilitarian purposes--in fact, more for rugged service
than display, yet the number of beautiful old quilts which these
industrious ancestors have bequeathed to us is very large. Every now
and then there comes to light one of these old quilts of the most
exquisite loveliness, in which the needlework is almost painful in its
exactness. Such treasures are worthy of study and imitation, and are
deserving of careful preservation for the inspiration of future
generations of quilters.

To raise in popular esteem these most worthy products of home
industry, to add to the appreciation of their history and traditions,
to give added interest to the hours of labour which their construction
involves, to present a few of the old masterpieces to the quilters of
to-day; such is the purpose of this book of quilts.

    _Marion, Indiana_
        _March 18, 1915._



QUILTS

THEIR STORY AND
HOW TO MAKE THEM



CHAPTER I

PATCHWORK IN ANTIQUITY


The origin of the domestic arts of all nations is shrouded in mystery.
Since accurate dates cannot be obtained, traditional accounts must be
accepted. The folklore of any country is always exceedingly
interesting and generally has a few kernels of fact imbedded somewhere
in its flowers of legend, although some of our most familiar household
objects are not even mentioned by tradition. Spinning and weaving,
however, are very generously treated in the mythology and folklore of
all nations. Nearly every race has some legend in which claim is made
to the discovery of these twin arts.

In Biblical lore Naa-mah, a sister of Tubal Cain, belonging to the
seventh generation after Cain, is said to have invented both spinning
and weaving. This tradition is strengthened by the assertions of some
historians that the Phrygians were the oldest of races, since their
birthplace was in Armenia, which in turn is credited with having the
Garden of Eden within its boundaries. The Chinese also can advance
very substantial claims that primeval man was born with eyes aslant.
They at least have a fixed date for the invention of the loom. This
was in 2640 B. C. by Lady of Si-Ling, the wife of a famous emperor,
Huang-ti.

The Egyptians who, according to their traditions, sprung from the
soil, and who despised the Greeks for their late coming into the human
arena, were probably quite as ancient as the Phrygians. It is known
positively that in the wonderful valley of the Nile there has lived
for more than six thousand years a race remarkable for its inventive
faculties and the developing of the industrial arts. In the first dawn
of human progress, while his nomadic neighbours roamed carefree about
him, the Egyptian toiled steadily, and left the records of his
achievements beside his God, the Nile.

    [Illustration: SECTION OF FUNERAL TENT OF AN EGYPTIAN
    QUEEN

    Made in a patchwork of coloured goatskins]

    [Illustration: OLD ENGLISH APPLIQUÉ

    Figure of a knight on horseback. Thirteenth century]

When investigating any subject, the ability to see the actual thing
itself is more helpful than pages of description. In Egypt are
preserved for us thousands of wonderful tombs which serve as
storehouses of facts concerning the early civilization of this
land. The mummy wrappings reveal very distinctly the development of
the textiles and decorative arts. The Egyptians, since the earliest
historical times, were always celebrated for their manufacture of
linen, cotton, and woollen cloths, and the products of their looms
were eagerly sought by surrounding nations. The fine linen and
embroidered work, yarns and woollen fabrics of both upper and lower
Egypt, were held in the highest esteem.

Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson, in his history of "Ancient Egypt," tells of
their knowledge of dyeing and of the nature of the fabrics found in
the tombs: "The quantity of linen manufactured and used in Egypt was
very great; and, independent of that made up into articles of dress,
the numerous wrappers required for enveloping the mummies, both of men
and animals, show how large a supply must have been kept ready for the
constant demand at home as well as for that of the foreign market."

"The actual experiments made, with the aid of powerful microscopes ...
on the nature of the fibres of linen and cotton threads, have shown
that the former invariably present a cylindrical form, transparent,
and articulated, or joined like a cane, while the latter offer the
appearance of a flat riband, with a hem or border at each edge; so
that there is no possibility of mistaking the fibres of either,
except, perhaps, when the cotton is in an unripe state, and the
flattened shape of the centre is less apparent. The results having
been found similar in every instance, and the structure of the fibres
thus unquestionably determined, the threads of mummy cloths were
submitted to the same test, and no exception was found to their being
linen, nor were they even a mixture of linen and cotton."

"Another very remarkable discovery of the Egyptians was the use of
mordants. They were acquainted with the effect of acids on colour, and
submitted the cloth they dyed to one of the same processes adopted in
our modern manufactories; and while, from his account, we perceive how
little Pliny understood the process he was describing, he at the same
time gives us the strongest evidence of its truth."

    [Illustration: FIFTH CENTURY APPLIQUÉ]

    [Illustration: ARMENIAN PATCHWORK

    Illustrating the story of St. George and the dragon, and
    other Christian subjects]

"In Egypt," he says, "they stain cloths in a wonderful manner. They
take them in their original state, quite white, and imbue them, not
with a dye, but with certain drugs which have the power of absorbing
and taking colour. When this is done, there is still no appearance
of change in the cloths; but so soon as they are dipped into a bath of
the pigment, which has been prepared for the purpose, they are taken
out properly coloured. The singular thing is, that though the bath
contains only one colour, several hues are imparted to the piece,
these changes depending on the natures of the drug employed; nor can
the colour be afterward washed off; and surely if the bath had many
colours in it, they must have presented a confused appearance on the
cloth."

The ability of the Egyptians to have a variety of colours for use in
their embroideries and patchworks contributed much to the beauty of
these arts.

Embroidery in various forms, applied to all sorts of objects, was
commonly practised throughout ancient Egypt, and the Israelites, at
the time of the Exodus, carried their knowledge of the textile arts
with them to India. Ezekiel in chapter twenty-seven, verse seven, in
telling of the glories of Tyre, says: "Of fine linen with broidered
work Egypt was thy sail, that it might be to thee for an ensign." In
"De Bello Judaico," by Flavius Josephus, another reference is made to
ancient needlework: "When Herod the Great rebuilt the temple of
Jerusalem nineteen years before our era, he was careful not to omit in
the decoration of the sanctuary the marvels of textile art which had
been the chief embellishment of the tabernacle during the long
wanderings in the desert. Before the doors of the most sacred place he
hung a Babylonian tapestry fifty cubits high by sixteen wide: azure
and flax, scarlet and purple were blended in it with admirable art and
rare ingenuity, for these represented the various elements. Scarlet
signified fire; linen, the earth; azure, the air; and purple, the sea.
These meanings were derived in two instances from similarity of
colour: in the other two from their origin, the earth yielding linen
and the sea purple. The whole range of the heavens, except the signs,
was wrought upon this veil or hanging. The porticos were also enriched
with many coloured tapestries ornamented with purple flowers."

There is very meagre information concerning the character and style of
tapestry in Egypt during the rule of the Pharaohs. MM. Perrot and
Chipiex, in their "Histoire de l'Art dans l'Antiquité," publish a
painting containing a hanging of purely ornamental design formed of
circles, triangles, and palm leaves reversed. Wilkinson describes an
Egyptian hanging--an original, not a reproduction--found in an English
collection: "In the centre, on a green ground, stands a boy in white,
with a goose beside him; and around this centre a border of red and
blue lines; then white figures on a yellow ground; again blue lines
and red ornaments; and lastly red, white, and blue embroideries." This
is a very ancient example of true applied work combined with
embroidery. In the Psalms it is said that Pharaoh's daughter shall be
brought to the king in a raiment of needlework and that "her clothing
is of wrought gold."

The huge columns, bas-reliefs, and the various architectural details
of the early Egyptian buildings were all decorated in vivid colours.
The interiors of their temples were also covered with gayly coloured
scenes which have preserved for us a most extensive knowledge of their
life and customs. Their mummy cases were painted in the most brilliant
hues, and often the wrappings of the mummies themselves bore brightly
coloured portraits of the deceased. Since the Egyptians lived in an
atmosphere of brilliant colour, with ever-shining sun, the bluest of
skies, and the purple glow of the desert always before them, it is
not surprising that they used their brushes with lavish hand. Every
plane surface called for ornamentation, whether on temple or shroud.
Their pigments, both mineral and vegetable, were remarkable for their
permanence.

The crude and childish way in which the Egyptians applied their paint
in distinct patches would lead one to believe that patchwork was
included in their earliest needlework, even if no actual proof
existed. But all nations have at some period used the needle to copy
the masterpieces of great artists. The English, as a typical example
of this spirit of imitation, sought on a background of cloth of gold
to embroider the saints from the canvas of Fra Angelico. Also the
French, in the manufacture of their tapestries, copied the works of
many of the old masters. Positive proof of the existence of patchwork,
or as some choose to call it, "applied work," in Egypt at a very early
period is found on a robe belonging to an early sovereign. This
article of apparel was of linen and, in general design, resembled a
modern apron. According to Wilkinson, it was "richly ornamented in
front with lions' heads and other devices, probably of coloured
leather; and the border was formed of a row of asps, the emblem of
royalty. Sometimes the royal name with an asp on each side was
embroidered upon it."

    [Illustration: PERSIAN QUILTED LINEN BATH CARPET

    Seventeenth century]

    [Illustration: OLD ENGLISH HANGING WITH APPLIQUÉ
    FIGURES]

The most ancient example of patchwork is a coloured gazelle hide
presented in the Museum of Cairo. The colours of the different pieces
of skin are bright pink, deep golden yellow, pale primrose, bluish
green, and pale blue. This patchwork served as the canopy or pall of
an Egyptian queen about the year 960 B. C. She was the mother-in-law
of Shishak, who besieged and captured Jerusalem shortly after the
death of Solomon. On its upper border this interesting specimen has
repeated scarabs, cartouches with inscriptions, discs, and serpents.
The lower border has a central device of radiating lotus flowers; this
is flanked by two narrow panels with cartouches; beyond these are two
gazelles facing toward the lotus device. Next to the gazelles on each
side is a curious detail consisting of two oddly shaped ducks, back to
back; then come the two outer compartments of the border, each of
which enclose a winged beetle, or scarabæus, bearing a disc or emblem
of the sun. The other main division of the field is spotted in regular
order with open blossom forms. There is decided order in the
repetition and arrangement of these details, which gives a rather
stiff and formal look to the whole design.

To-day Egyptians are making patchwork that is undoubtedly a
development of the very art practised in the days of Ptolemy, Rameses,
and Cleopatra. They do not use their patchwork to adorn quilts, since
these are unknown in the warm Nile valley, but as covers for cushions,
panels for screens, and decorations suitable for wall hangings.
Generally but two kinds of material are employed in its construction:
a rather loosely woven cotton cloth, and a firm, coarse linen. The
cottons used are all gayly dyed in plain colours, and the linens are
in the natural shades, with perhaps a slight mixture of white. The
patchwork designs are typically Egyptian, many pieces being covered
with replicas of paintings found on tombs and temples. These paintings
are copied as faithfully in colour as in design, even the
hieroglyphics being exactly reproduced, and altogether make very
striking and effective decorations.

    [Illustration: MODERN EGYPTIAN PATCHWORK

    Four cushion covers]

    [Illustration: MODERN EGYPTIAN PATCHWORK

    Panels for screens]

The modern Egyptians have the innate taste and ability of all
Orientals for harmonizing colour. Their universal use of black to
outline and define most of the designs produces a beautiful harmony
between otherwise clashing hues. With nearly as many shades at their
disposal in cloth as a painter has in paint, they are quite ambitious
in their attempts to produce realistic scenes. On some of the best
specimens of modern Egyptian patchwork gods and goddesses are shown
sitting enthroned surrounded by attendants and slaves bearing trophies
of war and chase as offerings to the divine beings. On others, groups
of men and women are shown, humbly presenting salvers of fruit and the
sacred flower--the lotus--to their gods. Some of the most effective
work is decorated with a simple life-size figure of Osiris or Rameses
the Great in brilliant colours. A few of the more subdued patchwork
designs consist of a solitary scarab, the sacred beetle of the
Pharaohs, or an asp or two gracefully entwined. The smaller pieces
make practical and admirable cushion covers. There are many attractive
shops in Cairo that sell quantities of this gay patchwork, and few
tourists leave Egypt without a specimen or two as mementoes of the
paintings that give us a glimpse of Egypt's ancient splendour.

While among the ancient Greeks and Romans all the arts of the needle
were held in the greatest esteem, comparatively little attention was
paid to the adornment of their sleeping apartments. Accounts of early
Greek houses state that, while the bedchambers were hung all about
with curtains and draperies, these were usually of plain fabrics with
little attempt at decoration. Of patchwork or appliqué, as known to
the Egyptians and Hebrews, the Greeks and Romans have left us no
trace. However, as substantiating the regard shown for needlework by
the Greeks and Romans, the following two pleasing myths have come down
to us: one, the "Story of Arachne," as related by Ovid; the other from
the "Odyssey" of Homer.

Arachne, a most industrious needleworker, had the audacity to contest
against Pallas, the goddess of the art of weaving. With her bobbins,
Arachne wove such wonderful pictures of the Loves of the Gods that
Pallas, conscious of having been surpassed by a mortal, in an outburst
of anger struck her. Arachne, humiliated by the blow, and unable to
avenge it, hanged herself in despair. Whereupon the goddess relented,
and with the intention of gratifying Arachne's passionate love of
weaving, transformed her into a spider and bade her weave on forever.

The other interesting incident of ancient times is that of Penelope's
patient weaving. It is related that, after one short year of wedded
happiness, her husband Ulysses was called to take part in the Trojan
War. Not a single message having been received from him by Penelope
during his long absence, a doubt finally arose as to his being still
alive. Numerous suitors then sought her hand, but Penelope begged for
time and sought to put them off with many excuses. One of her devices
for delay was that of being very busy preparing a funeral robe for
Ulysses' father. She announced that she would be unable to choose
another husband until after this robe was finished. Day after day she
industriously wove, spending patient hours at her loom, but each night
secretly ravelled out the product of her day's labour. By this
stratagem Penelope restrained the crowd of ardent suitors up to the
very day of Ulysses' return.



CHAPTER II

PATCHWORK AND QUILTING DURING THE MIDDLE AGES


In the early days of Christianity the various organizations of the
mother church took a deep interest in all the textile arts, and we are
indebted to the ecclesiastical orders for what progress was made in
needlework during the beginning of the Middle Ages. The makers of
church hangings and vestments were stimulated by thoughts of the
spiritual blessings with which they were assured their work would be
rewarded. Much of this early ecclesiastic needlework is extremely
elaborate and was always eagerly desired by the holy orders. At one
time the craze for gorgeous vestments reached such an extreme that we
have record of one worthy bishop chiding his priests because they
"carried their religion on their backs instead of in their hearts."

    [Illustration: MODERN EGYPTIAN PATCHWORK

    Panels for wall decoration]

    [Illustration: DOUBLE NINE PATCH

    Made in Ohio in 1808. Colours: blue and white, and
    beautifully quilted]

The artistic needlework of the Christian era consists almost
entirely of embroidery; no positive reference to patchwork or quilting
being found in western Europe prior to the time of the Crusades. But
with this great movement, thousands of the most intelligent men in
Europe, urged by religious enthusiasm combined with love of adventure,
forced their way into eastern countries whose culture and refinements
of living far surpassed their own. The luxuries which they found in
Syria were eagerly seized and carried home to all the western lands.
Returning Crusaders exhibited fine stuffs of every description that
roused the envy of all who obtained a glimpse of them. A vigorous
commerce with the east was immediately stimulated. From Syria
merchants brought into Italy, Spain, and France silks and cottons to
supplement the native linen and wool, and also many kinds of
embroidered work of a quality much finer than ever known before. As a
result dyeing, weaving, and needlework entered on an era of great
development.

Previous to the eleventh century so memorable in the history of the
Crusaders, references to quilting and patchwork are few and uncertain,
but from that time on these twin arts became more and more conspicuous
in the needlecraft of nearly every country in western Europe. This is
explained by the stimulus which was given to these arts by the
specimens of appliqué hangings and garments brought from Syria, where
the natives wrought for centuries the identical applied work carried
into Palestine from Egypt in Biblical times by the Hebrews and the
Phoenicians.

About the earliest applied work of which we have record were the
armorial bearings of the Crusaders. A little later came rather
elaborate designs applied to their cloaks and banners. Among other
specimens of Old English needlework is a piece of applied work at
Stonyhurst College depicting a knight on horseback. That this knight
represents a Crusader is beyond question since the cross, the insignia
of the cause, is a prominent figure in the ornamentation of the
knight's helmet and shield, and is also prominent on the blanket on
the horse.

Noticeable progress in the arts of both quilting and appliqué was made
during the Middle Ages in Spain. Spanish women have always been noted
for their cleverness with the needle, and quite a few of the stitches
now in use are credited to them. At the time of King Ferdinand and
Queen Isabella, applied work had long been known. Whether it
developed from imitating garments brought home by the returning
Crusaders, or was adopted from the Moors, who gave the best of their
arts to Spain during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, cannot
be positively stated. However, it is worthy of notice that whenever
the Christian came in contact with the Moor, a great advance in the
textile arts of the former could generally be observed. This holds
true even down to this day, our eagerness to possess the rugs of
Turkey and Afghanistan, and the imitation of these designs in the
manufacture of domestic carpets, being a case in point.

During the reign of King Philip II, 1527-1598, the grandees of the
Spanish court wore beautifully wrought garments, rich with applied
work and embroidery. A sixteenth-century hanging of silk and velvet
appliqué, now preserved in Madrid, is typical of the best Spanish
work. It is described as having a gray-green silk foundation, on which
are applied small white silk designs outlined with yellow cord;
alternating with the green silk are bands of dark red velvet with
ornamented designs cut from the green silk, and upon which are small
pieces of white silk representing berries. Also, another handsome
specimen of Spanish applied work of the seventeenth century is a linen
curtain richly embellished with heraldic emblems couched with gold
thread. Horse trappings and reposters, loaded with appliqué flowers
cut from gold and silver cloth, were much in evidence among the
Spanish nobility of this period.

Of particular interest, as showing how oriental quilting designs
filtered into Europe through the intercourse of the early Portuguese
traders and missionaries with the East Indies, is the brief mention by
Margaret S. Burton of a very elaborate old quilt now in a New York
collection: "My next find was a tremendous bed quilt which is used as
a portière for double folding doors. It formed part of a collection of
hangings owned by the late Stanford White. He claimed there were only
four of its kind in existence, and this the only one in America. It is
valued at $1,000. It is a Portuguese bed quilt and was embroidered
centuries ago by the Portuguese missionary monks sent to India. They
were commissioned by their queen to embroider them for her to present
as wedding gifts to her favourite ladies-in-waiting." On account of
intricacy and originality of design this quilt represents years of
patient work. It is hand embroidered in golden coloured floss upon a
loosely woven linen which had been previously quilted very closely.
The work is in chain stitch, and there are at least fifty different
stitch patterns. In the centre panel is the sacred cat of India. Doves
bearing olive branches, pomegranates, daisies, and passion flowers are
intermingled in the beautiful design.

    [Illustration: PIECED BASKETS

    A design much used by the old-time quilt makers. This
    quilt, which is about 85 years old, is unusual, in that
    the baskets are so small]

    [Illustration: INTERIOR OF BEDROOM

    Cochran residence, Deerfield, Mass., showing colonial
    bedstead with quilt and canopy]

While the uses of patchwork were known over Europe long before the
Renaissance, some credit its introduction, into Italy at least, to the
Florentine painter, Botticelli (1446-1510). The applied work, or
"thought work," of the Armenians so appealed to him that he used it on
hangings for church decoration. Under his influence the use of the
applied work, _opus conservetum_, for chapel curtains and draperies
was greatly extended. In time these simple patchwork hangings were
supplanted by the mural paintings and tapestries now so famous. There
are still in existence some rare pieces of Italian needlework of the
sixteenth century having designs of fine lace interspersed among the
embroidered appliqué of silk.

A homely cousin of the gorgeous _opus conservetum_, which has filled
its useful though humble office down to the present day, is the heavy
quilted and padded leather curtain used in many Italian churches in
lieu of a door. Many of the church doors are too massive and
cumbersome to be opened readily by the entering worshippers, so they
are left constantly open. Leather hangings often several inches thick
and quilted with rows of horizontal stitches rather widely spaced, are
hung before the open doorways. Even these curtains are often quite
stiff and unyielding, so that holding back corners for the passage of
both worshipper and tourist forms a favourite occupation for numerous
beggars.

Appliqué, described as _opus consutum_, or cut work, was made in
Florence and Venice, chiefly for ecclesiastical purposes, during the
height of their glory in the fifteenth century. One such piece of
Florentine cut work is remarkable for its great beauty and the skill
shown in bringing together both weaving and embroidery. "Much of the
architectural accessories is loom wrought, while the extremities of
the evangelists are all done by the needle; but the head, neck, and
long beard are worked by themselves upon very fine linen, and
afterward put together in such a way that the full white beard
overlaps the tunics.... For the sake of expedition, all the figures
were sometimes at once shaped out of woven silk, satin, velvet, linen,
or woollen cloth, and sewed upon the grounding of the article....
Sometimes the cut work done in this way is framed, as it were, with an
edging either in plain or gilt leather, hempen or silken cord, like
the leadings of a stained-glass window." Gold and silver starlike
flowers, sewn on appliqué embroideries, were common to Venice and also
southern Germany in the fifteenth century.

Belonging to the Italian Renaissance period are some marvellous
panels, once part of a curtain, which are now preserved in the South
Kensington Museum in London. The foundation of these panels is of
beautiful blue damask having applied designs cut from yellow satin.
These hangings are described as being very rich in effect and
unusually handsome, and nothing in the annals of needlework of their
period was more glorious.

A very ingenious patchwork, originating in Italy during the sixteenth
century and peculiar to that country and Spain, consisted of patterns
designed so as to be counter hanging. For example, if one section of a
length of such patchwork consisted of a blue satin pattern on a yellow
velvet ground, the adjoining section would, through the interchange of
materials, consist of a yellow velvet pattern on a blue satin ground.
The joints of the patching were overlaid with cord or gimp, stitched
down so as to conceal them entirely and give definition to the forms
constituting the pattern.

Italian needleworkers were very fond of this "transposed appliqué upon
two fabrics," especially when composed of designs of foliage
conventionally treated, or of arabesques and scrolls. On a piece of
old Milanese damask, figured with violet on violet, appear designs in
appliqué cut from two shades of yellow satin. These are remarkable for
their powerful relief, suggesting sculpture rather than embroidery,
and have been pronounced worthy of the best masters of their
time--namely, that period so rich in suggestions of ornament--the
seventeenth century.

