For March – Women’s History Month – we have chosen this incredible appliqué panel, probably made by Martha Cannon Webb Logan around 1840. She, of course, may have worked on it for a number of years. The long panel (17 inches by over 17 feet long) depicts Charleston as a seaport city, from detailed sailing ships, carriages, goods and animals, to stately houses. It was undoubtedly planned in a different format (a bed quilt perhaps), but was cut apart and portions reassembled by a later family member. The original maker’s use of fabrics and appliqué combine to create a fascinating folk art montage.  

Martha (1783-1843) was the daughter of William Webb and Margaret D’Oyley.  She married William Logan in 1819. The quilt pieces passed to her granddaughter, Martha Webb “Patty” Logan and then to her niece, Alice Logan Wright who gave it to the Museum in 1977, in memory of the many generations of Logans who have served the town, the province, and the country.

In 1990, Sandi Fox at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art included this piece in her exhibition and book, Wrapped in Glory: Figurative Quilts & Bedcovers 1700-1900, in which she postulates both the maker of the quilt piece and her sources for many of the individual motifs. Just recently, a new study has been taken on by Brenda Rousseau of Colonial Williamsburg and Kathleen Staples, an independent researcher, to try to figure out what might have been the original format for this intriguing piece.

Need to zoom in a little closer? Click here for a bit larger view.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

The Riviera quilt
1995
Nan Tournier

In 1995, The Gibbes Museum of Art mounted an exhibition of contemporary quilts and wall hangings based on a collaboration of quilters and architects. Nan Tournier, local quilter and quilt teacher at the time, teamed up with architect Anne Maguire for this wall hanging depicting the Riviera Theater at 225 King Street, Charleston. The fabrics relate to the colors, patterns and textures of the mosaic terrazzo floor of the entrance; the appliqué and quilting mimic the ironwork of the doors and vestibule. The quilt is cotton with metallic embellishments, machine pieced, appliquéd and quilted. The backing is black printed cotton. This quilt will be on exhibit in Quintessential Quilts until early October.

The Riviera opened on January 15, 1939, built on the site of the demolished Academy of Music. This amazing Art Deco (or classic modern as it was called then) building closed in 1977, and after a number of attempts and plans for new uses, it now is a conference center and retail space operated by the Charleston Place hotel. This link is to a history of this amazing structure – now immortalized as a quilt too. Some details of the theater are captured here.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Lowcountry South Carolina chintz appliqué quilts are usually full of wonderful floral motifs, celebrating springtime and the beauty of the area’s gardens. This rather unusual quilt is no exception. The central floral wreath medallion is almost completely missing, but the vast array of other applied motifs easily make up for that. The entire central square is printed with tiny little flowers and edged with a beautiful border fabric, printed especially as a border. The maker has created the next border herself by applying an undulating line of a leafy print, setting off alternating floral bouquets. The final border, 16.75” wide, is a repetition of fabulous urns and floral swags. It appears that the maker ran out of fabric and substituted a totally different print on one side, probably where the pillows would cover it. The final product is covered with tiny cross-hatch quilting and the whole piece is edged with woven tape binding.

This quilt probably dates c. 1830 and descended in the Lee family of Charleston. It was in the estate of Miss Eleanor May Lee (1903-1987), the daughter of Jacob Allison Lee and Eleanor Manson Wright, and given to the museum through her niece, Eleanor Cave Hill in 1988.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Water Lily appliqué quilt, 1930s, made by Doris Beckman Schwettmann, Charleston, SC.

This delightful quilt has twenty-three appliquéd water lilies and lily pads surrounded by a scalloped green border, a wide white border with quilted flowers, and an outer border of appliquéd interlocking scallops. It has a white backing, thin batting and green binding. The pastel colors and minty green are very typical of the 1930s.

It is similar to a pattern published by a company like Mountain Mist®, who began printing patterns on their batting wrappers in 1930. Since it is obvious Doris was a skilled needleworker, perhaps she created her own design or used a pattern as a starting point. Her design has a variety of water lilies, while the Mountain Mist® pattern repeats the same flower. Some of the quilter’s markings are still visible under the appliqués and along the quilting lines.

Doris Beckman (1871-1950), born in Palmetto, GA, married Charleston pharmacist Dr. Frederick William Schwettmann. Her grandson, Fred J. Martschink, was the donor’s husband.

Gift of Pauline C. Martschink in 1999

Mountain Mist® is considered the original inventor of commercial filler products for quilters. They have been producing and marketing quilt batting, fiberfill and pillow forms since 1846. Their pattern collection began in 1929 when the sales manager, Fritz Hooker, decided to print patterns on the batting wrappers to boost sales. In the 1970s, the company reissued many of these 1930s & 1940s patterns on their batting wrappers and in 1998 actually published a book of these earlier patterns.

