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|
|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!