Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Quaker Pride---Block History

I tossed 20 of your blocks into a digital quilt.

Looks pretty good.

Dated 1851, made by students at the Five Point School
in Warren County, Ohio. Ohio Historical Society Collection.

I have many photos of this block because it was so popular as an album choice and because I like the way it works in design. The earliest dated examples I have in the photo files are from 1841 and 1842 at the beginning of the signature quilt craze.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Date: 1841. Signatures include
Mary Ann Skerrett, E.B. Phillips, George S. Lang,
Julian Phillips, and E. Phillips, Philadelphia

Collection of the Salem County Historical Society in New Jersey.
The makers lived in Mullica Hill in Gloucester County.

Samuel Gillingham was a Philadelphia Quaker

Very similar quilt attributed to Elizabeth Prickett of Burlington County from the Gloucester County Historical Society Museum. Striped sashing looks good whether the blocks are set on the square or on point.

Another dated 1841-1842 from the New Jersey Project

As Jessica Nicholl wrote three decades ago in her catalog: Quilted For Friends: Delaware Valley Signature Quilts: "Friends [Quakers] found the idea of memory quilt particularly compelling."
Nicholl studied several of these quilts and found they had signatures in common.

And then there are some fragments & blocks.

Presented to the Revd. Thomas P Hunt by the 
Ladies Total Abstinence Society, Philadelphia, 1842. 

Maybe this man: a famous temperance preacher who died in Philadelphia in 1876.
The fragment above was from an online auction.

Nicholl also lists an 1841 quilt made by the Female Jefferson Total Abstinence Society 
Presented to the Daughters of the Reverend Thomas and Anna Hunt
in the Atwater Kent/ Philadelphia History Museum Collection.

A fragment 1841-1842 that was once in Julie Silber's inventory, now
in Sandra Starley's collection.

Evalina L. Shaw's block, 1841

1842 Angelina Venable, a set of 12 blocks

At least two in a sampler album dated 1842, also in the Starley collection.

The block continued popular in the Delaware River Valley and spread to other regions. Here's a great version from the collection of the Mercer Museum, dated 1843-1844. Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

The Delaware River Valley in eastern Pennsylvania
& western New Jersey.
The heart of album quilt country.


Unknown said...

I know this block as Courthouse Square. So versatile.

Catie Stark said...

This is so cool. I've made the modern version (the granny square quilt) and I was raised Quaker. I've been doing some Quaker wouldn't research bc I grew up in rural Idaho, where the small Friends school was kept in operation each year by an auction, where all the ladies would make and sell quilts.

We also had a small quilt show every year
I would just ogle over all the quilts and get to figure out how they were made until I got old enough to make them myself.

Thank you so much for this post, I love knowing this!