Charline Hill of Verona, MS, brought three of the quilts made by her husband's great-great grandmother Louisa Ruff Estes, who was born in 1849 and died in 1923. Notice that Louisa signed this particular quilt with a "L".
Please note on the pictures that I identified Charline as the great-great granddaughter. That was my bad memory and my mistake for not checking the notes that Charline made for me. Rather than go back and re-do the edits of all seven photos, which would have delayed this post by at least another day, I'll just ask you to overlook my error. Louisa Ruff Estes is the great great grandmother of Charline's husband, not Charline.
The first two quilts were once red and green on white, but the dyes in the red and green fabric faded through the years. Historically, a single green dye was introduced as early as 1809, but that does not mean it was color fast. Prior to 1809, the color green was created on fabric by printing blue and yellow in separate steps on the same spot on the fabric.
Notice the repair on this quilt made in red thread that has remained red. The process of dying fabric was even more abusive to the cotton fibers than it is today. The art of making a fabric accept color and then staying that color, colorfast, used a vast array of chemicals that you probably don't want to know about. Some of the sources of the chemicals were icky!
Any idea of the pattern name of this first quilt that was once red and green on white or ecru?
You can see the areas of wear in the fabric, but that may be a factor of the harsh chemical processes the fabric was subjected to in order to be dyed as much as wear and tear of normal use. In these subsequent quilts by Louisa Ruff Estes, the condition of the quilts is considerably better.
This second quilt was also a red and green and white or ecru quilt. Exquisite work and detailing on this quilt. Any idea of the name of the pattern?
I believe Charline told me her husband inherited several trunks of quilts made by his great-great grandmother, and over the years, she has judiciously given a family quilt to a several descendants who wanted one...and were sure to take care of this family treasure.
There are more photos of beautiful quilts to share with you from that program that we gave in Tupelo to the Gum Tree Quit Guild, with members present from the Needlechasers Quilt Guild from Iuka, the Piecemakers
Quilt Guild from Starkville, MS, and the Golden Triangle Quilt Guild,
also from Starkville.
Our specific program was on the History of Quilting with heavy emphasis on Historic Mississippi Quilts.
More photos and details to come. Check out this previous post from the program with other beautiful quilt photos!