Friday, May 18, 2018

Introducing the Pincushion Quilt of 1825



Thank you for joining us again as we introduce a quilt recently donated to the Virginia Quilt Museum.  The Pincushion Quilt was made by Margaret Ann (Whitehead) Etheridge and was finished in 1825.  This beautiful quilt was constructed with silk fabrics appliqued on a velvet background. 





Completed in 1825, this quilt was entered into the Baltimore DAR Quilt Show in 1933 where it won a 1st place blue ribbon.

What do we know about the maker of this remarkable quilt?  Unfortunately, there's not a lot of information available about her.  Margaret Ann (Whitehead) Etheridge was born about 1805, probably in Portsmouth, VA.  She married Richard Etheridge and they had one son, William Henry Etheridge, who became caretaker of the quilt after the death of both parents around 1850.  For nearly 200 years, the quilt remained in Margaret's family for caretaking until November 2017, when Margaret's great-great-great-granddaughter, Renee (North) McCullough, donated it to the Museum.

Being nearly 200 years old, the quilt is in fragile condition and in need of repair. 



The Museum has commissioned Pam Pampe to undertake the repairs and we will be sharing her thoughts, processes and photos in future posts.


Martha applique'd the center silk fabrics of the pincusion blocks onto velvet fabric squares rather than piecing the blocks. When turning the quilt over you can see how she then stitched the applique'd "squares" together to form the center portion of the quilt.





She also used wool yarn to embroider the center wreath circles and stems.
Below is a detail of her work from the front and back of the quilt.





ABOUT THE PATTERN.....

While this quilt is entirely appliqued and embellished with embroidery, it can be accomplished by any applique method:  needleturn, back-basting, starch basting, wash-away applique paper or raw-edge, making it appropriate for any skill level.  For your convenience, we have included Full Size templates for applique placement.

Another Important convenience.....

You can purchase this pattern as an Instant Download.

Or, you can purchase a Print copy of the pattern. 
The Museum will ship Domestic/US as well as International shipping.

To purchase the pattern, Please click on the VQM shop page link HERE
Please note: you will have to scroll to the end of the link page for the pattern. The instant download purchase is a BLUE button. International & Domestic shipping are both Yellow buttons.

We hope you enjoyed learning about Martha Etheridge's Pincushion Silk Quilt!
Next month we will begin sharing tips and techniques that we're using to make our own versions of this quilt.  We're happy to share your pictures as well, if you decide to work on this quilt (or any of the quilts we cover this year).


Happy Quilting!
Patti and Doreen



Pattern reproduced with permission by Doreen Johnson & Patti Snyder on behalf of the Virginia  Quilt Museum © 2017 









Monday, January 1, 2018

Introducing the Neff Quilt


The Neff Quilt

Inscribed: Property of Elizabeth Neff
Pattern: Birds in Flight Variation
Dated: 1843


















We are very pleased to have you join us as we share 4 very special quilts this year, along with their stories.  Part of what makes these quilts so endearing to us is the fact that they were all made here in the Shenandoah Valley.  

A couple of these quilts have traveled well beyond the Valley over the years.  But with great passion and determination, Gloria Craft Comstock, Curator Registrar, tracked them down and the Museum was able to procure them. The Neff quilt was obtained in 2016.  Through fundraising, this quilt was purchased in part through private donations from our Museum patrons, membership and community.

Grab yourself a cup of warmth and join us for our first story.  Without further adieu, let us introduce to you the Neff Quilt and the women that provided the wonderful research and documentation for this quilt.  
Sincerely, 
Doreen & Patti


Original Quilt Property of the Virginia Quilt Museum
Research and Documentation by Gloria Craft Comstock, Curator Registrar , Virginia Quilt Museum and Barbara Adamson,  President, Shenandoah County Historical Society


Elizabeth "Bettie" Neff was born in 1833 and raised in Shenandoah County, VA.
The fabrics of Elizabeth’s quilt indicate an 1830-35 date that it was made. Elizabeth was 10 years old in 1843. Therefore, the hypothesis is that Elizabeth was given the quilt. This can be supported in that “Property of” is inscribed.



The family was of the Brethren Faith. Even though there is not a distinct aesthetic, the quilt maker’s use of color, particularly, the browns and subdued tones frequently were used in that community.

Shenandoah Valley patterns frequently used triangles, peaks and points. The borders on each side are triangles turned on their sides that could emulate mountains. 





The border is made of 2 different figured fabrics.






Triangles have fabrics of different toiles and an occasional chintz. These fabrics may have been imported.





"The black & white toile fabric is present in several blocks.  This probably was an imported fabric."  Gloria Craft Comstock  


The batting, back and top are cotton. Thread is also cotton. The front is brought to the back for the very thin binding. 





 "Sample of the quilting and the back.  Also, the applied binding.  Many typical browns from the 1830-40s.  The blue and brown figure print is a suggestion of Art Deco design that is 100 years later. " 

Gloria Craft Comstock 
MA Textile History & Quilt Studies

Curator/Registrar
Virginia Quilt Museum








Hand pieced and hand quilted, the finished quilt measures approximately 90" x 86".
The Condition of the Neff quilt is very good, considering it’s  journey.





ABOUT THE PATTERN......

We designed this pattern with all types of Quilters in mind.  So whether you prefer to Hand Piece, Machine Piece or Foundation Paper Piece, you will find this pattern user friendly.
For your convenience we have included Full Size templates for cutting and piecing your blocks.  We have also included Rotary Cutting instructions.  And for those who prefer to Paper Piece their blocks, we've included Foundation Patterns.  

If you enjoyed the historic information we shared about this quilt - more good news!
You will also receive along with your pattern -  a full page condensed version (that includes a picture of Elizabeth "Bettie" Neff) 


Another Important Convenience.....

You can purchase this pattern as an Instant Download.

Or, you can purchase a Print copy of the pattern.
The Museum will ship Domestic/US as well as International shipping.

To Purchase this pattern - click on the direct link below to the Museum's Shop page.
Scroll Down to the Neff Quilt and choose your preferred purchase option.
Please note:  The Instant Download option is a Blue button that says Add to Cart.

click here to enter the Virginia Quilt Museum Shop page.

Or you can click on the Neff Quilt found on the right sidebar to access the Shop Page.


We hope you enjoyed learning about the Neff Quilt!
Next month we will begin sharing pictures of blocks and projects made using this pattern.
We are happy to share your pictures as well, if you decide to work on this quilt (or any of the quilts we cover this year)

Pattern reproduced with permission by Doreen Johnson & Patti Snyder on behalf of the Virginia  Quilt Museum © 2016 

Celebrating Virginia's Quilting History, one story at a time ...