    [Illustration: THE BEDTIME QUILT

    With its procession of night-clad children will be
    excellent "company" for a tot, to whom a story may be
    told of the birds that sleep in the little trees while
    the friendly stars keep watch]

Closely related to patchwork, but not as commonly used, is "inlay." In
the making of this style of decoration one material is not laid on to
another, but into it. It is the fitting together of small sections
of any desired fabric in a prearranged design. For convenience, all
the pieces are placed upon a foundation of sufficient firmness, but
which does not appear when the work is finished. Ornamental stitches
conceal the seams where the edges meet, and it is especially adapted
for making heraldic devices. During the Renaissance it was much used
by both Spaniards and Italians, who learned the art from the Moors.

An example of quilting, attributed to the Island of Sicily about the
year 1400, is described as being a ground of buff-coloured linen. The
raised effect is obtained by an interpadding of wool, and the designs
are outlined in brown thread. This entire coverlet is embroidered with
scenes from the life of Tristan, who frequently engaged in battle
against King Langair, the oppressor of his country. This bit of
quilting hangs in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Another
hanging of the fourteenth century, belonging to the same collection,
shows a spirited naval battle between galleys. A striking peculiarity
of this hanging is that floral designs are scattered in great
profusion among the boats of the combatants.

A patchwork made by the application of bits of leather to velvet was
extensively used in some European countries during the Middle Ages. As
leather did not fray and needed no sewing over at the edge, but only
sewing down, stitching well within the edge gave the effect of a
double outline. This combination of leather and velvet was introduced
from Morocco. A wonderful tent of this leather patchwork, belonging to
the French king, François I, was taken by the Spanish at the battle of
Pavia (1525), and is still preserved in the armoury at Madrid.

Some of the very finest specimens of the quilting of the Middle Ages
have been preserved for us in Persia. Here the art, borrowed at a very
early period from the Arabs, was developed in an unusual and typically
oriental manner. Prayer rugs, carpets, and draperies of linen, silk,
and satin were among the products of the Persian quilters.

We are indebted to Mr. Alan S. Cole for the following description of a
seventeenth-century Persian quilted bath carpet, now preserved at the
South Kensington Museum in London. "This typical Persian embroidery is
a linen prayer or bath carpet, the bordering or outer design of which
partly takes the shape of the favourite Persian architectural niche
filled in with such delicate scrolling stem ornament as is so lavishly
used in that monument of sixteenth-century Mohammedan art, the Taj
Mahal at Agra. In the centre of the carpet beneath the niche form is a
thickly blossoming shrub, laid out on a strictly geometric or formal
plan, but nevertheless depicted with a fairly close approach to the
actual appearance of bunches of blossoms and of leaves in nature. But
the regular and corresponding curves of the stems, and the ordered
recurrence of the blossom bunches, give greater importance to
ornamental character than to any intention of giving a picture of a
tree. Similar stems, blossoms, and leaves are still more formally and
ornamentally adapted in the border of the carpet, and to fill in the
space between the border and the niche shape. The embroidery is of
chain stitch with white, yellow, green, and red silks. But before this
embroidery was taken in hand the whole of the linen was minutely
stitched."

Worthy of mention is a patchwork panel made in Resht, Persia, in the
eighteenth century: "The foundation ground is of ivory coloured cloth,
and applied to it, almost entirely covering the ivory background, are
designs cut from crimson, cinnamon, pink, black, turquoise, and
sapphire coloured cloths, all richly embroidered in marigold and green
silk."

The following is a quilt anecdote, typically oriental, which contains
a bit of true philosophy. It seems that the hero, Nass-ed-Din Hodja,
was a Turkish person who became chief jester to the terrible Tamerlane
during his invasion of Asia Minor. He was also the hero, real or
imaginary, of many other stories which originated during the close of
the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries. His tomb
is still shown at Akshekir. The story is given entire as it appeared
in "Turkey of the Ottoman" by L. M. Garnett:


    HOW THE HODJA LOST HIS QUILT

    "One winter's night, when the Hodja and his wife were
    snugly asleep, two men began to quarrel and fight under
    the window. Both drew knives and the dispute threatened
    to become serious. Hearing the noise, the Hodja's wife
    got up, looked out of the window and, seeing the state
    of affairs, woke her husband, saying: 'Great heavens,
    get up and separate them or they will kill each other.'
    But the Hodja only answered sleepily: 'Wife, dear,
    come to bed again; on my faith there are no men in the
    world; I wish to be quiet; it is a winter's night. I am
    an old man, and perhaps if I went out they might beat
    me.' The Hodja's wife was a wise woman. She kissed his
    hands and his feet. The Hodja was cross and scolded her,
    but he threw the quilt about him, went downstairs and
    out to where the disputants were, and said to them: 'For
    the sake of my white beard cease, my sons, your strife.'
    The men, in reply, pulled the quilt from the Hodja's
    shoulders and made off with it. 'Very well,' observed
    the old man. He reëntered, locked the door, and went
    upstairs. Said his wife: 'You did very well to go out to
    those men. Have they left off quarrelling?' 'They have,'
    replied the Hodja. 'What were they quarrelling about,
    Hodja?' 'Fool,' replied the Hodja, 'they were
    quarrelling for my quilt. Henceforward my motto shall
    be, "Beware of serpents."'"


    [Illustration: JACOB'S LADDER

    One of the most striking of the quilts having Biblical
    names. Colours: blue and white]

    [Illustration: CONVENTIONAL TULIP

    Made in Ohio about 1840. Beautifully quilted in
    medallions and pineapples of original design. Colors:
    red, pink, and green]

Appliqué, or applied work, has never been used in France to the same
extent as in England, even though the French name "appliqué" is more
frequently used than any other. However, there is one striking example
of appliqué work, of Rhenish or French origin, now hanging in the
Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This realistic patchwork
represents a fight between an armoured knight mounted on a
high-stepping white horse and a ferocious dragon. The designs are
arranged in a fashion similar to the blocks in a modern quilt, and
depict several scenes showing the progress of the combat. There is
also a border covered closely with figures of monks, knights, and
ladies.

An extract from "First Steps in Collecting," by Grace M. Vallois,
gives an interesting glimpse of an old French attic. An object of
great interest to us is the old, unfinished quilt she discovered
there: "A rummaging expedition in a French _grenier_ yields more
treasures than one taken in an English lumber room. The French are
more conservative; they dislike change and never throw away anything.
Among valuable antiques found in the _grenier_ of a Louis XV house in
the Pyrenees were some rare curtains of white linen ornamented with
designs cut from beautiful old chintz; the edges of the applied
designs were covered with tightly twisted cotton cord. Also, in the
same room, in a drawer of an old chestnut-wood bureau, was found an
unfinished bed quilt very curiously worked. It was of linen with a
filling of rather soft cotton cord about an eighth of an inch wide.
These cords were held in place by rows of minute stitching of white
silk, making the bedcover almost solid needlework. Besides the
quilting there were at rather wide intervals conventional flowers in
peacock shades of blue and green silk executed in chain stitch. When
found, the needle was still sticking in one of the flowers, and many
were traced ready for work. The traced lines appear to have been made
with India ink and were very clear and delicate. What caused the
abrupt interruption of the old quilt no one can tell. It is possible
that the great terror of 1793 caused the patient maker to flee from
her unfinished task."

In the countries of northern Europe there is scarcely any record
concerning the art of quilting and patchwork, and little can be said
beyond the fact that both existed in some form or other. In Germany
the quilt so familiar to us is practically unknown. In the past
appliqué was very little used, except as cut work, or _opus consutum_,
in blazonments and heraldic devices. The thick feather beds of
medieval Germany were covered with various kinds of thick comforts
filled with either wool or feathers, and sometimes sparsely quilted.
The only decoration of the comfort consisted of a band of ornamental
work, ten to twenty inches wide, usually worked in cross-stitch design
with brightly coloured yarns. These bands were generally loose upon
the comfort, one edge being held down by the pillow, but occasionally
they were sewed to the edge of the bedcover.

In a work on arts and crafts relating to their presence in Sweden, it
is written that "woven hangings were used to decorate the timbered
walls of the halls of the vikings. They were hung over the temples,
and they decorated the timber sepulchres of the dead. When the
timbered grave of the Danish queen, Fyra Danabode, who died about 950,
was opened, remains of woven woollen cloth were found." As far back as
Swedish records go it can be shown that Swedish women wove and sewed
figured material.

    [Illustration: FINE EXAMPLE OF OLD GERMAN APPLIQUÉ

    Now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York]

    [Illustration: DOUBLE X

    A modern quilt. Colours: blue and white]

On account of the cold there is urgent need of wall hangings, and they
are used extensively throughout Scandinavia. On festive occasions the
stiff, cold appearance of Swedish peasants' homes is transformed by
the gay wall coverings to one of hospitality and warmth. The hangings
used are made of linen, either painted or embroidered in bright
colours. The painted ones are especially interesting as they depict
many historical scenes. Allegorical and religious subjects are also
used to decorate many of these linen hangings. The Swedes are very
patriotic, and on their wall hangings show all the saints clad in
typical Swedish costumes. The apostles wear Swedish jack boots, loose
collars, and pea jackets; and Joseph, as governor of Egypt, is shown
wearing a three-cornered hat and smoking a pipe.

There is a valuable collection of Swedish needlework in the Northern
Museum of Stockholm, dating from 1639 to the nineteenth century. Among
this collection there are a few small pieces of applied work: some
cushions, glove gauntlets, and a woman's handbag. It is possible that
patchwork was used more extensively than the museum's display would
indicate, but since large pieces are very rarely found, patchwork was
evidently not held in the same esteem as embroidery and painting.



CHAPTER III

PATCHWORK AND QUILTING IN OLD ENGLAND


In searching for the beginning of needlework in England, the first
authentic date revealed relating directly to this subject is 709, when
the Bishop of Sherborne writes of the skill Englishwomen had attained
at that time in the use of the needle. Preserved in various museums are
some examples of Anglo-Saxon embroidery of uncertain date, that are
known to have been made before the Bishop of Sherborne's time. Mention
should also be made of the wonderful Bayeux Tapestry. This ancient
piece is 227 feet long and twenty inches wide, and is of great
historical interest, in that it illustrates events of English history
from the accession of Edward the Confessor to the English defeat at
Hastings by the Normans in 1066. There is some doubt as to whether this
tapestry, which has the characteristic of typical appliqué--namely, the
absence of shading--is actually of English workmanship, but it is
unquestionably of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was first hung in Bayeux
Cathedral in 1476.

    [Illustration: PUSS-IN-THE-CORNER

    A beautifully quilted design made about 1855. Colours: a
    dull green calico having small red flowers and white]

    [Illustration: TEA LEAVES

    A quaint old design combining a pieced block with an
    applied leaf stem. Colours: green and white]

It is a generally accepted fact that appliqué and embroidery are
closely related and of about equal age, although relatively few
examples of the former are preserved in collections of needlework. One
of the oldest authentic bits of appliqué is at Stonyhurst College. It
represents a knight clad in full armour, mounted on a spirited
galloping horse. The horse is covered with an elaborately wrought
blanket and has an imposing ornament on his head. The knight wears a
headdress of design similar to that of the horse and, with arm
uplifted and sword drawn, appears about to attack a foe. This work is
well done, and the pose of both man and horse shows spirit. It is said
to have been made during the thirteenth century. Preserved to us from
this same period is the tattered fragment of a coat worn by Edward,
the Black Prince, and which now hangs over his tomb in Canterbury
Cathedral. With it are the helmet and gauntlets he wore and the shield
he carried. The coat is of a red and blue velvet, now sadly faded,
applied to a calico background and closely quilted. It is too
elaborate to have been made to wear under his armour, and was
probably worn during state functions where armour was not required,
although it was then customary to wear thickly padded and quilted
coats and hoods in order to ease the weight of the heavy and
unyielding coats of mail.

Much of the best needlework in England at this early period was for
the church. Neither labour nor expense was spared to make the
magnificent decorations used in the old cathedrals. Aside from the
linens, silks, and velvets used in this construction, much gold and
silver bullion was wrought into the elaborate altar hangings, altar
fronts, and ecclesiastical vestments. In their ornamentation applied
work was freely used, especially on the large hangings draped over the
altar.

It was during the earliest period that the Latin name _opus consutum_
was commonly used to designate patchwork. Chain stitch also was much
used on early English embroidery; to such an extent that it is now of
great service as an identification mark to fix the dates of medieval
needlework. Chain stitch was dignified by the Latin name _opus
anglicanum_. Only the most elaborate and richest of embroideries have
been preserved; the reason being that much of the work was done with
silver and gold threads which were in reality fine wires of these
precious metals. Being exceedingly costly, they were given unusual
care, many being kept with the royal plate and jewels. One specimen
made in 905 by Aelfled, the queen of Edward, the Elder, is now
treasured in Durham Cathedral. It is described as being "of almost
solid gold thread, so exquisitely embroidered that it resembles a fine
illuminated manuscript," and is indescribably beautiful. In many
instances the fabrics of these old embroideries have partly fallen
away, leaving only frail fragments of the original material held
together by the lasting threads of gold and silver.

The great amount of precious metals used in making the richest
garments and hangings sometimes made them objects to be desired by
avaricious invaders. In an inventory of the contents of Cardinal
Wolsey's great palace at Hampton Court there are mentioned, among many
other rare specimens of needlework of that period, "230 bed hangings
of English embroidery." None of them is now in existence, and it is
supposed that they were torn apart in order to fill the coffers of
some vandal who preferred the metal in them to their beauty as
hangings.

Among the sumptuous furnishings belonging to the Tudor period, applied
work held a prominent place. Vast spaces of cold palace walls were
covered by great wall hangings, archways were screened, and every bed
was enclosed with curtains made of stoutly woven material, usually
more or less ornamented. This was before the advent of French
tapestry, which later supplanted the English appliqué wall draperies.
The Tudor period was also the time when great rivalry in dress
existed. "The esquire endeavoured to outshine the knight, the
knight the baron, the baron the earl, the earl the king himself, in
the richness of his apparel."

    [Illustration: FEATHER STAR

    Made about 1850. Colours: blue and white]

    [Illustration: DRUNKARD'S PATH

    A modern quilt after an old pattern. Colours: light blue
    and white]

In direct contrast to the long inventories of beautiful and valuable
clothing, bedcovers, and hangings of the rich, are the meagre details
relating to the life and household effects of the landless English
peasant. In all probability he copied as far as he was able some of
the utilities and comforts used by his superiors. If he possessed a
cover for his bed, it was doubtless made of the cheapest woven
material obtainable. No doubt the pieced or patched quilt
contributed materially to his comfort. In "Arts and Crafts in the
Middle Ages," Julia de Wolf Addison describes a child's bed quilt
included in an inventory of furniture at the Priory in Durham in 1446,
"which was embroidered in the four corners with the Evangelistic
symbols." In the "Squier of Lowe Degree," a fifteenth-century romance,
there is allusion to a bed of which the head sheet is described as
embroidered "with diamonds and rubies bright."

It was during the gorgeous reign of Henry VIII that the finest
specimens of combined embroidery and patchwork, now preserved in
various museums, were made. It was really patch upon patch, for before
the motives were applied to the foundation they were elaborately
embroidered in intricate designs; and after being applied, they had
their edges couched with gold and silver cord and ornate embroidery
stitches. Mrs. Lowes relates in "Old Lace and Needlework" that, during
the time of Henry VIII, embroidery, as distinct from garment making,
appeared; and every article of wearing apparel became an object worthy
of decoration. "Much fine stitching was put into the fine white
undergarments of that time, and the overdresses of both men and women
became stiff with gold thread and jewels. Much use was made of
slashing and quilting, the point of junction being dotted with pearls
and precious stones. Noble ladies wore dresses heavily and richly
embroidered with gold, and the train was so weighty that train bearers
were pressed into service. In the old paintings the horses belonging
to kings and nobles wear trappings of heavily embroidered gold. Even
the hounds, which are frequently represented with their masters, have
collars massively decorated with gold bullion."

Mary, Queen of Scots, was devoted to the needle and was expert in its
use. It is said that while in France she learned lace making and
embroidery. Many wall hangings, bed draperies, bedcovers, and house
linens are the work of her skilful fingers, or were made under her
personal direction. A number of examples of her work are now owned by
the Duke of Devonshire. It is said also that many of the French
costumes and laces of her wardrobe were appropriated by Queen
Elizabeth, who had little sympathy for the unfortunate queen. As a
solace during long days of loneliness, Queen Mary found consolation in
her needle, as have many women of lower degree before and since her
unhappy time. She stands forth as the most expert and indefatigable of
royal needleworkers.

    [Illustration: THE IRIS DESIGN

    In this design the iris has been conventionalized so as
    to make it consistent with its natural growth--the
    flowers stretching up in a stately array beyond their
    long-pointed leaves]

Hardwick Hall is intimately associated with Queen Mary's life, and is
rich in relics of her industry. In one room named for her there are
bed curtains and a quilt said to be her own work. Extracts from old
letters relating to her conduct during captivity show how devoted she
was to her needlework. An attendant, on being asked how the queen
passed her time, wrote, "that all day she wrought with her nydil and
that the diversity of the colours made the work seem less tedious and
that she contynued so long at it that veray payn made hir to give
over." This shows that fatigue alone made her desist from her beloved
work.

There is a very interesting fragment of a bed hanging at Hardwick Hall
said to have been made by Queen Mary. It is of applied patchwork, with
cream-coloured medallions curiously ornamented by means of designs
singed with a hot iron upon the light-coloured velvet. The singed
birds, flowers, and butterflies are outlined with black silk thread.
The worked medallions are applied to a foundation of green velvet,
ornamented between and around them with yellow silk cord. This is
only one of a number of examples of curious and beautiful patchwork
still in existence and attributed to the Tudor period.

Queen Elizabeth herself was not devoted to needlework, but judging
from the accounts of the gorgeous costumes which she delighted to
wear, she was one of its greatest patronesses. It is said that at her
death she left one of the most extensive wardrobes of history: in it
were more than a thousand dresses, which were most voluminous in style
and elaborately trimmed with bullion, pearls, and jewels. Before the
precious stones were applied, her garments were solidly covered with
gold and silver quilting and embroidery, which made them so heavy as
to be a noticeable burden even for this proud and ambitious queen. In
Berkeley Castle, as prized mementoes of Queen Elizabeth, are five
white linen cushions beautifully embroidered with silver threads and
cherry-coloured silk. Also with them is the quilt, a wonderful piece
of needlework, that matches the hangings of the bed wherein she slept.

    [Illustration: STAR OF THE EAST

    Elaborate pineapple quilting designs in the corners.
    Colours: red and white]

    [Illustration: WHITE QUILT WITH TUFTED BORDER

    Now in Metropolitan Museum, New York]

The magnificence of Queen Elizabeth's reign gave great impetus to all
kinds of needlework. France at that time led in the development of
fine arts, and furnished many of the skilled workmen employed by the
nobility solely as embroiderers. There seemed to be no limit to the
ambitions of these workers, and the gorgeous results of their labours
were beyond anything attempted after them.

To those who wish to study the work of the Tudor period, Hardwick Hall
is recommended as the place where the best specimens have been
preserved. To Elizabeth, daughter of John Hardwick, born in 1520, and
so poor that her marriage portion as the bride of the Earl of
Shrewsbury was only thirty pounds, credit is given for the richness of
this collection. She was a woman of great ability in the management of
her estates, became very wealthy, and gave employment to many people.
Included among her dependents were many needleworkers who plied their
trade under rigorous administration. Elizabeth of Shrewsbury was a
hard mistress, but not above doing an occasional bit of needlework
herself, for some pieces bearing her initials and done with remarkable
skill are preserved in the collection. She, as much as any
Englishwoman, fostered and developed applied patchwork along the
ambitious line of pictorial needlework.

In Hardwick Hall are several hangings of pictorial needlework that are
very interesting. One of black velvet has a picture of a lady strongly
resembling Queen Elizabeth. She carries a book in her hand and at her
feet reclines a turbaned Turk. In the background is an ecclesiastical
hanging which is embroidered to represent a cathedral window. The
realistic effect of the whole picture is gained by the use of coloured
silks cut in correct proportions and applied to the velvet foundation;
very little embroidery entering into the main composition. Another
hanging, also of black velvet, has an even more ambitious design. It
is described by M. Jourdain in "The History of English Secular
Embroidery" as follows: "The ornamentation on the black velvet is with
appliqué in coloured silks consisting of figures under arches. In the
centre is 'Lucrecia,' on the left 'Chastite,' and on the right
'Liberalitas.' The oval panel on the right contains a shield bearing
the arms of Hardwick." At each end of the hanging are fluted Ionic
columns, and a decorated frieze is carried across the top. The figures
have grace and beauty; the drapery of their robes falls in natural
folds; and altogether it is a remarkable picture to have been made
with patches.

That this fine collection of medieval needlework is preserved for the
admiration of people to-day is due to the faithful execution of the
Countess of Shrewsbury's will, in which she left all her household
furnishings, entailed as heirlooms, to always remain in her House of
Hardwick.

In the interesting Hardwick collection are pieces of beautiful
needlework known to have been used by Mary, Queen of Scots, during the
years she spent as a prisoner at Tutbury. Her rooms there, furnished
in regal splendour, are still kept just as she arranged them. The Earl
of Shrewsbury was her custodian, and his wife, the countess, often sat
and sewed with the unfortunate queen, both making pastime of their
needlework.

During the Middle Ages appliqué was in universal use, and not confined
merely to wall hangings, quilts, and bed draperies. It was used to
ornament all kinds of wearing apparel, including caps, gloves, and
shoes. Special designs were made for upholstery, but because of the
hard wear imposed upon stools and chairs but few specimens of this
work have been preserved.

Quilting also came into vogue in the making of bedspreads, of which
great numbers were required during the winter nights in the poorly
heated bedrooms. The quilts intended for service were made of
substantial, well-wearing material. None of these strictly utilitarian
quilts is left, but they were certainly plentiful. The old chroniclers
give us a glimpse of what the women of these days cherished by telling
us that in 1540 Katherine Howard, afterward wife of Henry VIII, was
presented with twenty-three quilts of Sarsenet, closely quilted, from
the Royal Wardrobe.

