Saturday, October 15, 2016

Abolitionist Quilt at the Chester County Historical Society

Pennsylvania's Chester County Historical Society owns a baby quilt by the Herrick Sewing Circle of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The central feathered star block is inked with a poem that indicates it was made specifically for a fundraising bazaar for the antislavery cause "Freedom's Fair."
"Do thou, sweet babe, in safety sleep
Beneath this canopy so fair.
Formed thy fragile limbs to keep
Protected from the chilling air.
Formed in love for Freedom's Fair
To aid a righteous cause
To help its advocates declare
God's unchangeable and equal laws."
The photo is from The Signature Quilt: Traditions, Techniques and Signature Block Collection by Susan McKelvey and Pepper Cory, 1995.

I mentioned this quilt in my first book on Civil War quilts Quilts from the Civil War. I keep hoping to see it again in color. The Chester County Historical Society has 900 quilts in their collection.

Is this the same quilt?

And they have a current exhibit showing some of their new acquisitions:
Quilts: The Next Layer is up through January, 2017.


Suzanne A said...

I don't think the red and white quilt is the same, how could that stripe photograph as white with the black so black? But maybe several quilts were made for that fair with the same pattern, different fabric. And maybe it's an illusion but enlarging the black and white image, the black seems to have a texture, kind of a stripe.

Have you asked the curator if a color image is available? Maybe you would have more luck than I did in Old Richmondtown SI;-)

Suzanne A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Themis Abdo said...

Hi Barabara, I want ro say a big THANK YOU! I love the all emails from you, the stories, the photos. Your country is so rich in memories and I learnd more and more about United States of America. I was in Bennington VT visiting Jane Stickle quilt. I start to make my baby Jane , next time I will try visit Chester ,the Museum. My student Angelica Bazan finished the top of Civil WAr Sampler, from your book, it is so beautiful and how many stories I told to them.Themis Abdo from Brazil.

Barbara Brackman said...

I should have said that the black and white picture is an old, fading photocopy. It may have exagerated the contrast between dark and light.