Saturday, March 26, 2022

Fanny Fawcett Hopkins's Quilt


Last week we got carried away with the well-documented lives
of the Crawford/Fawcett/Hopkins families in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

This week we can look at the extraordinary quilt handed down.

90" x 98"
Wisconsin Project & the Quilt Index

The family story tells us that the quilt was made in the early 1840s on a Virginia farm in Rockingham County where three generations of women lived. Nancy Smith Crawford (about 1790-about 1860) provided a home for her widowed daughter Jane Crawford Fawcett and Jane's two daughters Frances and Nancy. About 1840 the girls' grandfather, their father's father Joseph Fawcett, visited from St. Charles, Missouri. The story says he brought a gift of fabric, the cottons for this quilt.

Fabrics include a rather splashy Turkey red print and a blue-green used in the blocks & the set, both
a little larger than the conventional calicoes seen in quilts after 1840. A good deal of plain white backs the florals.

The border's green calico, perhaps the same print used in most of the leaves, is more typical of red and green quilts that became so popular. The blocks are set with triangles we'd call Flying Geese, pieced of dress cottons....

When striped effects were quite the fashion in day dresses

Why is the quilt extraordinary?

1) Age + condition

2) Visual appeal

3) Fabrics --- See above

4) Early example of a style & pattern. The pattern the family called Peony is a rather early fashion in red and green quilts, the color palette that became the rage in the early 1840s.

Quilt dated in the quilting 1840, Lucy Faris

National Museum of American History
Date-inscribed 1843-1845, Pink Phillips

One of Pink's teal blue-green blocks

Quilt date-inscribed 1845, Patsy Buckner Blakey, Missouri

One could look at the busy block and the busy set as a transitional style....

5) Much provenance or history that can be corroborated in records. See last week's post.


Robin said...

The fabric seems like great inspiration for a new line. Hint - Hint

Nann said...

The stems are different from block to block -- adding some movement (and humor?) to the design.