Tradition says that, during the reign of Henry VIII, the much used and
popular "black work" or "Spanish work" was introduced into England by
his Spanish wife, Catherine of Aragon. It has been found that this
work did not originate in Spain but was taken there probably by the
Moors or by the Crusaders, for it is known to have been perfected at a
very remote period in both Persia and China. The following interesting
description of black work is from Mrs. Lowes' "Chats on Old Lace and
Needlework":

    [Illustration: SUNBURST AND WHEEL OF FORTUNE

    Comparatively modern quilts. Colours: blue and white]

    [Illustration: TREE OF PARADISE

    Made in Indiana over 75 years ago. Colours: red and
    green]

"The work itself was a marvel of neatness, precision, and elegant
design, but the result cannot be said to have been commensurate with
the labour of its production. More frequently the design was of
scrollwork, worked with a fine black silk back stitching or chain
stitch. Round and round the stitches go, following each other closely.
Bunches of grapes are frequently worked solidly, and even the popular
peascod is worked in outline stitch, and often the petit point period
lace stitches are copied, and roses and birds worked separately and
afterward stitched to the design." There are many examples of this
famous "Spanish work" in the South Kensington Museum in London.
Quilts, hangings, coats, caps, jackets, smocks, are all to be seen,
some with a couched thread of gold and silver following the lines of
the scrolls. This is said to be the Spanish stitch referred to in the
old list of stitches, and very likely may be so, as the style and
manner are certainly not English; and we know that Catherine of Aragon
brought wonders of Spanish stitchery with her, and she herself was
devoted to the use of the needle. The story of how, when called before
Cardinal Wolsey and Campeggio, to answer to King Henry's accusations,
she had a skein of embroidery silk round her neck, is well known.

"The black silk outline stitchery on linen lasted well through the
late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Very little of it is seen
outside the museums, as, not being strikingly beautiful or attractive,
it has been destroyed. Another phase of the same stitchery was working
cotton and linen garments, hangings and quilts in a kind of quilted
pattern with yellow silk. The finest materials were used, the padding
being placed bit by bit into its place. The quilting work was made in
tiny panels, illustrating shields and other heraldic devices, and had
a surface as fine as carved ivory. When, as in the case of one sample
at South Kensington, the quilt is additionally embroidered with fine
floss silk flowers, the effect is very lovely."

One interesting feature of "black work" and similar flat embroideries
was their constant use in decorating furnishings for the bedroom. It
was peculiarly well adapted for quilts, as its rather smooth surface
admirably resisted wear.

    [Illustration: OLD BED WITH QUILT AND CANOPY AND TRUNDLE
    BED BENEATH

    Now in Memorial Hall, Deerfield, Mass.]

    [Illustration: TWO WHITE TUFTED BEDSPREADS

    Both made in Pennsylvania about 100 years ago]

Fashions in needlework changed, but not with the same rapidity as in
clothing. Gradually ideas and customs from other countries crept
into England and new influences were felt. An established trade
with the Orient brought Eastern products to her markets, and oriental
designs in needlework became popular. About this time "crewel" was
much in vogue. This was embroidery done with coloured woollen threads
and was a step backward in the art. Some of this "crewel" work, done
in the seventeenth century, is described by M. Jourdain in "English
Secular Embroidery": "These hangings, bed curtains, quilts, and
valances are of linen or a mixture of cotton and linen, and one type
is embroidered with bold, freely designed patterns in worsted. They
are worked almost always in dull blues and greens mixed with more
vivid greens and some browns, but rarely any other colouring."

A very curious custom of these days was the use of "mourning beds,"
with black hangings, coverlets, and even sheets. As these funereal
articles of furniture were quite expensive, it was a friendly custom
to lend these mourning beds to families in time of affliction. In 1644
Mrs. Eure wrote to Sir Ralph Verney: "Sweet Nephew, I am now overrun
with miserys and troubles, but the greatest misfortune that could
happen to me was the death of the gallantest man (her husband) that I
ever knew." Whereupon Sir Ralph, full of sympathy, "offers her the
loan of the great black bed and hangings from Claydon."

Interesting indeed are descriptions of wonderful old quilts that are
now guarded with zealous care in English museums. One, an original and
striking design, is closely quilted all over in small diamonds. Upon
it is embroidered an orange tree in full leaf and loaded with fruit.
This tree, together with the fancy pot in which it is planted, covers
practically the entire quilt. In the lower corners a gentleman is
shown picking oranges and a lady in a patient attitude is waiting to
receive them, the figures of both being scarcely taller than the
flower pot. The whole design is made up of gayly coloured silks
evidently worked in after the quilting was done. Mention is also made
of an elaborate quilt said to be the work of Queen Anne, which is
preserved at Madresfield Court. Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, in
giving an order for house furnishings for her "wild, unmerciful house"
about 1720, asks for "a vast number of feather beds, some filled with
swansdown, and a vast number of quilts."

Mrs. Delany, who lived from 1700 to 1788, and left a large
correspondence relating to needlework, which was later edited by Lady
Llanover, was a most prolific worker with her needle as well as a
profuse letter writer. She was often quoted as an authority and given
credit for much originality in her designs. A quilt that she made is
described as follows: "Of white linen worked in flowers, the size of
nature, delineated with the finest coloured silks in running stitch,
which is made use of in the same way as by a pen etching on paper; the
outline was drawn with pencil. Each flower is different, and evidently
done at the moment from the original." Another quilt of Mrs. Delany's
was made upon a foundation of nankeen. This was unique in that no
colours were used besides the dull yellow of the background. Applied
designs of leaves tied together with ribbons, all cut from white linen
and stitched to the nankeen with white thread, made a quilt no wise
resembling the silken ones of earlier periods. This quilt may be
termed a forerunner of the vast array of pieced and patched washable
quilts belonging to the nineteenth century.

The embroidering of quilts followed the process of quilting, which
afforded the firm foundation essential for heavy and elaborate
designs. There were many quilts made of white linen quilted with
yellow silk thread, and afterward embroidered very tastefully with
yellow silk floss. Terry, in the history of his "Voyage to the East
Indies," made about the middle of the seventeenth century, says: "The
natives show very much ingenuity in their manufactures, also in making
excellent quilts of their stained cloth, or of fresh-coloured taffeta
lined with their prints, or of their satin with taffeta, betwixt which
they put cotton wool, and work them together with silk."

Among many articles in a list of Eastern products, which Charles I, in
1631, permitted to be brought to England, were "quilts of China
embroidered in Gold." There is a possibility that these quilts were
appreciated quite as much for the precious metal used in the
embroidery as for the beauty of design and workmanship. It was but a
short time after this that women began to realize how much gold and
silver had gone into all forms of needlework. They looked upon rare
and beautiful embroidery with greedy eyes, and a deplorable fashion
sprang up, known in France as "parfilage" and in England as
"drizzling." This was nothing more or less than ripping up, stitch
by stitch, the magnificent old hangings, quilts, and even church
vestments, to secure gold and silver thread. Lady Mary Coke, writing
from the Austrian Court, says: "All the ladies who do not play cards
pick gold. It is the most general fashion I ever saw, and they all
carry their bags containing the necessary tools in their pockets. They
even begged sword knots, epaulettes, and galons that they might add
more of the precious threads to the spool on which they wound the
ravelled bullion, which they sold." To the appreciative collector this
seems wanton sacrilege.

    [Illustration: TUFTED BEDSPREAD WITH KNOTTED FRINGE

    A design of very remarkable beauty. Over 100 years old]

    [Illustration: UNKNOWN STAR

    A New England quilt about 115 years old. Colours: once
    bright red and green are now old rose and dull green.
    The original quilting designs are very beautiful]

John Locke, 1632-1704, a very famous man of Charles II's time, and one
of the greatest philosophers and ardent champions of civil and
religious rights which England ever produced, mentioned quilts in his
"Thoughts Concerning Education." In telling of the correct sort of
beds for children he writes as follows: "Let his Bed be hard, and
rather Quilts than Feathers. Hard Lodging strengthens the Parts,
whereas being buryed every Night in Feathers melts and dissolves the
Body.... Besides, he that is used to hard Lodging at Home will not
miss his Sleep (where he has most Need of it) in his travels Abroad
for want of his soft Bed, and his Pillows laid in Order."

Pepys, a contemporary of Locke, in his incomparable and delicious
Diary, remarks: "Home to my poor wife, who works all day like a horse,
at the making of her hanging for our chamber and bed," thus telling us
that he was following the fashion of the day in having wall, window,
and bed draperies alike. It is plain, too, by his frequent "and so to
bed," that his place of sleep and rest was one of comfort in his
house.

A quilt depending solely upon the stitching used in quilting, whether
it be of the simple running stitch, the back stitch, or the chain
stitch, is not particularly ornamental. However, when viewed at close
range, the effect is a shadowy design in low relief that has a
distinctive but modest beauty when well done. Early in the eighteenth
century a liking for this fashion prevailed, and was put to a variety
of uses. Frequently there was no interlining between the right and
wrong sides. At Canons Ashby there are now preserved some handsome
quilted curtains of this type, belonging to Sir Alfred Dryden,
Baronet.

    [Illustration: COMBINATION ROSE

    More than 85 years old. Colours: rose, pink, and green]

    [Illustration: DOUBLE TULIP

    Made in Ohio, date unknown. The tulips are made of red
    calico covered with small yellow flowers. The roses have
    yellow centres]

During the Middle Ages instruction in the use of the needle was
considered a necessary part of the English girl's education. By the
seventeenth century "working fine works with the needle" was
considered of equal importance with singing, dancing, and French in
the accomplishments of a lady of quality. In the eighteenth century
much the same sentiment prevailed, and Lady Montagu is quoted as
saying: "It is as scandalous for a woman not to know how to use a
needle as for a man not to know how to use a sword."

The _Spectator_ of that time sarcastically tells of two sisters highly
educated in domestic arts who spend so much time making cushions and
"sets of hangings" that they had never learned to read and write! A
sober-minded old lady, grieved by frivolous nieces, begs the
_Spectator_ "to take the laudable mystery of embroidery into your
serious consideration," for, says she, "I have two nieces, who so
often run gadding abroad that I do not know when to have them. Those
hours which, in this age, are thrown away in dress, visits, and the
like, were employed in my time in writing out receipts, or working
beds, chairs, and hangings for the family. For my part I have plied
the needle these fifty years, and by my good-will would never have it
out of my hand. It grieves my heart to see a couple of proud, idle
flirts sipping the tea for a whole afternoon in a room hung round with
the industry of their great-grandmothers." Another old lady of the
eighteenth century, Miss Hutton, proudly makes the following statement
of the results of years of close application to the needle: "I have
quilted counterpanes and chest covers in fine white linen, in various
patterns of my own invention. I have made patchwork beyond
calculation."

Emblems and motifs were great favourites with the quilt workers of "ye
olden times" and together with mottoes were worked into many pieces of
embroidery. The following mottoes were copied from an old quilt made
in the seventeenth century: "Covet not to wax riche through deceit,"
"He that has lest witte is most poore," "It is better to want riches
than witte," "A covetous man cannot be riche."

    [Illustration: MORNING GLORIES

    In one of their many beautiful and delicate varieties
    were chosen for this quilt, and while the design is
    conventional to a certain extent it shows the natural
    grace of the growing vine]

The needle and its products have always been held in great esteem in
England, and many of the old writers refer to needlework with much
respect. In 1640 John Taylor, sometimes called the "Water Poet,"
published a collection of essays, etc., called "The Needle's
Excellency," which was very popular in its day and ran through twelve
editions. In it is a long poem entitled, "The Prayse of the Needle."
The following are the opening lines:

    "To all dispersed sorts of Arts and Trades
    I write the needles prayse (that never fades)
    So long as children shall begot and borne,
    So long as garments shall be made and worne.
    So long as Hemp or Flax or Sheep shall bear
    Their linnen Woollen fleeces yeare by yeare;
    So long as silk-worms, with exhausted spoile,
    Of their own entrailes for man's game shall toyle;
    Yea, till the world be quite dissolved and past,
    So long at least, the Needles use shall last."

It is interesting to read what Elizabeth Glaister, an Englishwoman,
writes of quilts in England:

"Perhaps no piece of secular needlework gave our ancestors more
satisfaction, both in the making and when made, as the quilt or bed
coverlet. We have seen a good many specimens of them, both of the real
quilted counterpanes, in which several thicknesses of material were
stitched together into a solid covering, and the lighter silken or
linen coverlets ornamented with all sorts of embroidery. Cradle quilts
also were favourite pieces of needlework and figure in inventories of
Henry VIII's time.

"The real quilts were very handsome and the amount of labour bestowed
on them was enormous. The seventeenth century was a great time for
them, and the work of this period is generally very good. The quilting
of some of them is made by sewing several strands of thick cotton
between the fine linen of the surface and the lining. When one line
was completed the cotton was laid down again next to it, and another
line formed.

"A sort of shell pattern was a favourite for quilting. When a
sufficient space was covered with the ground pattern, flowers or other
ornaments were embroidered on this excellent foundation. Perhaps the
best results as a work of art were attained when both quilting and
flowers were done in bright yellow silk; the effect of this colour on
a white ground being always particularly good. A handsome quilt may be
worked with a darned background. It is done most easily on huckaback
towelling of rather loose weave, running the needle under the raised
threads for the ground.

    [Illustration: PRINCESS FEATHERS

    Made in Indiana about 1835. Colours: soft dull green and
    old rose]

    [Illustration: PRINCESS FEATHERS WITH BORDER

    Notice the maple leaf inserted in the border. Colours:
    red and green]

"A very effective quilt in quite a different style is made in applied
work on unbleached cotton sheeting. A pattern of yellow fruit or
flower with leaves is cut out in coloured serges sewn on with
crewels in buttonhole stitch; stems, veins, and buds being also
worked in crewels, and the ground slightly darned in dim yellow
crewel. It is elaborate, but a very pleasant and repaying piece of
work.

"Many beautiful old quilts are made of silk and satin embroidered in
pure silks or in gold and silver twist. Most of the best specimens are
from France and Italy, where from the arrangement of the houses the
beds have continued to be more _en evidence_ than has been the case in
England for the last two centuries. Many also are of Indian origin;
the ground of these is sometimes of fine soft silk and sometimes of
thick muslin, over which the pattern is worked in silk. Others, though
of Indian workmanship, show a European influence, of which the most
curious are those worked at Goa, under Portuguese dominion in the
seventeenth century."



CHAPTER IV

THE QUILT IN AMERICA


The date of the quilt's advent into America is unknown, and--because
of the lack of knowledge concerning the house furnishings of the early
colonists--can never be positively determined. Quilts were in such
general use and were considered as such ordinary articles that the
early writers about family life in the colonies neglected to mention
them. We do know, however, that quilted garments, bedspreads,
curtains, and the like were very essential to the comfort and
well-being of the original settlers along the Atlantic seaboard.

    [Illustration: PEONIES

    About 75 years old. Made for exhibition at state fairs
    in the Middle West. Colours: red, green, and yellow]

    [Illustration: NORTH CAROLINA LILY

    Over 80 years old. Flowers: red and green; the border
    has green buds with red centres. The quilting designs
    are remarkable for their beauty and originality]

Extensive investigation has shown that the introduction of the arts of
patchwork and quilting to the American continent is due entirely to
the English and the Dutch. No evidence has been found that Spanish or
French colonists made use of quilting. The Spaniards in the warm lands
of the South had little real need of warm clothing, and--outside of
possible appliqué heraldic devices on the coats of the early
explorers--may be considered as having brought to the New World none
of the art so popular in Spain at the time. The French who opened up
Canada brought none of the quilting or patchwork of France with them.
While needlework was taught at a very early date in the convents of
Quebec, it was apparently only the more fanciful kinds of embroidery.
As a protection against the biting northern winters, the early French
settlers sought protection under furs, which could be obtained quite
readily in the great woods. To secure more bed clothing, it was very
much easier to engage in a little hunting than to go through the
laborious processes of piecing and quilting. To both Spanish and
French, the new world was strictly a man's country--to adventure in
and win riches upon which to retire to a life of ease in their native
lands. With them, therefore, the inspiration of founding a home and
providing it with the comforts of life was lacking; and without such
inspiration the household arts could never flourish.

The English and Dutch planted their colonies along the coast from
Virginia to Massachusetts with the primary object of founding new
homes for themselves. With them came their wives and daughters, who
brought along as their portion such household comforts and
conveniences as they possessed. Under their willing hands spinning,
weaving, and the manufacture of garments began immediately. Their
poorly heated log houses made necessary an adequate supply of bedding
and hangings for protection against the winter cold. Substantial,
heavy curtains, frequently lined and quilted, were hung over both
doors and windows and were kept closely drawn during the bitter winter
nights. In the more imposing homes were silk damask curtains with
linings of quilted silk to keep out the drafts of cold that swept
through the rooms.

In Massachusetts in the early colonial days quilted garments,
especially petticoats, were in general use. It is a curious
circumstance that we owe this bit of information largely to the
description of runaway slaves. The Boston _News Letter_ of October,
1707, contains an advertisement describing an Indian woman who ran
away, clad in the best garments she could purloin from her mistress's
wardrobe: "A tall Lusty Carolina Indian Woman, named Keziah Wampun
Had on a striped red, blue and white Home-spun Jacket and a Red one, a
Black and quilted White Silk Crape Petticoat, a White Shift and also a
blue with her, and a mixt Blue and White Linsey Woolsey Apron." In
1728 the _News Letter_ published an advertisement of a runaway Indian
servant who, wearied by the round of domestic drudgery, adorned
herself in borrowed finery and fled: "She wore off a Narrow Stript
pinck cherredary Gown turned up with a little floured red and white
Callico. A Stript Home-spun quilted petticoat, a plain muslin Apron, a
suit of plain Pinners and a red and white flowered knot, also a pair
of green stone earrings, with white cotton stockings and leather
heel'd wooden shoes."

A few items in a list of articles ordered from England for a New
England bride, Miss Judith Sewall, who was married in 1720, give some
idea of what was considered as a suitable wedding outfit during that
period. The bride belonged to a rich family and no doubt had
furnishings much more extensive than usual: "A Duzen of good Black
Walnut Chairs, A Duzen Cane Chairs, and a great chair for a chamber,
all black Walnut. One Duzen large Pewter Plates, new fashion, a Duzen
Ivory-hafted knives and forks. Four Duzen small glass salt cellars,
Curtains and Vallens for a Bed with Counterpane, Head Cloth, and
Tester made of good yellow watered camlet with Trimming. Send also of
the same camlet and trimming as may be enough to make cushions for the
chamber chairs. A good fine larger Chintz quilt, well made." This list
also includes such items as kitchen utensils, warming pans, brass
fenders, tongs, and shovels, and "four pairs of large Brass
candlesticks."

As the resources of the new country were developed, the women were
given some respite from their spinning, weaving, and garment making.
Much of their hard-won leisure was spent piecing quilts. In the
rigorous climate of bleak New England there was great need of warm
clothing and bedding, and the spare moments of the housekeeper were
largely occupied in increasing her supply. To make the great amount of
bedding necessary in the unheated sleeping rooms, every scrap and
remnant of woollen material left from the manufacture of garments was
saved. To supplement these, the best parts of worn-out garments were
carefully cut out, and made into quilt pieces.

    [Illustration: FEATHER STAR WITH APPLIQUÉ

    The "Feather Star" pieced blocks alternate with blue and
    white blocks on which are applied scroll designs. This
    quilt, which is the only one of this pattern, was made
    about 1835. It was designed by a Mr. Hamill for his
    sweetheart, Mary Hayward]

    [Illustration: TULIP TREE LEAVES

    A modern quilt made by the mountaineers of South
    Carolina. Colours: light blue and pink]

Beautiful, even gorgeous, materials were imported for costumes of the
wives and daughters of the wealthy colonists. There may be a greater
variety of fabrics woven to-day, but none is more splendid in texture
and colour than those worn by the stately ladies of colonial times.
The teachings of the strict Puritans advocated plainness and
simplicity of dress; even the ministers in the churches preached
against the "sinfulness of display of fine raiment." Notwithstanding
the teachings and pleadings of the clergy, there was great rivalry in
dress among the inhabitants of the larger colonial towns. "Costly thy
habit as thy purse can buy," was unnecessary advice to give to the
rich colonist or to his wife. Men's attire was also of costly velvets
lined with handsome brocades; beautifully embroidered waistcoats, silk
stockings, and gold lace trimmings were further additions to their
costumes during the pre-Revolutionary period.

After these gay and costly fabrics had served their time as wearing
apparel, they were carefully preserved and made over into useful
articles for the household. The pinch of hard times during the
struggle for independence made it imperative for many well-to-do
families to economize. Consequently, in many old patchwork quilts may
be found bits of the finest silks, satins, velvets, and brocades,
relics of more prosperous days.

Alice Morse Earle, in her charming book on "Home Life in Colonial
Days," gives us a rare insight into our great-grandmothers' fondness
for patchwork, and how highly they prized their bits of highly
coloured fabrics:

"The feminine love of colour, the longing for decoration, as well as
pride in skill of needlecraft, found riotous expression in quilt
making. Women revelled in intricate and difficult patchwork; they
eagerly exchanged patterns with one another; they talked over the
designs, and admired pretty bits of calico and pondered what
combinations to make, with far more zest than women ever discuss art
or examine high art specimens together to-day. There was one
satisfactory condition in the work, and that was the quality of
cottons and linens of which the patchwork was made. Real India
chintzes and palampores are found in these quilts, beautiful and
artistic stuffs, and the firm, unyielding, high-priced, 'real' French
calicoes.

    [Illustration: MEXICAN ROSE

    Made in 1842. Colours: red and green. Note the exquisite
    quilting]

    [Illustration: CURRANTS AND COCKSCOMB

    Small red berries combined with conventionalized leaves.
    This quilt has captured first prizes at many state
    fairs]

"Portions of discarded uniforms, old coat and cloak linings,
brilliantly dyed worn flannel shirts and well-worn petticoats were
component parts of quilts that were needed for warmth. A magnificent
scarlet cloak, worn by a Lord Mayor of London and brought to America
by a member of the Merrit family of Salisbury, Massachusetts, went
through a series of adventures and migrations and ended its days as
small bits of vivid colour, casting a grateful glory and variety on a
patchwork quilt in the Saco Valley of Maine.