There seems to have been a resurgence of hand quilting in the 1930s, perhaps due to the hard times of the Depression. Pieced and appliquéd quilts allowed the re-use of fabric scraps into a functional, and beautiful, item. A handsome quilt provided beauty and creativity during these difficult time. The act of quilting – from sharing fabrics to quilting bees – provided a productive activity for women to share a bond of friendship. And quilt displays and contests, from local fairs to national events, often offered cash prizes, a huge incentive in those bleak years.

This quilt is on exhibit in Early 20th Century Quilts until August 4, 2013

Like this pattern? Join us for a workshop to reproduce this quilt, April 13, 20, 27, 2013.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

This 1853 Chimney Sweep quilt bears signatures and dates of ladies from Sumterville (now Sumter), South Carolina, 1851-1853. It could have been made for a young bride leaving town and moving to Charleston, where the quilt was later found.  This quilt is currently on exhibit in Threads of War: Clothing and Textiles of the Civil War.
The pieced Chimney Sweep pattern was very popular for album or friendship quilts in the mid-19th century, probably since a name or inscription could be written in the central cross of each block. Each contributor would sew a block of the pattern in fabrics of her choice and the recipient could add sashing, like the brown print used here, a border perhaps, and then quilt the finished product.
Related program: Public Quilting Bee  Quilters will be working on a reproduction  of this Chimney Sweep album quilt on a traditional quilting frame. Museum guests of all ages are encouraged to sit with our experienced quilt volunteers and give hand quilting a try, or just observe.Third Saturday of each month (through at least Sept 2011), 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

This 1853 Chimney Sweep quilt bears signatures and dates of ladies from Sumterville (now Sumter), South Carolina, 1851-1853. It could have been made for a young bride leaving town and moving to Charleston, where the quilt was later found.  This quilt is currently on exhibit in Threads of War: Clothing and Textiles of the Civil War.

The pieced Chimney Sweep pattern was very popular for album or friendship quilts in the mid-19th century, probably since a name or inscription could be written in the central cross of each block. Each contributor would sew a block of the pattern in fabrics of her choice and the recipient could add sashing, like the brown print used here, a border perhaps, and then quilt the finished product.

Related program: Public Quilting Bee  Quilters will be working on a reproduction  of this Chimney Sweep album quilt on a traditional quilting frame. Museum guests of all ages are encouraged to sit with our experienced quilt volunteers and give hand quilting a try, or just observe.Third Saturday of each month (through at least Sept 2011), 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Mosaic patchwork quilt by Marina Jones Gregg, 1852, Charleston, SC. Made of silk fabrics, cotton batting and silk fringe. The quilt is 103 ½ inches long by 97 ½ inches wide. The hexagon templates are 1 3/8 inch.
This masterpiece is a pattern called Stars and Diamonds. The backing is composed of gold and yellow silks, which were pieced together. The mosaic patchwork is quilted inside each hexagon, 1/8 inch from the seam lines. The navy blue silk border is quilted in cable design; the quilting averages fourteen stitches to the inch. The Charleston Museum also has the brass template Marina used to make the paper templates. Marina Gregg received an award, a silver pitcher, for her efforts on this quilt.  
Marina was born in 1811 to Col. Mathias and Clara Perry Jones. She married William Gregg in 1829. William was a silversmith and jeweler and it is most likely that he made the brass templates for this quilt. The couple lived at 148 Rutledge Avenue in Charleston, then later in Graniteville,  SC, where William became a textile manufacturer. Marina died in 1899 and is buried in Magnolia  Cemetery.  
To learn more about mosaic patchwork quilts and even Marina Gregg, see our publication Mosaic Quilts: Paper Template Piecing in the Lowcountry. The Marina Gregg quilt graces the cover.
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Mosaic patchwork quilt by Marina Jones Gregg, 1852, Charleston, SC. Made of silk fabrics, cotton batting and silk fringe. The quilt is 103 ½ inches long by 97 ½ inches wide. The hexagon templates are 1 3/8 inch.

This masterpiece is a pattern called Stars and Diamonds. The backing is composed of gold and yellow silks, which were pieced together. The mosaic patchwork is quilted inside each hexagon, 1/8 inch from the seam lines. The navy blue silk border is quilted in cable design; the quilting averages fourteen stitches to the inch. The Charleston Museum also has the brass template Marina used to make the paper templates. Marina Gregg received an award, a silver pitcher, for her efforts on this quilt. 

Marina was born in 1811 to Col. Mathias and Clara Perry Jones. She married William Gregg in 1829. William was a silversmith and jeweler and it is most likely that he made the brass templates for this quilt. The couple lived at 148 Rutledge Avenue in Charleston, then later in Graniteville, SC, where William became a textile manufacturer. Marina died in 1899 and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery. 

To learn more about mosaic patchwork quilts and even Marina Gregg, see our publication Mosaic Quilts: Paper Template Piecing in the Lowcountry. The Marina Gregg quilt graces the cover.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday