I had the opportunity to attend the Frugal and Fancy Quilt Exhibit at the Indiana State Museum recently. I wanted to share some of the quilts with you.
Whig Rose is an appliquéd quilt made by Lavina Fudicil Rubottom from Franklin County (1845-1865). Lavina is said to have pieced quilts at night by lamp and candle light while waiting for her husband William to come home from work. I sure would have had to have better light than that to appliqué and quilt this masterpiece! Pay careful attention to the elaborate stuffed work in the border. In 1887, the quilt was presented as a wedding gift to relatives.
The redwork embroidered signature quilt was made by the Westminster Presbyterian Church Ladies Aid Society, Indianapolis, Marion County (1889). From the 1880s to 1930s, embroidered quilts were a popular way to raise funds. Many well-known Indianapolis businesses or their employees paid to appear on this quilt. A signature from Vonnegut Hardware (owned by author Kurt Vonnegut’s family) and Charles Mayer & Co. appear on this quilt. The finished quilt was presented to the church’s pastor, Rev. Thomas Todd and his wife.
This Crazy Quilt was made by the Grisard sisters of Vevay in Switzerland County in 1884. Zelie Grisard and her sister created an elaborate silk parlor throw to show off their needle skills. If you click twice on this picture to enlarge it, you might be able to find the embroidered Japanese and Kate Greenaway motifs popular in the 1880s and 1890s.
This Amish Nine Patch Variation pieced quilt was made by Lydia A. Yoder of LaGrange County in the 1870s. The simple pattern and rich colors create a striking scrap quilt.
The Pomegranate appliquéd quilt was made by Mary Jane Summers McClellan from Auburn in DeKalb County in the 1850s. This four-block or “quadrant” appliqué quilt is an early style favored before the Civil War.
The most intriguing quilt to me was The Indiania (yes, "Indiania" not "Indiana") Fancy Quilt. It is an appliquéd quilt made by Clarissa Rohrbaugh Strong from Delaware County in 1854. Clarissa was not about to be an “anonymous quilter!” Her masterpiece is named and signed in bold appliquéd letters reminiscent of coverlet weaving or cross stitch. Clarissa Rohrbaugh Strong was born 1813 in Hardy County, in what is now West Virginia. Two years later her family moved to Caesar’s Creek in Greene County, Ohio. On November 18, 1834, she married John Wilson Strong, a farmer. They lived the remainder of their lives near Albany in east central Indiana, where they raised six children. After Clarissa’s death on July 5, 1900, her family lovingly cared for her quilt for another 109 years.
After each word, she has put a period. She names the quilt beginning on the right-hand side and working counter clockwise. I love how she almost runs out of room for her name (check the bottom of the left-hand side) and "squishes" the "G" in.
The quilting is spectacular, as you can see in this close up shot.
Here is a close up of the lettering. It is all appliqued. Now, that would take a LONG time.
Baskets is a pieced and appliquéd quilt made by Ruth Ann Trinkle of Huron in Lawrence County (1890s-1900). Talk about tiny blocks! Five different blue prints are used to form these itty-bitty baskets. Ms. Trinkle was frugal with fabric but not with her time!
The Dogwood appliquéd quilt was designed by Marie Webster and made by Mary Ann Sipe of
(1940s). Marie Webster of Marion County , revived quilting in the early 20th century and wrote the first book about it, “Quilts, Their Story and How to Make Them.” Her appliqué designs appeared in the “Ladies Home Journal” and were sold from her home, now the Quilters Hall of Fame. The Dogwood design was published by the Ladies Home Journal in January 1912. I have also included pictures of some of the preliminary work for the quilt. Marion, Indiana