Monday, July 15, 2019

Panel #13: Bouquet with Lily of the Valley

Panel #13 has a lily of the valley over on the left in an
oval (almost round) frame of oak leaves and acorns.

Atlanta History Center quilt
Most of our photos do not show the corners...

which include two red blossoms.

The Charleston Museum has a set of album blocks dated 1853 to 1855,
among them three with the central bouquet trimmed. Two are signed  Boyd. First
initials I or J, middle A or B. 

Collection of the Spartanburg County (SC) Regional Museum

Eight complete panels pieced into a simple composition. The quilting was said to have been done by slaves, a work-sharing story we often find.

Auction Newbury, UK
Four panels, two each of #13 and #15.

All that piecing and those heart appliques certainly look English. In the center
"1804 Mary Anne Radley"
As this date predates the panels we are guessing Mary Anne incorporated
an earlier piece of needlework into her patchwork.

A crib quilt top or just a fragment, top sold out of Vermont. Two
of the lily of the valley panels at the bottom.

Top from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum Collection
Panel 13 is right in the center with Panel 6 in the inner corners.

Notice how cleverly she pieced that border.

Each one of the 80 light triangles is cut from a panel corner and pieced into the border.
Someone had a lot of cabbage: Leftover corners from 20 panels.
Unfortunately, the triangle edges are all on the bias so the top is a little out of square.

Philoclea Casey Eve's quilt at the Atlanta History Center has eleven
copies of panel #13 in the outer border. Five are just the central bouquet;
six include the oak and acorn frame.

Someone used a trimmed bouquet for an album block on the left in this quilt from the Townsend-Pope family at the Edisto Island Museum. The oak leaf circle frames another chintz block in the center lower area.
The frame

We'd guess many chintz applique album blocks were cut from panel fabric but we can't always see the details in photos. Sharon Pinka arranged to have this quilt at AQSG in 2103 when she gave her paper "Lowcountry Chintz: The Townsend/Pope Quilt Legacy," Uncoverings 2013.

Nearly every quilt we have with Panel #13 that  has a reliable information on the source is from the Carolinas.
Quilt attributed to Ann Adeline Orr Parks of Charlotte, North Carolina

This one from a North Carolina family uses a dozen of panel 13 with 28 corners (leftovers from 7 panels) and 20 oak and acorn arcs from the frame (leftovers from 5 panels).

The larger center panel is #2
See more about the Parks quilts here:

Collection: Glorian Sipman
Sold from the Columbia, South Carolina estate of 
Jennie Clarkson Dreher Hazlehurst (1916-2006).
Panel 2 in the center with three supporting designs,
9, 12 and 13

From a Skinner's Auction
We've shown this quilt several times as it has five different panels in it
including a couple of #13 in the outer border at the bottom with #2 in the center.

The seamstress also made interesting use of panel corners.
Those triangular edge pieces look appliqued rather than pieced.

What Can We Learn from Panel #13?

The two quilts above indicate that Panel #13 is about one-fourth the size of the center panel #2. They are so close in coloring and style we wonder if the smaller panels were not sold as a suite to use with the larger. 
Panel 13 on the back, larger Panel 2
on the seat---a virtual chair

When you consider that the panels were used as furniture coverings you wonder if they were not designed for a two-part chair like the Photoshopped furniture above.

And all those corners we've been counting: Could they have been left overs from the upholstery and slip cover business? 
Gibson's Upholstery business from an 18th-century
trade card in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum

British Museum collection, 18th century
"Issac Astley, London,
Maketh and Selleth all sorts of Standing-Beds, Quilts..."
also chairs.

Bedcovers and upholstery, a good combination.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A Basted Panel Quilt

Basted chintz quilt piece
Historic Columbia Foundation.

We went to Columbia, South Carolina to see some quilts at the
Historic Columbia Foundation.

We were particularly interested in this unfinished piece in their collection.

The floral arrangement in the center is cut from Panel #2

Complete panel in the collection of the Winterthur Museum

The floral sits in a woven basket and more roses have been added from another chintz to give the bouquet a naturalistic look with buds sprouting along the edge.

Bouquets cut from that same rose chintz frame the

I had to photostitch two pictures together to give you an overall view
of the rectangular piece, which seems to have been meant for the center
of a characteristic Carolina chintz spread.

It's all nicely basted in place. All you'd have to do
is trim away the background and applique the roses.

The woven basket even has the edges turned under for you.

Our hypothesis is that the piece was designed, cut and basted by a professional seamstress who sold kits to needleworkers who would then finish the applique fairly quickly and add some borders for a gorgeous spread.

