Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Quilts Day Two: Simpleworks

Second in a series of  five blog posts about Christmas quilts, today's post features a hand appliqued beauty. 

Here's a quilt that is based on the Baltimore Album quilts made on the East Coast in the 1800's. Called album quilts because each block is different, like a photo album, Baltimores are a genre reserved for quilters who are willing to tackle the hard stuff. Usually consisting of red and green designs on a white or cream background, Baltimore Album blocks are hand appliqued with one block taking anywhere from ten to twenty hours of stitching time.

This album quilt, designed by Susan Fuquay of the Dallas area, is called "Simpleworks" and was one of the many block of the month quilts that were sold at my quilt shop, Pigeon River Mercantile & Wool Co. The Mercantile opened in November of 1992 on Main Street in Pigeon, Michigan, and was a mecca for quilters for almost ten years.

Pat Smith of Cass City, Michigan did the careful applique and piecing work on this sample. I love the sawtooth borders and the subtle gold touches that Susan's design worked into the quilt. This Christmas, Simpleworks is hanging above a console table that is on the backside of the fireplace at our lake house.

The dessert plates are already stacked on the table and Mary Gettel's hand woven basket holds the extra flatware that we use for desserts. I made an old fashioned frozen fruit salad for one of the desserts. Tomorrow I will bake a maple pecan pie for the other dessert that will be served on Christmas Day.

The Simpleworks quilt, stunning as it is displayed this holiday, has its roots in Baltimore, is touched by a Texas designer, and has found its home in Michigan. This Christmas I am displaying this quilt as a reminder of people like Pat Smith whose loving stitches and smiles graced the quilt shop for many years. Customers and friends, their support made The Mercantile a special place and I am grateful for that.

Tomorrow's post -- A quilt found at the Bay City Antiques Mall, and then rescued.

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