I just love their home, a remodeled old church that was de-commissioned over 30 years go, and transformed into a wonderful living space by Joe several years back.
After a fabulous dinner we sat around while Mary pulled out quilts and tops from a tall antique cupboard, which lead to pulling quilts out of storage down stairs as we talked about this new fangled expression now known as “Modern Traditionalism.”
Yes, this goes hand in hand with the article I wrote for My Stars, the modern division of Kansas City Stars Books. Read it HERE and let me know what you think!
We discussed the difference between the Indiana Amish who were “quite progressive” in their patchwork during the same era that the Lancaster, PA Amish were very rigid. Were those Indiana Quilters bordering on modern in their own day?
The conversation turned toward orphan block quilts, or “Cotton Crazies”, something we both have a passion for –and Mary pulled out this lovely cot sized quilt from I think 1860 to 1870 range if I remember correctly.
Was this bordering on "MODERN" when this quilter made her masterpiece? Or was it Traditional?
What I would have done to have spent time watching this quilter put this together!!
Isn't this awesome?
Modern or Traditional, it is completely improvisational! ((Okay, I now have the tune and lyrics from Prates of Penzance floating through my head "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" LOL!))
CAN you make a modern quilt out of traditional fabrics? This quilter did! However, these fabrics WERE very "modern" in her day.
I love that bit right above the 4-patch border…it looks like something was added to square the quilt up before the 4-patches were attached…were these left over blocks, or ones that just didn’t work? She used what she had to put this together in all its graphic wonderful messiness!
Up the other side.
Look closely and you will find perfectly recognizable blocks, and lots of individual block units and elements ---what jumps out at you first? The lemoyne star? The double 9 patch? Or perhaps that partial 7 sisters in blue and white?
Little further up the side..
Do you see that one block with the zig zag around it? SO wonky! SO wonderful! Look:
If I could name this block, I think I’d call it “Wild Night Out!” :cD
Down the other side ---
Love the section in the center that seems color controlled to red, tan plaid and navy…it’s like she worked with the scraps from one project here….slivers of this and that just sewn together randomly.
Can you see it better here? And I love that row of tiny triangles just before the 4-patch border.
Strips and strings and crumbs and orphans….what a great quilt!
4 partial sisters! Where are the other 3??
Life is kind of like this. Sometimes we are left with all of these aspects and ingredients that don’t seem to fit together at all. we can’t make rhyme nor reason, head nor hair out of how to make it work….None of these pieces and parts were sufficient enough to do the job on their own, but when they were all put together, they became a beautiful whole.
Orphan Quilt Back --
This is what I have on the back of Carolina Christmas, found in Scraps & Shirttails II. I put this together much the same way for much the same reason ---pieces and parts and blocks that didn’t seem to fit together, but yet they found a place here. I LOVE this quilt back….I love doing things like this.
Perhaps, if I were ever to meet the quilter that made Mary & Joe’s treasured orphan quilt, we’d find ourselves with plenty in common and lots to talk about!
On my way to Hershey today – I’m planning my route and hoping to find some cool antique places to stop along my journey. I hope I’ll be seeing many of you there!