The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Saturday, 6 August 2011

More Squares - The Mary Robson Quilt

I am really cheesed off with Museum websites, yesterday I was searching for quilt information on three and all fell short of satisfactory.  The last one infuriated me so much I sent a request to the site for clarification - I did actually get a reply!

It isn't just British museums that I have trouble with, its American ones as well!  You seem to have to know what you are looking for to find it!  If you do have some details, it's far easier to put that into Google than into the museum site that has the item in question!  This can't be right!   Sorry to sound off but I can't help wondering if it's just me or if anyone else has this trouble too? 

This frustrated browsing did throw up this lovely quilt which was a bonus -

It was made by Mary Robson in 1801 (this information is embroidered on one of the squares), I do love Georgian patchwork!  However, I had to contact the Quilt Museum in York to find out what size it was!  It apparently has interesting quilting patterns but no pictures are available - grrrrr.

Because I love making little quilts this picture immediately suggested a cot quilt but it is in fact 228cms wide x 253cms long.  I don't think in metric (or Napoleon as I once heard it called) so had to translate to Imperial - 89 x 99 inches approximately, so definitely not a cot quilt - no wonder she could embroider her name and date in a square!

I am very tempted to make it up with odds ends -   Its very simplicity appeals to me, it's so unpretentious, so Georgian understated  -  oh here I go again - another project!


Nicky said...

Maybe you need to write to the museums telling them the sort of information you are interested in as a quilt researcher and just maybe they will provide it in the future??? Just a suggestion!

Sorry if you have already done so

Shirley said...

I think that would be a very satisfying quilt to make Mary whatever size you chose to do. Museums aren't always customer friendly. I wrote to ours asking for a viewing of their quilts with our quilting group. I know they have them because someone told me they had been to a viewing years ago. I had a very unsatisfactory reply that didn't answer my questions. What is the point of having these treasures if they are not willing to give information. Unless it is a private collection don't the public museums belong to us the public?

sewprimitive karen said...

Okay, that's a dandy old quilt. Love it!! Thank you for posting.

Taryn said...

Your persistence paid off with a great quilt picture find. It would translate well to a smaller version. I knew museums can be frustrating but at least we have the internet today and have a shot at locating some treasures that would have remained buried before. The more that historical societies and museums participate in the Quit Index the better chance we will have to search them easily. But, alas, that takes some funds that are hard to get allocated to textiles these days. Keep up the searching because you unearth some real treasures.

N E E D L E P R I N T said...

Do you know anything about Mary Robson - where she came from? I know a sampler by a girl with this name from the north of England and period may overlap.

Little Welsh Quilts and other traditions said...

Sorry I don't know anything about her. It is in the Quilters' Guild Collection in York, so it maybe local? I will try and find out more about it as the quilting patterns sound interesting. If I find out more I will post!

N E E D L E P R I N T said...

Thank you Mary. Our sampler Mary Robson spent time near Leeds but the family was originally from Darlington.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, in general the archival & web staff at Museums much like libraries dont have an end user focus. They think they do but in actual fact much cataloguing focuses on the object. It may be that those looking after the website receive little information and they dont even know what is important. I know that such information is often not given to the distant web person. Often the web person will not have any archival/library background but be a graphic designer or purely a web programmer. Rarely do you get an expert with real web understanding who is allowed to actually do any of the webwork. I'm library trained as well as a web developer. Often people simply dont know how about the little complexities when regarding website building. But yes it is of continual frustration to many of us that we often cannot find the information we need.