Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mary Hill's Album Quilt

Mary Hill's Album Quilt, AKA the Maltaville Album Quilt was made in 1847 by the women members of the Presbyterian Church in Maltaville, NY, for the pastor's wife. It consists of 60 blocks and a center medallion, and measures 92" x 91". As is typical of album quilts, it contains inked names, dates and inscriptions, as well as being embellished with embroidery. The Smithsonian Institution acquired the quilt in 1931.

The center block is inscribed "presented to Mary B. Hill as an expression of esteem by the Ladies of Maltaville."

You can see more pictures on the NMAH website.

One of the blocks, made by Almira Olmstead, contains the following poem:

The Tulip and the Butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I
Let me be dressed fine as I will
Flies, worms, and flowers, exceed me still.

This was taken from the poem "Against Pride in Clothes," by Isaac Watts. Watts is considered one England's greatest hymn writers, and excerpts of his work are found on several quilts of this period. His most famous hymn is "Joy to the World."

Legal stuff :)
All pictures used with permission for non-commercial use only.
Made by Ladies of the Presbyterian Church
Gift of Mrs. Isaac Carrington Morton
Object ID: TE*TO06717

Margaret of Quilt Station is drafting these blocks, and she has generously offered to share them with us for a nominal fee. She is hoping to have mid-February as a starting date, and will be donating a portion of the purchase price to the Smithsonian for quilt restoration and conservation. You can read all about her quilt-along on her blog. She has also started a blog just for those making the quilt, here. She is using the back-basting method for some of the blocks. I haven't tried this, since I'm a die-hard needle-turner, but I may finally give it a go for this quilt.

Just when I get caught up with Barbara Brackman's BOW, she posts another block! I will post my blocks after I get #4 done. I'm not quite as fast with the piecing as I am with the applique these days. Check out my friend Sheila's blog. She is doing these in 2" finished blocks!

While a lot of you have been talking about de-stashing, I've been doing some re-stashing! I got some Jo Morton at Bonnie Blue's going-out-of-fabric sale. Everything is $5/yd., but you'll have to hurry. Last day to order is Jan. 25th.

And some Ann Robinson and Sara Johnson.

If anyone knows of a store that has any of this Dargate Lavender and Mint left, please let me know. It's one of my all time favorite fabrics, and I haven't had any luck finding more.

Am I the only one concerned about Bonnie Blue and Old Trinity Schoolhouse no longer selling fabric? These were two of my favorite sites for repros. Trinity had tons of the older lines. On the other hand, Z & S is expanding to sell other things.

Well, back to those Civil War blocks.


Dorothy said...

Hello Lisa,
I shopped at Trinity and Bonnie Blue too. Waiting for a parcel to be delivered. Sorry to see them both go but I believe the lady at Trinity, not the owner, is going to have an online shop which will be great. I saw the Maltaville quilt the other day, can I fit another big one in?????? Will have to see. Thanks for the close up photos.

Janet said...

I'm going to have to watch from the sidelines on Mary Hill's quilt but I'll still be watching and saving the patterns. I loved seeing some more detailed photos. I've picked up fabrics at both those stores, what a shame they're not going to be a source anymore.

Cheryl said...

I'm going to have to watch as well, but look forward to seeing the Maltaville quilt evolve. Thanks for the tip on the sales.

Lori said...

I love your stash enhancement fabric!!!

Its a beauitful quilt.

YankeeQuilter said...

The Saturn block is really interesting! What a great project...

Beth said...

Lisa, such an awesome quilt. What a delight to see a block with a planet in it!


Janet said...

Hi Lisa,
Great pictures. I will have to try to do this quilt. Yes, it is a shame that quilt shops are closing. I do try to support my local shops. There is nothing like feeling and smelling fabric plus sometimes it is just too hard to match fabric online.

Heirlooms by Ashton House said...

Thanks for sharing this exquisite quilt with us and telling us about the quilt-along. Seems like there's a great many sew-alongs going on right now! More than I can keep up with! But I will be sure to check it out.

Sheila said...

Hey Lisa,
Another wonderful blog entry! You always do the best job of showing us wonderful quilts. Always an inspiration to drop by. Too bad about Bonnie Blue and Trinity. Makes me think the economy is worse than we thought.
(Thanks for the mention.)

Mary said...

This is another quilt I can't wait to begin!

Nancy said...

Those Maltaville women didn't mess around! This is some incredible remembrance quilt. So glad it's preserved in the musuem.

Meredith said...

I got concerned a while ago when a LQS I used to buy most of my reproduction fabric from got rid all most all of it saying it was not selling and instead bought in Bernina sewing machine center. I am surprised to hear the other two are going no fabric. It was interesting to read you were considering back basting. I think it is a lot of work and prefer needle turn so I will be interested to see how it goes.

Hardin County Keepsakes said...

It is a beautiful quilt.
I will have to read up more on quilting terms.I have no idea what you are talking about.Back basting? needle turning?

Good to be adding to stash.I talked to our local fabric shop owner. He tells me that it will not be unusual to pay $14 for flannel and $10+ for cottons. The cotton prices and the oil prices are the reason.
I am glad to have my stash.Fun to shop in my basement.j

Janet said...

What a fabulous quilt! I sure enjoyed the pictures where you can see the wonderful quilting!!

Taryn said...

The Maltaville quilt is so much more interesting with the detail photos. I think I might have to take this one one. Those old prints you picked up are great--sorry to have missed those!

Sue said...

Mary's Album quilt is a beauty- I will keep my eye open for your Dargate Lavendar- you never know where it will turn up!
Bad news on BB and Trinity. I used to buy lots of repro's from them but Z&S really have been doing good deals lately.

Karen said...

What an interesting quilt. The block with the planet and ring around it is something I have never seen. Must have been a very creative person.

Quilt Azubi said...

Help please..
I found a picture of a quilt with a nice block pattern in internet. Unfortunately, there was no title to or a label. Maybe there is somebody in blogland can help me? I would intressted the name and perhaps the history of the pattern.
It was a wonderful two-color quilt in blue and white. I made a sketchy picture and put in my blog.
I would be happy to answer a helping.
greets from Berlin/Germany
Kat :)