Time for a short post before Christmas! Here is a patch in Christmas red and green, with a little black accent. Once again it has the peculiar (to my eyes anyway) mouse-squiggle-alien creature-seed pod-flower design. Buti? Boteh? “Shawl pattern”? Indian import or English version? I don’t know. But I do know these patterns on calico show up a lot in the first decade or so of the 19th century. If you search for Ackermann’s Repository, the plates with fabric swatches attached, you’ll see them in many dress prints.
Category: 19th Century
Flower Patch 4
I chose another pattern for the season, and in honor of Thanksgiving week, it’s one with leaves! But to be quite frank, it’s pretty much… not pretty. Perhaps the whole pattern was nicer, and it’s only this snippet that is less than attractive to me.
The maker was certainly wanting to use it though, because she had to piece the piece. You can see just how tiny the scraps were, and it amazes me that she made the effort. Keep in mind the whole hexagon is only 2 inches across!
Something else that I find surprising in these sections is just how many of them have their original glazed finish, or sizing. Perhaps they were only cutting scraps, not from worn out garments. Even though times were changing, fabric itself still had more value than the average worker’s time. And it’s not just the fact that the scraps retain their glazing, I’m really surprised that so many of the pieces have it at all, enough to make them very shiny. I have to angle the photo “just so” to limit the reflection. Hmm… something to reflect on….
Flower Patch 3
It’s time for another bit of calico, and in keeping with the season I chose one with fall colors. I’m afraid the close-up photo doesn’t convey just how smooth, crisp and tight the fabric is – but if you’re like me, you’d rather see it larger!
This time I’m also including the back, with “The Examiner” now being used by the lady of the house. But who knows? Perhaps she was the subscriber as well. I like that thought.
Flower Patch 2
Here we are with another patch from the same collection. There are a LOT of them, so I’ll probably not even mention that in future posts, but simply add the photo.
This one is bright and cheery in yellow and blue, with an absolutely bizarre design. It’s also reminiscent of Mousey Mousey – but perhaps when he was feeling blue on a bad hair day.
The Flower Patch
Welcome to the Flower Patch! Back in the olden days when I was a child, my sister and I would sometimes take our afternoon naps on “pallets.” These were great-grandma-made quilts, all soft and worn, laid on the floor in front of an electric box fan (we lived in The South). Compelled to be still and quiet, we’d make a game of picking out our favorite patterns. Of course it sometimes degenerated into squabbles: “You can’t have that first favorite, ’cause it’s my first favorite!” We’d usually fall asleep and wake up best friends again.
I’ve recently come across a few little quilt bits – can’t afford whole garments or quilts – from my favorite era, the early 19th century, and thought I’d post a picture of a patch now and then. I wanted to record all the patterns anyway, and this seems like a good way to share them at the same time. If you happen to recognize a print, or are blessed enough to have the whole garment (which might give me the vapours), I’d love it if you’d let me know!
These patches are from an “English Paper Piecing” set. I believe it dates to the early 1800s, not only because of the patterns but because some of the paper that’s used on the back is c1808-1812. There are a few pages from English newspapers (London National Register, Monthly Magazine, etc.), private letters, and a whole lot of pages from an old copybook. Of course that doesn’t make a certain date; some fabrics could be earlier or later and it all could have been pieced later. But I’ll leave that to the experts.
The first patch I selected has a peculiar pattern. It reminds me of poor old Mousey Mousey. Mousey Mousey was a beloved toy that I still treasure, though heaven knows how anything so small (less than an inch) could survive the many decades and almost two dozen moves he has (we have) been through.
Pictured above is Flower Patch #1. By the way, it’s not my first favorite.