A daughter of one of our friends was getting married after postponing for a year due to covid. We have known her for most of her life and watched her romance blossom for many years. She is a music teacher, and so was her husband-to-be. I knew I wanted to make them a unique gift and began my search for inspiration.
Over the past couple of years I have been researching a design motif found on crazy quilts of a rooster blowing a horn, which led me to discovering frakturs, illuminated folk art drawings made by the Pennsylvania Dutch to commemorate life events (births, baptism, marriage), house blessings and student merits.
Just recently, while doing research on quilt maker / designer Velma Mackay Paul of York, PA, I was drawn back into PA Dutch design motifs and frakturs. Since frakturs were also used to decorate song or tune books – they would provide the inspiration to make the perfect gift for a couple of music teachers!
I knew the background would be music themed and started my search for the perfect fabrics. Thank goodness for PJ shopping on the internet! I was able to get what I wanted after a few weeks of searching. With the remaining fabric, I made them some market bags and face masks.
I have been making quilted pictures of birds (and an angler fish) using embroidered applique for many years now (a combination of raw edge applique and crazy quilt stitches to “embroider” the motifs in place).In my various searches on Velma Mackay Pay, Baltimore Album Quilts, Frakturs, Pecolia Warner, I came across an ad in the Spring 1993 Folk Art magazine for a baptismal certificate signed by Daniel Peterman dated May 4, 1857. I liked the layout of the birds with the drooping flowers, and combined it with elements from other frakturs – heart, flowers and birds – to come up with an original design for the piece.Selected sources:Page 60 – ad for a baptismal certificate signed by Daniel Peterman dated May 4, 1857Drawing (Bird of Paradise and Butterfly)To View some frakturs:Pennsylvania German Fraktur and Manuscripts