From Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd college edition
col·lab·o·rate verb \kə-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt
1. To work together, esp. in some literary, artistic, or scientific undertaking
I was fortunate to purchase a fantastic antique Pennsylvania appliqué quilt several years ago. I have shared the quilt on a few occasions, including the show-and-tell session at the American Quilt Study Group Seminar (Cherry Hill 2012) and with American Patchwork Quilting Magazine. In 2008, APQ published it as one of those “last-page-isn’t-this-a-fantastic-quilt” photos—no pattern, just a stunning photo. I had always wanted to draft a pattern of the quilt but, as we say at work, this is not part of my skill set.
Drafting appliqué patterns, it turns out, is part of Dawn’s skill set. I met Dawn on-line through her blog, Collectorwithaneedle.blogspot.com, and then in-person at the AQSG seminar last fall. We also spent time together in California, tooling down the freeway towards Temecula--Dawn driving--me, buried in one of her 19th century quilts, attempting to examine appliqué details in a moving car.
Soon after that trip, a collaboration was born and here is the result:
Dawn and her daughter Nora (collaborators themselves) did the hard work: photographing the quilt and drafting the pattern, which includes full size appliqué templates and quilting lines from the original quilt. Impressive work, if you ask me! My main job was to worry that the quilt would be lost in transit between PA and CA. It wasn’t lost, so my worrying paid off.
The Calico Paradise pattern is available for purchase in Dawn’s Etsy shop here: www.etsy.com/shop/cwaneedleorder
About the quilt:
Although I don’t know the name of the quilt maker, I do know the quilt came from a family who lived in Freeburg (Snyder County) Pennsylvania. It came to auction out of the home of an elderly gentleman who did not recall who in his family had made the quilt or which side of the family it had come down through.
The quilt dates to ca. 1875. The center portion of the quilt is done in a style referred to as scherenschnitte, or scissor-cutting. The technique yields a complex design by folding and cutting paper, like the snow flakes we all made as children.
The rest of the quilt is a fantastical collection of flowers, birds, vines, and leaves. The use of brightly colored calico prints makes this quilt “so Pennsylvania”. And don’t forget the cheddar!
I love the blue birds.