Thursday, May 5, 2016

Lovely Lane

A couple of weeks ago, the Baltimore Appliqué Society sponsored a trip to Lovely Lane United Methodist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, to hear a lecture from Marylou McDonald about the Baltimore Album Quilts housed in their museum. What an incredible treat! To be in the presence of these amazing works of art, stitched by women nearly 170 years ago, is awe-inspiring, to say the least.

There were four Baltimore Album Quilts and one whole-cloth quilt for us to view. The Album Quilts were all dated between the years 1846-1852, all made for pastors of Baltimore churches.

In the interest of inspiration, I (Teri) am going to let the quilts and blocks tell their stories. I hope that you will be just as moved as we were to study some of these blocks. They certainly have motivated me to try a few new techniques. And there are at least a few that I have put on my "must stitch" list. Enjoy!

This quilt was made for Reverend Best of the Bethel Mission, an interdenominational church for seamen.
This quilt faded quite a bit after being submerged in a river.

Seamans Bethel (Note: It actually reads Belhel; the t was not crossed.)


This quilt, bordered with chintz, was made for Rev. Robert Lipscomb

Detail of inscribed Bible block for the Reverend

Note the Rose of Sharon block beneath the star; there are six variations of this block on the next quilt. 

The lovely inked embellishments on this vase of flowers add such detail.

There is nothing I do not love about this vase of flowers.
The quilting is unique in each album block,  appropriately known as "album quilting." 

This quilt, the largest we saw, was made for Rev. George C. Roberts.

This was the first block to draw my eyes, since it was the first block that I taught as a class. To see my version, click here.

Several blocks on these quilts were done using the broderie perse style.

Here are five of the six Rose of Sharon blocks in the Roberts quilt, similar but not identical. I thought I had photographed them all, but I missed one. The sixth is pictured in the full quilt, above, to the left of the yellow star block. 

This quilt was made for Reverend Henry Wilson

Green Street Church block

Detail: Each brick and window pane is created with white sewing thread in a chain stitch.

Another lovely vase of flowers with inked embellishment

Check out these ruched flowers! And more lovely quilting to frame the vase.

Detail of ruching

The oldest of the quilts, there is some uncertainty as to whether it dates to the 1600s or 1700s. It is a white, whole-cloth quilt with a coarser fabric on the back. The channels were then stuffed. Originally, the quilting thread was blue, but at one point, when it was cleaned, the blue faded. This view looks to the center of the quilt.

A corner of the quilt

A view of the back, where you can see the stuffing.

A perfect ending to a perfect morning: enjoying some live spring flowers!

We hope you have enjoyed visiting these quilts with us. I have a few more photos of several additional blocks, but they may have to be a Part Two. There is no more photo-wrestling energy left in me today! 


  1. Thank you so much for sharing these pictures. I have always hoped to visit the Lovely Lane Church and see some of their collection.

    1. Hope you get the opportunity; they are a real treat! Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  2. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos. I immediately phoned and ordered the patterns from the museum. I can't wait for the cd to arrive and make a few of those lovely blocks.

    1. We're glad you enjoyed them, Karen. We have a few blocks we are planning to stitch also. They are all so beautiful!

    2. I do believe the white vase with gold embellishment is my favorite. I will be using that one for a Baltimore quilt in the works, ..that is IF it is included in the pattern collection...fingers crossed!

  3. simply A-m-a-z-i-n-g! thank you!

    1. They really were amazing! Thanks for stopping by our blog, Mary!

  4. Fabulous post. Thank you for sharing.