Thursday, January 9, 2014

name that block

New year stuff, cleaning out, organizing…

This has been on my TO DO list for a while: Make a Quilt Journal.

I recently read an online story, "Recording the Generations of Family Quilts," there are three quilts pictured together, from three generations. "It's remarkable to see generations of quilts grouped together.  It's like a quilt family reunion.   It's like one generation, maybe long gone, inspiring the ones that have followed.  It's so good, too, to see the changes in fabric and technique."

Making a quilt journal is important for your family history, and it can be as simple as a 3-ring binder with hand-written notes, pictures of quilts made, like this

Something to document the quilts I make, the quilts I inherited, the quilts I want to make, with historical information and other facts like:

name of pattern (and actual pattern with instructions)
pieced by
quilted by
lining (cotton/flannel etc.)
date made
given to, occasion
pictures of quilt, label, person who received it

The ones I have made in recent years will be easy. But I have a few quilts that I have no idea who made them or when, only that they came from the Tidwell side of the family… and I don’t even know the name of the patterns used.

T Square
I followed Linda's info and looked up Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman, and found it at the library. I browsed the 4000 patterns and found the one I called T-square, which is listed as Friendship Quilt #1662a, or Double T, or Four T Square #1662d:

Eight Pointed Star
I also found this one in the encyclopedia, 8 pointed star #3735a. (This is one I repaired back in 2006). 

This last one (above) I was not able to identify. I showed it to one of my online quilting friends and she suggested asking Barbara Brackman (of the aforementioned Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman), and said that she had a blog. I went to her blog and found a contact e-mail, figured it wouldn't hurt to ask, but I admit I was skeptical that I would receive a reply {a famous quilt historian/author answer an e-mail from me? about the identity of a quilt square? I figured maybe I would get a link to buy her book so I could look it up myself}. But I was wrong! What a nice person, she replied within half a day and said she would love to see pictures, then when I sent pictures, she replied:

I recognized it right away
It's 3086 in BlockBase (see picture)
Published twice in 1931. Aunt Martha called it Broken Stone and Lover's Quarrel. The Rural New Yorker (a NY famr magazine) called it New Wedding Ring. But your quilt is older than 1931.
No pastels or any of the '30s prints one would expect to see. It looks more like 1900-1925.
 Can I put it on the blog sometime?
 Barbara Brackman

How cool is that? Not only the name of the quilt pattern, but an approximate date based on fabrics used. Now if I just knew who made it...

The BlockBase she is referring to is a computer program with over 4000 quilt blocks, based on Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. Coincidentally, I just received an email stating this program is 20% off today only... :)

Bottom line, identify your quilts, name them, date them, label them, journal them, something, so 100 years from now when your descendants pull that old quilt out of the closet they can know a little something about it, and about you.

1 comment:

Linda J said...

My first guess was a variation of T block but when I looked at Blockbase that was not set in a crossing pattern. Then I wondered whether that center was based in the square in a square family? Isn't it fun to discover what these patterns might be? And hooray for Barbara Brackman being so responsive your email too. She sounded pretty excited about it!