Sunday, June 28, 2015

Red & White Old Maids Puzzle Quilt

We shall visit today, yet another quilt, from my family collection of quilts. This too, is a quilt that was made by grt. grandma, Ann Elston Krout-Scearce. This one has so much character, I hardly know where to begin. This one I especially like, because it shows all manner of stitches, and varying skill levels.

This first picture clearly shows grt. grandma Anne's, laundry mark, in the form of the numbers 137. It is written in ink, not stamped.

The quilt is 76 x 90 inches, and is in the, "Old Maids Puzzle", pattern, and is sewn by hand with a knife edge. Red and white quilts were very popular in the 1890's but also in the1920's & 30's. I believe this one was made about the same time as her other quilts, for it too was machine sewn and hand quilted. I think it too was sewn on the new singer treadle sewing machine she purchased in 1924. The skill of the machine sewer remains as good as the other quilts in my collection that belonged to her. I think she used this quilt to teach others to quilt, be it students from the high school or a ladies sewing club.

There are a minimum of five different sewers stitches, used on this quilt the best being 8 to 9 stitches to the inch on a 1 inch grid, some others being as little as 4 stitches per inch and their grids all over the place.

Look closely, at the quilting of this block, and you will see how evenly, the stitch pattern is done.

Now compare it to this one, that is from another part of the quilt, and you will see that whoever did this, had very poor sewing skills.  If quilts could only talk!

As these pictures clearly show, many hands made swift sewing of this quilt, but as you can see, in the upper portion of the last picture, it was never quite finished.

I like to think of those ladies, sitting around this quilt, sewing away, while chatting about the latest news, or gossip. Sewing Circles were a very large part of the, "Social Network," of their day, and would have been a welcome break, for the ladies, in a small town like Mosier, or Hood River Oregon.

I insert this picture, of a group of unknown ladies, because it was among the pictures, of grt. grandma, Scearce. From the look of the clothes, I would say this picture dates in the late 1800's, to early 1900's. If the late 1800's, it taken when the family were living in Noblesville, Indiana. If 1911 or later, they were in Mosier and Hood River, Oregon. I thought this group, looked just like a Ladies Aid Society, or Ladies Sewing Circle. Sadly the identification on the back only says, "Mrs. Evans." Don't ask me who that is, since there were Evans' in Noblesville, Indiana and Mosier & Hood River, Oregon. The name rather being as common as Smith and Jones. Maybe someone out there, will recognize someone or this picture. If you do, please send a comment.

I wanted to place this picture here, because it shows the ladies that sewed this flag. It was a Service Flag, made to honor the boys of Mosier, that fought in WWI. On the back, the following is written: Dedication of the Service & Honor Flags,  May 13, 1918, Mosier, Oregon. Compliments of A.W. Ehrlich, Chairman of L L Board. This flag was made by the ladies of the Presbyterian Church, at Mosier, Oregon, according to a reference to it in a letter written by a family member at that time.

If you look at the service flag closely, behind the head of the fourth girl from the right, you will see part of the name. It is R.J. Scearce, the next name over, which she is blocking, is R.G. Scearce. These are Robert John and younger brother, Richard Gregg Scearce. Grandma Maryann Hanners, father, "Dick" Sceace, and his brother, "R.J."

It would seem that sewing in Mosier, was alive and well, at least it was in 1918. The flag looks very well made too.

Note: I checked my family tree records, and found that none of the quilts belonging to grt. grandma, Anne Scearce, could have been made in the 1930's, because she died in Hood River, Oregon, September 23, 1927. Thus by mere deduction, it places the age of the quilts, prior to 1927, the date of her death.

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