If you shop for books on sites like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you know they provide helpful book suggestions based on the titles you view (yeah, it’s a bit stalker-ish) and also some “package” deals. After my visit to Mary Koval’s house, I had an insatiable urge for some new books about antique quilts. While searching Amazon, I was provided with the choice of buying all three of the books above (Philena’s Friendship Quilt by Lynda Salter Chenoweth, Classic Quilts from The American Museum in Britain by Laura Beresford and Katherine Hebert, and American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780-2007 by Robert Shaw) when I was viewing the Shaw book. I took a gamble and ordered the lot. Let me tell you, this gamble paid off. Talk about eye candy! When I flipped through the books, all I could think of was the line from Father of The Bride 2, “Bye, bye, George. See you next Thursday.” I am not going to get anything done except pour over these books.
My interest in the Chenowith book (2009, Ohio University Press, 90pp.) was piqued by my purchases from Mary. I cannot resist red and green and signature quilts and bought the top above plus the signature blocks below. The top is a small one and I hope it is sound enough to hand quilt and finish. Then I’ll have my very own antique red and green quilt (yay!). I have absolutely zero information on the signature blocks except they were the best examples from at least 30 blocks. They had all been together as a top at one time because you can see the stitching holes around the edges. I just like the color and the writing and plan on getting them framed. Their story will remain a mystery. The book details the author’s research into the Quaker community whose names were inked on a lovely mid-19th century signature quilt from Ohio that she purchased from an antique dealer in California. (How do people find these things? I never get that lucky.)
The Shaw book (2009, Sterling Publishing, 376 pp.) is a coffee table book, but definitely not just a pretty face. It is packed with information and pictures of quilts from museums and private collections. The history of quilts ranged from Chapter 1: Old World Traditions and American Beginnings, 1780-1825 to Chapter 5: A Nation Divided, 1840-70, right up to Chapter 14: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, 2000-2007 (and everything in between). Do you see that blue and white Burgoyne Surrounded quilt with the eagle border on the right below? I held that in my own two hands. I thought that striking eagle border looked familiar and then I remembered where I saw it. Mary Koval has that quilt in her home. Sure enough, the caption states the quilt is from her collection. Now I know why she had this book on her coffee table.
The Classic Quilts book (2009, Scala Publishers, 128 pp.) is another stunner in terms of pictures. It relates the story of the American Museum in Britain (who knew!) and its quilt collection. The photography is outstanding and many photos are full page. You can get an idea of the detail and size of the pictures from the photo below. For those of you lucky enough to be taking a trip to the Victoria & Albert show this summer you should plan on an excursion (and don’t forget to tell your story to make us all jealous).