Sunday, August 23, 2015

Career of a Crazy Quilt Revisited

Crazy Quilt Sampler
This CQ sampler block was made by Rachel Louise Chipp Everett (1861 - 1949). It was purchased in 2015 from her great-grand-daughter Stephanie Walsh, owner of Swamp Angel Antiques in the Catskills, NY.  This piece embodies many of the motifs and suggestions described Godey’s 1884 story by Dulcie Weir, The Career of a Crazy Quilt. 
In the upper left hand corner there is a spray of leaves painted on silk.  Unfortunately this section has succumbed to shattering, commonly found on the silk used in crazy quilts of that era – heavy metals used in processing the silk to make it weigh more, increased the price paid per pound and gave “rustle to the bustle” but in the long run destroys the silk. 
The top center has a lovely Kate Greenaway motif, the “cute little dog” mentioned in the story. [In the highlighted box is another example of the ‘cute little dog’  found on a CQ dated 1883, maker unknown.]
In the center of the block is a spray of silk flowers that has been appliquéd to the piece and embellished with embroidery stems and leaf veins. 
Just below that and to the left is the iconic Kate Greenaway “little girl sitting on a fence” done in black outline stitch. 
In the lower left hand section there are some daisies done in ribbon embroidery and finished with yellow and green embroidery. 
The bottom center of the block contains purchased Kate Greenaway motifs fastened with tiny stitches around the border of the motifs.  In the 1884 story it mentions “lovely little figures for appliqué were available to purchase” and these figures represent the types of motifs available to the patchwork quilters. 
And lastly we have in the lower right hand corner a fan motif.  These are commonly found in crazy quilts, though not mentioned in the 1884 story, adding fans to crazy quilts was suggested as a design motif in the January and February 1885 issues of Peterson’s magazine.  Fan designs were also used in making wall pockets and pin cushions.  

Rachel Louise Chipp Everett was the third wife of Egbert G Everett and the daughter of Deys and Josephine Chipp; the Everetts had one daughter Mae Adelia Everett. Mae was the wife of Stanley J Matthews Sr.  They had several children, one being Barbara Louise Matthews who married Avery Newcombe  in 1941.  Stephanie Newcombe Walsh is one of the children from that union, and the great-grand-daughter of the maker of this beautiful piece of work that is now in my collection.