Yankee Diary Block 3: Double Ties
by Denniele Bohannon
Detail of an album quilt made to celebrate
Mary Fields Fisk's marriage in 1865.
Collection of the Ontario County Historical Society,
From Carrie's diary, December 13, 1859.
"The older ladies of the town have formed a society for the relief of the poor and are going to have a course of lectures in Bemis hall under their auspices to raise funds...The young ladies have started a society, too, and we have great fun and fine suppers. We met at Jennie Howell's to organize. We are to meet once in two weeks and are to present each member with an album bed quilt with all our names on when they are married. Susie Daggett says she is never going to be married, but we must make her a quilt just the same."
The Baptist Ladies' Sewing and Social Society held a fair in
Canandaigua near Christmas, 1858.
Susan Elizabeth Daggett
The girls stayed true to their vows. Susie Daggett never married and they made a quilt for those who did, including Jennie and Carrie.
Carrie's "society" of girls growing into young women had many common ties, some double and triple ties. They were members of the same social class. Carrie's Grandfather Beals and Jennie's attorney father were mentioned together as the town's prominent citizens. Several families are remembered in street names today such as Beals and Chapin.
Susie Daggett's father was minister at the
First Congregational Church
The girls attended the Ontario Female Seminary as day students; they were members of the First Congregational Church and they generally lived in elegant houses. Many of their homes survive in Canandaigua's historic district.
Alfred Field house at 104 Gibson Street.
Society members Mary, Louisa and
Lucilla lived here with Carrie's Aunt Ann.
Some members were cousins and double cousins. Sisters Mary, Louisa and Lucilla Fields were Carrie's first cousins. Their mother Ann had married her first cousin so the girls shared much family history. Cousin Mary Fields for whom the quilt at the top of the page was made married Willis Fisk, a teacher at the Canandaigua Academy, the boys' school.
The Double Tie
Quilt historians can account for four quilts made by Carrie's Society. Two quilts in this pattern are in the collection of the Ontario County Historical Society. Jacqueline Atkins, who did much research on the Canandaigua quilts, called them Double Tie quilts in her book Shared Threads. The pattern was quite popular for "album bed quilts," in the 1840s and '50s.
Becky Brown's Double Ties Blocks
The Double Tie
The Double Tie album is the pattern for the month. At six inches (finished size) the design fills in between the applique blocks of various sizes.
You need to make 5 of them by the end of the year.
Barbara Brackman's Double Ties Blocks
You'll make a row of 3 and a row of 2.
Any colors you like.
A - Cut 4 rectangles 2-1/4" x 4". You will trim these after you piece them to fit the corners.
B - Cut 1 square 4-3/4" x 4-3/4". Cut with 2 diagonal cuts to make 4 triangles. You need 4 triangles.
C - Cut 1 square 2-1/4" x 2-1/4".
Piecing the Block
Double Tie by Denniele
Ink the center if you like.
"Three Rousing Cheers for the Union"
The block is from Mary Fields Fisk's quilt
at the top of the page.
Jared Willson House
211 North Main
Carrie's friend Clara Willson's home still stands in Canandaigua. Below, a detail of the quilt in the Double Tie design that her friends made for her marriage to Augustus G. Coleman. Every block is the same striped print. The women signed the center blocks and included verses, quotes and jokes.
Double Tie quilt for Clara Willson Coleman
Collection of the Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua
Clara's future husband Augustus Coleman photographed
the town from atop the courthouse in 1858.
Becky's Blocks 1, 2 & 3
Jacqueline Marx Atkins discussed the Double Ties
from Canandaigua in her book Shared Threads:
Quilting Together Past and Present.
If you want to get ahead of the story you
can read about Susie Daggett's quilt in Shelly Zegart's
Old Maid-New Woman at this site: