QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Morris Earthly Paradise

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lowell's American Textile History Museum Has Closed

Lowell's American Textile History Museum Has Closed for financial reasons. The Museum was founded in 1960. For about sixty years they have been a primary source for ----well---American Textile History, particularly about the New England mills that printed so much of the fabric that found its way into quilts.

Read the sad news here: (It's not breaking news---they decided in June.)

A few things we will miss:

Homefront and Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War

See a great day at this blog post:


Mill books

I would guess they had more dated sample books than any library---at least
any library that was free and open to the public by appointment.
Other swatch libraries might charge you $500 to access them.

Fabric diaries

Photographs and documents about the American mills.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Morris Prints Quilt Show

AngelhouseQuilts on Instagram
Swoon pattern in Best of Morris/The Morris Jewels

A show of patchwork using the William Morris prints I've 
been doing with Moda over the past few years:

Bobbi Finley
A Four Patch Strip Quilt

Sewcharmed - Lucy Boston block

Robyn's Lucy Boston with Morris Modernized CFA Voysey fabric

Velina's version of Starry-Eyed. She's just laid her blocks out on the bed.

Veronica LovingtoSew--strips and squares

Miss Marker Quilts

Same border as Bobbi above

Dorte Rasmussen

Maureen G. from the Cotton On Quilters, Wanganui, New Zealand stitched the guild's BOM (my Threads of Memory stars) in William Morris prints.

If you are an Instagram poster try these tags to show off your stuff:

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Morris Hexagon 16: Hammersmith Terrace

Morris Hexagon 16: Hammersmith Terrace by Becky Brown

Hammersmith Terrace
Just two templates and only 19 pieces.

Hammersmith Terrace by Ilyse Moore

I named this week's hexie Hammersmith Terrace for the Georgian row house neighborhood which was the Morris family's London home after 1878.

They named their city house Kelmscott House after their country manor house. Both overlook the Thames. Their town home at 8 Hammersmith Terrace is now a private residence but the William Morris Society is located in the Kelmscott House Museum nearby in the old coach house at 26 Upper Mall.

In an 1890 portrait of "The Art Socialists of London," 
The Cosmopolitan Magazine described the house:
"Mr. Morris lives during the greater part of the year at Hammersmith, a suburb lying six or seven miles southwest of London. The Thames, which takes a southerly bend at Chelsea, flows northward again at Hammersmith, nestles on this northern curve before the river, again descending, flows by Chiswick. His home, called Kelmscott House, a plain, wide brick structure, evidently of no very recent date, overlooks the river, from which it is separated only by the road and bank. In the rear the house opens upon a large garden pleasantly shaded with trees."
The pattern of two pieces, a triangle and a hexagon, is one of the few hexagon blocks you see in the 19th century.

A silk table cover, about 1885

Red setting triangles about 1900

The recently revealed Cosmati floor at Westminster Cathedral

Hammersmith Terrace by Bettina Havig

The pattern was published at least twice in the 1930s. 
It's BlockBase #262.
Brilliant Star from Nancy Page

The syndicated Nancy Page column,

Or Pointing Star
The Kansas City Star, 1936

Red triangles, about 1950

Pattern for an 8" Hexagon
(4" sides)

To Print:
  • Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11". 
  • Click on the image above. 
  • Right click on it and save it to your file. 
  • Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". The hexagon should measure 4" on the sides.
  • Adjust the printed page size if necessary.
  • Add seams when you cut the fabric.
You get a similar effect with a slightly different geometry
of three pieces below. The center is of diamonds rather than a hexagon and triangles.
Double the triangle to get the diamond template.

 BlockBase #263.3, the Hexagon Star from the Kansas City Star in 1940.

Hexagon Star by Mrs. H.D. Moore, Stevens County, 
Minnesota, last quarter 19th century.
 BlockBase #263, blocks set in a ring of long hexagons.

One More Inspiration

Fern's Through the Woods top, a variety of hexagonal blocks printed from Ink Lingo, a computer program with hundreds of hexagons.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

American Made:Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum

The City Sewers took a road trip to Arkansas the other day to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville. We went to hear Linda Eaton, Winterthur's Textile Curator, give a talk about quilts and folk art. More about that later in another post.

Elsey A. Halstead, 1848
Collection of the American Folk Art Museum

The special exhibit up now is American Made: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum

There were more than a dozen quilts among the 100+ objects from the American Folk Art Museum's collection in New York.
Spectacular quilts.
I had never seen these quilt in the cloth, and they allowed photos so I took a lot of detail shots

They showed their Baltimore Album Quilt top with the U.S.
Capitol in the center.

A Mariner's Compass by Sarah Maartz

Pictorial applique top dated 1853.

The center
A patriotic quilt from the Spanish-American War years.

Embroidered Picture

The other 100+ objects were truly terrific pieces of American art too.

Decoupage mourning shrine to Washington

Maria Cadman Hubbard's Pieties Quilt, 1848

Map of the United States, dated 1886.

You might want to put off your trip to the last week of the show because Judy Chicago, artist and educator, is speaking Friday, September 16, 7 to 8:30 pm.

Centennial---G Knappenberger---1876

Whig Rose Quilt
Abigail Hill 1857