Saturday, May 8, 2021

CDV's & Quilts #2


Quilt by Pocahontas Virginia Gay (1831-1922)
Early 20th century
Collection of the National Museum of American History

Last week we looked at a pair of late-19th-century crazy quilts with CDV portraits printed on fabric. Other quiltmakers used the CDV image in different ways. Pocahontas Gay was a needlework teacher in Staunton, Virginia at the state school for the hearing and visually impaired about the time she stitched this embroidered variation on a log cabin quilt.

Some of the blocks have painted details. The Pocahontas block
looks to have been painted on white fabric as does the baby.

She included a few of her Confederate heroes, here Robert E. Lee.

I'd guess she drew her portraits from this popular
pair of Davis and Lee.

And this one of Stonewall Jackson...

See more about Miss Gay and her quilt at these posts:

Union supporters also were inspired by CDV's.

The officer in boots in the bottom of this top looks a lot like General Winfield Scott
first commander of the Union Armies.

The portrait is one of many appliques drawn from
photographic images in the top known as the Constitution Quilt.

Winfield Scott with his sword in a CDV by the
Brady Studios

And in the bottom right--- General U.S. Grant?

This applique sampler with the mysterious ship in the middle (not the USS Constitution)
was probably made originally in the 1880s.
See a post on the quilt and the ship here:

The Shelburne Museum owns this appliqued sampler with a portrait
of Abraham Lincoln. With the horse, cat and hearts one could guess
it's from New York. Date: late-19th-century (guess from the bad photo).

The portrait in the arm chair is from another Brady Studios
photo---a very popular CDV taken early in his Presidency.

The quilts I've shown were made after 1880 when heroes from a war 15 or 20 years ago were aging and dying --- Lee in 1870; Grant in 1885; the CDVs still saved and perhaps displayed.

But here's a portrait from a quilt dated 1867

by Lucinda Honstain of Brooklyn, New York. Did she use
this image by the Brady Studios for inspiration. Is the General
in striped pants sitting in an arm chair?

Lucinda's remarkable applique quilt is in the collection
of the International Quilt Museum.

See a post here:

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Contented Cows


Unlike the surly runaway cow Robyn's looks quite contented
what with the accessory and a few dots.

Robyn never follows the pattern---which is a good thing.
Cow before necklace.

You may think Bettina Havig has followed instructions,
 but she reduced the size by 80%.
Part of the appeal of the BOM is the large pieces---but Bettina
can applique small pieces.

The cow reminded Nancy B of Ferdinand the Bull so we have a gender-fluid
bovine here with a flower to sniff.

Brigitte had the perfect Holstein fabric.

Elsie R. Somehow she found some elusive Ladies Legacy
prints, a fat quarter pack.

Bonni F

How now, Brown cow?

Jeanie R

Cathie R

Martha P

Cathy P B

The pictures were posted on our Facebook page.

Ask to join. We'd love to see what you are doing.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

CDVs & Quilts #1


Richmond's Valentine Museum owns this crazy quilt
depicting Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

The central portrait is a version of a carte-de-visite (CDV) of Lee,
printed onto fabric.

Cowan's Auctions sold one of these unusual standing portraits
5 years ago with the information that it was from the studio
of Lumpkin & Thomas in Richmond during the war.

During the Civil War collectors North & South bought small cardboard photographs of army generals. The quilt, however, must be after 1880 or so when crazy quilts became the fashion.

People of all ages assembled albums and pasted CDVs into their scrapbooks
and diaries.

Lincoln's secretary John Hay kept a book of Union Generals

And South Carolinian Mary Chesnut
made an album of Southern generals, celebrities
and friends.

Quilt dated 1887

The American Civil War Museum, also in Richmond, owns another crazy quilt with fabric portraits printed from CDVs. Each of the blocks contributed by different seamstresses features a silk portrait of a Confederate general.

It's associated with Marie Middleton Davies (1848-1947) who was born in England. After the war into the 1880s her husband William Woodburn Davies worked with his father in a Richmond photography studio they named the Lee Photography Gallery after the General, a business probably purchased from wartime photographers Vannerson & Jones. Their studio might have had the plates for many wartime CDVs, which could have been printed onto silk and distributed to the stitchers.

CDV advertising the Davies's Gallery

William Woodburn Davies (1843-1903) spent his Civil War in Richmond's Confederate White House as Jefferson Davis's personal courier. The young man knew Lee and Davis quite well he told A.C. Bancroft for his 1889 biography of Jefferson Davis.

