December 31, 2016

"Boots on the Ground" Reprised

We have recently been asked what some of the most important factors are in revealing and telling the stories that are represented by the names and inscriptions on inscribed quilts.  Much of the work is done on the computer using genealogical web sites, family histories, public record data, and information provided by others who have researched and written about the families in question.  However, the most useful and informative way to discover the lives of people whose names are inscribed on quilts is by walking the ground they walked, visiting the homes they lived in (if they still exist), seeing the communities in which they lived and died - all of these activities bring into better focus their stories. 

As researchers, one on the west coast and the other in Virginia, we are usually far away from the towns and communities represented by the people named on Quaker quilts.  This is especially true in Lynda's case who found the concept of "boots on the ground" particularly useful in researching the people and places named on Philena Cooper Hambleton's quilt.

What follows is one of our posts from 2012 that describes the benefits of finding others who are willing to help you discover the intimacy of places you are unable to visit and to shed light on the lives you are researching.


"When asked what I think are the most valuable research tools I've come across, I always answer Tina Frantz and Pat Rowell.  These two remarkable women contributed more to my research into Philena Cooper Hambleton's family and life than any other sources available to me.  I highly recommend to any of you who are trying to research a signature quilt, whether Quaker or not, to seek the help of willing "boots on the ground" - people who live in the geographical areas of your quilt's inscribers.  They can do leg work you cannot do from your home, and discover information you will never find in books or on the Internet.

When you find someone willing to assist you, be aware that research usually involves costs.  Always ask about charges or fees before formally requesting research work of others.  It is a fair expectation that you will have to pay someone for time spent searching files, copying documents, and mailing.  This is just good research etiquette. Sometimes all that is asked is a donation to an organization in whatever amount you wish to pay.  And sometimes fees are waived altogether, particularly if  there is a potential for a scholarly publication or presentation that will bring positive publicity to the research provider.

I became acquainted with Tina Frantz in 2002 when I first ventured to Columbiana County, Ohio.  She was recommended to me by the owners of the B&B where my husband and I stayed just outside of Lisbon.  On our first trip, Tina referred me by phone to local historical societies and libraries where I might find records I was seeking.  In 2004, when we returned to Lisbon, Tina spent three days with us in her SUV negotiating flood-ravaged roads to take us to cemeteries, old houses, open land, and archives pertinent to the lives of the people named on Philena's quilt.

Lynda and Tina Frantz "showing" Philena's quilt to past members of the Dutton
family, including Philena's sister-in-law Rachel Hambleton Dutton.  Dutton Family
Cemetery, McCann Road, Hanover Township, Columbiana County, Ohio, 2004.
Photograph by Theodore H. Chenoweth.
Tina Frantz and Theodore H. Chenoweth using chalk to highlight the names on a
tombstone where the children of William and Hannah King Ward are buried.
King Family Cemetery, McCann Road, Butler Township, Columbiana County, Ohio, 2004.
Photograph by Lynda Salter Chenoweth.
Tina Frantz and Lynda examining the names on tombstones rolled by vandals down
the hill from the Sandy Spring Meeting cemetery outside of Hanoverton, Ohio, 2004.
Photograph by Theodore H. Chenoweth.
Tina not only knows the "ground" of Columbiana County but has long worked with the Ohio Genealogical Society, local historical societies, and county offices to develop historical information about the early residents of this part of Ohio.  Through her "day job" working with the county court in Lisbon, she has access to 19th century legal records.  These include wills, land purchases and transfers, cases heard before the Court of Common Pleas, probate records, suits, and other legal transactions that she has graciously searched for me outside of work hours.  Of particular interest to me have been the 19th century probate records related to the settlement of estates.  These provide an inventory of every item owned by the deceased and, when sold at the traditional "crying sale", an account of who bought each item and how much was paid for it.  I have urged Tina to co-author an article on probate records with me - titled something like "Probate Records are a Gas!!" - because these records give such insight into the personal lives of people and also show, through recorded purchases, relationships with neighbors and family members who bought items from the estate.  One day we just may do it.  [Although this has not happened as of 2017.]
I found Pat Rowell by chance one day while trying to follow up on some vague information about where most of the Hambletons were buried.  Pat volunteers at the Poweshiek County Historical and Genealogical Society in Montezuma, Iowa, performing research for members of the public seeking information about their families or just interested in the history of the area.  Pat volunteered to visit local Quaker cemeteries for me to see if she could find the graves of Philena, her husband Osborn, and other immediate members of the Hambleton family. Find them she did at the Friends Cemetery just outside of Lynnville, Iowa, in Jasper County!
Pat Rowell standing next to one of several Hambleton tombstones located in
the Friends Cemetery, Lynnville, Jasper County, Iowa.  Photograph courtesy of
Pat Rowell.
Poweshiek County Historical and Genealogical Society in Montezuma, Iowa.
Photography by Lynda Salter Chenoweth.
Pat them volunteered to comb through the files of the Poweshiek County Historical and Genealogical Society looking for items related to the Hambletons and their in-laws, the Cravers.  She found Osborn Hambleton;s probate records, several articles in various publication about Hambleton family members as Iowa pioneers, old land maps with properties identified by owner names, obituaries about Hambleton family members, an article about the anti-slavery society founded by Osborn and Philena at Forest Home, and a wealth of other information.  We were able to find the house that Philena and Osborn built in 1855 using the maps, and all of these sources helped to bring the Hambletons' lives in Iowa into biographical focus.  My greatest regret is that I was unable to meet Pat in-person when we traveled to Iowa after visiting Ohio in 2004.
Lynda in front of the stone marking the graves of Osborn, Philena, and Lorilla Hambleton.
Friends Cemetery, Lynnville, Jasper County, Iowa, 2004.  Photograph by 
Theodore H. Chenoweth.
So, how do you find wonderful people like Tina and Pat to help you with your research?  The easiest way is to contact historical societies in the cities, towns, or counties where you know quilt inscribers lived.  This can be done by searching the Internet for historical societies in a particular area (i.e., Ithaca Historical Society, Columbiana County Historical Society, Chester County Historical Society).  You usually don't have to know the society's exact name to find them.  If a relevant society does not have its own web site or email address, you will usually find at least a street address and telephone number that you can use to contact it.  Then call or write asking if they have any volunteers who are available to assist you find local records or visit local cemeteries.  You will be surprised at how willing volunteers are to help you, especially those associated with small, rural societies and libraries."
Lynda Salter Chenoweth
Meantime, two "new" old Quaker quilts have come into our lives in the past couple of months.  Lynda is feverishly researching one from Chester County, Pennsylvania, that accompanied a newly married woman to Ohio, and is about to see and photograph another whose maker originated in Virginia and ultimately moved to Ohio. You will be seeing and hearing about these in the months to come.  Both are historically interesting and significant.
We wish you all a Happy New Year.



December 15, 2016

Quakers, Quilts, and Domestic Cookery

Historically, Friends did not mark holidays such as Christmas as big events since all days were regarded as equally holy.  However, opportunities to gather for Meetings or social occasions were often cause for special, caring preparation.

Visiting Friends stayed in homes (and still do) when gathering for the Quarterly and Yearly meetings which lasted for days.  One member of Hopewell Monthly Meeting in Frederick County, Virginia, charmingly described her childhood impressions of Quarterly Meetings that occurred circa 1900.

"There was a cyclone of house cleaning, silver polishing and arraying the best china.  Beds were made up.  The children often were banished to the attic or slept on pallets on the floor. Cakes were baked, cookies, doughnuts and choice Virginia hams were cooked.  Kids loved it!  Mothers sank back into utter exhaustion afterward."  (Memories of Hopewell . . .)

Interior of a home inhabited by Hopewell Friends, Frederick County, Virginia,
c, 1900.  Courtesy of Ellen Berry.
As we know from letters and diaries, one of the most popular home cookbooks used by historical Friends was self-published in 1845 by Elizabeth Ellicott Lea (1793-1858).  She was born into a prominent Quaker Maryland family.  Interestingly, some of her recipes specify a Maryland affiliation, like her "Maryland Corn Cakes", while others, such as "Virginia Pone," and "A Virginia Hoe Cake" give a nod to a state where she had close acquaintances.  

Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers eventually
went through nineteen printings in twenty-five years.  Photograph of a copy owned by
Mary Holton Robare.
Elizabeth Ellicott Lea.  Image scanned from the frontispiece of A Quaker Woman's Cookbook:
The Domestic Cookery of Elizabeth Ellicott Lea by William Woys Weaver.
There are several historical Quaker quilts associated with members of the cookbook author's family.  The Pidgeon Family Quilt (see our posts of July 14, 2012, November 11, 2012, and December 1, 2015) contains several blocks inscribed with initials that, most likely, represent Beulah Iddings Lea and her sister-in-law Deb Lea.
The Pidgeon Family Quilt, c. 1850, details.  Collection of the Colonial Williamsburg
Foundation.  Photographs by Mary Holton Robare.
"Deb Lea, 1849" is inscribed in ink on a block containing a chintz-work wreath of brown, blue, olive, and mustard-colored chintz.  On another identical wreath placed in the overall pattern of the quilt in symmetrical relation to the first are the initials "B.I.L."  Both quilt blocks contain a quilted oak leaf centered on the inscribed initials.  The quilter seemed to be emphasizing an association between the two blocks.
After extensive cross-referencing of census records, wedding certificates, Meeting records, and social histories a close relationship was revealed between individuals who were, most likely represented by the inscriptions.  "B.I.L.," Beulah Iddings (1824-1906) and "Deb Lea,"  Deborah Ann Pierce (1816-1894), were daughters-in-law of the cookbook author as they married her sons, Thomas and Edward Lea.  They were also contemporaries of the maker of The Pidgeon Family Quilt, Sarah Chandlee Pidgeon.
Another chintz-work block on The Pidgeon Family Quilt bears the embroidered initials, "R.R."  That alone would not be enough to suggest an identity, but it is not an unlikely deduction that the initials represent one of the quilt-maker's daughters.  The quilt's maker, Sarah Chandlee Pidgeon, who grew up in Lea's Maryland community, named her third daughter Rebecca Russell Pidgeon, very possibly after Lea's nurse.
The Pidgeon Family Quilt, c. 1850, detail.  Collection of the Colonial Williamsburg
Foundation.  Photograph by Mary Holton Robare.
Rebecca Russell (1786-1888) was a Quaker nurse who came from Pennsylvania to care for Elizabeth Ellicott Lea's ill husband.  When he died shortly thereafter, she stayed on with the family -- for another fifty-nine years!  It is known from William Woys Weaver's revised edition of Domestic Cookery that Lea tested and developed her recipes with the help of her husband's former nurse.  Presumably, the recipes passed all taste trials for safety since Russell lived to over the age of one hundred years.
As William Woys Weaver explained in the "Introduction" of his Revised Edition of Lea's book, ". . . the bedridden authoress was obliged to shout down recipes and corrections to Rebecca Russell or the family cook, whose duty it was to execute them properly."
Weaver discovered that before being self-published in 1845, Domestic Cookery was originally produced as just two manuscripts: one for the author, and one for her daughter, Mary Lea Stabler whose initials, we believe, were also embroidered on a block of The Pidgeon Family Quilt.
The Pidgeon Family Quilt, c. 1850, detail.  Collection of the Colonial Williamsburg
Foundation.  Photograph by Mary Holton Robare.
Yet another quilt (among others) is connected to Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, attributed to her sister.  The "Martha Ellicott Crazy Quilt," dated 1838, is considered the earliest form of a crazy quilt known to exist.  It is in the collection of the Maryland Historical Society and you can see it on their web site at
We could share one of Elizabeth Ellicott Lea's recipes for this holiday season, such as her "White Cake."  It begins with instructions to: "Beat the whites of twenty eggs, wash the salt out of a pound of butter," and ends with "prepare an icing , flavored with rose water, put it on the top and sides."  Instead, consider ordering a copy of Weaver's Revised Edition of Lea's cookbook to enjoy learning much more.
We wish you all health, happiness, peace, and prosperity
through the holidays and in the coming year.
Notes and Sources:
Although difficult to read, the name of "Deb Lea" decipherable when compared to her signature on the Wedding Certificate of Sarah Chandlee to Samuel Pidgeon.  Copy held by Mary Holton Robare.
Davis, Nancy.  "The Kaleidoscope Quilt".  In Eyewinkers, Tumbleturds and Candlebugs: The Art of Elizabeth Talford Scott.  Maryland Institute, College of Art, January 1998.
Friends General Conference at  Accessed 12/13/2016.
Lea, Elizabeth Ellicott.  Domestic Cookery, 1845.
Memories of Hopewell, Published in Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Hopewell Friends Meeting 1734-1984.  Frederick County, Virginia.  Hopewell Monthly Meeting, 1984, no. 6.  Copy held at the Handley Library Archives, Winchester, Virginia.
Robare, Mary Holton.  "Quaker Networks Revealed in Quilts."  In Proceedings of the Textile History Forum.  Cherry Valley, NY: Textile History Forum, 2007.
Weaver, William Woys.  A Quaker Woman's Cookbook: The Domestic Cookery  of Elizabeth Ellicott Lea.  Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2004. 
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare





December 1, 2016

"I bequeath my gold watch to my niece Tacie Cleaver, also one blanket and a feather bed."

