Friday, September 6, 2013

Paris Hill, Maine - Museum Quilt

A week or two ago, Sue from the blog I Sew Quilts posted about her trip to Maine, and how she had not been able to visit the museum on Paris Hill.  There is a quilt on display, the Paris Hill Friendship Quilt, and she had heard about it, and seen it on the web, but didn't get the opportunity to see it in person.


.....that museum is about 20 minutes from me!  Woohoo!

So last Saturday, I went......with camera in hand!  :o)

From the museum website:.....The quilt consists of 61 complete squares, each approximately 11 1/2" square, set "on point" surrounded with 20 half-square triangles and 4 quarter-square triangles and measures 101" x 101". It is particularly interesting because each square was finished individually with narrow binding and then the finished squares were sewn together. The quilting is expertly done with tiny stitches. 

The quilt was made in 1848, in the pot-holder style of quilt making.  Pam Weeks, the curator of the Lowell Quilt Museum, in Massachusetts, has researched and written about this uniquely-Maine style of quilt assembly, and the museum lady told me that Pam has been to the museum, studied the quilt and related papers and photos, and it could be included in a future book!  Nice!

Check out the museum's website for more details about the quilt.....Hamlin Memorial Museum.

The museum lady and I were the only two in the place (it's also the town library on the first floor), so she went with me upstairs to where the quilt is on display.  She went under the rope, and got on her white gloves, and I asked if pictures were allowed.  She said yes, so I started to take a few pictures.  Then I said, "Do you mind if I get in there with you to get closer pics?" and before she had a chance to say no, I was under the rope, and clicking away!  HA!  I assured her I wouldn't touch the quilt, and through my conversation with her, she realized I knew about antiques quilts and their care, so I think she was ok with me so close.

She held up the corners that were laying behind the trunk that it is displayed over, but did not show me the entire quilt (dang!).  And she was a bit wobbly, so some are blurred.  But she said that they put the quilt away in the winter, and display it again in the spring, and always with a different section showing up front.  So I guess I'll be making several trips back to see it!  And maybe get better pics then, too!  :o)

After finishing taking the pics, I turned to get back under the rope, and that's when I saw a mock up of the quilt on a chair.  It is made with photos of each block, then cut and pasted into place, then plastic coated to preserve it, with codes corresponding to the pages in a notebook detailing the info on each block.  I asked if I could take pictures of this mock-up, and she said yes!  Yippee!  Some of the blocks are a bit blurred, but it gives you an idea of what each block looks like.

The lighting in the museum is awful, and there are shadows on everything.......but the pics aren't too bad.

FYI.......if you right-click on a picture, then choose 'Open Link in New Tab', then click on it in the tab line, you'll get a closeup pic, and if there's a + in the magnifying glass, you can click it again and get even closer!  Then you can really see the detail in pics.  Just letting you know, in case you didn't!  :o)


The mock-up of block photos.

Close ups of the mockup.

Great fabrics!

This block had a name embroidered in the center stitched with human hair.  Just quilting and the name.

Isn't the hand writing on this block lovely?  And to think they didn't have freezer paper stabilizer!  Done with a quill pen!  Cripes!

The quilting on this beautiful block was perfection!

 Close up of the pot holder style joins.

Hubby got home yesterday from his 3 weeks in CA, de-hoarding his mother's house.  It was an awful job, and 2 of his 4 brothers were no help at all!  (Family!  Sheesh!)  Over the 4-day Labor Day weekend, they had a huge yard sale, and managed to make $4,000.  Most of the stuff is gone, and they will be turning the house over to a reconstruction/realty company, that will gut it, make all the necessary improvements, and then sell it for them.  Whew!  By the end of the year, it should all be done!

Needless to say, John is very happy to be home!  I am, too!  :o)

And as of Wednesday, I've put up 100 pints of green beans!  Holy cow!!!!  lol

I think the canning is nearly over!  Whew!

Now I can enjoy this crisp, cooler Autumn weather!  Yay!  My favorite season!  :o)



  1. Oh Regan,Well done that women!!!!! Thank you so much for following this up. I'm suprised that this quilt hasn't had more exposure and really cant think how I came to find it apart from searching historical societys in Maine for my last trip
    Im so glad that you live near and got see it and take the amount of photos you did.
    It would be a fun quilt to reproduce once all the blocks could be identified. Any Takers??? 62 bloggers perhaps!

  2. Regan, my co-hort Wendy and I documented this masterpiece several years ago! It is one of the quilts that stays in your mind Forever! The handquilting in two of the center blocks is exquisite with about 18-20 stitches per inch (counting top side only).....we speculated that there had been a bit of competition among the block makers to outdo each other! Thanks for the pics!!!

  3. Lovely quilt, thanks for all your notes and photos.
    Wow, good for you with the beans, you'll enjoy them all year.

  4. Way to get in there, Regan! Great close-up view of this quilt.
    Oh, your poor DH. What a job! But 100 jars of beans is no small task, either.
    Isn't Fall the best?