Two-person collaboration was probably quite common in 19th-century applique, for example in the Baltimore Album blocks of the 1840s' and '50s.

City Springs basted block
Collection of the Maryland Historical Society

And probably many other styles of applique.

We guess the applique stitcher decided not to go ahead with the next step in the process of Broderie Perse or cut-out chintz. The background behind the roses had to be trimmed closer.

Trimming the floral background away in the panel would be no problem; the background was white. But trimming the background in the rose details was definitely a problem.

The background there was what was called a fancy machine
ground by the printers. You had to trim extremely close to eliminate
the dot pattern.

Which can be done. 
That grape tendril in a panel #5 quilt has been trimmed minutely.

Maybe the purchaser just never got around to trimming.
Whatever the reason we're grateful to find a basted center,
giving us a clue to how these bedcovers were made.

The picture files do not contain many panel bouquets in baskets.
But about a hundred miles away the Spartanburg County History Museum
has a very similar composition in their collection.

This one is a finished quilt with the same Panel #2
growing from a woven, flat basket. 
Additional flowers have been added around the circular panel.

Adding to the idea that these were basted and sold as kits of some kind

What Have We Learned from this Piece?

The basted center adds much to our hypothesis that many chintz panel quilts in the South were designed, cut and basted by professional seamstresses. Some hobbyists finished the applique and had them quilted, but others bought the finished bedcovers from those same workshops. We still are looking for evidence of these invisible seamstresses---the designers who supervised and the women who stitched.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Panel #5 Part 4: Style

Collector Electra Havemeyer Webb in the 1950s at her Shelburne Museum with two chintz quilts--- one of the Townsend/Pope albums from South Carolina on the left and a medallion with an impressive border on the right.

We've been posting about the many quilts made with Panel #5, the Fruit Basket Panel. We count over 50 in the U.S. and the U.K and Canada.

In the last post we contrasted two distinctive styles using the same fruit panel---chintz applique medallion on the left, British pieced frame quilt on the right. But many bedcovers do not fit neatly into that American/British dichotomy.

Dealer Laura Fisher had this quilt in her inventory years ago: 
Panel #5 in the center floating in a field of 
patchwork diamonds and hexagons, long hexagons.

From an online auction, sold out of Vermont
but made where? 
We might guess England, the hexagons, the field of patchwork framing the center.

Except one cannot just say Hexagons: Britain.
The hexagon quilt below is reliably said to have originated in 
South Carolina, according to the granddaughter who donated the quilt in 1942.

Collection of the Charleston Museum
Attributed to Catherine Barnwell Barnwell of Beaufort, SC (1809-1886)
See a post on this quilt.

Initials A.E.W. crosstitched in the panel

Uncut panel in the center of pieced and appliqued frames in
the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

This quilt, thought to be British, was given by American collector
Peggy Westerfield to honor Curator Peter Floud.

Michigan State University Collection

Above: Another with complex borders around Panel #5, donated with
information that the family lived in Pearlington, Mississippi.

Collection of the DAR Museum, date inscribed 1852.
Descended in the Gillam family from Greenville, South Carolina.

Just the basics, one panel, a lot of chintz stripes cut to frame, in this late example.

The two below with sawtooth triangle borders are apparently American

Crib Quilt 40" Square
Found in York County, Pennsylvania.

Feathered Saw Tooth Star from the Triplett's Quilt & Textile Collections

Kay Triplett points out the use of the fruit panel's scalloped frame and corner scraps
to create cornucopias.
Detail of the scalloped frame

A few scallops under the basket plus a butterfly and a few leaves
added at the top. Clever use of small scraps.

What Have We Learned From Panel #5?

Collection of the Atlanta History Center

We've shown many of the bedcovers featuring the fruit basket panel.
  • Panel #5 is the most commonly used panel.
  • Quilts with reliable attributions come from both the coastal United States and Great Britain.
  • We have many more pictures of bedcovers from the southern U.S. than the north, with two regional centers, Baltimore and the Carolinas.

Quilt from the MacMillan family
Collection of the North Carolina Museum of History

  • Style includes formula settings indicating workshop production as well as unique formats indicating seamstresses working on their own designs.
  • A stripe with fruit was likely printed as a companion fabric in a suite.
  • We have three dated examples---all American: 1832, 1839 and 1852: a 20-year span indicating the general period 1825-1860, when these chintz quilts were being made.

Dated 1832, Rosannah McCullough, 
Possibly Lincoln County, North Carolina
North Carolina Museum of History Collection.

Curator Diana Bell-Kite recently sent us this photo. Thank you!
A good way to wrap up the ubiquitous fruit basket posts.