Ruth McKendry, quilt collection, 17 Feb 1979 (1)

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Ruth McKendry, quilt collection, 17 Feb 1979 (1) - Ottawa Journal Museum gets 'very favorable...
Ottawa Journal Museum gets 'very favorable deal9 Quilt collection a patch of history Page 74 By Kit Irving Journal Reporter - When Mary Morris was 14 years old in 1825 she completed the first item for her hope chest . a patchwork quilt . that she museum, was not able to reveal embroidered with farm animals the purchase price of the private - purchased by the National Museum Museum of Man this week. Although Wesley C. Mattie, curator of the Canadian centre for folk culture studies at the and hunting scenes and signed ..with her name, age and the date ; in black stitchery. There were no twin hearts nor " other symbols of love and mar-riage mar-riage mar-riage in the intricately-pat-,terned intricately-pat-,terned intricately-pat-,terned intricately-pat-,terned intricately-pat-,terned work, however, for Mary I was crippled and never expected to marry. Indeed the quilt remained remained unused and packed -away -away in its trunk, for it would have been "unlucky" for anyone but the bride to place It on a , marriage bed. For ISO years it 'was handed down in a branch of ' the family until it was purchased by quilt collector Ruth McKendry of Kingston. Valued at more than $1,000 the quilt is the oldest of 315 historic pioneer Canadian quilts, dating from the 1820s to the 1930s, in the ' McKendry collection that was sale, he said the museum bad got "a very favorable deal" when it bought the unique collection. collection. . Photographer Blake McKendry was also happy with his wife's sale of bedding to the the museum, for it would be a "safe home" for the quilts and would give him "more space" for his photography. The McKendry farm near Kingston was broken into recently,-he recently,-he recently,-he recently,-he said, but the thieves had ignored the irreplaceable, quilts in favor of some wrought-iron wrought-iron wrought-iron he had in a storage shed. He has photographed his wife's collection as part of 500 illustrations of hand-made hand-made hand-made 19th-century 19th-century 19th-century bedding of Upper Canada Canada that will appear in Ruth McKendry's first venture into - authorship. Her book which has the working title of In Bed In Early Canada Is being published by Van Nostrand Reinhold Ltd. of Toronto In July. Each of the quilts turned over to the museum has a documented documented history of Its origin and date, Mattie said, and this makes the collection a valuable addition to the museum's knowledge of - early pioneer culture and customs. customs. The collection was also, to his knowledge, the largest one of historic quilts both patchwork and hand-woven hand-woven hand-woven to be found anywhere, anywhere, and was in a well-preserved well-preserved well-preserved well-preserved state. It will take about a year to document the collection and prepare prepare it for public display in the temporary exhibit .hall at the Museum of Man, he added. But the quilts will be available for study by scholars as soon as they are catalogued in their place of storage at Bells Corners. Although many of the quilts in the collection follow tradltionaIseven patterns the log cabin, crazy said, quilt, star of Bethlehem, hollyhock hollyhock wreath, stars and blocks, sunburst, old maid's puzzle, double wedding ring, hovering hawks, delectable mountains, rolling stones or Johnny round the corner each Is quite Indi vidual, their collector said. Choice of colors., texture of materials and variations in pattern pattern showed a personal self-ex-, self-ex-, self-ex-, self-ex-, self-ex-, presslon by each quilt-maker, quilt-maker, quilt-maker, she recalled, that displayed the pioneer woman as an artist expressing expressing herself in quilts when It wasn't possible or the accepted thing for her to take an artist's brush In hand. Ruth McKendry marvelled at the labor put in each of the quilts she had collected during the 30 or more years she had pursued this "hobby Interest." Since it was the custom for a new bride to take a well-stocked well-stocked well-stocked hope chest of a dozen of everything everything with her to her new home and some families might have Or eight' daughters, she the pioneer wife and 1 979 Musical Show Series ENJOY THE BEST OF mother of the family might be Involved In helping make hundreds of quilts In her lifetime. lifetime. She would also have to keep up with the family's everyday everyday supply of bedding. But even when the quilt was for daily use done 'as a SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE ft ? b ( It was love.'L. One bedspread - was made from pieces of discarded denim overalls and flannel work shirts, she said. Yet it was a pleasing masterpiece of blocks and circles, circles, trimmed with embroidery. Her Javorite quilts came from the era before the 1860s, she said, when natural dyes were used on the homespun woolen cloth that always seemed to give soft colors that blended and mingled mingled well together, and superstitions superstitions were as much a part of quilt-making quilt-making quilt-making as the meticulous even stitches of the needlewomen. needlewomen. A rolling stone-patterned stone-patterned stone-patterned quilt was called "Johnny round the corner" when it was used on a' boy's bed, love knots and hearts on bridal quilts were necessary for a happy marriage . . . Scot-, Scot-, Scot-, tish, Polish and German housewives housewives in Ontario each expressed expressed her hopes and beliefs in quilt-making. quilt-making. quilt-making. labor of

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal17 Feb 1979, SatPage 74

The Ottawa Journal (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)17 Feb 1979, SatPage 74
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  • Ruth McKendry, quilt collection, 17 Feb 1979 (1)

    john_grenville – 26 Dec 2013

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