"Around the outstretched quilt a dozen quilters could sit, running the
whole together with fanciful set designs of stitchery. Sometimes
several quilts were set up, and I know of a ten days' quilting bee in
Narragansett in 1752."

The women who came from Holland to make their homes on the narrow
island at the mouth of the Hudson were housekeepers of traditional
Dutch excellence. They delighted in well-stocked linen closets and
possessed unusual quantities of sheets, pillow cases, and bedding,
mostly of their own spinning and weaving. Like their English
neighbours to the north, in Connecticut and Massachusetts, they
adopted quilted hangings and garments for protection against the
severity of winter. Their quilted petticoats were the pride and joy
of these transplanted Hollanders, and in their construction they
exerted their highest talents in design and needlework. These
petticoats, which were worn short enough to display the home-knitted
hose, were thickly interlined as well as quilted. They were very warm,
as the interlining was usually of wool. The fuller the purse, the
richer and gayer were the petticoats of the New Amsterdam dames.

While not so strict in religious matters as their Puritan neighbours,
the early inhabitants of New Amsterdam always observed Sunday and
attended church regularly. Within the fort at the battery stood the
church, built of "Manhattan Stone" in 1642. Its two peaked roofs with
the watch-tower between was the most prominent object of the fortress.
"On Sunday mornings the two main streets, Broadway and Whitehall, were
filled with dignified and sedate churchgoers arrayed in their best
clothes. The tucked-up panniers worn by the women displayed to the
best advantage the quilted petticoats. Red, blue, black, and white
were the favourite and predominating colours, and the different
materials included fine woollen cloth, camlet, grosgrain silk, and
satin. Of all the articles of feminine attire of that period the
quilted petticoat was the most important. They were worn short,
displaying the low shoes with high heels and coloured hose with
scarlet clockings; silken hoods partially covered their curled and
powdered hair; altogether a charming and delightful picture."

The low, flat land of South Manhattan lying along the Hudson, because
of its similarity to their mother country, was a favourite
dwelling-place in New Netherlands. This region, known as Flatbush, was
quickly covered with Dutch homes and big, orderly, flourishing
gardens. A descendant of one of the oldest Dutch families which
settled in this locality, Mrs. Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt, in her
book, "The Social History of Flatbush," has given many interesting
details of early New York life. She tells of the place quilt making
held in the community, and how the many intricate patterns of
patchwork pleasantly occupied the spare moments of the women, thus
serving as a means of expression of their love of colour and design.
The following little domestic picture shows how conveniently near the
thrifty housewife kept her quilt blocks: "A low chair with a seat of
twisted osier, on which was tied a loose feather-filled cushion,
covered with some gay material. On the back of these chairs hung the
bag of knitting, with the little red stocking and shining needles
plainly visible, indicating that this was the favourite seat of the
industrious mother of the family; or a basket of patchwork held its
place upon a low stool (bankje) beside the chair, also to be snatched
up at odd intervals (ledige tyd)."

One reliable source of information of the comforts and luxuries that
contributed to pleasant dwelling in old New York is found in old
inventories of household effects. Occasionally complete lists are
found that throw much light on the furnishings of early days. Such an
inventory of the household belongings of Captain John Kidd, before he
went to sea and turned pirate, mentions over sixty different kinds of
house furnishings, from a skillet to a dozen chairs embellished with
Turkish embroidery. Among the articles with which John Kidd and his
wife Sarah began housekeeping in New York in 1692, as recorded in this
inventory, were four bedsteads, with three suits of hangings,
curtains, and valances to go with them. Feather beds, feather pillows,
linen sheets, tablecloths, and napkins, ten blankets, and three
quilts. How much of this store of household linens was part of his
wife's wedding dower is not stated.

    [Illustration: CONVENTIONAL APPLIQUÉ

    The designs are buttonholed around. Colours: soft green
    and rose. This quilt is over 100 years old]

    [Illustration: SINGLE TULIP

    Colours: red and yellow. Seventy-five years old]

The early settlers in Virginia and the Carolinas were mostly English
of the better class, who had been landed proprietors with considerable
retinues of servants. As soon as these original colonists secured a
firm foothold, large estates were developed on which the manners and
customs of old England were followed as closely as possible. Each
plantation became a self-supporting community, since nearly all the
actual necessities were produced or manufactured thereon. The loom
worked ceaselessly, turning the wool, cotton, and flax into household
commodities, and even the shoes for both slave and master were made
from home-tanned leather. For their luxuries, the ships that carried
tobacco and rice to the English markets returned laden with books,
wines, laces, silverware, and beautiful house furnishings of every
description.

In the colonial plantation days of household industry quilts, both
patchwork and plain, were made in considerable numbers. Quilts were
then in such general use as to be considered too commonplace to be
described or even mentioned. Consequently, we are forced to depend for
evidence of their existence in those days on bills of sale and
inventories of auctions. These records, however, constitute an
authority which cannot be questioned.

In 1774 Belvoir, the home of the Fairfax family, one of the largest
and most imposing of houses of Virginia, was sold and its contents
were put up at auction. A partial list of articles bought at this sale
by George Washington, then Colonel Washington, and here given, will
show the luxury to which the Southern planter was accustomed: "A
mahogany shaving desk, settee bed and furnishings, four mahogany
chairs, oval glass with gilt frame, mahogany sideboard, twelve chairs,
and three window curtains from dining-room. Several pairs of andirons,
tongs, shovels, toasting forks, pickle pots, wine glasses, pewter
plates, many blankets, pillows, bolsters, and _nineteen coverlids_."

    [Illustration: DAISY QUILT

    For a child's bed]

It was customary in the good old days after a dinner or ball for the
guests, who necessarily came from long distances, to stay all night,
and many bedrooms, frequently from ten to twenty-five, besides those
needed for the family, were provided in the big houses. All were
beautifully furnished with imported, massive, carved furniture from
France and England. In one year, 1768, in Charlestown, South Carolina,
occurred twelve weddings among the wealthy residents of that city, and
all the furniture for these rich couples came from England. The twelve
massive beds with canopies supported by heavily carved posts,
decorated with rice stalks and full heads of grain, were so high that
steps were needed in order to climb into them. Elaborate and expensive
curtains and spreads were furnished to correspond. In one early
inventory of an extensively furnished house there are mentioned "four
feather beds, bolsters, two stools, looking-glass tipt with silver,
two Turkey carpets, one yellow mohair bed counterpane, and _two green
silk quilts_." From this it is evident that the quilt had already
found its place, and no doubt in great numbers, on account of the many
beds to furnish in the spacious house of the rich planters.

Shortly after the Revolution came the great migration from Virginia
over the ridges of the Blue and the Appalachian chains into what was
then the wilderness of Tennessee and Kentucky. The descendants of
these hardy pioneers who first forced their way westward still live
among the Kentucky and Virginia hills under the conditions which
prevailed a hundred years ago. In this heavily timbered rough country
they manage to eke out a precarious existence by cultivating small
hillside patches of cotton, corn, and a few vegetables. Immured in the
seclusion of the mountains they have remained untouched by the world's
progress during the past century. Year after year they are satisfied
to live this secluded existence, and but rarely make an acquaintance
with a stranger. Educational advantages, except of the most elementary
sort, are almost unknown, and the majority of these mountaineers
neither read nor write. As a result of this condition of isolated and
primitive living, existing in the mountains of Virginia, Kentucky,
Tennessee, and the Carolinas, the household crafts that flourished in
this country before the advent of machinery are still carried on
exactly as in the old days.

    [Illustration: OHIO ROSE

    This "Rose" quilt was made in Ohio about 80 years ago.
    Colours: red, pink, and two shades of green]

    [Illustration: ROSE OF SHARON

    Made in Indiana about 65 years ago. It has a wool
    interlining instead of the usual cotton]

The simple needs of the family are almost entirely supplied by the
women of the household. They spin, weave, and make the few plain
garments which they and their families wear. Day after day, year in
and year out, these isolated women must fill in the hours with little
tasks connected with home life. As in many other instances where
women are dependent upon their own resources for amusement, they have
recourse to their needles. Consequently, it is in the making of
quilts, coverlets, and allied forms of needlework that these mountain
women spend their hours of recreation.

The quilts, both pieced and patched, that are made in mountaineers'
cabins have a great variety of designs. Many designs have been used
again and again by each succeeding generation of quilters without any
variation whatever, and have well-known names. There are also designs
that have been originated by a proficient quilt maker, who has made
use of some common flower as the basis for her conventional design. It
has not been a great many years since the materials used in making the
mountain quilts were dyed as well as woven in the home. The dyes were
homemade from common roots and shrubs gathered from nearby woods and
meadows. Blue was obtained from wild indigo; brown from walnut hulls;
black from the bark of scrub-oak; and yellow from laurel leaves.
However, the materials which must be purchased for a quilt are so
meagre, and the colours called "oil boiled"--now used to dye
calico--are so fast, that the mountain women seldom dye their own
fabrics any more. They bring in a few chickens or eggs to the nearest
village, and in exchange obtain a few yards of precious coloured
calico for their quilts.

Miss Bessie Daingerfield, a Kentuckian, who is in close touch with
these mountaineers, tells us what a void the quilt fills in the lives
of the lonely women of the hills: "While contemporary women out in the
world are waging feminist war, those in the mountains of the long
Appalachian chain still sit at their quilting frames and create beauty
and work wonders with patient needles. There is much beautiful and
skilful handiwork hidden away in these hills. The old women still
weave coverlets, towels, and table linen from wool from their own
sheep and from flax grown in their own gardens. The girls adorn their
cotton gowns with 'compass work,' exact, exquisite. In some places the
men and boys, girls and women, make baskets of hickory reeds and
willows to delight the heart of the collector. But from the cradle to
the grave, the women make quilts. The tiny girl shows you with pride
the completed four patch or nine patch, square piled on square, which
'mammy aims to set up for her ag'inst spring.' The mother tells you
half jesting, half in earnest, 'the young un will have several ag'inst
she has a home of her own.' No bride of the old country has more pride
in her dower chest than the mountain bride in her pile of quilts. The
old woman will show you a stack of quilts from floor to ceiling of her
cabin. One dear old soul told me she had eighty-four, all different,
and 'ever' stitch, piecin', settin' up, quiltin', my own work and
ne'er another finger tetched hit.'"

Patchwork was an important factor in making plain the knotty problems
of existence, as Eliza Calvert Hall clearly shows when she makes "Aunt
Jane of Kentucky" say: "How much piecin' a quilt is like livin' a
life! Many a time I've set and listened to Parson Page preachin' about
predestination and free will, and I've said to myself, 'If I could
jest git up in the pulpit with one of my quilts I could make it a heap
plainer to folks than parson's makin' it with his big words.' You see,
you start out with jest so much caliker; you don't go to the store and
pick it out and buy it, but the neighbours will give you a piece here
and a piece there, and you'll have a piece left over every time you
cut a dress, and you take jest what happens to come. And that's like
predestination. But when it comes to the cuttin' out, why, you're
free to choose your own pattern. You can give the same kind o' pieces
to two persons, and one'll make a 'nine patch' and one'll make a
'wild-goose chase,' and there'll be two quilts made out of the same
kind of pieces, and jest as different as they can be. And that is jest
the way with livin'. The Lord sends us the pieces, but we can cut them
out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there's a
heap more in the cuttin' out and the sewin' than there is in the
caliker."

In the great Central West, from Ohio to the Mississippi, the early
settlers passed through the same cycle of development as did their
ancestors in the beginnings of the original colonies along the
seaboard. The same dangers and privations were faced, and the women,
as well as the men, quickly adapted themselves to the hardships of
life in a new country. Shortly after the War of 1812, which secured to
the United States a clear title to this vast region, the great
migration into the Ohio Valley began. Some families came by way of the
Great Lakes, some by wagon over the Pennsylvania ridges, and still
others by horseback over the mountains from Virginia. One and all of
these pioneer families brought with them their most cherished
household possessions. It is hardly necessary to say that every family
had one or more quilts among its household goods. Many cases are on
record of rare old mahogany bureaus and bedsteads transported hundreds
of miles over trails through the wilderness on pack horses. Upon
arrival at the site chosen for the future home, the real work of house
building and furnishing began.

    [Illustration: ORIGINAL FLORAL DESIGNS

    This quilt contains twenty blocks, each of a different
    design. The border is composed of festoons decorated
    with cockscomb and sprays of flowers. A southern Indiana
    quilt made about 1825]

    [Illustration: CONVENTIONAL TULIP

    Made from a pattern used 130 years ago. Colours: pink
    and green]

"Only he who knows what it means to hew a home out of the forest; of
what is involved in the task of replacing mighty trees with corn; only
he who has watched the log house rising in the clearing, and has
witnessed the devotedness that gathers around the old log schoolhouse
and the pathos of a grave in the wilderness, can understand how
sobriety, decency, age, devoutness, beauty, and power belong to the
story of those who began the mighty task of changing the wild west
into the heart of a teeming continent." Thus Jenkin Lloyd Jones, in
his address on "The Father of Lincoln," gives a graphic picture of the
labours and trials confronting those who made the first settlements in
what are now the flourishing states of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky,
Illinois, and Michigan.

As in the colonies of New England, so here, the comforts of the
family depended upon the thrift, energy, and thoughtfulness of the
women. Practically every article of clothing worn by the entire
family, as well as all household supplies, were the work of their busy
hands. All day in the frontier cabin could be heard the hum of the
spinning wheel, the clack of the loom, or the click of knitting
needles. In many localities the added work of teaching the children
fell to the mothers, and the home lessons given around the fireplace,
heaped with glowing logs, were the only ones possible for many boys
and girls. It is of particular interest to note how often learning and
housekeeping went hand in hand in the first homes of this new country.
The few lines following are extracts from the diary of a busy Indiana
housewife of the period preceding the Mexican War, and show how fully
occupied was the time of the pioneer woman:

"November 10th. To-day was cider-making day, and all were up at
sunrise."

"December 1st. We killed a beef to-day, the neighbours helping."

    [Illustration: CONVENTIONAL ROSE

    A very striking pattern, made in Indiana about 75 years
    ago. Colours: red, pink, and green]

    [Illustration: CONVENTIONAL ROSE WREATH

    This "Wreath of Roses" design has been in use for over
    100 years. Colours: red, green, pink, and yellow]

"December 4th. I was much engaged in trying out my tallow. To-day I
dipped candles and finished the 'Vicar of Wakefield.'"

"December 8th. To-day I commenced to read the 'Life of Washington,'
and I borrowed a singing book. Have been trying to make a bonnet. The
cotton we raised served a very good purpose for candle-wicking when
spun."

In the Middle West, without friendly coöperation, the lot of the
pioneer would have been much more difficult than it was. Julia
Henderson Levering tells of the prevalence of this kindly custom in
her interesting "Historic Indiana": "The social pleasures of the
earliest days were largely connected with the helpful neighbourhood
assistance in the homely, necessary tasks of the frontier. If a new
cabin was to be built, the neighbours assembled for the house raising,
for the logs were too heavy to be handled alone. When a clearing was
made, the log rolling followed. All men for miles around came to help,
and the women to help cook and serve the bountiful meals. Then there
were corn huskings, wool shearings, apple parings, sugar boilings, and
quilting bees."

About 1820 a new channel of commerce was opened to the inhabitants of
the Ohio Valley, in the advantages of which every household shared.
This was the establishing of steamboat and flatboat communication with
New Orleans. From out of the Wabash River alone over a thousand
flatboats, laden with agricultural products, passed into the Ohio
during the annual spring rise on their way to the seaport by the Gulf
of Mexico. On their return voyage these boats were laden with sacks of
coffee, quaint Chinese boxes of tea, china and silk from France, and
mahogany and silver from England. In this manner the finest fabrics,
which were hitherto obtainable only in those cities that possessed sea
communication, were available in every river hamlet. Many of the fine
old quilts now being brought to light in the Central West were wrought
of foreign cloth which has made this long journey in some farmer's
scow.

In England during the middle of the past century, the Victorian period
was known chiefly for its hideous array of cardboard mottoes done in
brilliant wools, crochet tidies, and wax flowers. It is particularly
fortunate that at this time the women of the United States were too
fully occupied with their own household arts and industries to take up
with the ideas of their English sisters. By far the best needlework
of this period were the beautiful quilts and bedspreads, exquisite in
colour and design, which were the product of American women. The
finest quilts were wrought along designs largely original with the
quilters themselves, who plied their needles in solitary farmhouses
and out-of-the-way hamlets to which the influence of English idea in
needlework could not penetrate. In no locality in our country can so
many rare and beautiful quilts be found as in the Middle West. Many of
the best were made during those early days of struggle for mere
existence, when they served the busy housewife as the one precious
outlet for her artistic aspirations.

The type of quilt that may be called distinctively American was
substantial in character; the material that entered into its
construction was serviceable, of a good quality of cotton cloth, or
handwoven linen, and the careful work put into it was intended to
stand the test of time. The coloured materials combined with the white
were also enduring, the colours being as nearly permanent as it was
possible to procure. Some cottons were dyed by the quilt makers
themselves, if desirable fast shades could not be readily procured
otherwise. The fundamental idea was to make a quilt that would
withstand the greatest possible amount of wear. Some of the artistic
possibilities in both colour and design were often subordinated to the
desire to make quilts as nearly imperishable as possible. The
painstaking needlework required to produce a quilt deserved the best
of material for its foundation. Silks, satins, velvets, and fine linen
and cotton fabrics of delicate shades were not favoured as quilt
material by the old-time needleworkers, who wrought for service first
and beauty afterward.

A most beautiful example of the American quilt at its best is found in
the "Indiana Wreath." Its pleasing design, harmonious colours, and
exquisite workmanship reveal to us the quilter's art in its greatest
perfection. This quilt was made by Miss E. J. Hart, a most versatile
and skilful needlewoman, in 1858, as shown by the small precise
figures below the large wreath. The design is exceedingly well
balanced in that the entire quilt surface is uniformly covered and no
one feature is emphasized to the detriment of any other. The design
element of the wreath is a compact group of flowers, fruit, and
leaves, which is repeated ten times in making the complete circle.
The vase filled with drooping sprays, flowers, and conventionalized
buds forms an ideal centre for this wreath. Curving vines intermingled
with flowers make a desirable and graceful border. This quilt is a
little more than two and a half yards square, and the central wreath
fills a space equal to the width of a double bed, for which it was
evidently intended.

    [Illustration: POINSETTIA

    An appliqué quilt of red, blue, and green]

    [Illustration: WHIG ROSE

    On the reverse side is a small "gold pocket" in which
    valuables may be secreted. Colours: yellow, red, and
    green]

Miss Hart displayed unusual ability in choosing and combining the
limited materials at the disposal of the quilt maker in a newly
settled region. The foundation is fine white muslin; the coloured
material is calico, in the serviceable quality manufactured at that
time, and of shades considered absolutely fast, then known as "oil
boiled." Only four colours are used in the design: green, red, yellow,
and pink, the latter having a small allover printed design in a darker
shade.

Miss Hart planned her quilting quite carefully. In the large blank
spaces in the corners are placed special, original designs that have
some features of the much-used "feather" pattern. Aside from these
triangular corner designs all the quilting is in small diamonds, which
form a very pleasing background for the effective coloured designs.
The maker's name and the date are closely quilted in white in plain
bold-faced type just below the wreath. In the centre of the wreath, in
neat script in black thread, is quilted the name "Indiana Wreath," and
all the stitchery of top and quilting is the very perfection of quilt
making.

The beautiful white quilts that are treasured as relics of past
industry by their fortunate owners deserve special mention. They are
rare because nowadays no one will expend the large amount of time
necessary to complete one. The foundation of such a quilt is fine
white muslin, or fine homespun and woven linen, with a very thin
interlining. The beauty of the quilt depends upon the design drawn for
the quilting and the fine stitches with which the quilting is done.
There is usually a special design planned for these white quilts which
includes a large central panel or pattern, with smaller designs for
the corners embodying some of the ideas of the central panel. Around
these decorative sections the background is so closely quilted as to
resemble a woven fabric. This smooth, even background throws the
principal designs into low relief. After the entire quilt is
quilted and removed from the frames, the main design is frequently
further accentuated by having all the most prominent features, such as
the leaves and petals of flowers, stuffed. To accomplish this tiny
holes are made on the wrong side of each section of the design and
cotton is pushed in with a large needle until the section is stuffed
full and tight. This tedious process is followed until every leaf and
petal stands out in bold relief.

    [Illustration: POPPY DESIGN

    This is applied patchwork and therefore much more easily
    made than pieced work; very simple quilting gives
    prominence to the design]

The fashion which has prevailed for many years of dressing beds all in
white has no doubt caused the destruction of many beautiful quilts.
The white quilts that have been preserved are now considered too
valuable to be subjected to hard wear. The most exquisite ones were
made in the last of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth
centuries.

It was the rage for white bed coverings that shortened the lives of
many old pieced and patched quilts of good colouring. The "Country
Contributor" tells of her experiences in dressing up the white beds:

"I remember with regret the quilts I wore out, using them white side
up in lieu of white Marseilles spreads. The latter we were far too
poor to own; the 'tufted' ones had worn out; and I loathed the cheap
'honeycombed' cotton things we were forced to use unless we were going
to be frankly 'poor' and cover our beds with plain patchwork, made up
hurriedly and quilted in simple 'fans' in plebeian squares, as poor
folk who haven't time for elegant stitches did theirs. So I used the
old quilts, making their fine stitches in intricate patterns serve for
the design in a 'white spread,' turning the white muslin lining up. A
beautiful white spread it made, too, I realize now, more fully than I
did then, though I now would know much better than to turn the
wonderful appliqué stars and flowers and wheels from view. Strange, is
it not, that we relinquish so much of life's best joy and pleasure
before we know what actually is good?" This fashion prevails to-day,
in some instances insisted upon for sanitary reasons, but it has lost
to us many of the finest examples of quilting that existed because
where there were no coloured patterns to relieve the white expanse,
the quilting had to be perfect. If you have a white quilt treasure it,
for competent quilters are no longer numerous and few there are who
can reproduce it.



CHAPTER V

HOW QUILTS ARE MADE


It is only in comparatively recent years that many articles of wearing
apparel and house furnishings have been manufactured outside the home.
One after another, spinning, weaving, shoemaking, candlemaking,
tailoring, knitting, and similar tasks have been taken from the
homekeeper because the same articles can be made better and cheaper
elsewhere. The housewife still keeps busy, but is occupied with tasks
more to her liking. Among the few home occupations that have survived
is quilting. With many serviceable substitutes it is not really
necessary for women to make quilts now, but the strange fascination
about the work holds their interest. Quilt making has developed and
progressed during the very period when textile arts in the home have
declined under the influence of the factory. More quilts are being
made at the present time and over a wider area than ever before.

