For today I just wanted to share a lovely yet incredibly difficult quilt I undertook once during a quilting class in Georgia many years ago.
This kind of quilt is known as a Baltimore album quilt. Each block uses a different technique – hence the name album – and we did a square a week in our 9 week class. I made all the leaves and flower applique patterns by hand.
Although I do enjoy looking at it (this quilt is one of the few I’ve held on to and have it mounted on my living room wall), I more thoroughly enjoy making the other types of quilts I more often make. For starters this Baltimore quilt, though pretty, is in a more controlled pattern than I usually would make. The traditional patterns are very nice, though they do take much more effort to get right. As well, the types of patterns and ideas I gravitate towards are a lot more free-form and abstract than something like this.
It does feel like the sort of quilt that every quilter should attempt at least once, if only for the historical value, though. Plus it’s pretty, simple as that.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Here’s a fun Pinterest board with many Baltimore Album quilts: https://www.pinterest.com/quiltinspire/baltimore-album-quilts/
|“Baltimore Album Memorial Quilt LACMA AC1992.65.1” Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons|
And here is more information on these fabulous quilts from a site called Womenfolk.com:
During the 1840s Baltimore was a prosperous seaport and the center of a growing textile industry. Wealth and society were the perfect setting for the development of album quilts. Appliqued Baltimore Album Quilts with elaborate floral, animal, patriotic, and fraternal motifs became the height of fashion. There were many women of German heritage in the Baltimore community and it is likely that German folk art had some influence on the designs used on these quilts.
But Baltimore was not the only city where these beautiful appliquéd blocks were made. They were popular as well in other areas on the east coast during the 1840s and 1850s. They appear to have gradually moved westward though it is uncertain whether this is because rural women started making them or if settlers had brought them from their east coast homes.