Cynthia's Scrap Bag, c. 1850 by Carrie Quinn
Collecting antique quilts is more than a hobby to Carrie Quinn, it is more of a passion. Antique quilts, quilt tops, blocks and fabric seem to find their way home with her whenever she goes to a quilt show. Cynthia’s Scrapbag was conceived when Carrie purchased an antique top from Cindy Rennels, one of her favorite antique quilt dealers, dating from the 1880’s. In the 1880’s, as magazines began publishing articles on quilt making regularly and featuring quilt pattern illustrations,they began selling quilt patterns to their readers. It was with the merchandising of these quilt patterns in these periodicals and subsequent quilt pattern mail order companies that we started to see quilt patterns illustrated and named with regularity. Women were encouraged to send it original patterns or old family quilts. Broken Dishes was a popular quilt pattern of the period.
Carrie's Madders, 1860-1880
Madder is a low creeping plant that will quickly cover an area of ground without a great deal of maintanence. The plant matures at fiveyears old, bearing small yellow/green flowers and berries. The berries are dark when ripe and can be used as seed stock to multiply the crop. The part of the plant used for the dye is the tuber type root. The plant is pulled from the ground after loosening the soil, the leaves are stripped from the plant and the roots are dried out until they can be ground up into a powder and put in a pot with some water. This mixture is heated to extract the bright red dye. If a copper dye vat is used, the color will be brighter.
Captain Phillips , c. 1860 by Carrie Quinn
"America is the greatest country on earth!” I can still hear my father saying that, always with a catch in his voice. He was born at the beginning of the Great Depression and graduated from Military School just as World War II was ending. He joined the Illinois National Guard and obtained the rank of Captain, eventually retiring just short of twenty years of service. My dad was a man of convictions, who never wavered in his devotion to God and his country. It seemed fitting that I should name this patriotic collection after him, Captain William Evertson Phillips.
Alice’s Washday Blues were inspired by a quilt that was owned by Alice Stewart Wolf, the daughter of John C. Stewart who was the three-time mayor of Galesburg, Illinois in 1859, 1877 and 1883. Carrie’s grandmother inherited the Stewart/Wolf home, as they had no heirs, and she took care of them until they died. Although there is no documentation of it, it was believed that Alice made the quilt herself, since she was born in 1871 and the timeline would be correct.