Quilts, as known and used to-day, may be divided into two general
classes, washable and non-washable, depending upon the materials of
which they are made. The methods for constructing each class are the
same, and are so very simple that it seems hardly necessary to explain
them.

The name quilt implies two or more fabrics held together with many
stitches. Webster defines a quilt as "Anything that is quilted,
especially as a quilted bedcover or a skirt worn by women; any cover
or garment made by putting wool, cotton, etc., between two cloths and
stitching them together." The verb, to quilt, he defines as "To stitch
or to sew together at frequent intervals in order to confine in place
the several layers of cloth and wadding of which a garment, comforter,
etc., may be made. To stitch or sew in lines or patterns."

The "Encyclopædia Britannica" is a little more explicit and also gives
the derivation of the name, quilt, as follows: "Probably a coverlet
for a bed consisting of a mass of feathers, down, wool, or other soft
substances, surrounded by an outer covering of linen, cloth, or other
material." In its earlier days the "quilt" was often made thick and
sewed as a form of mattress. The term was also given to a stitched,
wadded lining for body armour. "The word came into English from old
French _cuilte_. This is derived from Latin _culcitra_, a stuffed
mattress or cushion. From the form _culcitra_ came old French _cotra_,
or _coutre_ whence _coutre pointe_; this was corrupted into
counterpoint, which in turn was changed to counterpane. The word
'pane' is also from the Latin _pannus_, a piece of cloth. Thus
'counterpane,' a coverlet for a bed, and 'quilt' are by origin the
same word."

Broadly speaking, from these definitions, any article made up with an
interlining may be called a quilt. However, usage has restricted the
meaning of the word until now it is applied to a single form of bed
covering. In the United States the distinction has been carried even
farther and a quilt is understood to be a light weight, closely
stitched bedcover. When made thicker, and consequently warmer, it is
called a "comfort."

The three necessary parts of a quilt are the top, the lining or back,
and the interlining. The top, which is the important feature, unless
the quilting is to be the only ornamentation, may be a single piece of
plain cloth; or it may be pieced together from many small pieces
different in size, colour, and shape, so as to form either simple or
fanciful designs. The top may also be adorned with designs cut from
fabrics of varying colours and applied to the foundation with fancy
stitches, or it may be embroidered. The materials may be either
cotton, linen, wool, or silk. The back is usually of plain material,
which requires no description. The interlining, if the quilting is to
be close and elaborate, must be thin. If warmth is desired a thicker
interlining is used and the lines of quilting are spaced farther
apart. The design of the top and the quilting lend themselves very
readily to all manner of variations, and as a result there is an
almost infinite variety of quilts.

For convenience in making, nearly every quilt is composed of a number
of blocks of regular form and size which, when joined together, make
the body of the quilt. Each of these blocks may have a design complete
in itself, or may be only part of a large and complicated design
covering the whole top of the quilt.

    [Illustration: HARRISON ROSE

    This quilt is at least 75 years old. The rose is pieced
    of old rose and two shades of pink; the stem and leaves
    are appliqué]

    [Illustration: DETAIL OF HARRISON ROSE, SHOWING
    QUILTING]

    [Illustration: QUILTING DESIGNS

    (a) Single Diagonal Lines
    (b) Double Diagonal Lines
    (c) Triple Diagonal Lines]

There is a radical distinction between the verbs "to piece" and "to
patch," as used in connection with the making of quilts. In this
instance the former means to join together separate pieces of like
material to make sections or blocks that are in turn set together to
form the top of the quilt. The pieces are usually of uniform shape and
size and of contrasting colours. They are sewed together with a
running stitch, making a seam upon the wrong side. The quilt called
"Star of the East" is an excellent example of a pieced quilt in which
a number of small pieced sections are united to form a single design
that embraces the entire top of the quilt.

Patches are commonly associated with misfortune. The one who needs
them is unfortunate, and the one who has to sew them on is usually an
object of sympathy, according to a wise old saw: "A hole may be
thought to be an accident of the day, but a patch is a sure sign of
poverty." But patch quilts belong to a different class than the
patches of necessity, and are the aristocrats of the quilt family,
while the pieced quilts came under the heading of poor relations.

However, this term is a misnomer when applied to some pieced quilts.
Many of the "scrap quilts," as they are called in some localities, are
very pretty when made from gay pieces--carefully blended--of the
various shades of a single colour. The stars in the design called
"The Unknown Star" are made of a great variety of different patterns
of pink calico, yet the blending is so good that the effect is greatly
heightened by the multiplicity of shades.

Pieced quilts make a special appeal to women who delight in the
precise and accurate work necessary in their construction. For those
who enjoy making pieced quilts, there is practically no limit to the
variety of designs available, some of which are as intricate as the
choicest mosaic. The bold and rather heavy design known as "Jacob's
Ladder" is a good example of the pieced quilt. Another is the
"Feathered Star," whose lightness and delicacy make it a most charming
pattern. The pieced quilt with one large star in the centre, called by
some "The Star of the East" and by others "The Star of Bethlehem," is
a striking example of mathematical exactness in quilt piecing. In
quilts made after this pattern all the pieces must be exactly the same
size and all the seams must be the same width in order to produce a
perfect star.

The French word "appliqué" is frequently used to describe the patched
or laid-on work. There is no single word in the English language that
exactly translates "appliqué." The term "applied work" comes nearest
and is the common English term. By common usage patchwork is now
understood to mean quilt making, and while used indiscriminately for
both pieced and patched quilts, it really belongs to that type where
the design is cut from one fabric and applied upon another. "Sewed on"
and "laid quilts" are old terms given to appliqué or patched quilts.

The distinction between "pieced" and "patched" quilts is fittingly
described by Miss Bessie Daingerfield, the Kentuckian who has written
interestingly of her experiences with mountain quilt makers. She says:
"To every mountain woman her piece quilts are her daily interest, but
her patch quilts are her glory. Even in these days, you women of the
low country know a piece quilt when you see one, and doubtless you
learned to sew on a 'four-patch' square. But have you among your
treasures a patch quilt? The piece quilt, of course, is made of
scraps, and its beauty or ugliness depends upon the material and
colours that come to hand, the intricacy of the design, and one's
skill in executing it. I think much character building must be done
while hand and eye coöperate to make, for example, a star quilt with
its endless tiny points for fitting and joining, but a patch quilt
is a more ambitious affair. For this the pattern is cut from the whole
piece and appliquéd on unbleached cotton. The colours used are
commonly oil red, oil green, and a certain rather violent yellow, and
sometimes indigo blue. These and these only are considered reliable
enough for a patch quilt, which is made for the generations that come
after. The making of such a quilt is a work of oriental patience."

    [Illustration: ORIGINAL ROSE DESIGN MADE IN 1840

    The maker was lame, and only able to walk about in her
    garden. Colours: red, green, pink, and yellow]

    [Illustration: PINEAPPLE DESIGN

    Colours: red and green]

"Appliqué work is thought by some to be an inferior kind of
embroidery, although it is not. It is not a lower but another kind of
needlework in which more is made of the stuff than of the stitching.
In appliqué the craft to the needleworker is not carried to its limit,
but, on the other hand, it calls for great skill in design. Effective
it must be: coarse it may be: vulgar it should not be: trivial it can
hardly be: mere prettiness is beyond its scope: but it lends itself to
dignity of design and nobility of treatment." The foregoing quotation
is from "Art in Needlework" by Louis F. Day and Mary Buckle. It is of
interest because it explains how appliqué or "laid-on" needlework
ranks with other kinds.

After all the different parts of a quilt top are either pieced or
decorated with applied designs, they are joined together with narrow
seams upon the wrong side of the quilt. If a border is included in the
design it should harmonize in colour and design with the body of the
quilt. However, in many quilts, borders seem to be "a thing apart"
from the remainder of the top and, apparently, have been added as an
afterthought to enlarge the top after the blocks had been joined. In
old quilts a border frequently consisted of simple bands of colours
similar to those found in the body of the quilt, but more often new
material entirely different in colour and quality was added when
greater size was desired. Many old quilts were three yards or more
square, generous proportions being very essential in the old days of
broad four-posters heaped with feather beds.

    [Illustration: QUILTING DESIGNS

    (a) Diamonds
    (b) Hanging Diamonds
    (c) Broken Plaid]

The top being completed, the back or lining, of the same dimensions as
the top, is next made of some light-weight material, usually white
cotton. The quilt, to quote the usual expression, is then "ready for
the frames." In earlier days the quilting frame could be found in
every home, its simple construction making this possible. In its
usual form it consists of four narrow pieces of wood, two somewhat
longer than a quilt, and two shorter, perhaps half as long, with holes
bored in the ends of each piece. These pieces are made into an oblong
frame by fastenings of bolts or pegs, and are commonly supported on
the backs of chairs. More pretentious frames are made with round
pieces for the sides, and with ends made to stand upon the floor,
about the height of a table, these ends having round holes into which
the side pieces fit. Such a frame is then self-supporting and
frequently has a cogwheel attachment to keep the sides in place and to
facilitate the rolling and unrolling of the quilt. The majority of
frames are very plain, but occasionally a diligent quilter is
encountered who has one made to suit her particular requirements, or
has received an unusually well-built one as a gift. One old frame
worthy of mention was made of cherry with elaborate scroll designed
ends, cherry side bars, and a set of cogwheels also made of cherry;
all finished and polished like a choice piece of furniture.

    [Illustration: VIRGINIA ROSE

    This original rose design was made by Caroline Stalnaker
    of Lewis County, West Virginia. She was one of the
    thirteen children of Charles Stalnaker, who was a
    "rock-ribbed" Baptist, and an ardent Northern
    sympathizer. During the Civil War this quilt was buried
    along with the family silver and other valuables to
    protect it from depredations by Confederate soldiers.
    One of Caroline Stalnaker's neighbors and friends was
    Stonewall Jackson.

    In this quilt, as in many old ones, the border has been
    omitted on the side intended to go at the head of the
    bed. This quilt is still unfinished, having never been
    quilted]

    [Illustration: ROSE OF LEMOINE

    An old and distinctly American design]

Each side bar or roll of the quilting frame is tightly wound with
cotton strips or has a piece of muslin firmly fastened to its entire
length, to which is sewed the edges of the lining, one side to each
bar. Then the extra length is rolled up on one side of the frame, and
after being tightly stretched, the wooden pieces are securely
fastened. On this stretched lining or back of the quilt, the cotton or
wool used for filling or interlining is spread very carefully and
smoothly; then with even greater care the top is put in place, its
edge pinned or basted to the edge of the lining, and drawn tightly
over the cotton. The ends of the quilt must also be stretched. This is
done by pinning pieces of muslin to the quilt and wrapping them around
the ends of the frame. Great care is required to keep all edges true
and to stretch all parts of the quilt uniformly.

Upon this smooth top the quilting is drawn, for even the most expert
quilters require outlines to quilt by. If the quilt top is light in
colour the design is drawn with faint pencil lines; if the colours are
too dark to show pencil markings, then with a chalked line. It is a
fascinating thing to children to watch the marking of a quilt with the
chalk lines. The firm cord used for this is drawn repeatedly across a
piece of chalk or through powdered starch until well coated, then held
near the quilt, and very tightly stretched, while a second person
draws it up and lets it fly back with a snap, thus making a straight
white line. How closely the lines are drawn depends wholly upon the
ambition and diligence of the quilter. The lines may be barely a
quarter of an inch apart, or may be placed only close enough together
to perform their function of keeping the interlining in place.

Patterns of quiltings are not as plentiful as designs for the
patchwork tops of quilts; only about eight or ten standard patterns
being in general use. The simplest pattern consists of "single
diagonal" lines, spaced to suit the work in hand. The lines are run
diagonally across the quilt instead of parallel with the weave, in
order that they may show to better advantage, and also because the
cloth is less apt to tear or pull apart than if the quilting lines are
run in the same direction as the threads of the fabric. The
elaboration of the "single" diagonal into sets of two or more parallel
lines, thus forming the "double" and "triple" diagonals, is the first
step toward ornamentation in quilting. A further advance is made when
the quilting lines are crossed, by means of which patterns like the
"square," "diamond," and "hanging diamond" are produced.

    [Illustration: THE SUNFLOWER QUILT

    Shows a realistic, bold design of vivid colouring. The
    border is harmonious, suggesting a firm foundation for
    the stems. The quilting in the centre is a design of
    spider webs, leaves, and flowers]

Wavy lines and various arrangements of hoops, circles, and segments
of circles are among the more complex quilting patterns, which are not
particularly difficult. Plates and saucers of various diameters are
always available to serve as markers in laying out such designs. The
"pineapple," "broken plaid," and "shell" patterns are very popular,
especially with those who are more experienced in the art. One very
effective design used by many quilters is known as the "Ostrich
Feather." These so-called feathers are arranged in straight bands,
waved lines, or circles, and--when the work is well done--are very
beautiful. The "fan" and "twisted rope" patterns are familiar to the
older quilters but are not much used at the present time.

    [Illustration: QUILTING DESIGNS

    (a) Rope
    (b) Shell
    (c) Fan]

    [Illustration: QUILTING DESIGNS

    (a) Feathers in Bands
    (b) Feathers in Waved Lines
    (c) Feathers in Circles]

Frequently the quilting design follows the pieced or patched pattern
and is then very effective, especially when a floral pattern is used.
Some quilters show much originality and ingenuity in incorporating
into their work the outlines of the flowers and leaves of the quilt
design. Sometimes the pieced top is of such common material as to seem
an unworthy basis for the beautiful work of an experienced quilter,
who stitches with such patient hand, wasting, some may think, her
art upon too poor a subject. However, for the consolation of those who
consider quilting a wicked waste of time, it may be added that
nowadays expert quilters are very few indeed, and enthusiasts who have
spent weeks piecing a beautiful quilt have been known to wait a year
before being able to get it quilted by an expert in this art.

On the thin cotton quilts that have the elaborate quilting designs and
are the pride of the owner, the quilting is done with fine cotton
thread, about number seventy. The running stitch used in quilting
should be as small and even as it is possible for the quilter to make.
This is a very difficult feat to accomplish, since the quilt composed
of two thicknesses of cloth with an interlining of cotton is stretched
so tightly in the frame that it is quite difficult to push the needle
through. Also the quilter, while bending over the frame with one hand
above and one hand below, is in a somewhat unnatural strained
position. It requires much patience to acquire the knack of sitting in
the rather uncomfortable quilter's position without quickly tiring.

Skill and speed in quilting can be acquired only through much
practice. Perfect quilting cannot be turned out by a novice in the
art, no matter how skilful she may be at other kinds of needlework.
The patience and skill of the quilter are especially taxed when, in
following the vagaries of some design, she is forced to quilt lines
that extend away from her instead of toward her. As the result of many
years spent over the quilting frame, some quilters acquire an unusual
dexterity in handling the needle, and occasionally one is encountered
who can quilt as well with one hand as with the other.

    [Illustration: ORIGINAL DESIGNS FROM OLD QUILTS]

    [Illustration: CHARTER OAK

    With the American eagle in the border]

    [Illustration: PUFFED QUILT OF SILK

    This is a very popular pieced quilt, composed of carefully
    saved bits of silks and velvets]

Quilting is usually paid for by the amount of thread used, no
consideration being given to the amount of time expended on the work.
A spool of cotton thread, such as is found in every dry-goods store,
averaging two hundred yards to the spool, is the universal measure.
The price charged is more a matter of locality than excellence of
workmanship. A certain price will prevail in one section among all
quilters there, while in another, not far removed, two or three times
that price will be asked for the same work. When many of the old
quilts, now treasured as remembrances of our diligent and ambitious
ancestors, were made, one dollar per spool was the usual price paid
for quilting. However, as the number of quilters has decreased, the
price of quilting has increased, until as much as five dollars per
spool is now asked in some parts of the country. Even at the advanced
prices, it is exceedingly difficult to find sufficient quilters to
complete the many pieced and appliqué quilts being made.

After the space of some twelve inches, which is as far as the quilter
can reach conveniently, has been quilted, the completed portion is
rolled up on the side of the frame nearest the quilter. From the other
side another section is then unrolled and marked for quilting, and
quilted as far as the worker can reach. Thus quilting and rolling are
continued until the whole quilt is gone over, after which it is taken
from the frame and the edges neatly bound with a narrow piece of bias
material, either white or of some harmonizing colour. Since all of the
stitches are taken entirely through the quilt, the design worked into
the top is repeated on the lining, so that the back makes a white
spread of effective pattern in low relief. Very often the back or
reverse side is as beautiful as the top, and many lovely quilts have
ended their years of service as white counterpanes during that period
when the vogue for white beds reigned. Now, however, owners are glad
to display them in all their gorgeousness, and they no longer
masquerade as white bedspreads.

Occasionally the date of making and the initials of the maker are
quilted in a corner, but it is seldom that even this much is visible
to tell of the quilt's origin. How interesting it would be if some
bits of the story of the maker could have been sewed into a few of the
old quilts; for such works of art, that are so long in making, deserve
to have some facts relating to them live at least as long as they.

When a bedcover of exceptional warmth is desired, several sheets of
cotton or wool prepared for that purpose are laid one over the other
between the top and back. As this is too thick to allow a needle to be
pushed through easily, and even stitches cannot be taken, then
quilting gives way to tying or knotting. Threads of silk, cotton,
linen, or wool are drawn through with coarse needles and the ends tied
in tight, firm knots. These knots are arranged at close, regular
intervals to prevent the interlining from slipping out of place. To
this kind of covering is applied the very appropriate name of
"comfort." Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and all of Scandinavia use
quilted down and feather comforts. In fact, the down comfort has
become international in its use. It is found in almost every home in
the colder regions of Europe and America, and on chilly nights is a
comfort indeed. They are usually made in one colour and, aside from
the quilting, which is in bold, artistic designs, are without other
decoration. The quilting on down comforts is done by machines made
expressly for that work.

Quilting is not confined to the making of quilts. The petticoats worn
by the women of Holland are substantial affairs made of either woollen
cloth or satin, as the purse permits, heavily interlined and
elaborately quilted. The Dutch belle requires from four to nine of
these skirts to give her the figure typical of her country. Both the
Chinese and Japanese make frequent use of quilting in their thickly
padded coats and kimonos, and it may be that from them the early Dutch
voyagers and traders brought back the custom to Holland.

    [Illustration:

    (a) Design from an Old English Quilt
    (b) Medallion Design
    (c) Pineapple Design]

    [Illustration: VARIEGATED HEXAGON, SILK

    Colours: cherry, light blue, pink, black, and a yellow
    centre]

    [Illustration: ROMAN STRIPE, SILK]

A knowledge of the simplest form of sewing is all that is necessary to
piece quilts. The running stitch used for narrow seams is the first
stitch a beginner learns. There are other stitches needed to make
a patchwork quilt, which frequently develops into quite an elaborate
bit of needlework. The applied designs should always be neatly hemmed
to the foundation; some, however, are embroidered and the edges of the
designs finished with a buttonhole stitch, and other fancy stitches
may be introduced.

In quilt making, as in every other branch of needlework, much
experience is required to do good work. It takes much time and
practice to acquire accuracy in cutting and arranging all the
different pieces. A discriminating eye for harmonizing colours is also
a great advantage. But above all requirements the quilt maker must be
an expert needleworker, capable of making the multitude of tiny
stitches with neatness and precision if she would produce the perfect
quilt.

Appreciation of nature is an attribute of many quilt makers, as shown
by their efforts to copy various forms of leaf and flower. There are
many conventionalized floral patterns on appliqué quilts that give
evidence of much ability and originality in their construction. For
the pioneer woman there was no convenient school of design, and when
she tired of the oft-repeated quilt patterns of her neighbourhood she
turned to her garden for suggestions. The striking silhouettes of
familiar blossoms seen on many quilts are the direct result of her
nature study.



CHAPTER VI

QUILT NAMES


Among the most fascinating features of quilt lore are the great number
and wonderful variety of names given to quilt designs. A distinct
individuality is worked into every quilt by its maker, which in most
instances makes it worthy of a name. The many days spent in creating
even a simple quilt give the maker ample time in which to ponder over
a name for the design, so that the one selected generally reflects
some peculiarity in her personality. History, politics, religion,
nature, poetry, and romance, all are stitched into the gayly coloured
blocks and exert their influence on quilt appellations. Careful
consideration of a large number of quilts reveals but few that have
been named in a haphazard way; in nearly every instance there was a
reason or at least a suggestion for the name.

In most cases the relation between name and design is so evident that
the correct name at once suggests itself, even to the novice in quilt
making. The common "star" pattern, in which one star is made the
centre of each block, is invariably known as the "Five-pointed Star."
A variation in the size of the stars or the number of colours entering
into their composition has not resulted in any new name.

It is quite usual, however, when there is a slight deviation from a
familiar pattern, resulting from either the introduction of some
variation or by the omission of a portion of the old design, to make a
corresponding change in the name. Good illustrations of this custom are
the minor alterations which have been made in the tree trunk of the
"tree" pattern. These may be so slight as to be entirely unobserved by
the casual admirer, yet they are responsible for at least three new
names: "Pine Tree," "Temperance Tree," and "Tree of Paradise." A minor
change in the ordinary "Nine Patch," with a new name as a result, is
another striking example of how very slight an alteration may be in
order to inspire a new title. In this case, the central block is cut
somewhat larger than in the old "Nine Patch," and the four corner
blocks are, by comparison with the centre block, quite small. This
slight change is in reality a magical transformation, for the staid
"Nine Patch" has now become a lively "Puss-in-the-Corner." The changes
in some patterns have come about through efforts to make a limited
amount of highly prized colour brighten a whole quilt. This
circumstance, as much as any other, has been the cause of new names.

