Friday, April 12, 2013

Baltimore Album Quilts

Most quilters have heard of these. The beautiful appliqued quilts done by Baltimore women during the 1840's and beyond. The started in Baltimore and then spread. We know them by their characteristic light backgrounds with beautiful hand applique in various scenes. Flowers were the most popular and sometimes you would see scenes from a particular area. Some examples below.

At first when I saw these quilts they didn't do much for me. But then I got for lack of a better word sucked into Civil war quilts. My grandfather was at the Battle of the Crator at Petersburg July 30 1864. Then I started thinking about the Baltimore Album quilts. I should preface this that I was born and raised in Baltimore. Well Baltimore Album quilts were Civil war era quilts also. So I started to take another look at them. And stared to appreciate them a little more. Then I did an applique table runner. First time I really did applique. And I found I enjoyed it immensely. Sometimes I get tired of the precision of piecing blocks. I am a fair piecer but I have my share of wonky blocks and things that don't go together as they should. Then I did another applique project and found my desire for it hadn't waivered and then started looking at the Baltimore quilts again and they just hit me. As a sense of history, a sense of place since I'm from Baltimore. It's like I have to do one.  

I might think on doing a more up to date one. Maybe iconic things about Maryland and Baltimore. Or things Baltimore are know for, sports teams etc. My daughter suggested doing a Orioles/Raven quilt. But actually they could be just two blocks in a Baltimore album quilt. Something to start thinking about. I'm not an artist so that limits me to some degree. But I can trace with the best of them. That doesn't mean I would takes someone else's work with permission. I respect the art world, namely cos I can't do it and they can. And I don't believe you should steal someone else's work. 

I've seen lots of modern day Baltimore album style quilt patterns and this woman I think does them the best:
Pearl P. Pereira 

I just love her patterns, I've yet to do one but I really love the state ones and the Halloween one.

But this lady is the first lady of traditional Baltimore album quilts
Elly Sienkiewicz

It's nice to have a rich historical quilt history in the area in which you live.



  1. In a pattern Review thread, you mentioned you'd listened to a podcast interview with the VP of Craftsy. Do you remember the episode number of that interview? I'd like to hear it.

  2. No but I think was on All People Quilt.But when I first started listening to them I listened to them out of order. If you go to itunes and know the name of the VP they list in the espisodes all the people who are on.