Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Trip to Varner-Hogg Plantation

Yesterday was a wonderful, spectacular day.   Nothing is better than going with friends to see quilts collected by Ima Hogg and kept at the Varner-Hogg Plantation.   

So why would four of us take off to make this long trip.  In the fall of 2006, I was a docent for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum's exhibit "Miss Ima's Quilts".  I spent a lot of time with all of the quilts answering questions.  One of these quilts called the US Centennial quilt was a simple quilt with a distinctive centennial red, white, and blue stripe.  

In 2008 while surfing the many online quilt shops, I saw this exact fabric reproduced and for sale.  Of course, I bought the fabric!

 From that point, my dream has been to reproduce this quilt. It looks so simple.  To reproduce the quilt, I needed overall measurements, block sizes, how the quilt was constructed, which way the stripes went, and what kind of quilting was used.  
Varner-Hogg Plantation

Over time, communicating with Kate Adams, she determined the quilt was at Varner-Hogg Plantation and we began trying to find the time to drive from Austin to West Columbia. Kate and I mentioned our trip to our friends, Liz and Kathy, and a road trip was born.

The US Centennial Quilt c 1876 consists of 66 muslin blocks set on point with 23 half blocks and 2 quarter blocks.  The white blocks are framed by blue stars, stars with the word Centennial, more blue stars and interspersed with 1776 or 1876.    The quilt setting is not symmetrical.
Early machine quilting 
One diagonal direction the sashing is blue, red, blue.
The other diagonal direction the sashing is red, blue, red.

Quilting from the back

Straight line quilting continues through the corners.

Note the mismatched border stripe and the additional triangle
 added to finish out the corner. 

One border is blue stars, red centennial stripe,
Other border is red centennial strip, blue stars.
Another closeup.
Zigzag quilting in the border. Rounded corners on binding

One last view.
Of course, we didn't only see this one quilt.  The Varner-Hogg Plantation has 33 of Miss Ima Hogg's quilts.  

The first quilt on display was in a case in the visitor center  It is called Wagon Wheel, Blazing Star or Mariner's Compass.  
c 1885-1900

Glazed wool quilt

Cherry Basket quilt.  c. 1900-1940
This was belonged to Tom Hogg and his name is inscribed in the corner.  Quilting pattern is elbow quilting.

Oak Leaf and Reel.   The red fabric is very frayed.

Some of the quilts are on display in the plantation house itself.  In the case on the top is the Prairie Flower Quilt (c. 1860) in red, pink, green and yellow. The quilt on the bottom is called Honey Bee (c 1840-1850).

Baby Quilt.  Click on the Image to Enlarge.  Note the Prussian Blue squares with little pieces of seaweed.  c. 1850-1900

The last quilt that we looked at was a log cabin. c 1860  The quilt was interesting because of the method of construction which appeared to be similar to a modern version of quilting called a reversible quilt.  More time is required to study this quilt to determine exactly how it was sewn together.  The back fabrics are bright and in exceedingly good condition.  

Dress seen at the entrance using similar print to compare to the back of the log cabin quilt.

Block detail

A special "Thank You" to Angela, the curator at the Varner-Hogg Plantation  She took her valuable time to prepare for our visit, show and discuss the quilts with us, and drive us around the plantation in the golf cart which was great fun.  

What a great day.  We all had so much fun discussing the quilts, stopping at Weikel's on the way there and the way back (sure wish I could figure out the recipe for those House Special cookies), and enjoyed the beautiful Texas weather and countryside.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Grey Fox

As many of you know our neighbors feed the foxes each night.  We save them our meat and protein scraps to help out.    Yesterday, Jack went to check out the Front Forty and found that the momma fox had pups. Her eyes never left Jack but the pups were busy jumping all over her to get her attention.  Life is good here.
Fox Family

Love You Mom

Proud Mama
Quit watchin' him! Come on, let's play.