Saturday, December 11, 2010


I know I'm not the only one out there obsessed with old fabrics. I can never see enough of them. There is a certain feeling you get when you see one you've not seen before.

Or one you have.

If you remember from earlier posts, this summer I attended a Study Day on 1840-1860 quilts and textiles. It was an amazing day, a chance to see things most people never see outside of a museum. One of the pictures I posted was of this bodice from the teaching collection of textiles at the University of Akron.

A couple of months later I was contacted by Judy Grow of the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Study Group after she saw pictures of the bodice on my Flickr site, and recognized the fabric. It was the same as one of the fabrics in a pair of quilts that originated in Lambertville, NJ.

One of the quilts is in the possession of the Hunterdon County Historical Society, and was possibly made to commemorate the first wedding anniversary of Myra and Martin Coryell of Lambertville, as it is dated June 5, 1843, one year after their wedding, in a block signed by Eugenia E. Coryell.

The quilt is almost 100 inches square, and consists of 61 Square in a Square blocks. The 35 different fabrics are printed dress cottons and chintzes that still retain their glaze. It's signatures include those from the Coryell, Lambert, and Melick families.

There is an almost identical quilt, with the same fabrics and signatures, in the possession of the Lambertville Historical Society. This quilt had made it's way to Philadelphia, where an antiques dealer obtained it and offered it to the Historical Society in the town of it's origin. The local newspaper ran an article about the quilt, asking for donations to acquire it, and someone saw the article and let them know about the other quilt owned by Hunterdon. Thanks Judy for contacting me and providing the information about the quilts.

Of course you've seen this quilt before. It's called A Mother's Gift, made by Barbara Butcher Snyder around 1880.

If you're like me, and like to get fabrics in the mail every month, :), Homestead Hearth is starting a BOM for this quilt in February 2011.

Thank you everyone who participated in my poll. I see it's almost a tie for washing or not washing, which was about what I suspected. I know people have various reasons for pre-washing, but when I buy antique fabrics, one of the big selling features is "new, never been washed," and I can't get that out of my mind. :)

As you probably know, December is an insane month for me, so if you've emailed me and I haven't gotten back to you yet, don't give up hope. I'm slowly working my way through my emails on the weekends, but I'll be sure to be caught up by the end of the year. There's a big blizzard heading our way, so I hope everyone stays safe and sound this weekend.


Sue said...

Lisa. Lovely bodice I can just imagine someone wearing it and that someone spotted the same fabric in the two quilts. Amazing how when we see a quilt we try to imagine their lives- Well I do anyway. Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl said...

I can't believe HH is doing a BOM of the quilt I have started. Sure would have been easier to use their instructions, but not half as challenging as drafting my own. I wonder what the size of the blocks is. Thanks for sharing the antique quilt! And I don't wash, not until after construction.

Lori said...

What interesting finds you come across! To find the bodice fabric in a quilt is so cool.

Nancy said...

What a great story... and all from sharing one special fabric. Connections... a perfect title for your blog entry! BOM for this quilt looks really interesting.

Janet said...

What an interesting post! A lovely bodice and the quilts are quite wonderful too. I wonder what was made from the rest of that fabric??

Heirlooms by Ashton House said...

You post the most intriguing stories! What a neat connection to discover. I love that fabric in the bodice and quilt. I wonder if anyone has ever reproduced that one?!

Beth said...

Another post filled with interesting information, Lisa. I also enjoy looking at all the features you have on your page. Blogging Without Obligation caught my eye; so much so I've added it to mine :-)


Sheila said...

What a nice posting about the bodice and quilt fabrics. Loved reading it. I study antique fabrics all the time and it is amazingly hard to find more than one example of any print, especially when they are pre-civil war. Good going!

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