Saturday, April 18, 2009

Open Book: Massachusetts Quilts

Since this week is National Library Week, it's only appropriate that we put up a new Open Book post. Believe you/me, between all the reading and book perusing Porcelain and I do, we should easily be able to post an Open Book every single week. But then there's the photo scanning...and the fact that we're lazy...and ill-equipped... Yet the artistry displayed in Massachusetts Quilts is quite the opposite:

"Rail Fence" made by Ida Mae (Davis) Wood of Pittsfield, c. 1890

If you have ANY interest in quilting or textile design or even storytelling, please visit your local library and check out Massachusetts Quilts. This book will drop your art-lovin' jaw.

"Laurel Leaves" attributed to Betsy Rice Nims of Buckland (and/or daughters), c. 1840

I admit that I read nothing of the text and only flipped through the photos, occasionally reading the captions. But seeing all the images, drawings, and detail shots of new to antiquated quilts in this book is nothing short of inspiring. In fact, I bookmarked all these images a few weeks ago and now, after flipping through the book again for captions, I found 15-20 other pics I wish I had scanned.

Detail of "Hexagon Mosaic" made by Sarah Clark (Ellis) Ide of Milford, c. 1845

Please read this post as a teaser to entice you on the idea of Massachusetts Quilts and then go check the book out in-person to get the full experience.

"Butterflies" made by Jessie Gillies Kent of Lawrence, c. 1930

"Broken Sash" made for the Nantucket Agricultural Society, 1856


Bree said...

If I've said it once, I've said it twice: people from Massachusetts are the most best people of them all.

Heather Booth said...

What is it that's written in the centers of the white squares in "Broken Sash"? Beautiful.
I have a quilt like the hexagon mosaic one. It was started by my great grandmother using clothing scraps during my grandma's childhood in the Depression, then packed away and forgotten for decades. When I was a kid, my mom found it and several of us worked together to finish it with new scraps.
Thanks for the post!

Cardboard said...

Hey Heather- I didn't even see the writing in the squares. Whoa! Some of them look like signatures? The book has run off and jumped into Northwestern's circulation but maybe I can track it down again soon for a closer look.

Way to go on finishing your grandma's quilt. That sounds like a lovely way to lady-bond.