This bequest was one of many made by Tacy J. Kenderdine in her will signed on 2nd day July 1896.  Two years later, on Wednesday March 16, 1898, Tacy passed away and was buried at the Horsham Friends Cemetery in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

On March 24, 1898 the following appeared in the Ambler Gazette.  "Tacy Kenderdine, eldest daughter of the late Chalkley Kenderdine, died very suddenly on Wednesday of last week at the home of her brother-in-law Thomas Stackhouse, Horshamville.  Mrs. Kenderdine had been enjoying unusually good health all winter.  On Monday of last week she attended the funeral of Martha Morgan at Quakertown, Bucks County, and on the previous Monday was at the funeral of Esther Saw, at Friends meeting house, Upper Dublin.  After returning home from Quakertown she remarked to her sister, Mrs. Stackhouse, that she had been at funerals for two Mondays in succession and wondered whose funeral would be on Next Monday, facetiously adding that probably it would be her own.  No one of the family thought seriously of the remark.  On Wednesday evening, shortly after retiring for the night, with but 15 minutes warning, the summons came.  Mrs. Kenderdine was in her 70th year.  Interment was made in Horsham meeting grounds on Monday the 21st inst."

Horsham Friends Cemetery.  Photograph posted on Find A Grave web site by Shriver.
The niece to whom Tacy willed her gold watch, a blanket, and a feather bed was the daughter of Tacy's sister Sarah Jane Kenderdine Cleaver.  The names of both Tacy and Sarah Jane appear on the red and white "circle quilt" belonging to Joy Swartz.
Block displaying the name of Tacy Kenderdine.  Photograph by Lynda Salter Chenoweth.
The Kenderdine family immigrated to the New World from England during the 17th century, settling in what became Horsham Township in Montgomery County near Philadelphia.  Richard Kenderdine, one of Tacy's and Sarah Jane's early colonial ancestors, obtained 250 acres in 1713 from Samuel Carpenter who had bought the land directly from William Penn.  Richard's son Joseph, a millwright, inherited this property after his father's death in 1733 and is assumed to be the builder of a mill on the property.  This mill, which exists today as the Kenderdine Mill Complex, was erected during 1733 and 1734.
Kenderdine Mill with its third floor added in the 19th century.  Source of photograph:
Wikimedia Commons.  Author: Carla Loughlin.  The mill remained operational using
its original water power into the 20th century.
A residence belonging to Richard and then to Joseph Kenderdine was constructed on the property prior to the building of the mill.  Unfortunately, this building was demolished in 2012 and no longer exists.
The Joseph Kenderdine house, demolished in 2012.  Source of photograph:
Wikimedia Commons.  Author: Carla Loughlin.
The Kenderdine family played a major role in the development of Horsham Township and the small town of Horsham (previously known as Babylon and then Horsham Meeting).  According to a history of Horsham, the town was located in the center of Horsham Township and originally consisted of "three log cabins, a school, a store, wheelwright shop, blacksmith shop, and a stone farmhouse.  Members of the Kenderdine family made up the largest part of the population."
In 1719, fifty acres of land were conveyed to John Cadwallader, Thomas Iredell, Evan Lloyd, and Richard Kenderdine by Hanna Carpenter, the widow of Samuel Carpenter.  The purpose of the conveyance was to build a Quaker meeting house, a school, and a burying ground on the property.  Construction of the meeting house began in 1720 and was completed in 1724.  By 1803, membership in the Friends Meeting at Horsham had grown so much that this original meeting house was torn down and another, larger one was constructed.
Horsham Friends Meeting House.  Source of photograph:  Wikimedia Commons.
Horsham Friends Meeting House carriage barn.  Source of photograph:
Wikimedia Commons.
The Kenderdines of Horsham, like many other Quakers in the 18th and 19th centuries, abhorred slavery and supported the abolitionist cause.  An obituary for Joseph R. Kenderdine  that appeared in the Ambler Gazette on December 24, 1903, described an incident that involved the father of the deceased, also a Joseph, in 1822.  "It was from home, near what is now known as Horsham Square, then Babylon, that a kidnapping affair occurred in 1822, where a New Jersey slave was a central figure, involving a rescue by the neighbors, among whom were several of the Kenderdine family, who were afterwards brought up before the United States courts and heavily fined."
Tacy and Sarah Jane Kenderdine were from a large and noteworthy family but, unfortunately, the details of their lives are difficult to find.  They were the daughters of Chalkley and Ann Jarrett Kenderdine, the children of whom included Tacy (1829-1898), Sarah Jane ((1832-1912), Letitia (born 1838), Elizabeth J. (1840-1904), and John J. who died in infancy.  Sarah Jane went on to marry John Cleaver, Letitia married Edward Ambler, and Elizabeth J. married Thomas Stackhouse.  There is no evidence that Tacy ever married.
 We are still trying to figure out for whom Joy's quilt was made and to understand the relationships of those named on it.  Most of the people so far identified were German Baptists (Church of the Brethren) and not members of the Religious Society of Friends.  Whatever their relationships one to another, their connections seem to extend beyond religious and even familial ties.  Interestingly, the identities of those whose names are inscribed on the quilt seem to span a few generations.  One possible explanation is that Joy's quilt is a multi-generational quilt.  Still working on this.  Thanks, Joy, for the challenge!
Ancestry. com Quaker meeting records, census data, and Public Member Trees.
"History of Horsham Monthly Meeting" at  Accessed 10/15/2016.
Kenderdine_Mill_Complex.html.  (Link is too long to fit on one line.)  Accessed 10/15/2016.
Montgomery County Pennsylvania Genealogy.  Obituaries, Death Notices, and Funeral Notices at  Accessed 11/27/2016.
Pennsylvania Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993, Montgomery Wills, Vol. 25-26,  1897-1900.
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2016.