    [Illustration: AMERICAN LOG CABIN, SILK AND WOOL

    In Colonial days this was known as a "pressed" quilt]

    [Illustration: DEMOCRAT ROSE

    Made in Pennsylvania about 1845]

Important events occurring during the construction periods of old
quilts are quite frequently recalled to us by their names. The
stirring frontier activities and the great men of history made
impressions on the mind of the housewife which found expression in the
names of her quilts. "Washington's Plumes," "Mexican Rose," and "Rose
of Dixie" are old quilt names reflecting domestic interest in
important events. The hardships and vicissitudes endured by the sturdy
pioneers were constantly in the minds of the early American quilters
and inspired many names. "Pilgrim's Pride," "Bear's Paws," "Rocky Road
to Kansas," "Texas Tears," and "Rocky Road to California" have great
interest as they reveal to us the thoughts of our great-grandmothers
over their quilting frames.

The names having political significance, which were attached to
quilts, show that the women as well as the men had a keen interest in
the affairs of our country in its earlier days. "Old Tippecanoe,"
"Lincoln's Platform," "Harrison Rose," "Democrat Rose," "Whig Rose,"
and "Radical Rose" are all suggestive of the great discussion over
slavery. Of the last name, an old lady, famous for her quilt making,
said: "Here's my 'Radical Rose.' I reckon you've heard I was the first
human that ever put black in a Radical Rose. Thar hit is, right plumb
in the middle. Well, whenever you see black in a Radical Rose you can
know hit war made atter the second year of the war (Civil War). Hit
was this way, ever' man war a-talkin' about the Radicals and all the
women tuk to makin' Radical Roses. One day I got to studying that thar
ought to be some black in that thar pattern, sence half the trouble
was to free the niggers, and hit didn't look fair to leave them out.
And from that day to this thar's been black in ever' Radical Rose."

Other names having patriotic, political, or historical significance
are:

    Union
    Yankee Puzzle
    Continental
    Union Calico Quilt
    Star-Spangled Banner
    Confederate Rose
    Boston Puzzle

There is also the "Centennial" in commemoration of the Centennial
Exposition held at Philadelphia in 1876, and "The World's Fair,"
"World's Fair Puzzle," and "World's Fair Blocks" to perpetuate the
grandeurs of the great exposition held at Chicago in 1893.

Religion is closely associated with the life of the industrious,
sober-minded dwellers of our villages and farms, and it is the most
natural thing in the world for the Biblical teachings to crop out in
the names of their quilts, as the following names indicate:

    Garden of Eden
    Golden Gates
    Jacob's Ladder
    Joseph's Coat
    Solomon's Temple
    Solomon's Crown
    Star of Bethlehem
    Tree of Paradise
    Forbidden Fruit Tree

The glories of the sky enjoy ample prominence among quilt names.
Beginning with the "Rising Sun," of which there are several different
designs, there follow "Sunshine" and "Sunburst," then "Rainbow," and
finally a whole constellation of "Stars":

    Blazing Star
    Brunswick Star
    Combination Star
    Chicago Star
    Columbia Star
    Crosses and Stars
    Cluster of Stars
    California Star
    Diamond Star
    Eight-pointed Star
    Evening Star
    Feather Star
    Five-pointed Star
    Flying Star
    Four X Star
    Four Stars Patch
    Joining Star
    Ladies' Beautiful Star
    Morning Star
    New Star
    Novel Star
    Odd Star
    Premium Star
    Ribbon Star
    Rolling Star
    Sashed Star
    Seven Stars
    Star Lane
    Star of Bethlehem
    Star and Chains
    Star of Many Points
    Star and Squares
    Star and Cubes
    Star Puzzle
    Shooting Star
    Star of the West
    Star and Cross
    Star of Texas
    Stars upon Stars
    Squares and Stars
    St. Louis Star
    Star, A
    Twinkling Star
    Union Star
    Wheel and Star
    Western Star

In connection with the "Star" quilt names it is worthy of notice that
geometric names outnumber those of any other class. "Squares,"
"triangles," and "circles" are well represented, but the "Stars"
easily lead with nearly fifty names.

Names of various other geometric patterns appear below:

    Art Square
    Barrister's Blocks
    Beggar's Blocks
    Box Blocks
    Circle within Circle
    Cross within Cross
    Cross and Crown
    Cube Work
    Cube Lattice
    Diamonds
    Diamond Cube
    Diamond Design
    Double Squares
    Domino and Square
    Eight-point Design
    Five Stripes
    Fool's Square
    Four Points
    Greek Cross
    Greek Square
    Hexagonal
    Interlaced Blocks
    Maltese Cross
    Memory Blocks
    Memory Circle
    New Four Patch
    New Nine Patch
    Octagon
    Pinwheel Square
    Red Cross
    Ribbon Squares
    Roman Cross
    Sawtooth Patchwork
    Square and Swallow
    Square and a Half
    Squares and Stripes
    Square and Triangle
    Stripe Squares
    The Cross
    The Diamond
    Triangle Puzzle
    Triangular Triangle
    Variegated Diamonds
    Variegated Hexagons

    [Illustration: "PINK ROSE" DESIGN]

Names of a nautical turn are to be expected for quilts which originate
in seaside cottages and seaport villages. "Bounding Betty," "Ocean
Waves," and "Storm at Sea" have a flavour as salty as the spray which
dampens them when they are spread out to sun by the sandy shore.

That poetry and romance have left their mark on the quilt is shown by
the names that have been drawn from these sources. "Lady of the
Lake," "Charm," "Air Castle," "Wheel of Fortune," and "Wonder of the
World" are typical examples. Sentimental names are also in evidence,
as "Love Rose," "Lovers' Links," "True Lovers' Knot," "Friendship
Quilt," and "Wedding Knot."

Nature furnishes more suggestions for beautiful quilt designs than any
other source. So frequently are her models resorted to by quilt makers
the world over that many different designs have been inspired by the
same leaf or flower. The rose especially is used again and again, and
will always be the favourite flower of the quilter. There are at least
twenty "rose" names to prove how this flower has endeared itself to
the devotees of piece-block and quilting frame:

    Rose
    California Rose
    Complex Rose
    Confederate Rose
    Democrat Rose
    Dutch Rose
    Harrison Rose
    Harvest Rose
    Love Rose
    Mexican Rose
    Prairie Rose
    Rose of Sharon
    Rose of Dixie
    Rose of the Carolinas
    Rosebud and Leaves
    Rose Album
    Rose of LeMoine
    Radical Rose
    Whig Rose
    Wild Rose
    Wreath of Roses

Other flowery names are also popular:

    Basket of Lilies
    Bouquet
    Cleveland Lilies
    Cactus Blossom
    Chrysanthemums
    Double Peony
    Daisies
    Daffodils and Butterflies
    Field Daisies
    Flower Basket
    Iris
    Jonquils
    Lily Quilt Pattern
    Lily of the Valley
    Morning Glory
    Morning Gray Wreath
    Persian Palm Lady
    Poppy
    Pansies and Butterflies
    Single Sunflowers
    Sunflowers
    Tulip in Vase
    Tassel Plant
    Tulip Blocks
    Three-flowered Sunflower
    The Mayflower
    Tulip Lady Finger
    White Day Lily

When seeking flowers that lend themselves readily to quilt designs it
is best to choose those whose leaves and blossoms present clear,
distinct, and easily traced outlines. The names of many of the quaint
varieties that flourish in old-fashioned gardens, as lilacs, phlox,
larkspur, and marigolds, are absent from the list. This is because
their lacy foliage and complex arrangement of petals cannot be
reproduced satisfactorily in quilt materials.

Even the lowly vegetables secure some mention among quilt names with
"Corn and Beans." The fruits and trees are well represented, as noted
by the following list:

    Apple Hexagon
    Cherry Basket
    California Oak Leaf
    Cypress Leaf
    Christmas Tree
    Fruit Basket
    Grape Basket
    Hickory Leaf
    Imperial Tea
    Indian Plum
    Live Oak Tree
    Little Beech Tree
    Maple Leaf
    May Berry Leaf
    Olive Branch
    Orange Peel
    Oak Leaf and Tulip
    Oak Leaf and Acorns
    Pineapple
    Pine Tree
    Sweet Gum Leaf
    Strawberry
    Tea Leaf
    Tufted Cherry
    Temperance Tree
    Tulip Tree Leaves

The names of birds and insects are almost as popular as those of
flowers, as this list will bear witness:

    Bluebird
    Brown-tailed Moth
    Butterflies
    Bird's Nest
    Crow's Foot
    Chimney Swallows
    Cockscomb
    Dove in the Window
    Duck and Ducklings
    Four Little Birds
    Goose Tracks
    Goose in the Pond
    Honeycomb
    Honeycomb Patch
    Hen and Chickens
    King's Crows
    Peacocks and Flowers
    Spider's Den
    Shoo Fly
    Spider's Web
    Swarm of Bees
    The Two Doves
    Wild Goose Chase

    [Illustration: ORIGINAL ROSE NO. 3

    Made in Indiana about 75 years ago. Colors: red and
    green]

    [Illustration: WHITE QUILT, WITH STUFFED QUILTING
    DESIGNS

    This quilt was made in New England, and was finished in
    1801, but how long a period was occupied in the making
    is unknown. It was designed by a young architect for an
    ambitious young quilter]

The animals also must be credited with their share of names:

    Bear's Foot
    Bear's Paws
    Bat's Wings
    Bunnies
    Cats and Mice
    Flying Bat
    Four Frogs Quilt
    Leap Frog
    Puss-in-the-Corner
    The Snail's Trail
    Toad in the Puddle
    The Lobster (1812)

Occasionally the quilt maker was honoured by having her name given to
her handiwork, as "Mrs. Morgan's Choice," "Mollie's Choice," "Sarah's
Favourite," and "Fanny's Fan." Aunts and grandmothers figure as
prominently in the naming of quilts as they do in the making of them.
"Aunt Sukey's Patch," "Aunt Eliza's Star Point," "Grandmother's Own,"
"Grandmother's Dream," and "Grandmother's Choice" are typical
examples.

Quilt names in which reference is made to persons and personalities
are quite numerous, as is proved by the list given below:

    Coxey's Camp
    Crazy Ann
    Dutchman's Puzzle
    Everybody's Favourite
    Eight Hands Around
    Grandmother's Choice
    Garfield's Monument
    Gentleman's Fancy
    Handy Andy
    Hands All Around
    Hobson's Kiss
    Indian Plumes
    Indian Hatchet
    Jack's House
    Joseph's Necktie
    King's Crown
    Lady Fingers
    Ladies' Wreath
    Ladies' Delight
    Mary's Garden
    Mrs. Cleveland's Choice
    Old Maid's Puzzle
    Odd Fellows' Chain
    Princess Feather
    President's Quilt
    Sister's Choice
    The Tumbler
    The Hand
    The Priscilla
    Twin Sisters
    Vice-President's Quilt
    Widower's Choice
    Washington's Puzzle
    Washington's Sidewalk
    Washington's Plumes

Names derived both from local neighbourhoods and foreign lands occupy
a prominent place in the quilt list:

    Arabic Lattice
    American Log Patch
    Arkansas Traveller
    Alabama Beauty
    Blackford's Beauty
    Boston Puzzle
    Columbian Puzzle
    Cross Roads to Texas
    Double Irish Chain
    French Basket
    Grecian Design
    Indiana Wreath
    Irish Puzzle
    Kansas Troubles
    Linton
    London Roads
    Mexican Rose
    Oklahoma Boomer
    Philadelphia Beauty
    Philadelphia Pavement
    Rocky Glen
    Royal Japanese Vase
    Rocky Road to Kansas
    Rocky Road to California
    Road to California
    Roman Stripe
    Rockingham's Beauty
    Rose of Dixie
    Rose of the Carolinas
    Star of Texas
    Texas Flower
    The Philippines
    Texas Tears
    Venetian Design
    Village Church
    Virginia Gentleman

Sometimes the names of a flower and a locality are combined, as in
"Persian Palm Lily" and "Carolina Lily." This latter design is quite a
popular one in the Middle West, where it is known also as "Star
Flower."

Figures and letters come in for some attention, for a few of the
designs thus named are quite artistic. The best known are "Boxed I's,"
"Capital I," "Double Z," "Four E's," "Fleur-de-Lis," "Letter H,"
"Letter X," and "T Quartette."

Inanimate objects, particularly those about the house, inspired many
names for patterns, some of which are quite appropriate. A number of
such names are given here:

    Album
    Base Ball
    Basket Quilt
    Block Album
    Brickwork Quilt
    Carpenter's Rule
    Carpenter's Square
    Churn Dash
    Cog Wheel
    Compass
    Crossed Canoes
    Diagonal Log Chain
    Domino
    Double Wrench
    Flutter Wheel
    Fan
    Fan Patch
    Fan and Rainbow
    Ferris Wheel
    Flower Pot
    Hour Glass
    Ice Cream Bowl
    Log Patch
    Log Cabin
    Necktie
    Needle Book
    New Album
    Pincushion and Burr
    Paving Blocks
    Pickle Dish
    Rolling Pinwheel
    Rolling Stone
    Sashed Album
    Shelf Chain
    Snowflake
    Snowball
    Stone Wall
    Sugar Loaf
    Spools
    Shield
    Scissor's Chain
    Square Log Cabin
    The Railroad
    The Disk
    The Globe
    The Wheel
    Tile Patchwork
    Watered Ribbon
    Wind Mill

Occasionally the wag of the family had his opportunity, for it took
some one with a strain of dry humour to suggest "Old Bachelor's
Puzzle," "Drunkard's Path," and "All Tangled Up," or to have
ironically called one quilt a "Blind Man's Fancy."

Imagination was not lacking when it came to applying apt names to some
of the simplest designs. To have called rows of small triangles
running diagonally across a quilt the "Wild Goose Chase," the maker
must have known something of the habits of wild geese, for as these
migrate from North to South and back again following the summer's
warmth, they fly one behind the other in long V-shaped lines. The
resemblance of these lines, swiftly moving across the sky, to her
neat rows of triangles supplied the quilt maker with her
inspiration.

    [Illustration: WHITE QUILT

    A very beautiful and original design, made in New
    England over 125 years ago. Only part of the design has
    been stuffed]

    [Illustration: OLD LADIES QUILTING]

Names that are grotesque, or fanciful, or so descriptive that their
mention is sure to provoke a grin, occur with pleasing frequency. Who
can help but smile at "Hairpin Catcher," "Hearts and Gizzards," or
"Tangled Garters?" Other grotesque names worthy of mention are:

    An Odd Pattern
    Autograph Quilt
    Boy's Nonsense
    Brick Pile
    Broken Dish
    Cake Stand
    Crazy Quilt
    Devil's Puzzle
    Fantastic Patch
    Fool's Puzzle
    No Name Quilt
    Pullman Puzzle
    Puzzle File
    Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
    State House Steps
    Steps to the Altar
    Swing in the Centre
    The X quisite
    Tick-Tack-Toe
    Vestibule

The everyday quilts, not particularly beautiful, perhaps, but
nevertheless so essential to the family comfort, are also considered
worthy of names. Homely and prosaic as their owners, the following
names have a peculiar rugged quality entirely lacking in the fanciful
ones given to their more artistic sisters:

    An Old Patchwork
    Bedtime
    Coarse Woven Patch
    Country Farm
    Crib Quilt
    Crosses and Losses
    Economy
    Home Treasure
    Odds and Ends
    Odd Patchwork
    Old Scrap Patchwork
    Right and Left
    Simple Design
    Swinging Corners
    The Old Homestead
    Twist and Turn
    Twist Patchwork
    Winding Walk
    Workbox

In the old days grown-up folks were not the only ones who had to do
with naming the quilts; children shared in the honour, and many of the
quaint and fantastic names were the result of humouring their fancies.
There was no "B'rer Rabbit" in quilt lore, but he was not missed when
the two or three youngsters who cuddled in the old-fashioned trundle
bed could have so many other fascinating names for their quilts. "Four
Little Birds," "Ducks and Ducklings," "Children's Delight," "The
Little Red House," "Goose in the Pond," "The House That Jack Built,"
"Toad in the Puddle," and "Johnny Around the Corner" are some of the
old names still in use to-day. Any one of these patterns made up into
a quilt was a treasure to imaginative children, and it was doubly so
when they could pick out among the tiny blocks bits of colour that
were once in their own gay dresses and pinafores.

Clinging lavender wisteria, sweet jasmine, and even scarlet amaryllis
pale beside the glowing colours displayed during sunny spring days on
the gallery rails of many country homes through Delaware and Virginia.
These picturesque scenes, in which the familiar domestic art supplies
the essential touch of colour, are aptly described by Robert and
Elizabeth Shackleton, those indefatigable searchers for the beautiful
among the relics of our forefathers.

"In many a little village, and in many an isolated mountain home, the
old-time art of making patchwork coverlets is remembered and
practised. Some may be found that are generations old; others are new,
but made in precisely the old-time way, and after the same patterns.
Many are in gorgeous colours, in glowing yellows, greens, and purples;
and being a matter of housewifely pride, they are often thrown over
the 'gallery rail' so their glory may be seen.

"One guest bed had nineteen quilts! Not to sleep under such a padded
mountain, but it was the most natural method of display. Each quilt
had its name. There was the "Western Star," the "Rose of the
Carolinas," the "Log Cabin," the "Virginia Gentleman," the "Fruit
Basket," the "Lily of the Valley"--as many special names as there are
designs."



CHAPTER VII

QUILT COLLECTIONS AND EXHIBITIONS


In spite of their wide distribution and vast quantity, the number of
quilts readily accessible to those who are interested in them is
exceedingly small. This is particularly true of those quilts which
possess artistic merit and historic interest, and a considerable
amount of inquiry is sometimes necessary in order to bring forth even
a single quilt of more than ordinary beauty. It is unfortunate for
this most useful and pleasant art that its masterpieces are so shy and
loath to display their charms, for it is mainly from the rivalry
induced by constant display that all arts secure their best stimulus.
However, some very remarkable achievements in quilting have been
brought to light from time to time, to the great benefit of this best
of household arts.

There is in existence to-day no complete collection of quilts readily
available to the public at large. No museum in this country or abroad
has a collection worthy of the name, the nearest approach to it being
in the great South Kensington Museum in London. While many
institutions possess one or more specimens, these have been preserved
more often on account of some historic association than because of
exceptional beauty or artistic merit. It is only in the rare instance
of a family collection, resulting from the slow accumulation by more
than one generation of quilt enthusiasts, that a quilt collection at
all worth while can be found. In such a case the owner is generally so
reticent concerning his treasures that the community as a whole is
never given the opportunity to profit by them.

In families where accumulations have reached the dignity in numbers
that will justify being called collections, the quilts belonging to
different branches of the family have been passed along from one
generation to another, until they have become the property of one
person. Among collections of this sort are found many rare and
beautiful quilts, as only the best and choicest of all that were made
have been preserved. There are also occasional large collections of
quilts that are the work of one industrious maker who has spent the
greater portion of her life piecing and quilting. The Kentucky
mountain woman who had "eighty-three, all different, and all her own
makin'," is a typical example of this class.

    [Illustration: THE "WIND-BLOWN TULIP" DESIGN

    Seems to bring a breath of springtime both in form and
    colour. Even the border flowers seem to be waving and
    nodding in the breeze]

The vastness of their numbers and the great extent of their everyday
use serve to check the collecting of quilts. As a whole, quilts are
extremely heterogeneous and democratic; they are made so generally
over the whole country that no distinct types have been developed, and
they are possessed so universally that there is little social prestige
to be gained by owning an uncommonly large number. Consequently even
the most ardent quilt lovers are usually satisfied when they possess
enough for their own domestic needs, with perhaps a few extra for
display in the guest chambers.

Much of the social pleasure of the pioneer women was due to their
widespread interest in quilts. Aside from the quilting bees, which
were notable affairs, collecting quilt patterns was to many women a
source of both interest and enjoyment. Even the most ambitious woman
could not hope to make a quilt like every design which she admired,
so, to appease the desire for the numerous ones she was unable to
make, their patterns were collected. These collections of quilt
patterns--often quite extensive, frequently included single blocks of
both pieced and patched designs. There was always a neighbourly and
friendly interest taken in such collections, as popular designs were
exchanged and copied many times. Choice remnants of prints and
calicoes were also shared with the neighbours. Occasionally from
trunks or boxes, long hidden in dusty attics, some of these old blocks
come to light, yellowed with age and frayed at the edges, to remind us
of the simple pleasures of our grandmothers.

At the present time there is a marked revival of interest in quilts
and their making. The evidences of this revival are the increasing
demand for competent quilters, the desire for new quilt patterns, and
the growing popularity of quilt exhibitions. Concerning exhibits of
quilts, there is apparent--at least in the northern part of the United
States--a noticeable increase in popular appreciation of those held at
county and state fairs. This is a particularly fortunate circumstance
for the development of the art, because the county fair, "our one
steadfast institution in a world of change," is so intimately
connected with the lives and is so dear to the hearts of our people.

    [Illustration: QUILTS ON A LINE]

    [Illustration: GRAPES AND VINES]

In addition to the pleasures and social diversions which that annual
rural festival--the county fair--affords, it is an educational force
that is not sufficiently appreciated by those who live beyond the
reach of its spell. At best, country life contains long stretches of
monotony, and any interest with which it can be relieved is a most
welcome addition to the lives of the women in rural communities. At
the fair women are touched to new thoughts on common themes. They come
to meet each other and talk over the latest kinks in jelly making, the
progress of their children, and similar details of their family
affairs. They come to get standards of living and to gather ideas of
home decoration and entertainment for the long evenings when
intercourse, even with the neighbours, becomes infrequent.

There is not the least doubt concerning the beneficial influence of
the local annual fair on the life of the adjacent neighbourhood. At
such a fair the presence of a varied and well-arranged display of
needlework, which has been produced by the womenfolk, is of the
greatest assistance in making the community one in which it is worth
while to live. Not only does it serve as a stimulus to those who look
forward to the fair and put into their art the very best of their
ability in order that they may surpass their competitor next door, but
it also serves as an inspiration to those who are denied the faculty
of creating original designs, yet nevertheless take keen pleasure in
the production of beautiful needlework. It is to this latter class
that an exhibition of quilts is of real value, because it provides
them with new patterns that can be applied to the quilts which must be
made. With fresh ideas for their inspiration, work which would
otherwise be tedious becomes a real pleasure.

For the women of the farm the exhibit of domestic arts and products
occupies the preëminent place at the county fair. In this exhibit the
display of patchwork is sure to arouse the liveliest enthusiasm. A
visitor at a fair in a western state very neatly describes this
appreciation shown to quilts: "We used to hear a great deal about the
sad and lonely fate of the western farmer's wife, but there was little
evidence of loneliness in the appearance of these women who surrounded
the quilts and fancywork in the Domestic Arts Building."

