Sunday, May 13, 2012

Paper-Cut Applique With Birds, Circa 1850

First off, I want to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day!

If you are a mother, had a mother, mothered anyone else's children, cared for other creatures be they two legged, four legged, or winged ---this day is for you! Mother’s day is not even gender-specific in my book.

If you have ever put the care of another above your own needs, you qualify. Thank you for all you bring to this world! You certainly make this world a gentler place to live. Thank you for sharing part of your life with me.

This next quilt I want to show you was SO fabulous – and again, not for its perfection, but wow…what a lot of WORK went into this beauty!

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Paper cut applique is started much like the paper snowflakes we made as children. The paper is folded into fourths, or eights as in the case of this quilt, and the design is cut out to make the main block pattern. The cut out paper design is then traced onto the fabric, and either appliqued to the base fabric in a cut-away process where the fabric is trimmed as the needle turning progresses, or the whole block can be cut out, basted to the base block, and appliqued by needle turn. The red flower tufts and buds are tucked in and added as well.

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The maker did all her applique work with a white/cream thread. her stitches are fine, but visible ---and how happy I am to see them!

Would you believe this blue fabric was once green? Green wasn’t a stable color at this time, and blue fabric was over-dyed with yellow to produce green. The only problem was, over time – the yellow would wash away leaving a teal blue.

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The winding vine border is adorned with a pair of birds at the center of each side of the quilt…..look at those skinny legs and the open beaks! The background area up to the border was filled with elongated clamshell shapes….it looked like they were “finger” size, meaning, she could easily mark around the tip of her finger as her “template” to fill in the background quilting. I guess that way you never wonder where your template ran off to!

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The block corners are filled with a really pretty leaf spray ---the applique itself has no quilting in it.

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Oh, another interesting thing that you can probably barely see here because of the blur --- the corner vines ---- they are of a different green fabric! Evidently the borders were appliqued in long lengths before joining to the quilt, and then the corner vines are added after the borders have been joined to the quilt center…she must have run out of that “Main” green for the quilt center….because all 4 corners have this different green where the corner turns. LOVE IT!

Without that green being different, we wouldn’t know the order in which she built her quilt top!

Though it was a rainy day, we ventured out to go take a quick tour of a couple of the old stone houses on the Historic Huguenot Street ---I also found a virtual tour of the houses HERE so you can see what I missed!

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The old stone houses are WONDERFUL to see. This one was built in 1712 by Jean Hasbrouck, and it is furnished inside much like it would have been in its day.

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LOVE the wide floor planks! and the table set close to the fire place for warmth ---

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Another drawing room with antique furnishings of the day.

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It was fun to see how they set it up..it even looks like there are ashes on the hearth!

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I really liked the heavy hardware on the split door, and the mustard color of the paint.

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The most amazing thing of all was the LOOM in the attic…this thing was gigantic ---and I can’t imagine all the hours spent weaving coverlets and cloth to provide for the family’s needs.

Susan told me about a photo she had of some residents in the early 1900s posing right out front of the house – and what is fun is that the house has not changed at all – take a look:


If that isn’t enough of a draw into history for you ---the diaries of Julia Lawrence Hasbrouck are being deciphered and presented as a blog, as if her life were unfolding through her journals as blog posts. FASCINATING!

You can get to know Julia through her words HERE. I signed up to have the updates delivered to my email so I wouldn’t miss an update ----be sure you go all the way to the BEGINNING: January 1, 1840 and then read forward to catch up. Be sure you grab a hot cuppa something and plan to spend some time with Julia and what life was like in New Paltz, NY in 1840.

The blog is entitled "From My Pen & Power" and is presented from Julia's diaries by Susan Stessin, the sweet gal who invited me for my special tour.

And with that – I’m off to have the men folk pamper me with a Mother’s Day breakfast --- enjoy your Sunday, everyone!


  1. My mom, who is 97 1/2 years old, was born in Transylvania, and remembers that kind of loom in her house. There was a traveling weaver who would come to people's homes to weave table linens and such. She was born in 1914, so I'm guessing her memories were from around 1920 or so.

  2. Another jam-packed history lesson brought to us by the traveling historian/quilter. Thanks, Bonnie. The "diary blog" looks fascinating.

  3. Love the pics of inside the house! I was born in the wrong time period. Thanks for posting. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!

  4. Thanks for sharing Bonnie - can't wait to sign up for her diary/blog! Hope you have a marvelous Mother's Day!!!!

  5. I had a chance to purchase a weaving loom like that a few years ago, but the thought of trying to fit it into a room (it was like a big 8-foot cube), and the thought of taking on a whole new line of projects, stopped me in my tracks! I loved the loom, but then I'd need all the weaving 'stuff' to go with it, and at some point, I would think I'd need to raise sheep, for my 'own' wool! And then what would happen to all this quilting fabric, too? lol It's probably very good that I passed on it!

  6. That quilt is soooo beautiful!! I loved seeing the house!! How exciting to read her diaries, I am such a history nut that I am thrilled to read it!!!!

  7. Ty for beautiful pics of applique quilt,she looks good in teal!!Looking forward to history lesson.

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  9. Thanks for sharing this beautiful Quilt. I wish I'd been able to see this posting yesterday but I was traveling Home. Have a great Week Bonnie!


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