November 15, 2016

Researching Joy's Quilt

We introduced you to Joy Swartz and her red and white quilt in our last post.  Lynda is still researching the names that appear on the quilt and trying to find out enough about the people named to discover their stories.  Meanwhile, we would like to share with you some of the challenges of this kind of research.

Block inscribed with a decorative branch and the name of Susan Hoydsicke (?).  All
photographs by Lynda Salter Chenoweth unless cited otherwise.
Often, the first challenge one discovers is badly faded or illegible writing.  Without being able to transcribe the names on an inscribed quilt, the kind of information one can discover is greatly reduced.  Joy's quilt has, for the most part, clearly written or stamped names and, since the quilt has never been used or washed, almost all of the names are easy to read.  Where this isn't the case, it is mainly due to ink smudges or to migration which renders part of the name unreadable.  An interesting aspect (still needing research) of some of the blocks on Joy's quilt is the application of some sort of substance (perhaps bee's wax?) over the names to protect them from deterioration and fading. [Note:  One reader has suggested that the substance may have been placed on the fabric to provide an easier writing surface and is, in fact, under the signature.]  If any of you out there are familiar with this practice, please comment on this post and tell us what you know!
Block with a substance applied over the inked name to protect it.  This photograph
courtesy of Susan W. Greene.
A second challenge pertains to census records.  Census takers in the nineteenth century moved from house to house along a street or rural road, knocking on doors and asking the inhabitants to tell them who lived in the residence.  The head of household, usually a man, was recorded first by the census taker who wrote down what he heard.  It is common to find the same last name of a family spelled three or four different ways over census years, depending on how the census taker "heard" it and how he chose to spell what he heard.  For example, while doing the research for Lynda's book Philena's Friendship Quilt: A Quaker Farewell to Ohio, Lynda found members of the Hambleton family listed in census records as Hamilton, Hammelton and Hamildon.  Census record searches, as well as other Internet searches, are done by name and, if you are not finding people, you have to try different possible spellings of the last name and see what pops up.  In the case of Joy's quilt, Lynda has found in census records over time three different spellings of the name Faringer which appears seven times on the quilt.  These spellings are Ferringer, Fehringer, and Farringer.
Stamped block bearing the name Eliza H. Faringer.
A third challenge to identifying the people named on inscribed quilts is the nineteenth century tradition of naming members of each generation after a prior one.  This is especially true in the case of Quaker quilts.  Also, people tended to marry people from their communities and their distant family members (such as cousins) so last names were also passed on along with given names.  Figuring out which of many Eliza Faringers, for example, is the one named on Joy's quilt requires the knowledge of critical dates that separate generations.  One of the blocks that addresses an Eliza in verse displays a date of 1848.  The only other date inscribed on the quilt is 1857.
A date provided as part of an inscription can give an indication of the time frame in which a person may have lived. This can be misleading, however, because members of the Religious Society of Friends as well as other quilt makers often inscribed on their quilts the names of beloved family members who had passed away, along with the year of their death.  One example of this was a block inscribed "Whitson Cooper" with the date 1835 in Philena's quilt.  Whitson was her father who had died eighteen years before her quilt was made and dated in 1853.  
Block inscribed Susanna Douglas, Germantown, 1857.
A further challenge is determining the geographical locations of people named on a quilt when that location is not provided as part of the inscription.  Geographical location is the key to many Internet data bases that may provide information about the surroundings and history of the places where they lived, as well as their participation in civic, political, religious and other community activities.  If only a few of the quilt blocks indicate locations, these have to serve as the clues followed to find the geographical locations of others who are named on the quilt. Inscribed friendship quilts usually provide documentation of the people closest to the quilt recipient or quilt maker.  They will be generally from the same community, church group, or family groups.  In the case of Joy's quilt, Lynda is searching for information about the people in the areas of Philadelphia and nearby communities.  We'll see how well she does!
A block bearing the name of Martha Crout from Philadelphia.  Note the chain stitching that affixes
the red fabric to the block.
Again, our thanks to Joy Swartz for letting us explore what stories are to be told by her unique quilt.
(C)  Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2016.



