Friday, February 29, 2008

The Anonymous Pink Lady

It was the last day of the Mid-Atlantic quilt show at Hampton, Virginia. I had a little time after getting out of class and strolled through the vendor aisles. A lady from Raleigh had some piles of interesting old quilts and I stopped to stroke and pat the venerable beauties. Then, as occasionally happens, one quilt almost leaped out of the pile. It was a puffy country quilt, thick and crudely quilted, but it had such spirit! So the quilt, from Nash County, North Carolina, came home with me.

The quilt displays fabrics from about 1890-1920. The odd detail in the small center square is a glimpse of a novelty print showing white tennis racquets on a cranberry red ground! Normally I'd go for a higher-contrast color scheme but these odd blocks, sashed with a rosy pink faint stripe, won me over. I have no idea of the name of the block and couldn't find a match in Brackman's Encyclopedia If anyone has a name for this pattern, I'd appreciate a comment. The dealer promised she'd try to find out more about the quilt from its seller so I'll report again if I learn more about its pedigree.

What is there about old quilts? We admire them, touch them, and sometimes point out the maker's ancient mistakes. It makes the process of our quilting seem more real and attainable. I see the work of another human hand and that hand reaches out across the years and guides my efforts today.


Sandra said...

Hey Pepper,
It is no longer anonymous. I found in it Maggie Malone's block book page 223: #3082 Old Blue or Tulip Variation (no source indicated). Do I win a prize for identifying the pattern and posting the first comment? Just kidding. Come visit my blog.

Janet said...

Hi Pepper: thanks so much for telling folks on Quiltbiz about your blogsite - came right ove - haven't even had coffee yet and the house is cold as a tomb until the woodstove catches and starts to go - I'm blown away by your pictures!!!! Of I were closer, I'd be over to the Quilt Flap in a flash! I collect old kits and tops and was working on inventorying my stuff yesterday. Will be checking your entries regularly. BTW is also make one of a kind quilts, with an emphasis on reproducing old patterns.
Janet in coastal Nova Scotia

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