Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Herbarium #12: Hop Vine for Sarah Josepha Hale


Herbarium #12: Hop Vine for Sarah Josepha Hale by
Kathy Suprenant

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879)

Hop Vine is a rather practical pattern to recall the great romancer of flowers Sarah Hale, editor of Godey's Lady's Book from 1836 to 1877 and author of an influential and popular book Flora's Interpreter: The American Book of Flowers and Sentiments.

Flora's Interpreter must have inspired many verses
for albums---bound and perhaps quilted.

Sarah who lived a long life, dying at 92, was a generation older than many of the women we've looked at in the Herbarium seriesHer floral book began with a bit of botanizing in which she lists common and botanical names of various flowers but she (and her readers----she was very good at determining what readers wanted) were more interested in sentimental meaning. The book is primarily collected poetry and quotes. A lady might use the nonverbal "Language of Flowers" to send a "coded message" as a floral gift, an album inscription or even a quilt block. (Let's not go too far on coded messages in quilt blocks!)

Hop Vines (Humulus family) from a German print, 1860

Hop vines would have no sentimental spot in such a book (unless you were a fan of beer) but Sarah's publishing empire (she published dozens of books) included cookbooks too.

Hop Vine by Becky Brown

Although she was a great influence on Victorian America's romantic era Sarah was a practical woman. Born in New Hampshire, she married David Hale when she was in her early twenties. Her 39-year-old husband died in 1822 when she was pregnant with her fifth child. She'd taught school but turned to writing for a career, publishing a saleable novel Northwood: A Tale of New England five years later. She moved to Boston where she edited a New England women's magazine and then to Philadelphia to take over Louis Godey's Lady's Book.

The Lady Editress, 1850

Godey's often published patchwork patterns
over the years but as a taste-maker hoping to
elevate the vernacular, Hale was not about to publish
 floral appliques or the novel calico block designs American
quiltmakers were actually using.

Silk template pieced geometry was her standard---more elegant.

Her Philadelphia row house at 922 Spruce

Shelburne Museum's Sampler
No Hop Vines in Godey's.
Our mysteriously similar patterns certainly were
not published in the mid-century magazines.

National Portrait Gallery
Auguste Edouart's 1842 silhouette portrait of Sarah,
mentioning her floral books.

Godey's Lady's Book was America's widest circulating magazine before
the Civil War, a real achievement for the editor.

Hop Vine by Becky Collis

The Block

Half of the eight samplers have similar Hop Vines, all greens.

12 Hop Vine by Barbara Brackman

Humulus lupulus
Similar trifoliate leaves in a botanical print

12 Hop Vine by Denniele Bohannon

Becky Brown's finished top 2023

Shelburne Museum Collection
The original inspiration with the names of the blocks

And that's the last pattern of our Herbarium. 
See a post with links to all 12 patterns published in 2023 & 2024 here:

Post pictures of your blocks and finishes at our Facebook group HerbariumQuilt:

Kathy Suprenant's Blocks in progress

Print this label on your ink jet printer on treated fabric for a label for your Herbarium quilt. It should print out 6" by about 7-1/2". Plenty of room for your own information.

Next month (March 27th) we begin the 2024 applique BOM Kentucky Classic.

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