See the quilt here:

Certainly a variety of different hands worked the blocks.
Next week a few more quilts and CDVs.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Ladies' Aid Sampler #2: Prize Cows

Ladies' Aid Sampler #2 Cow by Becky Brown

E. Dezendorf's block in an 1855 quilt from Rockland County
sold at a Skinner's Auction.

Block corners in this quilt are visually connected by four sprigs
rather than four hearts.

Now, you might think a cow is an odd image for
an album quilt but not in New York, 

It's got to be a New York quilt; it has horses and cows.
From an old Quilt Engagement Calendar

#2 Cow by Barbara Schaffer

Quilt dated 1852 for Elizabeth Griffiths, attributed to members of the 
Middletown Baptist Church (now Pearl River)
Rockland County, New York
Collection of the Orangetown Museum

Orange County, just a few miles north of Manhattan, enjoyed a reputation as one of the most reliable sources of milk for the city.

Farmers who subscribed to the Rural New Yorker would
have had many images of farm animals for inspiration.

Menagerie of domestic and wild animals on a sampler dated 1860-1862
from the Blauvelt, Van Houten & Thomas families of Rockland County.

People in Rockland and Orange Counties, home to many farm families who
raised prize cattle, were fond of cows on quilts. Note Blauvelts &
Van Houtens.

When the Civil War began, the small villages in Orange County responded to the requests for soldiers' clothing and bedding. But in September 1862 the Tri-State Union chided the ladies of Port Jervis for their lack of ambition:
"In Newburgh, Middetown, Montgomery, Goshen, Warwick, and in fact---all of our sister towns 'Ladies' Aid Societies' have already been organized...In this village we believe nothing has as yet been done...."

A few days later Mrs. H. H. Farnum (Abigail St. John Farnum 1817-1874), and Mrs S.E. Cunningham, (Sarah Elizabeth Cunningham 1811-1890) formed a Port Jervis Ladies' Aid Society. Like many of the women who headed the Sanitary Commission's local agencies, these women were prominent citizens.

Port Jervis in 1860, The Germantown School
Minisink Valley Historical Society

The Farnums were rated the wealthiest people in town in a later obituary. Abigail's husband Henry was a banker and a dry goods merchant. While the Farnums raised money for the cause they also contributed their own. In 1862 Mr. Farnum offered a $10 bounty to men joining a local company.

Reunion of an Orange County regiment "The Orange Blossoms"
at their monument in Goshen.

Sarah E. Cunningham spoke for the Ladies' Aid Society towards the end of the war when they welcomed home a local regiment who marched through town and into Lockwood's Hall where they were met with a dinner prepared by the Aid Society and a rather eloquent speech by Sarah.
"Nearly three years have elapsed since you left our village a gallant band, pledged to support your country's flag, her honor, and her laws....Nobly have you redeemed that pledge; your diminished ranks attest it....the tattered remnants of your beautiful flag...attest it. Of all the brilliant constellation that once adorned that flag, but one star remains...the star of Hope."

Battle worn flags were revered souvenirs.
The ladies of Orange County had sent this hand made 
flag to the boys in 1864.
Photos were sold to raise funds.

The post-war years were not happy for Abigail Farnum. In 1867 she was seriously injured in a carriage accident and spent the next few years traveling in search of health. She died in Washington on a trip home from Florida at 56 in 1874. Her husband remarried in 1879 to his brother's widow Diana Zearfoss Farnum shortly before his death in 1879. Diana did not live long but inherited a good deal of Farnum money. In her will she left $8,000 of it to the town to construct an impressive soldier's monument.

The memorial was dedicated in 1886.

Diana Farnum's name is prominently featured

The Block

#2 Cow by Denniele Bohannon

Surly cow escapes

Print this sheet out 8-1/2" x 11".

#2 Cow by Barbara Brackman

See more Rockland County albums here:

Collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of
American History

Hester Willard , Emily Taylor and Mary H Taylor lived in Norristown, Pennsylvania. OK--- not all cows are from New York.

Hester Willard To her Sister Mary Norriston April 12 1842.
This little emblem of respect 
I send my Dearest friend to see
Trust not its motto with neglect
It is dear friend remember

About 1880 from an album in Julie Silber's inventory.
It's got to be a New York Quilt.
(Possibly New Jersey)

Quilt dated 1852 for Elizabeth Griffiths
Collection of the Orangetown Museum