Saturday, August 6, 2011

Beauty Secrets: Ohio Beauty from Texas Comes to Oregon

My third New York Beauty, a 1940's red. white, and blue head-turner, came from Mary Ann Walters of Log Cabin Antique Quilts in Texas. I bought it in January, 2004. In the same purchase, I also bought a funky, early twentieth century goblet quilt. At the time, Mary Ann said the New York Beauty came from Ohio, and warned me about the quilting stitches, which were rather odd and uneven. Thinking it would detract from my interest, she wanted to make sure I'd be happy with the quilt. I immediately loved the unskilled hand in the quilting stitches, and considered the quilt a bargain.

When I brought this quilt to show the Columbia-Willamette Quilt Study Group in 2009, everyone was very interested in the quilting. It was a puzzle. What was the story? People started making up their own theories about the person who had done the quilting. The quilt was compelling, and a mystery. From a distance, it's a show-stopper. Classic, bold, and patriotic, the quilt a wonderful display piece with a very human touch.

This quilt is currently on display at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon, as part of "Beauty Secrets: 150 Years of History in One Quilt Pattern" through October 1st. The exhibit is part of Quilt County, a biennial, countywide celebration of quilts. An 80-page, full-color printed catalog is available in limited numbers at the museum, and online through Blurb. To preview or purchase the catalog, click here.


  1. The quilting stitch is interesting. It reminds me of the back of my quilting when I have stab stitched. Is there a pattern on the backing fabric? Maybe the quilter quilted with the back facing upwards?

  2. The back is white with white stitching, so it's hard to tell. I'd take another close look at it for you, but it's a couple hours away in a museum that's closed on Sundays. :) We may need to wait 'til the show's over to take a closer look since it's hanging from the ceiling. Interesting theory, though. I will follow up on it as soon as possible.

  3. The quilt is so striking. I would love to see this exhibit, but MI is a long way from OR! I'll have to check out the catalog. Thanks for the heads up.