November 2, 2016

A Profusion of Red

One of the many pleasures of attending the American Quilt Study Group Seminar in Tempe last September was meeting fellow-attendees Joy Swartz from Prescott, Arizona, and Florence McConnell from Manteca, California.  Lynda had spoken with Florence several times while writing a blog post about some Quaker blocks Florence had purchased that were made by members of the Bunting family. (Refer to our post dated April 15, 2015.)  Knowing our interest in Quaker quilts, Florence introduced Lynda to Joy who had, in tow, a quilt made with red print fabrics her husband had recently purchased at auction. The quilt had been described as "Quaker" and Lynda agreed to take a look at it and give her opinion.

Photo of a portion of the quilt that appeared in an auction catalog.  Courtesy of
Barbara Brackman.
Joy brought the quilt to the hotel room Lynda was sharing with Alice Kinsler and the three of them spread it out on one of the beds where Lynda took photographs of all of the blocks and the inscriptions either hand-written or stamped on them.  It was obvious that the names would have to be researched to determine whether or not there were Quaker identities present and Lynda volunteered to do the research. 
Alice (left) and Joy with the quilt. Photograph by Lynda Salter Chenoweth.
The white border, backing, and red print binding of the quilt were added to a much earlier central portion that features blocks appliqued with quarter-circles in the four corners and a central circle (resembling a Cheerio) where names and other inscriptions are added.  Two of the quilt blocks display dates - one, with an accompanying verse, is dated 1848 and another is dated 1857.  The central portion of the quilt measures approximately 75 X 75 inches and is comprised of seven 10 1/2 inch blocks across and seven down.  The more modern border is eleven inches wide, is mitered at the corners, and bears a modern red print, 3/8 inches wide, as binding.  An interesting feature of the quilt is the use of a chain stitch to affix some of the block elements to the white fabric beneath them.  The rest are affixed using a hand-applique stitch.
Block with elements affixed using a chain stitch.
Block displaying both hand-applique and chain stitching.
Lynda is in the process of researching the names that appear on the quilt and has so far identified at least two families who were members of the Religious Society of Friends. When she has finished more of her research, she will provide additional posts that tell the stories the quilt reveals.
Meanwhile, Florence McConnell called to point out that two photos of the quilt's blocks appear in Susan W. Greene's remarkable book on textiles titled Wearable Prints, 1760-1860.  Hoping to learn more about the origins of the quilt, Lynda contacted Susan to see if she knew who had owned the quilt before Joy's husband bought it at auction.  It turned out that Susan, herself, was the prior owner but she too had bought it at auction with little information about provenance.  Her main interest was the large number of different, pristine red prints (thirty by her count) used in the quilt.  She incorporated photographs of two of the blocks in her book (page 340) as illustrations related to the topic "Colored Discharge on Turkey Red and Madder."
The discharge technique was developed in 1811 by Alsatian textile manufacturers Koechlin & Freres using chemical means to bleach out (or discharge) patterns from already colored cloth, especially indigo blue and Turkey reds.  The technique was refined over time by the use of pastes containing various colorants to produce red prints bearing multiple colors and elaborate patterns.  These prints, mainly imported from France and England in the early to mid-nineteenth century, were popular for making children's clothing and often found their way into album quilts and the red and green quilts favored by mid-Atlantic quilt makers, including Quakers.
Reproduction "Quaker" quilt made by Lynda Salter Chenoweth for Mary Holton Robare.
Whatever stories will be told by Joy's quilt when sufficient research is completed, the center of the quilt itself provides a small "encyclopedia" of red print fabrics (some of which may be Turkey reds) available at the time it was made.  That time may end up being a range, such as 1845-1860, unless Lynda's research results in pin-pointing people and events that narrow the time span.
Photograph courtesy of Susan W. Greene.
Our thanks to Joy Swartz for generously making the quilt available for study and presentation on our blog, and to Florence McConnell and Susan W. Greene for contributing information about the quilt and its fabrics.
Greene, Susan W.  Wearable Prints, 1760-1860, History, Materials, and Mechanics.  Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 2014.
Storey, Joyce.  The Thames and Hudson Manual of Textile Printing.  New York: Thames and Hudson, Inc., 1987.
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2016.






