Saturday, November 18, 2017

Monuments & Memorials

Memorial Quilt from Julie Silber's inventory.
Stacked stones underneath an obelisk.

"Grant's Monument Quilt Block"
from an old scrapbook

The continuing Civil War discussion has focused recently on monuments & memorials. The movement to remember the War in statues and stone was quite a national trend in the years around 1900, a fashion reflected in quilt patterns too.

BlockBase shows two variations on the monument or tombstone design.
BlockBase #888

 Grant memorial ribbon

Ladies Art Company #136, Garfield's Monument
Ex-President Grant died in 1885; 
President Garfield was assassinated in 1881.
This pattern was published in 1889.

An obelisk

Variations on the obelisk were published and stitched from about
1880 to 1920.

Garfield's Monument 
Perhaps Farm & Home in the 1880s.

Mountain Heritage Center & the Quilt Index

Buckboard Quilts

Doyle Auctions pictured this one they called Garfield's Tomb. I think
they had it upside down.

The other pattern is more like a rustic mausoleum.

Stacked stones (or logs)

Skinner advertised this one as a wedding cake;
Shelly Zegart has one in her collection she calls Beehive.
But it was published as a monument.

Something in demand by quilters at the time.

A small one I used to own with that fine brown wool deteriorating.
 I sold it to friend Julie Powell.

The patterns were published as monuments to Presidents 
but quiltmakers seem to have thought of them as family gravestones.

Here's a variation from the Quilt Index, with a flat top.
The quilt top has papers attached with names to be inked or embroidered.

The block lower right says Dad...1928

The number is upside down in this photo because the seller did not see it as a tombstone.
No place for the name in the example.

It was one of a pair

Same pattern with a white space for a memorial plaque so to speak.
In a circa 1900 sampler...

Another circa 1900 sampler. The set of
red X blocks makes for an interesting repeat. The monument block
is actually on point.

A Turkey red & white top someone found at a yard
sale in Arizona. From the Quilt Index & the Arizona Project.

It's a different pattern, constructed perhaps as a strip quilt.

Variations on this design could be seen
as a tessellating shape, right side up or up side down.

Hoover-Minthorne House
I guess this one would be constructed in strips too.
More on monuments:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Stars in a Time Warp: Gladi's We Are Stardust

Gladi Porsche. We Are Star Dust.
Gladi's goal is to finish hand quilting her Stars in a Time Warp
by January because she is having a one-artist show at the New England Quilt Museum.

A terrific appliqued border

You may remember our Stars in a Time Warp 
Quilt Along in 2015.

Gladi got into making stars from her stash of reproduction prints.
She made a crib quilt

and a doll quilt.

The Quilts of Gladi Porsche will be up in Lowell, Massachusetts at the New England Quilt Museum from January 10 to April 29, 2018.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Civil War Quilt?

This quilt photo has found its way to several of those internet printing services that take images in the public domain and print them for you.
There's no information on the source or the history of the quilt. The caption reads:

Could it be an actual Civil War era quilt?

It shares design ideas with other patriotic quilts of the day, particularly this one from the collection of the Missouri Historical Society.
See more about the Hisorical Society's quilt here:

I've been looking for a source for about a year and have come up with nothing. Any ideas?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tonko's Tiny Yankee Diary

Tonko's Block 9
Our Thoughts Are Intense

Tonko in Japan is keeping up with the Yankee Diary 
Block of the Month.

She doesn't convert my pattern instructions
from inches to centimeters. She just changes the measurement
3-7/8 inches = 3-7/8 centimeters

So a 12 inch block will be 12 centimeters across---about 4-3/4"

It's too much math for me to explain it further
but she works SMALL.

She posted a photo of Blocks 1-8 on her design wall.

When you work at that scale your design wall can be
quite portable.

See her Thistly Room/Mixed T blog here:

On the right side click on 
"Handmade: Quilts: Civil War Quilts" to see Yankee Diary
and several other BOM's she's working on.

And see some of her other YD blocks at this post:

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Ellen Dicus Ex Slave

Thousands of people who'd lived as slaves made quilts but few made a note of their past history. This block was pictured in Patsy & Myron Orlofsky's Quilts in America in 1974, in the collection of the Vigo County Historical Society in Terre Haute, Indiana. Fabric and signature style look to be after 1880 into the early 20th century.

"Ellen Dicus
Ex Slave

I haven't found any more about the quilt except that Ellen's signature may be the only one on the quilt and it is in a corner block. Ellen herself is another matter.

Greenfield, Missouri is under the orange star.

Ellen Hobby Sloan Dicus (1831 - 1910) lived much of her life near Greenfield in Dade County, Missouri in the Ozarks.

Greenfield about 1910 with  the Opera House on the corner
and the hotel at the other end of the block.

She's buried in the Greenfield, Missouri cemetery with her husband Emanuel [Manuel] H. Clopton Dicus (1832-1910). The files on the Dicus family at FindAGrave give us a lot of information.

The 1880 census shows the couple as farmers who owned their own land, living in Sac Township in Dade County with nine children (although later records indicate Ellen had seven surviving children.) 

Lila Cole, who maintains the Dicus records at FindAGrave, writes:
"Ellen Dicus was born a slave in Tennessee. She was at times 'owned' by two different slavers one named Hobby and one named Sloan."

Daughter Rowena Malinda was born in 1859 "on  the old Sloan Homestead on [the] Sac River" in the Ozarks. The Sac, which feeds today's Stockton Lake, ran through Dade and Green Counties.

I think the hotel still stands

She may have come from Tennessee with the family of William Bradley Sloan (1814-1855) who settled in Missouri in the 1830's, building "a large double log house" in Sac Township. Ellen's husband Manuel was probably a slave in the family of Edward Dicus (1790-1865) from Jackson County, Tennessee.

The Greenfield Opera House recently

When the Civil War began 300 people lived in Greenfield. Seventy-one of them were enslaved. Missouri slave holders, mostly small farmers, tended to maintain just a few slaves. The 1860 schedule for Dade County indicted there were 346 enslaved people and 107 slaveholders, about 3 per family.

The History of Dade County and Its People, published in 1917, listed some ex-slaves:
Lucy Rutledge, Henry Griggs, Henry Stephenson, Bill Long, Manuel and Ellen Dicus, and Aunt Lilah Hoyle.

By then Ellen and Manuel were resting in the Greenfield Cemetery, but several of their children were probably still living near Greenfield---although one might have gone east to Terre Haute taking the quilt.