Saturday, July 13, 2013

Civil War Era Photo with Quilt

Several years ago I saw this stereocard photo in an online auction.
I didn't win it but I saved the picture as the women's dress indicated the 
picture was taken in the 1860s.

I found the photo the other day and enlarged the quilt to see what they are admiring.

[UPDATE: Five years later I have figured out the photo is probably a Civil War-era studio set up shot using actors by New York photographer George Stacy.]

The closest I could figure out was the standard octagon in a square
BlockBase #4141
Although the photo pixels break up at this scale and there might be a little more pattern than this basic
square with the corners cut off.

It seems to be shaded in counterchange fashion---what's light in one square is dark in the other---
and not scrappy. So I colored it in pink and brown in EQ7.

In BlockBase there is a button you can hit
that will tell you its published names

Calico Snowball  from Evelyn Brown who had a pattern magazine in the 1960s
Hour Glasses or Octagons from Lenice Bacon's 1970s book
Rob Peter to Pay Paul from Carlie Sexton about 1930
And The Marble Floor from the Kansas City Star in 1930

The "View Namelist" button looks like
an index card, the second index card in the top row of buttons in BlockBase.

In my file of patterns to make some day
I found this circa 1860 quilt done in madders and Prussian blue. 
It is the same block but not shaded in counterchange fashion---every center is dark.

And there is a pieced sashing that forms a star.

A design wall would come in handy with that sashing.

I was inspired to try to figure out the pattern by the show of quilts in photos from Janet Finley's collection that is up at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.
Posing With Patchwork Quilts: Quilts in Photographs 1855-1955 is at the museum in Lincoln through December 1, 2013.

You can also see the exhibit online by clicking here:

You will see they have found a quilt in the pattern for each photo.


WoolenSails said...

It always amazes me how beautiful the ladies did considering the poor lighting and materials they had to use.


Rachel said...

This is cool!

Unknown said...

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