January 16, 2014

A Quilt from Apple Pie Ridge

Have you ever found a quilt too pitiful to save?  Such was the condition of one quilt that was recently unearthed  by the owner of a Quaker house on Apple Pie Ridge, Virginia.  It is shown below with relics of the apple industry in Winchester, Virginia: an apple cider jar and a newspaper article detailing the 1925 Apple Blossom Festival.

                                                                           Quilt and artifacts from Apple Pie Ridge.  

In the newspaper article from the Baltimore Sun, the Queen of the Festival is pictured in a feather headdress.  Also shown (at right) are re-enactors portraying "Quaker Settlers of the Shenandoah: These Soberly Dressed Participants In The Festival Made A Striking Picture Against The Gay Background Of Blossoms".

                                                            Newspaper article courtesy of Barbara Harner Suhay.

It is impossible to underestimate the early importance of apple growing--and the role of Quakers-- to the orchards of Apple Pie Ridge in Frederick County, Virginia.  John Bond, the husband of quiltmaker Ann Lupton Bond (1840-1920), was an orchardist himself.  The Bonds would have been familiar with scenes such as this one, showing another family's orchard on Apple Pie Ridge.

                                           Apple picking time, Boyle's Orchard on Apple Pie Ridge.  Private collection.

Faded, stained, and deteriorating, the quilt found in the "Lupton-Bond" house was definitely destined for the trash heap.Yet despite its condition, we felt it had more life in it, at least from an historical perspective.  We knew the quilt came out of a house where a known-quilter, Ann Lupton Bond, made other quilts. Furthermore, the recently-found quilt contains 10 stitches per inch quilting in parallel rows and cross-hatching that come together in a chevron pattern.  Similar quilting is observed in at least one other quilt firmly attributed to Ann. Although we can't attribute this post's topic quilt to Ann without firmer documentary evidence, we can consider it in the context of its home.

                                     Back of house showing original portion of the c. 1810-1830 Lupton-Bond House.  
                                                                          Photograph courtesy of Katie Anderson.

The quilt measures 98.5 X 98.5 inches.  It is comprised of approximately 9.5 X 9.5 inch blocks, constructed with a single triangle in white (now stained tan) and sixteen small triangles of alternating white and printed fabric, joined on the diagonal. Some of the block settings produce an "hourglass" effect.  The quilt is bound with the backing rolled from the back to the front, and it has a 1/5 inch border and mitered corners.  The batt is cotton.  The fabrics are barely there.  A few brighter spots of color may or may not be repairs.  

Although it is sad to see a quilt in such a poor condition, there are things to be studied from an historical perspective.  And, as with most quilts, the more we look, the more we see.  This tired old quilt was beautifully made with loving care and must have been lovely in its day.

Note: Thank you to John and Katie Anderson for this quilt and information pertaining to it.  Thank you, also, to Barbara Harner Suhay for the newspaper article.  Quilt photos by Mary Holton Robare.


Quarles, Garland R.  Some Old Homes in Frederick County, Virginia.  Winchester, VA: Winchester Frederick County Historical Society, 1971.

(c)  Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2014.