September 27, 2009

Delectable Mountains

My goal this morning is to clean and organize my closet. I will be a mountainous project as I store my photo albums, 42 years of journals, family genealogy records and antique quilts. It is a BIG closet. One of the quilts in my closet is a beautiful antique Victor bought me for $20 in a local shop. I just couldn't believe what a find it was! It is made using the Delectable Mountains quilt block. For a history of this quilt block click HERE.

I have to quess about the quilt's age, but there are a few things that give me clues. The white fabric is called "Lawn", a very fine-weave cloth that used to be made out of linen but these days it's generally made out of cotton. The printed fabric looks to me to be a pre-civil war cloth of a blue and brown print. In the past, I was told, metal/iron was used in dying a fabric brown. Throughout the years, the water from washing this quilt literally RUSTED the fabric away. The batting is actually exposed, where the brown dye used to be and the only reason why this quilt has held together is because of the quilter's expert stitching, some of which is in a clam shell pattern. So beautiful! There is a nice surprise on a back corner of this quilt, the maker's signature patch. It reads "Hattie L. Woodhull. No. 8.". Did Hattie choose the Delectable Mountains block because she was impressed by the Great Rocky Mountains as she traveled by wagon train from Ohio to Montana?We do have some local Woodhull families and after talking with them, I discovered that Hattie was from the Ohio area, born in the 1850's. (It was the family that gave up the quilt!) I am guessing, but I believe the "No. 8" she wrote, meant her 8th quilt. Was the fabric older than she was? Often, women made quilts from fabric stashes passed down to them from their mothers/grandmothers. Or they made their quilts using fabric from worn dresses.

For the pattern to make this quilt go to Quilter's Cache: Delectable Mountains Quilt Block.

Here is a picture of a wall hanging I recently finished. I used the Rail Fence pattern to make this patriot quilt that I named "Southern Sympathy".

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