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Quilt market 2

Hi StitchyMites, my sincere apologies for being a day late with our news. I came home from Market last Wednesday and woke up Thursday morning very sick. I’ve spent a week in bed but its only now the test tells me its Covid - no wonder I’m so ill!! Everyone gets this virus in different ways and with different intensity… we suspect I got it for the first time after Quiltcon in 2022, right before the first lockdown. No one really knew what it was yet, and there were no tests, so I don’t know if I really did have it but I can tell you I’ve never been so sick in my life! Until this week. Wow it’s a real doozy.


Anyway I’m writing this from my sick bed, where Chippie has been dutifully keeping me company. Damo has just brought me a snack and my computer so I could pop by and say hello to you all. Chip thinks a snack is an excellent idea.


Market was such great fun. Tula and I have a lot of fun together, and it was even more fun to share a bit of our madness with everyone. If you haven’t seen the videos her brother Cam shot of the two of us from the Market floor, I posted them to Instagram and Facebook so you can see them there. (If anyone isn’t on social media and would like me to post them here too, just let me know!)


I don’t have a lot of mental bandwidth for writing a long post so I’m eternally grateful to my past self for filming all the videos of quilts that I did! There are a few more beautiful antique quilts to share with you this week, I hope you enjoy them.


The first is 1858 Happy Hands, made in New Windsor, NY by an unknown maker. The pattern isn’t actually formally called Happy Hands, a previous owner nicknamed it that because it reminded her of hands with fingers outstretched. It reminds me of a Coxcomb pattern but simplified, so perhaps that was the original maker’s inspiration. Over 100 quilts have been found using this paper cut design, all dating from around 1840-1870 and all from the New York area.


The fabric in the top border could have migrated their original green to that blue tone, due to the green fabric being created by overdying the fabric with natural blue and yellow dyes, and the yellow fading away over time.


Quilt number two this week is called Scherenschitte, or scissor cut. It was made around 1860 in Silver Spring, MD, again by a quilter unknown.


The Pennsylvania Dutch excelled in the art of paper cutting, and in this instance the quilter obviously decided to try her hand at a quilt pattern. I have to admit that watching the video again makes me want to start cutting paper up to design one immediately. Here re some examples of the sort of thing I mean - we have all done Scherenschnitte in some form or other in our lives, cutting paper dolls or paper snowflakes as children, but these are another thing all together.

The colour way here is wonderful too - unlike the pale off white or cream calicoes often seen as backgrounds in antique applique quilts, this adventurous stitcher has gone for a completely bold colour scheme. It would have looked striking on her bed, with the red centre piece and bold green border. This would have been a costly project, no cheaper background and scraps for make do and mend - these are all prints, not overused solids, and would have been store bought especially for the project. I wonder who she was, I’d love to meet her. I think we would have got along well.


That’s me for today StitchyMites, I’m back to battling the ‘Vid. Turns out that one I get started rattling on about old quilts it’s hard to get me to stop. I have two more antique quilts to show you next week - or are you sick of them already? Let me know your thoughts, and please feel free to ask me questions about the quilts we’ve already seen - I’ve tried to keep these posts and videos relatively brief in case you’re bored by antique quilts, but in reality I could go full quilt nerd and talk about them for ages, even with my sore throat :)


Happy Thursday that should have been Wednesday peeps, and I hope I’ll be back to my sparkling best for next week. Stitch on!


Sarah x

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