Saturday, April 22, 2017

Seven Sisters Variation Quilt

I am delighted today to share with you, what I believe to be, another Mary E. Hodges, aka "Mamie" quilt. I was able to purchase it from her grt. granddaughter Lannae, whom I had purchased the other Mamie Quilt that was a crazy/block quilt. I spoke with Lannae about her grt. grandmother and was happy to learn that she had called Mamie, "Granny Hodges." I always love it when information is passed generation to generation and you get to talk to someone who knew the quilt maker. Now Lannae could not promise me that this quilt was made by Mamie, as the family had lost track of who had made it, so I decided to do some sleuthing on my own.

I first carefully compared the stitch styles and stitches per inch and found them to be identical in the two quilts at 7 & 8 stitches. The biggest bit of luck came when I found initials marked in ink on the quilt. The first is not easily made out, but the last is clearly an, "H." Now initials are not always true identifiers for they could have been put on at any time. However given the styles and level of difficulty of the two quilts, I feel pretty confident the maker was Mamie.

The pattern of the quilt is a variation on the Seven Sister's pattern which was first documented in 1861 as being taken from the star portion of the Confederate flag. The flag had a seven sisters star pattern to denote the seven states which seceded from the Union in 1861. Texas being one of those states.

Mamie was born in Texas, and was married there to a Texan. Tho her daughter was born in Oklahoma, her son was born in Texas, before they moved to sunny California in 1920, and on to Oregon by 1939. Since an appraisal has been done on this quilt and the fabric's are said to date from 1935 to 39, we do not know whether the quilt was made in California or Oregon, as its date falls during the time she lived in both states.

No doubt she missed her home, family, and friends back in Texas. This pattern would have been a memorial to her Texas roots. She was after all a Southern girl at heart. Other names for this quilt are: 6 Pointed Star in Circle or Tumbling Blocks or 7 Sister Variation. The quilt measures 70" wide x 80" long. It has a solid pale salmon pink boarder, with feed sack cloth stars in prints and solids. It is entirely hand stitched.

Two of the corners have this quirky finish with extra diamonds, as you see here in the upper left.
The mottled looking area's are the sunlight shining through the back, showing where the cotton batting has shifted out of place. A common occurrence in old cotton bat quilts.
  Each solid pink hexagon has a double six sided start quilted in it and matches the color of the pink border.
      You can see the six sided double star quilting in this picture. What fine needlework.
 Here are the initials written in ink. The first is too sloppy to clearly see, but the last is clearly an, "H".
              Here's a funny quirk, this one short line was stitched with blue thread.
 Another quirk is this entire block made up of solids. It is the only star like it on the quilt. I think Mamie had a great sense of humor and liked to add her own personal touches to her quilts.
          Just like the crazy/patch quilt, this one is quilted to the nines with fine even stitches.
The back as well as the front are cotton and the thin batting inside is also cotton. I just love the colors and pattern of this quilt and am delighted to have it join my collection.

It was something of a challenge to take pictures of this quilt as it hung on my clothesline, for the breeze kept wanting to move it about. I am pretty pleased with how the pictures came out and couldn't wait to share them here with you. I hope you enjoy seeing this quilt.

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