October 15, 2016

A Quaker Hexagon Quilt Top

In March, 2014, Mary had the pleasure of presenting an informal talk about Quaker quilts at the Goose Creek Meeting House, Loudoun County, Virginia.  Meeting members were invited to bring quilts in for discussion after her presentation.  One of the quilts was this silk, hexagon quilt top.  Measuring 66.25 X 80 inches, it has an estimated date of ca. 1865-1900.

Hexagon Quilt Top, March 23, 2014, photographed at Goose Creek Meeting.
All photographs by Mary Holton Robare.
Goose Creek Meeting House, Loudoun County, Virginia, 2014.
We consider this quilt top "Quaker" because it was owned by someone whose family were members of the Religious Society of Friends for many generations on both sides.  Although that does not mean it couldn't have been made by someone outside the family who was not a Friend, it was kept and cherished as a family piece.
Remnants of batting indicate the top was once part of a completed quilt and leftover bits of paper illustrate the paper-piecing technique used by its maker.

Interestingly, the silk of the center hexagons is pristine, while the more colorful hexagons that are nearer the edges have some shredding.  Its velvet border, which was stylistically prevalent in the Victorian era, is worn.  This prompts speculation that the piece was a multi-generation project.
Starting in the late 1800s, silk was sold by weight - the heavier the silk, the more expensive it was (and the more profitable for merchants).  Earlier, pre-weighted silks kept their condition, but the weighting agents that were added to create more expensive silks contributed to their faster deterioration.
Center of quilt top, possibly made with pre-weighted silk.
Edge of quilt top showing velvet border and later silks that were sold by weight.
According to the quilt top's owner, family tradition is that a small flag (pictured below) was sewn into the center of the top to show support for Abraham Lincoln around the time of the Civil War.  We have not been able to find out more about the flag, which appears to be woven, but dating it might help validate or disprove the story.  While family traditions are notoriously inaccurate, the fact that this story even exists illustrates the leanings of Loudoun County Quakers during the Civil War.
This quilt top was graciously loaned for an exhibit curated by Mary of Quaker Quilts that was held by the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society in their Abram's Delight Museum in 2014.
Hexagon Quilt Top on display, Abram's Delight Museum, Winchester-Frederick
County Historical Society, June 13-15, 2014.
This post is dedicated to the memory of Edgar P. Leggett who shared the top and its history.
Thank you to Barbara Garrett for information about weighted silk.
The Hexagon Quilt Top is one of twenty-five textiles  that appear in "Quaker Quilts: Snapshots of an Exhibition"  (To order, see link at left.)


October 1, 2016

The American Quilt Study Group Seminar in Tempe, Arizona

Members of the American Quilt Study Group (AQSG) met in Tempe, Arizona, September 14-18 for their thirty-seventh annual Seminar.  We gathered at the Tempe Mission Palms hotel near the Arizona State University campus to enjoy what-turned-out-to-be moderate weather for this time of year and a lovely, Southwestern setting.

