Getting to Know You

Getting to Know You

During a 2008 visit to the Virginia Quilt Museum, I saw an Apple Pie Ridge Star crib quilt on display. I imagined the life of a quilter during the terrible Civil War. Even months later I thought of the quilt, and wondered about its history. The museum verified the fabric as being 1850-1865 vintage.

With the 2014 AQSG Quilt Study focused on this period, I was inspired to recreate my entry: “Getting to Know You.” The gracious New York quilt owner sent me a photo, the measurements, and the name of her father who recalled he used it as a young child. Graph paper allowed me to develop the pattern to the quilt’s exact size. As I worked a question stayed in my thought: Who might the quilter be? Where would the quilter have lived? As a genealogist I was able to find family members in Maryland as early as 1824 and some who lived in areas affected by the Civil War.

My fabric was ready to be cut, the paper patterns were laid on the graph paper as a final check and the design compared to the photo of the inspiration quilt. Check twice! Cut once! It was then I discovered the humor of the quilter. There are two patterns with outer curves reaching upward. There are three patterns with outer curves turned downward and one pattern cut in half and reversed. That was when I decided to call the quilt “Getting To Know You.”

I do want to recognize Mary Robare, AQSG member, author, historian and researcher. She was instrumental in assisting me in contacting the owner of the inspiration quilt. Her book Quilts & Quaker Heritage was most helpful in identifying quilting ancestors, any one of whom might have created the crib quilt. Quoting Mary: “Apple Pie Ridge Star was attributed to the blocks in that pattern on another 1858 quilt. In all fairness, the makers of the 1858 (crib) quilt probably mingled with the maker of the youth quilt at Quaker Meetings, since they were all under care of Baltimore Yearly Meetings.”

The fascinating appliqué design and intriguing name inspired me to replicate the original quilt. With each stitch I felt a strong connection to the original quilter, wondering if it was she who encouraged my progress.