  5. I had never heard of this quilt. What a treasure. The thing I like most is that the quilt is really "doable" to copy. Obviously we may not be able to do the 20 stitches per inch, but at least most of the patterns aren't "insanely" complex to applique or piece. I would be up to working on one, but I think I'll pass on the whole human hair thing. I know ladies back then did a lot with hair, and even had hair receivers to keep the loose hair in, AND I know that there wasn't a JoAnn fabrics right around the corner with affordable craft supplies, but still... Creepy! I also didn't know about the "potholder" style. Neat! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks for the photos - the quilt is stunning.

    Wow, 100 pints of green beans - I'm duly impressed, lady!

  7. P.S. I was so excited Regan I forgot to say Im glad your other half is back home with you. Maybe he can help with the canning now!!!

  8. What a great quilt! If a group ever gets together to reproduce I'd love to make a block! I just made a potholder block for a friend's birthday quilt...sort of wish I had seen this post first!

    Great job with the canning.

  9. Thankyou for posting these pics....... I've never heard of this quilt, and I'm really impressed with everything about it.

  10. Hi Regan, I'm not sure how I am supposed to remember all these great places to visit in two years-but I'll remember to ask you. I love the quilt-so beautiful!
    Glad your man is home; settling our parents estates can be so trying. I am thankful John's mom's house sold so quickly and easily. We are still dealing with taxes etc until next April but that is alright. What a lot of green beans! My daughter canned a lot of tomato sauce, green beans, pickles etc. Such a great bounty; she doesn't can extra because she doesn't like to keep things more than a year.
    Have a great weekend my friend!
    Hugs, Noreen

  11. Wow, aren't you just the treasure trove of interesting facts about this wonderful quilt!!! Thanks for sharing!!! Wow 3 weeks - glad all is going well - but you are right - sometimes family can be trying - but alas, such is life. Way to go on the green beans!!! I'll be by to visit - my favorite vegie!! So pretty in the jars, too!! Fall is my favorite season too - hoping to get up some decor soon - been busy with other things and now I'm trying to catch up on some of my favorite blogs - yours is at the top!!


  12. Wow! That is one amazing quilt. Thank you for taking the time to go to the museum and put together this post to share with us. Very interesting!

    Welcome home to your hubby...good for both of you. So sorry hte didn't get a lot of support from some of his family. Those situations are not pleasant at all.

    Good luck with your MIL's home reno...hope all goes smoothly and it sells quickly.

  13. That is a beautiful quilt! Thank you for sharing all those great photos!

  14. Thank you for sharing the quilt photographs. A welcome sight to see.

  15. It is such a lovely quilt - the soft vintage colours are very appealing. Thanks for sharing all these photos.

  16. So fun you could see it up close and personal. She told me you were going to take a look at the quilt. How exciting!

  17. Regan, for BSD lighting the photos are beautiful.
    And Yea John. That is some hard work!

    I am drinking a warm coffee on a chilly morning and LOVING IT! I LOVE FALL.

  18. OK. That was auto spell on my phone... that was to read "bad". Sorry!

  19. Canning....I have bartlet pears on my table - ready to go !
    This quilt is AMAZING. Lucky you to see it in person.
    A treasure !

  20. You sure have been busy. Thanks for the photos of the quilt. Lovely. I'm intrigued by the ink work and the stitching with hair. Enjoy the summer's harvest all winter long.

  21. Every time I visit your blog I am awed by the intricate work. Specially the writing. First time I am seeing this.
    Was glancing through the posts what I missed and sorry to hear about your mom.

  22. Thanks for sharing and doing the leg work. I am always looking for a connection to a potholder quilt I own. It has not date or names. It is amazing 120 seven inch blocks. I am a little overwhelmed by the responsible. And really only sure of one thing. I have to make a reproduction for me and the original needs to be somewhere special for others to enjoy.

  23. What an awesome post. thank you so much for sharing this quilt. Such great blocks, some are really different.. I've never heard of a potholder style of quilt. I take it the blocks are bound individully and then joined? It's good to hear John is home again, at least one of his brothers was helpful. Do you ever eat all those green beans before the next season?

  24. Wow! What a beautiful quilt!!! It's the first time I heard about the Paris Hill Friendship Quilt. My gosh, it looks like the next Dear Jane quilt to me. So many great blocks and so many are new to me. Very interesting. Thank you sooooo much for sharing this. I have enjoyed this a lot.

  25. Hello, thank you for these wonderfull photo's. dit cam back, to look again, and i am in love with this quilt

  26. Thank you so much for sharing your photographs of the quilt - I love the softness of the colours and how the blocks "float in space". I am so pleased to have seen them as Maine is one of those places for me I can only dream about visiting.

    PS I love the block with the inked head of a gentleman - I wonder who he could be?

  27. Thank you for writing about this quilt!
    Karen Alexander
    blog: Quilt History Reports