In connection with the display of needlework at rural fairs, it is
interesting to note how ancient is this custom. In the "Social History
of Ancient Ireland" is the following description of an Irish fair held
during the fourth century--long before the advent of St. Patrick and
Christianity: "The people of Leinster every three years during the
first week of August held the 'Fair of Carman.' Great ceremony and
formality attended this event, the King of Leinster and his court
officiating. Music formed a prominent part of the amusement. One day
was set apart for recitation of poems and romantic tales, another for
horse and chariot racing. In another part of the Fair people indulged
in uproarious fun, crowded around showmen, jugglers, clowns with
painted faces or hideously grotesqued masks. Prizes publicly presented
by King or dignitary were given to winners of various contests.
Needlework was represented by 'the slope of the embroidering women,'
where women actually did their work in the presence of spectators."

A very important factor in the recent revival of interest in quilts
has been the springing up of impromptu exhibits as "benefits" for
worthy causes, the raising of funds for which is a matter of popular
interest. Does a church need a new roof, a hospital some more
furnishings, or a college a new building? And have all the usual
methods of raising money become hackneyed and uninspiring to those
interested in furthering the project? To those confronted with such a
money-raising problem the quilt exhibition offers a most welcome
solution. For not only does such an exhibition offer a new form of
entertainment, but it also has sources of interesting material from
which to draw that are far richer than commonly supposed.

Not so very long ago "The Country Contributor" undertook the task of
giving a quilt show, and her description of it is distinctly worth
while:

"My ideas were a bit vague. I had a mental picture of some beautiful
quilts I knew of hung against a wall somewhere for people to come and
look at and wonder over. So we announced the quilt show and then went
on our way rejoicing. A good-natured school board allowed us to have
the auditorium at the high school building for the display and the
quilt agitation began.

    [Illustration: AS GOLDEN BUTTERFLIES AND PANSIES

    Are so often playmates of little ones in the garden, and
    beloved by them, they were chosen for the motifs of this
    child's quilt]

"A day or two before the show, which was to be on a Saturday, it began
to dawn upon me that I might be buried under an avalanche of quilts.
The old ones were terribly large. They were made to cover a fat
feather bed or two and to hang down to hide the trundle bed
underneath, and, though the interlining of cotton was very thin and
even, still the weight of a quilt made by one's grandmother is
considerable.

"We betook ourselves to the school building at an early hour on
Saturday morning and the fun began. We were to receive entries until
one o'clock, when the exhibition was to begin.

"In looking back now at this little event, I wonder we could have been
so benighted as to imagine we could do it in a day! After about an
hour, during which the quilts came in by the dozen, I sent in a
general alarm to friends and kindred for help. We engaged a carpenter,
strung up wires and ropes, and by some magic of desperation we got
those quilts on display, 118 of them, by one o'clock.

"One lovely feature of this quilt show was the reverence with which
men brought to us the quilts their mothers made. Plain farmers, busy
workers, retired business men, came to us, their faces softened to
tenderness, handed us, with mingled pride and devotion, their big
bundle containing a contribution to the display, saying in softened
accents, 'My mother made it.' And each and every quilt brought thus
was worthy of a price on its real merit--not for its hallowed
association alone.

"Time and space would fail if I should try to tell about the quilts
that came in at our call for an exhibition. There were so many prize
quilts (fully two thirds of the quilts entered deserved prizes) that
it is difficult to say what finally decided the blue ribbon. However,
the quilt which finally carried it away was fairly typical of those of
the early part of the nineteenth century. A rose pattern was applied
in coloured calicoes on each alternate block. The geometrical
calculation, the miraculous neatness of this work, can scarcely be
exaggerated. But this is not the wonder of the thing. The real wonder
is the quilting. This consisted in copying the design, petal for
petal, leaf for leaf, in needlework upon every alternate block of
white muslin. How these workers accomplished the raised designs on
plain white muslin is the mystery. How raised flowers, leaves, plumes,
baskets, bunches of fruit, even animal and bird shapes, could be shown
in bas-relief on these quilt blocks without hopelessly 'puckering'
the material, none of us can imagine."

No other inspiration that can equal our fairs has been offered to the
quilters of our day. Public recognition of good work and the premiums
which accompany this recognition augment the desire to excel in the
art of quilt making. The keen competition engendered results in the
most exact and painstaking work possible being put upon quilts that
are entered for the "blue ribbon." The materials, designs, and colours
chosen for these quilts are given the most careful consideration, and
the stitchery is as nearly perfect as it is possible to make it.

Some of the finest old quilts that have been preserved are repeatedly
exhibited at county and state fairs, and have more than held their own
with those made in recent years. One shown at an exhibition of quilts
and coverlets, held in a city in southern Indiana in 1914, had been
awarded the first premium at thirty-seven different fairs. This
renowned and venerable quilt had been made more than seventy-five
years before. Its design is the familiar one known as the "Rose of
Sharon"; both the needlework on the design and the quilting are
exquisite, the stitches being all but invisible.

A striking instance of the influence of fairs upon quilt making is
shown in the number of beautiful quilts that have been made expressly
for display in exhibitions at state fairs in the Middle West. One such
collection, worthy of special notice, consists of seven quilts: three
of elaborate designs in patchwork and four made up of infinitesimal
pieces. Every stitch, both on the handsome tops and in the perfect
quilting, was wrought with careful patience by an old-time quilt
maker. The aggregate amount of stitching upon these seven quilts seems
enough to constitute the work of a lifetime. The material in these
quilts, except one which is of silk, is fine white muslin and the
reliable coloured calicoes of fifty years ago.

This extraordinary and beautiful collection is now being carefully
preserved by an appreciative daughter, who tells how it was possible
for her mother to accomplish this great task of needlework. The maker
was the wife of a busy and prosperous farmer of northern Indiana. As
on all farms in that region during the pioneer days, the home was the
centre of manufacture of those various articles necessary to the
welfare and comfort of the family. This indulgent farmer, realizing
that his wife's quilt making was work of a higher plane than routine
housekeeping, employed two stout daughters of a less fortunate
neighbour to relieve her of the heavier household duties. Such work
that required her direct supervision, as jelly making and fruit
canning, was done in the evenings. This allowed the ambitious little
woman ample time to pursue her art during the bright clear hours of
daylight.

Belonging to the collections of individuals are many old quilts which
possess more than ordinary interest, not so much on account of their
beauty or unusual patterns, but because of their connection with some
notable personage or historic event. The number of quilts which are
never used, but which are most carefully treasured by their owners on
account of some sentimental or historic association, is far greater
than generally supposed. While most of the old quilts so jealously
hidden in closet and linen chest have no extraordinary beauty, yet
from time to time there comes into notice one which possesses--in
addition to its interesting connection with the past--an exquisite
and mellow beauty which only tasteful design enhanced by age can give.

Quite often beautiful quilts are found in old trunks and bureaus,
which have gathered dust for untold years in attics and storerooms.
Opportunities to ransack old garrets are greatly appreciated by
collectors, as the uncertainty of what may be found gives zest to
their search. It was of such old treasure trove that the hangings were
found to make what Harriet Beecher Stowe in her novel, "The Minister's
Wooing," calls "the garret boudoir." This was a cozy little enclosure
made by hanging up old quilts, blankets, and coverlets so as to close
off one corner of the garret. Her description of an old quilt used in
this connection is especially interesting. It "was a bed quilt pieced
in tiny blocks, none of them bigger than a sixpence, containing, as
Mrs. Katy said, pieces of the gowns of all her grandmothers, aunts,
cousins, and female relatives for years back; and mated to it was one
of the blankets which had served Mrs. Scudder's uncle in his bivouac
at Valley Forge."

    [Illustration: THE "SNOWFLAKE" QUILT DESIGN

    Brings to one's imagination the sharp-pointed,
    glistening snowflakes against a background of blue sky.
    The quilting in fine stitches simulates the applied
    pattern, and the border suggests drifts of snow as one
    sees them after a winter's storm]

To view the real impromptu exhibitions of quilts--for which, by the
way, no admission fee is charged--one should drive along any
country road on a bright sunny day in early spring. It is at this time
that the household bedding is given its annual airing, and
consequently long lines hung with quilts are frequent and interesting
sights. During this periodical airing there becomes apparent a
seemingly close alliance between patchwork and nature, as upon the
soft green background of new leaves the beauty of the quilts is thrown
into greater prominence. All the colours of the rainbow can be seen in
the many varieties of design, for there is not a line that does not
bear a startling "Lone Star of Texas," "Rising Sun," or some equally
attractive pattern. Gentle breezes stir the quilts so that their
designs and colours gain in beauty as they slowly wave to and fro.
When the apple, cherry, and peach trees put on their new spring
dresses of delicate blossoms and stand in graceful groups in the
background, then the picture becomes even more charming.

This periodical airing spreads from neighbour to neighbour, and as one
sunny day follows another all the clothes lines become weighted with
burdens of brightest hues. Of course, there is no rivalry between
owners, or no unworthy desire to show off, yet, have you ever seen a
line full of quilts hung wrong side out? It has been suggested that at
an exhibition is the logical place to see quilts bloom. Yet, while it
is a rare chance to see quilts of all kinds and in all states of
preservation, yet it is much like massing our wild Sweet Williams,
Spring Beauties, and Violets in a crowded greenhouse. They bravely do
their best, but you can fairly see them gasping for the fresh, free
air of their woodland homes. A quilt hung on a clothes line in the
dooryard and idly flapping in the wind receives twice the appreciation
given one which is sedately folded across a wire with many others in a
crowded, jealous row.



CHAPTER VIII

THE QUILT'S PLACE IN AMERICAN HOMES


The dominant characteristics of quilt making are companionship and
concentrated interest. Both of these qualities, or--better
yet--virtues, must be in evidence in order to bring a quilt to
successful completion. The sociable, gossipy "quilting bee," where the
quilt is put together and quilted, has planted in every community in
which it is an institution the seeds of numberless lifelong
friendships. These friendships are being made over the quilting frames
to-day just as they were in the pioneer times when a "quilting" was
almost the only social diversion. Content with life, fixity of purpose,
development of individuality, all are brought forth in every woman who
plans and pieces a quilt. The reward of her work lies, not only in the
pleasure of doing, but also in the joy of possession--which can be
passed on even to future generations, for a well-made quilt is a
lasting treasure.

All this is quite apart from the strictly useful functions which
quilts perform so creditably in every home, for quilts are useful as
well as artistic. In summer nights they are the ideal emergency
covering for the cool hour before dawn, or after a rapid drop in
temperature, caused by a passing thunderstorm. But in the long chill
nights of winter, when the snow sifts in through the partly raised
window and all mankind snuggles deeper into the bed clothes, then all
quilts may be truly said to do their duty. And right well they do it,
too, as all those who love to linger within their cozy shelter on
frosty December mornings will testify.

    [Illustration: THE DOGWOOD QUILT

    Offers another choice in flower designs. The full-grown
    blossoms on the green background remind us of the beauty
    of trees and flowers in early spring]

As a promoter of good-will and neighbourly interest during the times
when our new country was being settled, and woman's social intercourse
was very limited, the "quilting bee" holds a worthy place close beside
the meeting-house. The feeling of coöperation so noticeable in all men
and growing communities, and which is really essential for their
success, is aptly described in the old "Annals of Tennessee,"
published by Dr. J. G. M. Ramsey in 1853 ("Dedicated to the surviving
pioneers of Tennessee"):

"To say of one he has no neighbours was sufficient, in those times of
mutual wants and mutual benefactions, to make the churl infamous and
execrable. A failure to ask a neighbour to a raising, clearing, a
chopping frolic, or his family to a quilting, was considered a high
indignity; such an one, too, as required to be explained or atoned for
at the next muster or county court. Each settler was not only willing
but desirous to contribute his share to the general comfort and public
improvement, and felt aggrieved and insulted if the opportunity to do
so were withheld. 'It is a poor dog that is not worth whistling for,'
replied the indignant neighbour who was allowed to remain at home, at
his own work, while a house raising was going on in the neighbourhood.
'What injury have I done that I am slighted so?'"

Quilts occupied a preëminent place in the rural social scheme, and the
quilting bees were one of the few social diversions afforded outside
of the church. Much drudgery was lightened by the joyful anticipation
of a neighbourhood quilting bee. The preparations for such an
important event were often quite elaborate. As a form of entertainment
quilting bees have stood the test of time, and from colonial days down
to the present have furnished much pleasure in country communities.

In a quaint little book published in 1872 by Mrs. P. G. Gibbons, under
the title, "Pennsylvania Dutch," is a detailed description of a
country quilting that Mrs. Gibbons attended. The exact date of this
social affair is not given, but judging from other closely related
incidents mentioned by the writer, it must have taken place about
1840, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The account reads as follows:

"Aunt Sally had her quilt up in her landlord's east room, for her own
was too small. However, at about eleven she called us over to dinner,
for people who have breakfasted at five or six have an appetite at
eleven.

"We found on the table beefsteaks, boiled pork, sweet potatoes,
'Kohl-slaw,' pickled cucumbers and red beets, apple butter and
preserved peaches, pumpkin and apple pie, sponge cake and coffee.
After dinner came our next neighbours, 'the maids,' Susy and Katy
Groff, who live in single blessedness and great neatness. They wore
pretty, clear-starched Mennonist caps, very plain. Katy is a
sweet-looking woman and, although she is more than sixty years old,
her forehead is almost unwrinkled, and her fine hair is still brown.
It was late when the farmer's wife came--three o'clock; for she had
been to Lancaster. She wore hoops and was of the 'world's people.'
These women all spoke 'Dutch,' for the maids, whose ancestors came
here probably one hundred and fifty years ago, do not speak English
with fluency yet.

"The first subject of conversation was the fall house-cleaning; and I
heard mention of 'die carpett hinaus an der fence' and 'die fenshter
und die porch,' and the exclamation, 'My goodness, es was schlimm.' I
quilted faster than Katy Groff, who showed me her hands, and said,
'You have not been corn husking, as I have.'

"So we quilted and rolled, talked and laughed, got one quilt done, and
put in another. The work was not fine; we laid it out by chalking
around a small plate. Aunt Sally's desire was rather to get her
quilting finished upon this great occasion than for us to put in a
quantity of fine needlework. About five o'clock we were called to
supper. I need not tell you all the particulars of this plentiful
meal; but the stewed chicken was tender and we had coffee again.

"Polly M's husband now came over the creek in the boat, to take her
home, and he warned her against the evening dampness. The rest of us
quilted a while by candles, and got the second quilt done at about
seven. At this quilting there was little gossip, and less scandal. I
displayed my new alpaca and my dyed merino and the Philadelphia bonnet
which exposes the back of my head to the wintry blast. Polly, for her
part, preferred a black silk sunbonnet; and so we parted, with mutual
invitations to visit."

The proverbial neatness of the ancestors of the Dutch colonists in
America was characteristic of their homes in the new land. This is
well illustrated in the following description of a Pennsylvania Dutch
farmer's home, similar to the one in which the quilting above
mentioned took place: "We keep one fire in winter. This is in the
kitchen which, with nice housekeepers, is the abode of neatness, with
its rag carpet and brightly polished stove. Adjoining the kitchen is a
state apartment, also rag-carpeted, and called 'the room.' Will you go
upstairs in a neat Dutch farmhouse? There are rag carpets again. Gay
quilts are on the best beds, where green and red calico, perhaps in
the form of a basket, are displayed on a white ground; or the beds
bear brilliant coverlets of red, white, and blue, as if to 'make the
rash gazer wipe his eyes.'"

There are many things to induce women to piece quilts. The desire for
a handsome bed furnishing, or the wish to make a gift of one to a dear
friend, have inspired some women to make quilts. With others, quilt
making is a recreation, a diversion, a means of occupying restless
fingers. However, the real inducement is love of the work; because the
desire to make a quilt exceeds all other desires. In such a case it is
worked on persistently, laid aside reluctantly, and taken up each time
with renewed interest and pleasure. It is this intense interest in the
work which produces the most beautiful quilts. On quilts that are made
because of the genuine interest in the work, the most painstaking
efforts are put forth; the passing of time is not considered; and the
belief of the majority of such quilt makers, though unconfessed,
doubtless, is the equivalent of the old Arab proverb that "Slowness
comes from God, but hurry from the devil."

All women who are lonely do not live in isolated farmhouses, prairie
shacks, or remote villages. In reality, there are more idle, listless
hands in the hearts of crowded bustling cities than in the quiet
country. City women, surrounded by many enticing distractions, are
turning more and more to patchwork as a fascinating yet nerve-soothing
occupation. Not only is there a sort of companionship between the
maker and the quilt, but there is also the great benefit derived from
having found a new interest in life, something worth while that can be
built up by one's own efforts.

An anecdote is told of a woman living in a quiet little New England
village who complained of her loneliness there, where the quilting
bees were the only saving features of an otherwise colourless
existence. She told the interested listener that in this
out-of-the-way hamlet she did not mind the monotony much because there
were plenty of "quiltings," adding that she had helped that winter at
more than twenty-five quilting bees; besides this, she had made a
quilt for herself and also helped on some of those of her immediate
neighbours.

    [Illustration: THE WILD ROSE

    That loves to grow in fragrant, tangled masses by the
    roadside was made to march in prim rows on this child's
    quilt]

American women rarely think of quilts as being made or used outside of
their own country. In reality quilts are made in almost every land on
the face of the earth. Years ago, when the first New England
missionaries were sent to the Hawaiian Islands, the native women were
taught to piece quilts, which they continue to do down to this day.
These Hawaiian women treasure their handiwork greatly, and some very
old and beautiful quilts are to be found among these islands. In
creating their patchwork they have wandered from the Puritanical
designs of their teachers, and have intermingled with the conventional
figures the gorgeous flowers that bloom beside their leaf-thatched,
vine-covered huts. To these women, also, patchwork fills a place. It
affords a means of expression for individuality and originality in the
same way that it does for the lonely New England women and for the
isolated mountaineers of Kentucky.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, immortalized by "Uncle Tom's Cabin," produced
other stories, not now so familiar to us as to our countrymen of the
Civil War period, which showed an intimate knowledge of the home life
of the American people as well as the vital questions of her day. In
her novel entitled the "Minister's Wooing," which ran first as a
serial in the _Atlantic Monthly_ in 1859, she describes a quilting
supposed to have been given about the year 1800. Here we can view at
close range a real old-fashioned quilting, and gain some insight into
its various incidents of sociability and gossip, typical of an early
New England seafaring village, as set forth in Mrs. Stowe's inimitable
style:

"By two o'clock a goodly company began to assemble. Mrs. Deacon
Twitchel arrived, soft, pillowy, and plaintive as ever, accompanied by
Cerinthy Ann, a comely damsel, tall and trim, with a bright black eye
and a most vigorous and determined style of movement. Good Mrs. Jones,
broad, expansive, and solid, having vegetated tranquilly on in the
cabbage garden of the virtues since three years ago, when she graced
our tea party, was now as well preserved as ever, and brought some
fresh butter, a tin pail of cream, and a loaf of cake made after a new
Philadelphia receipt. The tall, spare, angular figure of Mrs. Simeon
Brown alone was wanting; but she patronized Mrs. Scudder no more, and
tossed her head with a becoming pride when her name was mentioned.

"The quilt pattern was gloriously drawn in oak leaves, done in indigo;
and soon all the company, young and old, were passing busy fingers
over it, and conversation went on briskly.

"Madame de Frontignac, we must not forget to say, had entered with
hearty abandon into the spirit of the day. She had dressed the tall
china vases on the mantelpiece, and, departing from the usual rule of
an equal mixture of roses and asparagus bushes, had constructed two
quaint and graceful bouquets where garden flowers were mingled with
drooping grasses and trailing wild vines, forming a graceful
combination which excited the surprise of all who saw it.

"'It's the very first time in my life that I ever saw grass put into a
flower pot,' said Miss Prissy, 'but I must say it looks as handsome as
a picture. Mary, I must say,' she added, in an aside, 'I think that
Madame de Frontignac is the sweetest dressing and appearing creature I
ever saw; she don't dress up nor put on airs, but she seems to see in
a minute how things ought to go; and if it's only a bit of grass, or
leaf, or wild vine, that she puts in her hair, why, it seems to come
just right. I should like to make her a dress, for I know she would
understand my fit; do speak to her, Mary, in case she should want a
dress fitted here, to let me try it.'

"At the quilting Madame de Frontignac would have her seat, and soon
won the respect of the party by the dexterity with which she used her
needle; though, when it was whispered that she learned to quilt among
the nuns, some of the elderly ladies exhibited a slight uneasiness, as
being rather doubtful whether they might not be encouraging papistical
opinions by allowing her an equal share in the work of getting up
their minister's bed quilt; but the younger part of the company was
quite captivated by her foreign air and the pretty manner in which she
lisped her English; and Cerinthy Ann even went so far as to horrify
her mother by saying that she wished she'd been educated in a convent
herself, a declaration which arose less from native depravity than
from a certain vigorous disposition, which often shows itself in young
people, to shock the current opinions of their elders and betters. Of
course, the conversation took a general turn, somewhat in unison with
the spirit of the occasion; and whenever it flagged, some allusion to
a forthcoming wedding, or some sly hint at the future young Madame of
the parish was sufficient to awaken the dormant animation of the
company.

    [Illustration: MORNING GLORY

    It must be "early to bed and early to rise" for the
    child who would see the sweet morning glory in all its
    loveliness, as it must be found before all the dew is
    gone]

"Cerinthy Ann contrived to produce an agreeable electric shock by
declaring that for her part she never could see into it how any girl
could marry a minister; that she should as soon think of setting up
housekeeping in a meeting-house.

"'Oh, Cerinthy Ann!' exclaimed her mother, 'how can you go on so?'

"'It's a fact,' said the adventurous damsel; 'now other men let you
have some peace, but a minister's always round under your feet.'

"'So you think the less you see of a husband, the better?' said one of
the ladies.

"'Just my views!' said Cerinthy, giving a decided snip to her thread
with her scissors. 'I like the Nantucketers, that go off on four
years' voyages, and leave their wives a clear field. If ever I get
married, I'm going up to have one of those fellows.'

