Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Emma Paul's Quilt

As some of you know, I'm the documentation chair for the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts.  I've been working hard to catch up with entries lately, now that I can work comfortably at the computer for longer periods of time.  I thought you might like to see some of the beautiful quilts we have documented and are entering into the Quilt Index.
This beautiful scrap quilt belongs to the New Berlin Historical Society.  According to the former owner, when Emma Stickels Paul was 21 years old, in 1862, she made this quilt in Mukwonago, Wisconsin.
The quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted.  We've identified the pattern as Brackman #2050, which has the name Indian, given to it by "Nancy Page" in the 1930s.  We really have no idea what Emma called the pattern.  The backing is unbleached muslin.  The binding is the same green as the sashing and borders, applied separately.
There are floral shapes quilted into the center squares, which are hard to see.  On this square there is a tiny spider web embroidered in white cotton.  We thought it might be a darn, but it isn't--there is no hole.
This is the most interesting find on the whole quilt:  the letter "A" embroidered in chain stitch with white cotton on one of the center squares.  Did Emma make it for someone whose name started with an A?  Or was Emma even the maker of the quilt?  Could the A stand for someone else who made the quilt?  Or someone who helped?
The donor of the quilt inherited it from his mother, who acquired it from Emma's husband.  The donor was Emma's nephew.
It would be fun to trace the genealogy of the family.  The date of 1862 seemed right to those of us who saw it in person, which included 3 AQS certified quilt appraisers.
Wouldn't this be a fun pattern to sew?  I think I'd make it as an 8 in. block, with a 4 in. center square, four 2 in. squares for the corners, and 8 triangle/squares that finish at 2 in.
If you made the center square 6 inches, and the squares and triangle/squares 3 in., you'd have a 12 in. block.
I'll be entering this quilt into our section of the Quilt Index in the next few days.  We already have 448 quilts entered.  If you'd like to see them, or any others, just point your browser to
Happy quilting!

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