Marie Webster loved the flowers of the Dogwood tree, among the earliest to bloom each spring. She loved them so much she designed two quilts featuring Dogwood flowers.
White Dogwood, pictured above, was first published in January, 1912 in Ladies’ Home Journal. Instead of a traditional square block format, White Dogwood has blocks set on point with the center block reserved for special quilting. The on-point blocks create a lattice of intersecting branches dotted with pink-tipped blossoms. The background is pale green linen, the branches are of heavily textured linen suggesting bark, while the petals are of smooth white cotton. This was her first quilt with a scalloped border. More information and the pattern for this quilt can be found in A Joy Forever: Marie Webster’s Quilt Patterns by Rosalind Webster Perry and Marty Frolli.
Some 15 years later, Marie was once again inspired by the dogwood’s beauty. “Pink Dogwood in Applique for the Bedroom” was featured in the Ladies’ Home Journal issue of September 1927, pictured on a four-poster bed. In this strong design four large baskets anchor the corners of the quilt. Light pink flowers tumble out of the baskets to form a large wreath, surrounding a neat arrangement of dark pink blooms in the center. In the border, garland of light and dark blossoms echo the curves of the scalloped edges. The pattern for this quilt can be found in the book Marie Webster’s Garden of Quilts by Rosalind Webster Perry and Marty Frolli.
The Quilters Hall of Fame has one example of this quilt in its collection. Unfortunately, the maker and date of construction are unknown. The quiltmaker creatively added purple to the handles of the baskets. Hand quilting runs 9 – 10 inches per inch. The binding is pink and is echoed along the inner edge by a half-inch band of pale pink bias fabric. The fabrics appear quite faded and the binding is worn, but it is a lovely quilt nonetheless. Thanks go out to Shirley Nowakowski for the generous donation of this quilt.
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When I was in high school, while exploring Nashville, Indiana, I saw a quilt hanging in the rafters of one of the shops. I don’t remember the details of that quilt, but I do remember it took my breath away. The art of quilting has held my interest since then. I love that my current job, as Executive Director at The Quilters Hall of Fame, gives me the opportunity to learn about those who have made outstanding contributions to the world of quilting and to share that information with others. The Quilters Hall of Fame is located at 926 South Washington Street, Marion, IN. Please stop in and see us sometime!