Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Quilts of Cumberland County

Organized by the LeTort Quilters, The Cumberland County Quilt Documentation project documented over 900 quilts dating before 1970. The documentation database is housed at the Cumberland County Historical Society. 170 of the quilts documented appear in The Quilts of Cumberland County.

Cumberland County, Pennsylvania included 500 square miles west of the Susquehanna River. As the area became more populated Cumberland was divided, creating the counties of Bedford, Blair, Centre, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, and Perry.

The project revealed some interesting facts. Many of the heirloom quilts originated outside of the county, indicative of the migration of peoples through the area. Many of the quilts were in the hands of collectors who had culled their collection nationally. Consequently, the provenance of the quilts was often lost, or was incorrect.

The book includes a history of Cumberland County with maps showing its changing boundaries and the story of a typical Cumberland County quilt and its travels. The photo gallery of quilts documented is divided into design types:

  • Whole Cloth and Simple Designs
  • Strips, Squares, and Triangles
  • Stars
  • Diamonds, Hexagons, and Curves
  • Appliqué
  • Mixed and Variety
  • Embroidered Quilts and Sunbonnets
  • Signature Quilts and Special Events
  • Crazy Quilts

Collecting and caring for antique quilts is covered.

This is a beautifully presented book, nicely designed to showcase the 485 color photos of the quilts. I love how the full photo of the quilt is overlaid on a close up photo as background. The closeups allow readers to see the fabrics used in the quilt. Documenting ephemera is shared when available.

I am very impressed with this book overall for the background information, the gorgeous presentation, and the variety and beauty of the quilts. 

I received a free ebook from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

The Quilts of Cumberland County
Schiffer Publications
$34.99 hard cover
ISBN: 9780764351099

On a Personal Note:

My grandfather Lynne O. Ramer was born in Mifflin County; his grandfather moved there after the death of his first wife. He married Barbara Rachel Reed. Their daughter Esther Mae was Lynne's mother; his aunt Carrie Viola Ramer Bobb raised Lynne after the death of his mother and grandmother. Carrie was a quiltmaker. Read about Aunt Carrie and her quilts  here and here 

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