In mid-nineteenth century America, Album quilts were a popular form amongst Quakers, but they were hardly the only ones to make quilts in this style.
How did Quakers learn about the patterns and techniques used in Baltimore Album Quilts? Friends could be disowned for (among many other things) marrying outside the faith but a disownment was not equivalent to, for example, an Amish shunning. As painful as was the practice of disownment from the Religious Society of Friends, letters and diaries indicate disowned Friends -- some of whom were making quilts in the newest styles -- continued social relationships with memnbers of good standing. Also, Quakers had regular contact with the society-at-large through business dealings. Thus, despite the closed nature of their religion, they had opportunities to be exposed to new quilt trends, including Baltimore Album-style quilts.
The images in this post show just some of the non-Quaker quilts on display in the exhibit, "Quilts in the Baltimore Manner".
Detail of foregoing quilt.
And, for those of you who are interested in chintz, here is a splendid example attributed to Achsah Goodwin Wilkins.
All photographs by Mary Holton Robare. To learn more about a recent discovery of another Achsah Goodwin Wilkins-style quilt, visit http://willywonkyquilts.blogspot.com/.
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2012.