By: Tandy Hersh
A rarely seen technique of transforming printed fabric design arrangements into very different pieced design arrangements, by careful cutting to fit a geometric form, was used on the 1842 Primitive Hall album quilt top. Two twelve inch blocks contain an ink drawing of the house and four generations of the distinguished Pennsylvania Quaker family that built Primitive Hall in 1738. The remaining twenty-three blocks are pieced in the English method of overcasting over paper templates. The pieced patterns are varying complexity, the most difficult being circles made from linear strips and floral motifs. Imaginative ink art work was done on each block. Quaker schools taught sewing, arithmetic, geometry, surveying, and astronomy, and the transforming ability with fabric is related to this combination of courses.