My inspiration quilt is an 1861 Whig Rose red and green appliqué, which I own. The quilt has worn appliqués, but I liked the extensive quilting. One feature of interest is that the four “blocks” are circles. It was bought at an auction in Newark, Licking County, Ohio. I was thrilled to find two sets of initials and a date in the quilting: M.A., above M.D., above the date of Oct. 10, 1861.
My husband found a way to search and match the initials of two people with wedding dates in Ohio. I found Mary Jane Duff and Marcus Atkinson and the exact wedding date in Guernsey County, Ohio. This county is one county away from the auction site. I feel this is strong evidence for the match.
One other clue is that a quilt on pages 36-37 of Ricky Clark’s book, Quilted Gardens, is made by Eliza Jane Duff Stewart (1786-1878), Knox Township, Guernsey County, Ohio. She might possibly be a great-aunt or other relative of Mary Jane, and might be the maker of this quilt. Mary Jane, born in 1837, was 24 years old in 1861 and was living in Knox Township in 1880.
My approach to this quilt was to make one block with four borders. I copied all appliqués and quilting patterns from the original quilt. I used my antique Turkey red, antique pink given to me by Xenia Cord, new yellow fabric, and sun-bleached green. The inner rose circle is pieced of 29 pieces (except the small circle), then appliquéd to the large white background circle. That circle is appliquéd to a white square with a hole cut out. This is appliquéd, not pieced, as I could see in a torn place. I still do not know why she did this most difficult method, unless by tradition.
The central circle is quilted in concentric circles 3/8” apart through the appliqués. However, the straight lines of the border are not quilted through the appliqués. There are two rows of double lines of circular feathers around the circle. There are corners of crosshatch 3/8” x 3/8” wide. All quilt lines are 3/8” wide. All quilting on the inspiration quilt is eleven to twelve stitches per inch, counted on one side. All the work on my study quilt is by hand.
I learned an interesting style of red/green appliqué that can be passed on to others looking for a regional style for dating quilts.