All photographs by Lynda Salter Chenoweth.
Inner courtyard at the Tempe Mission Palms.
The purpose of Seminar each year is to present original research related to quilt studies and related topics.  This year's presenters included:  Jonathan Gregory who presented a paper titled "Why Ernest Haight Made Quilts"; Colleen Hall-Patton who shard her research on "Protofeminist Thought in Mid-twentieth Century Magazine Articles"; Diana Bell-Kite who spoke on the topic "Memorials of Satin: Funeral Ribbon Quilts in Context"; Peggy Hazzard who presented "What the Eye Doesn't See, Doesn't Move the Heart: Migrant Quilts of Southern Arizona"; Sandy Staebell who introduced us to "The Godey Quilt: One Woman's Dream Becomes a Reality"; and, Susan A.D. Stanley who shared her research on "Mary Catherine Lamb: Lady of Perpetual Garage Sales".  All of these presentations are published in Uncoverings 2016, Vol. 37 of the Research Papers of the American Quilt Study Group.  This publication can be ordered using a form that is available on the AQSG web site at
The keynote address this year was given by Carolyn O'Bagy Davis who introduced us to "Goldie Tracy Richmond: Indian Trader and Quiltmaker".  Goldie was legendary in Arizona for her magnificent applique quilts, the trading post she operated on the Tohono O'odham (formerly Papago) Indian Reservation, her grit surviving in the Sonoran desert, and for her larger-than-life persona. Several of Goldie's quilts were on display for close examination after the talk.
Examining quilts by Goldie Tracy Richmond that Carolyn O'Bagy Davis arranged to present.
Another Arizona quiltmaker was highlighted by our Saturday luncheon speaker, Janet Carruth.  She presented a talk titled "Emma Andres: Little Sister to America's Quiltmakers".  Andres lived in Prescott, Arizona, and produced many unusual quilts that influenced leading quiltmakers throughout the mid-twentieth century.  Some of her quilts were also displayed for close-up viewing.
This year provided several interesting tours for Seminar attendees.  One could choose between a tour to Mission San Xavier Del Bac and the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tucson, a tour to the Tempe History Museum for a special exhibition of Territorial-era quilts, a tour of the Sharlot Hall Museum and Smoki Museum in Prescott, or a tour of the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, an historic Western town north of Phoenix.  Lynda chose the Mission San Xavier Del Bac and the Arizona Historical Society Museum tour.
Mission San Xavier Del Bac first founded in 1692 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino.  The
current structure was begun in 1783 by Franciscan Father Velderrain.
Detail of mission entrance.  The mission is situated on the Tohono O'odham Reservation and
 flies the flags of Spain, the United States, and the Tohono O'odham Nation.
A trip to the Arizona Historical Society Museum followed lunch in Tucson.  The visit included a bed-turning of some of the Museum's quilt collection, a trip into the storage facilities to see nineteenth-century costumes, and a general tour of the Museum.
Historical Society Curator Lorraine Jones conducted the bed-turning at the Arizona Historical
Society Museum.
Viewing nineteenth-century costumes at the Arizona Historical Society Museum.
Seminar attendees had a wide variety of Study Centers to choose from this year.  Topics included:  Pagtinabangay: The Quilts and Quiltmakers of Caohagan Island; From Samplers to Lacing Boards: The Evolution of Children's Sewing Cards; The Ladies Art Company of St. Louis, MO; Arpilleras, the Cloth of Change;  Quilts in Transition 1866-1875;  What WAS She Thinking?;  Early Quiltmakers of UNIQUE San Juan County, New Mexico; Mid-century Mid-Atlantic Friendship Quilts;  Buckshot, Dog Food, and Car Parts: 100 Years of Textile Bags;  Baltimore Album Quilt Designs; 20th Century Quilt Kits: An Overview; Regional Quilt Patterns and Styles of the 19th Century; and, Portraits of a Past Imagined: The Influences of the Colonial Revival on Quilting.  (Definitely something of interest for everyone.)    
If all of the foregoing was not enough to keep Seminar goers busy over four days, the event also provided several excellent meals, three hanging quilt exhibitions, a silent auction of donated quilts, books, textiles and other objects, a book sale of publications by AQSG authors, a live auction featuring quilts and coverlets, and outside vendors whose booths were replete with beautiful and historic quilts to purchase.  The following photographs are of stunning quilts offered by two different vendors, Kathryn Liston of Lafayette, California, and Stella Rubin of Darnestown, Maryland.

Next year's Seminar will be in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Go to the American Quilt Study Group web site provided above and become a member!  Then, join us for all the learning and the fun in New Hampshire next fall!!