"It is to be remarked, in passing, that Miss Cerinthy Ann was at this
very time receiving surreptitious visits from a consumptive-looking,
conscientious young theological candidate, who came occasionally to
preach in the vicinity, and put up at the house of the deacon, her
father. This good young man, being violently attacked on the doctrine
of election by Miss Cerinthy, had been drawn on to illustrate it in a
most practical manner, to her comprehension; and it was the
consciousness of the weak and tottering state of the internal garrison
that added vigour to the young lady's tones. As Mary had been the
chosen confidante of the progress of this affair, she was quietly
amused at the demonstration.

"'You'd better take care, Cerinthy Ann,' said her mother, 'they say
"that those who sing before breakfast will cry before supper." Girls
talk about getting married,' she said, relapsing into a gentle
melancholy, 'without realizing its awful responsibilities.'

"'Oh, as to that,' said Cerinthy, 'I've been practising on my pudding
now these six years, and I shouldn't be afraid to throw one up chimney
with any girl.'

"This speech was founded on a tradition, current in those times, that
no young lady was fit to be married till she could construct a boiled
Indian pudding of such consistency that it could be thrown up a
chimney and come down on the ground outside without breaking; and the
consequence of Cerinthy Ann's sally was a general laugh.

"'Girls ain't what they used to be in my day,' sententiously remarked
an elderly lady. 'I remember my mother told me when she was thirteen
she could knit a long cotton stocking in a day.'

"'I haven't much faith in these stories of old times, have you,
girls?' said Cerinthy, appealing to the younger members at the frame.

"'At any rate,' said Mrs. Twitchel, 'our minister's wife will be a
pattern; I don't know anybody that goes beyond her either in spinning
or fine stitching.'

"Mary sat as placid and disengaged as the new moon, and listened to
the chatter of old and young with the easy quietness of a young heart
that has early outlived life and looks on everything in the world from
some gentle, restful eminence far on toward a better home. She smiled
at everybody's word, had a quick eye for everybody's wants, and was
ready with thimble, scissors, or thread, whenever any one needed them;
but once, when there was a pause in the conversation, she and Mrs.
Marvyn were both discovered to have stolen away. They were seated on
the bed in Mary's little room, with their arms around each other,
communing in low and gentle tones.

"'Mary, my dear child,' said her friend, 'this event is very pleasant
to me, because it places you permanently near me. I did not know but
eventually this sweet face might lead to my losing you who are in some
respects the dearest friend I have.'

"'You might be sure,' said Mary, 'I never would have married, except
that my mother's happiness and the happiness of so good a friend
seemed to depend on it. When we renounce self in anything we have
reason to hope for God's blessing; and so I feel assured of a peaceful
life in the course I have taken. You will always be as a mother to
me,' she added, laying her head on her friend's shoulder.

"'Yes,' said Mrs. Marvyn; 'and I must not let myself think a moment
how dear it might have been to have you more my own. If you feel
really, truly happy, if you can enter on this life without any
misgivings----'

"'I can,' said Mary firmly.

"At this instant, very strangely, the string which confined a wreath
of seashells around her glass, having been long undermined by moths,
suddenly broke and fell down, scattering the shells upon the floor.

    [Illustration: "KEEPSAKE QUILT"

    The sunbonnet lassies suggest an outing or a call from
    playmates on the morrow. These lassies may be dressed in
    bits of the gowns of the little maid, and the quilt thus
    become a "keepsake quilt"]

"Both women started, for the string of shells had been placed there
by James; and though neither was superstitious, this was one of those
odd coincidences that make hearts throb.

"'Dear boy!' said Mary, gathering the shells up tenderly; 'wherever he
is, I shall never cease to love him. It makes me feel sad to see this
come down; but it is only an accident; nothing of him will ever fall
out of my heart.'

"Mrs. Marvyn clasped Mary closer to her, with tears in her eyes.

"'I'll tell you what, Mary, it must have been the moths did that,'
said Miss Prissy, who had been standing, unobserved, at the door for a
moment back; 'moths will eat away strings just so. Last week Miss
Vernon's great family picture fell down because the moths eat through
the cord; people ought to use twine or cotton string always. But I
came to tell you that supper is all set, and the doctor out of his
study, and all the people are wondering where you are.'

"Mary and Mrs. Marvyn gave a hasty glance at themselves in the glass,
to be assured of their good keeping, and went into the great kitchen,
where a long table stood exhibiting all that plentitude of provision
which the immortal description of Washington Irving has saved us the
trouble of recapitulating in detail.

"The husbands, brothers, and lovers had come in, and the scene was
redolent of gayety. When Mary made her appearance, there was a
moment's pause, till she was conducted to the side of the doctor;
when, raising his hand, he invoked a grace upon the loaded board.

"Unrestrained gayeties followed. Groups of young men and maidens
chatted together, and all the gallantries of the times were enacted.
Serious matrons commented on the cake, and told each other high and
particular secrets in the culinary art which they drew from remote
family archives. One might have learned in that instructive assembly
how best to keep moths out of blankets, how to make fritters of Indian
corn undistinguishable from oysters, how to bring up babies by hand,
how to mend a cracked teapot, how to take out grease from a brocade,
how to reconcile absolute decrees with free will, how to make five
yards of cloth answer the purpose of six, and how to put down the
Democratic party.

"Miss Prissy was in her glory; every bow of her best cap was alive
with excitement, and she presented to the eyes of the astonished
Newport gentry an animated receipt book. Some of the information she
communicated, indeed, was so valuable and important that she could not
trust the air with it, but whispered the most important portions in a
confidential tone. Among the crowd, Cerinthy Ann's theological admirer
was observed in deeply reflective attitude; and that high-spirited
young lady added further to his convictions of the total depravity of
the species by vexing and discomposing him in those thousand ways in
which a lively, ill-conditioned young woman will put to rout a
serious, well-disposed young man, comforting herself with the
reflection that by and by she would repent of all her sins in a lump
together.

"Vain, transitory splendours! Even this evening, so glorious, so heart
cheering, so fruitful in instruction and amusement, could not last
forever. Gradually the company broke up; the matrons mounted soberly
on horseback behind their spouses, and Cerinthy consoled her clerical
friend by giving him an opportunity to read her a lecture on the way
home, if he found the courage to do so.

"Mr. and Mrs. Marvyn and Candace wound their way soberly homeward;
the doctor returned to his study for nightly devotions; and before
long sleep settled down on the brown cottage.

"'I'll tell you what, Cato,' said Candace, before composing herself to
sleep, 'I can't feel it in my bones dat dis yer weddin's gwine to come
off yit.'"



LIST OF QUILT NAMES

ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY


    Air Castle
    Alabama Beauty
    Album
    All Tangled Up
    Alpine Rose
    American Log Patch
    Apple Hexagon
    Arabic Lattice
    Arkansas Traveller
    Art Square
    Ashland Rose
    Aunt Eliza's Star Point
    Aunt Sukey's Patch
    Autograph Quilt


    Bachelor's Puzzle
    Barrister's Blocks
    Base Ball
    Basket of Lilies
    Basket Quilt
    Bat's Wing
    Bear's Foot
    Bear's Paws
    Bedtime
    Beggar's Blocks
    Big Dipper
    Bird's Nest
    Blackford's Beauty
    Blazing Star
    Blind Man's Fancy
    Block Album
    Bluebird
    Boston Puzzle
    Bounding Betty
    Bouquet
    Box Blocks
    Boxed I's
    Boy's Nonsense
    Brick Pile
    Brickwork Quilt
    Broken Dish
    Brown-tailed Moth
    Brunswick Star
    Bunnies
    Bunnies and Baskets
    Butterflies


    Cactus Blossom
    Cake Stand
    California Oak Leaf
    California Rose
    California Star
    Capital I
    Carolina Lily
    Carpenter's Rule
    Carpenter's Square
    Cats and Mice
    Centennial
    Charm
    Charter Oak
    Cherry Basket
    Chicago Star
    Children's Delight
    Chimney Swallows
    Christmas Tree
    Chrysanthemums
    Churn Dash
    Circle Within Circle
    Circuit Rider
    Cleveland Lilies
    Cluster of Stars
    Coarse Woven Patch
    Cockscomb
    Cog Wheel
    Columbian Puzzle
    Columbia Star
    Combination Star
    Compass
    Complex Rose
    Confederate Rose
    Continental
    Corn and Beans
    Cottage Tulip
    Country Farm
    Coxey's Camp
    Crazy Ann
    Crazy Quilt
    Crib Quilt
    Cross, The
    Cross and Crown
    Crosses and Losses
    Crosses and Stars
    Crossed Canoes
    Cross Roads to Texas
    Cross Within Cross
    Crow's Foot
    Cube Lattice
    Cube Work
    Cypress Leaf


    Daffodils and Butterflies
    Daisies
    Democrat Rose
    Devil's Claws
    Devil's Puzzle
    Diagonal Log Chain
    Diamond, The
    Diamond Cube
    Diamond Design
    Diamonds
    Diamond Star
    Disk, The
    Dogwood
    Domino
    Domino and Square
    Double Irish Chain
    Double Peony
    Double Squares
    Double Wrench
    Double X, No. 1
    Double X, No. 2
    Double X, No. 3
    Double X, No. 4
    Double Z
    Dove in the Window
    Dutchman's Puzzle
    Dutch Rose
    Drunkard's Patchwork
    Drunkard's Path
    Ducks and Ducklings


    Ecclesiastical
    Economy
    Eight Hands Around
    Eight-point Design
    Eight-pointed Star
    Enigma
    Evening Star
    Everybody's Favourite


    Fan
    Fan and Rainbow
    Fan Patch
    Fanny's Fan
    Fantastic Patch
    Feather Star
    Ferris Wheel
    Field Daisies
    Five-pointed Star
    Five Stripes
    Fleur-de-Lis
    Flower Basket
    Flower Pot
    Flutter Wheel
    Flying Bat
    Flying Star
    Fool's Puzzle
    Fool's Square
    Forbidden Fruit Tree
    Forest Pattern
    Four E's
    Four Frogs Quilt
    Four Little Birds
    Four Points
    Four Stars Patch
    Four X Star
    French Basket
    Friendship Quilt
    Fruit Basket


    Garden of Eden
    Garfield's Monument
    Gentleman's Fancy
    Georgetown Circle
    Girl's Joy
    Globe, The
    Golden Gates
    Goose in the Pond
    Goose Tracks
    Gourd Vine
    Grandmother's Choice
    Grandmother's Dream
    Grandmother's Own
    Grape Basket
    Grapes and Vines
    Grecian Design
    Greek Cross
    Greek Square


    Hairpin Catcher
    Hand, The
    Hands All Around
    Handy Andy
    Harrison Rose
    Harvest Rose
    Hearts and Gizzards
    Hen and Chickens
    Hexagonal
    Hickory Leaf
    Hobson's Kiss
    Home Treasure
    Honeycomb
    Honeycomb Patch
    Hour Glass
    House That Jack Built


    Ice Cream Bowl
    Imperial Tea
    Indiana Wreath
    Indian Hatchet
    Indian Plumes
    Interlaced Blocks
    Iris
    Irish Puzzle


    Jack's House
    Jacob's Ladder
    Job's Tears
    Johnny Around the Corner
    Joining Star
    Jonquils
    Joseph's Coat
    Joseph's Necktie


    Kansas Troubles
    King's Crown
    King's Crows


    Ladies' Beautiful Star
    Ladies' Delight
    Ladies' Wreath
    Lady Fingers
    Lady of the Lake
    Leap Frog
    Letter H
    Letter X
    Lily of the Valley
    Lily Quilt Pattern
    Lincoln's Platform
    Linton
    Little Beech Tree
    Little Red House, The
    Live Oak Tree
    Lobster, The
    Log Cabin
    Log Patch
    London Roads
    Love Rose
    Lover's Links


    Magic Circle
    Maltese Cross, No. 1
    Maltese Cross, No. 2
    Maple Leaf
    Mary's Garden
    May Berry Leaf
    Mayflower, The
    Memory Blocks
    Memory Circle
    Mexican Rose
    Missouri Beauty
    Mollie's Choice
    Moon and Stars
    Morning Glory
    Morning Glory Wreath
    Morning Star
    Mosaic (More than 25)
    Mother's Fancy
    Mrs. Cleveland's Choice
    Mrs. Morgan's Choice


    Needle Book
    Necktie
    New Album
    New Four Patch
    Nine Patch
    New Star
    No Name Quilt
    None Such
    Novel Star


    Oak Leaf and Acorns
    Oak Leaf and Tulip
    Ocean Waves
    Octagon
    Octagon File
    Odd Fellows' Chain
    Odd Patchwork
    Odd Pattern, An
    Odds and Ends
    Odd Star
    Ohio Beauty
    Oklahoma Boomer
    Old Homestead, The
    Old Maid's Puzzle
    Old Patchwork, An
    Old Scrap Patchwork
    Old Bachelor's Puzzle
    Old Tippecanoe
    Olive Branch
    Orange Peel


    Paving Blocks
    Pansies and Butterflies
    Peacocks and Flowers
    Peony Block
    Persian Palm Lily
    Philadelphia Beauty
    Philadelphia Pavement
    Philippines, The
    Pickle Dish
    Pilgrim's Pride
    Pincushion
    Pincushion and Burr
    Pineapple Patterns (3 in number)
    Pine Tree
    Pinwheel Square
    Poinsettia
    Poppy
    Prairie Rose
    Premium Star
    President's Quilt
    Princess Feather
    Priscilla, The
    Pullman Puzzle
    Puss-in-the-Corner
    Puzzle File
    Pyrotechnics


    Quartette, The


    Radical Rose
    Railroad, The
    Rainbow
    Red Cross
    Ribbon Squares
    Ribbon Star
    Right and Left
    Rising Sun
    Road to California
    Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
    Rockingham's Beauty
    Rocky Glen
    Rocky Road to California
    Rocky Road to Kansas
    Rolling Pinwheel
    Rolling Star
    Rolling Stone
    Roman Cross
    Roman Stripe
    Rose
    Rose Album
    Rose and Feather
    Rosebud and Leaves
    Rose of Dixie
    Rose of LeMoine
    Rose of St. Louis
    Rose of the Carolinas
    Rose of Sharon
    Rose Sprig
    Royal, The
    Royal Japanese Vase


    Sarah's Favourite
    Sashed Album
    Sashed Star
    Sawtooth Patchwork
    Scissor's Chain
    Seven Stars
    Shelf Chain
    Shield
    Shoo Fly
    Shooting Star
    Simple Design
    Single Sunflowers
    Sister's Choice
    Snail's Trail, The
    Snowball
    Snowflake
    Solomon's Temple
    Solomon's Crown
    Spider's Den
    Spider's Web
    Spools
    Square and a Half
    Square and Swallow
    Square and Triangle
    Square Log Cabin
    Squares and Stars
    Squares and Stripes
    Star, A
    Star and Chains
    Star and Cross
    Star and Cubes
    Star and Squares
    Star of Bethlehem
    Star of Many Points
    Star of Texas
    Star of the East
    Star Lane
    Star Puzzle
    Star-Spangled Banner
    Stars upon Stars
    State House Steps
    Steps to the Altar
    St. Louis Star
    Stone Wall
    Storm at Sea
    Strawberry
    Stripe Squares
    Sugar Loaf
    Sunbonnet Lassies
    Sunburst
    Sunflowers
    Sunshine
    Swarm of Bees
    Sweet Gum Leaf
    Swinging Corners
    Swing in the Centre


    Tangled Garter
    Tassel Plant
    Tea Leaf
    Temperance Tree
    Texas Flower
    Texas Tears
    Three-flowered Sunflower
    Tick-Tack-Toe
    Tile Patchwork
    Toad in the Puddle
    Tree of Paradise
    Triangular Triangle
    Triangle Puzzle
    True Lover's Knot
    Tufted Cherry
    Tulip Blocks
    Tulip in Vase
    Tulip Lady Finger
    Tulip Tree Leaves
    Tumbler, The
    Twin Sisters
    Twinkling Star
    Twist and Turn
    Twist Patchwork
    Two Doves, The


    Union
    Union Calico Quilt
    Union Star
    Unknown Star


    Valentine Quilt
    Variegated Diamonds
    Variegated Hexagons
    Venetian Design
    Vestibule
    Vice-President's Quilt
    Village Church
    Virginia Gentleman


    Washington's Puzzle
    Washington's Plumes
    Washington's Sidewalk
    Watered Ribbon
    Way of the World
    Wedding Knot
    Western Star
    W. C. T. Union
    Wheel, The
    Wheel and Star
    Wheel of Fortune
    Whig Pattern
    Whig Rose
    White Day Lily
    Widower's Choice
    Wild Goose Chase
    Wild Rose
    Wind-blown Tulips
    Winding Walk
    Wind Mill
    Wonder of the World
    Workbox
    World's Fair, The
    World's Fair Blocks
    World's Fair Puzzle
    Wreath of Roses


    X quisite, The


    Yankee Puzzle



LIST OF REFERENCES


    THE CAROLINA MOUNTAINS. _Margaret M. Morley._

    THE MINISTER'S WOOING. _Harriet Beecher Stowe._

    AUNT JANE IN KENTUCKY. _Hall._

    COLONIAL DAYS AND WAYS. _Helen Evesten Smith._

    THE STORY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK. _Charles Burr Todd,
    1888._

    THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF FLATBUSH. _Gertrude Lefferts
    Vanderbilt, 1882._

    SOCIAL HISTORY OF ANCIENT IRELAND. _P. W. Joyce._

    CHATS ON OLD LACE AND NEEDLEWORK. _Mrs. Lowes._

    THE CRUSADES. _Archer and Kingsford._

    THE LURE OF THE ANTIQUE. _Walter A. Dyer._

    ART IN NEEDLEWORK. _Lewis F. Day and Mary Buckle._

    HOME LIFE IN COLONIAL DAYS. _Alice Morse Earle._

    CUSTOMS AND FASHIONS IN OLD NEW ENGLAND. _Alice Morse
    Earle._

    PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH. _Mrs. P. E. Gibbon._

    ON EDUCATION. _John Locke, 1632-1704._

    OLD EMBROIDERIES. _Alan S. Cole in Home Needlework
    Magazine, 1900-1901._

    THE ANNALS OF TENNESSEE. _J. G. M. Ramsey, A. M., M. D.,
    1853._

    WOMAN'S HANDIWORK IN MODERN HOMES. _Constance Cary
    Harrison, 1881._

    PEASANT ART IN SWEDEN, IRELAND, AND LAPLAND. _Edited by
    Charles Holmes._

    FIRST STEPS IN COLLECTING. _Grace M. Vallois._

    NEEDLEWORK. _Elizabeth Glaister._

    EMBROIDERY AND TAPESTRY WEAVING. _Mrs. A. H. Christie._

    THE ART OF NEEDLEWORK. _Edited by Countess Wilton._

    ENGLISH SECULAR EMBROIDERY. _M. Jourdain._

    THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS. _Sir. J. Gardner Wilkinson,
    D. C. L., F. R. S._

    DE BELLO JUDAICO. _Flavius Josephus._

    TURKEY OF THE OTTOMAN. _L. M. Garnett._

    HISTOIRE DE L'ART DANS L'ANTIQUITÉ. _Perrot and
    Chipiex._

    ARTS AND CRAFTS IN THE MIDDLE AGES. _Julia de Wolf
    Addison._

    SACO VALLEY FAMILIES. _Ridlon._



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's Note

Minor punctuation errors have been corrected without note.

This book contains some archaic spelling and dialect; all instances
have been kept as printed.

Hyphenation has been made consistent as follows:

    Page vii--Bed-time amended to Bedtime
    Page 125--Puss in the Corner amended to Puss-in-the-Corner
    Page 144--oldtime amended to old-time

The following amendments have been made:

    Page 5--Gerdin amended to Gardner--"Sir J. Gardner
    Wilkinson, in his history ..."

    Page 7--Judaics amended to Judaico--"In "De Bello Judaico,"
    by Flavius Josephus, ..."

    Page 8--Historic amended to Histoire--"... in their "Histoire
    de l'Art dans l'Antiquité", publish ..."

    Page 18--Phoenecians amended to Phoenicians--"... in Biblical
    times by the Hebrews and Phoenicians."

    Page 95--Eor amended to For--"For those who enjoy making
    pieced quilts ..."

    Page 131--amarylis amended to amaryllis--"... and even
    scarlet amaryllis pale beside the glowing colours ..."

    Page 143--excell amended to excel--"... the desire to
    excel in the art of quilt making."

    Page 174--repeated instance of St. Louis Star deleted.

    Page 177--MOUNTAINA amended to MOUNTAINS--"THE CAROLINA
    MOUNTAINS."

    Page 177--M. amended to F., and AND amended to IN--"ART
    IN NEEDLEWORK. _Lewis F. Day and Mary Buckle._"

    Page 177--Alam amended to Alan--"_Alan S. Cole in ..._"

    Page 178--S. C. L. amended to D. C. L.--"_Sir J. Gardner
    Wilkinson, D. C. L., F. R. S._"

    Page 178--JUDAICS amended to JUDAICO--"DE BELLO JUDAICO."

    Page 178--DAMS amended to DANS--"HISTOIRE DE L'ART DANS
    L'ANTIQUITÉ."

The following amendments have been made in the list of quilt names at
the end of the text, for consistency with the main text:

    Aunt Eliza's Star Quilt amended to Aunt Eliza's Star Point (p. 169)
    Baseball amended to Base Ball (p. 169)
    Blindman's Fancy amended to Blind Man's Fancy (p. 169)
    Cogwheels amended to Cog Wheel (p. 170)
    Double Square amended to Double Squares (p. 171)
    Duck and Ducklings amended to Ducks and Ducklings (p. 171)
    Fleur de Lis amended to Fleur-de-Lis (p. 171)
    French Baskets amended to French Basket (p. 171)
    Hair Pin Catcher amended to Hairpin Catcher (p. 172)
    Indian Plums amended to Indian Plumes (p. 172)
    Needlebook amended to Needle Book (p. 173)
    Road to Oklahoma amended to Road to California (p. 174)
    Washington Puzzle amended to Washington's Puzzle (p. 176)
    Windmill amended to Wind Mill (p. 176)
    Xquisite, The amended to X quisite, The (p. 176)

Please note that not all of the quilt patterns mentioned in the main
text are included in the list.

The single oe ligature (in the word Phoenicians) has not been retained
in this version.

Illustrations have been moved slightly where necessary so that they
were not in the middle of a paragraph. The frontispiece illustration
has been moved to follow the title page.





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