Susan McCord (1829-1909) was one of the most innovative quiltmakers of the 19th century. Each of her quilts is based on traditional design, but she added her own flair. The quilts are full of details that no one else thought of. Her sense of color, her obsessive attention to detail, such as her vines laden with grapes, and her quirky way of looking at pattern make her quilts truly inspirational. It is difficult to choose a favorite. Is it the "Vine" with its string-pieced applique, her intricate floral urns, or the Ocean Waves with thousands of triangles and a different appliqed border on every side?
Quilters are fortunate that Susan McCord's body of work is in the collection at the Henry Ford Museum at Greenfield Village, Michigan, and that the Museum has been so generous with the images. Most of her 13 known quilts, made between 1860 and 1900, are in their collection of ten, but more may exist. Ladies' Circle Patchwork Quilts magazine in Feb/March 1987 pictured a McCord quilt from a private collection that had not before been published. While we are fantasizing, we can dream of finding another of her string-pieced appliques in an old cupboard at an Indiana auction.
This book is a tribute to the work of Susan McCord in the form of contemporary pieces inspired by her ideas. Shauna Oak Christensen, who fell in love with McCord's baskets and bowls of flowers, has stitched several quilts that take flight from the antique designs. Deb Rowden and Barbara Brackman adapted McCord's string-pieced applique to their own visions. Pieced designs by Jean Stanclift and Georgann Eglinski offer simple designs for baby quilts or wall hangings.
There are 11 projects in all. The book includes full templates and sewing instructions regarding machine applique, making sawteeth, and making bias strips. 64 pages.
Retail Price: $23.95