I have always wanted to create a Marie Webster quilt. As “Queen” of the Colonial Revival, I have admired her quilts for years. Her medallion set designs have been my favorite so I chose as my inspiration the “Morning Glory Wreath” quilt that she made for her granddaughter, Rosalind Webster Perry. My inspiration quilt appears on page 54 of Rosalind’s second book, Marie Webster’s Garden of Quilts.
I want my quilt to tell a story and so I have decided to tell the story of another ‘flower lover’, Mary Custis Lee, wife of Robert E. Lee. She had a beautiful rose garden at her home in Virginia, Arlington House. Sadly the home was taken away from her during the Civil War. She was a quilter and would have loved Marie Webster’s quilts also, especially Marie’s roses. Therefore, the name of my quilt is: “My Rose Garden for Mary and Marie”.
My inspiration quilt featured morning glories. My thoughts of Mary and Marie led me to roses instead. I researched the different rose patterns that Marie included in her quilts over the years. My roses are machine appliquéd using “freezer-paper” turned-under edge technique. My new challenge was the fabric that I used. I love “Radiance” from Robert Kaufman fabrics, a silk/cotton blend. I had never used it before for appliqué shapes or narrow stems. It cooperated nicely.
I like to machine quilt BEFORE I machine appliqué when possible so that I do not have a lot of starts and stops in the quilting. The hand quilters in Marie’s day did their appliqué first and then were able to quilt long lines of hand quilting. Hand quilting is still my favorite look, however for those of us in the 21st century it seems there are “So many quilts, but so little time”. How did our predecessors ever find the time?
My little quilt has been a labor of love as I think of Mary and Marie’s love for roses. I wish they could have discussed their fondness for flowers together. Their lives did overlap for a few years – Mary Lee passed away in 1873 when Marie Webster was 14 years old.
Thank you AQSG for the opportunity to participate in the Quilt Study.