Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vintage Black Mammy Quilt

Another one of my favorite quilts brought by quilt appraiser and historian Karen Houser was a vintage Black Mammy quilt she owns within her collection.
As Karen introduced her quilt, she was also careful to include "With all due respect" along with the title.
Black Mammy is typically considered an ethnic slur (see Wikipedia Mammy Archetype)
but it also is the accurate name in collecting memorabilia.

If I remember the story correctly, Karen purchased the vintage blocks and then placed them in a setting.

Karen needed one more block to make the quilt complete, so she drafted her own patten, and used vintage fabrics to replicate the original look.

Karen's quilt triggered so many memories for me, growing up in California during the 1960's.
I did not like playing with dolls, making the only exception for my favorite Topsy Turvy Black Mammy doll.
She was similar to the one above, and was reversible. When you looked under her skirt, there was another doll.
*Did any of you have a Topsy Turvy doll?
I loved her uniqueness, the bright happy fabrics in the dresses, and found great comfort in carrying her around.

Love the 3-D earrings and appliqued faces.
I tried to find a pattern that is currently for sale.
The only thing I could locate in my search was an e-Bay purchase HERE of this vintage pattern originally form Black Mammy Designs.


Browndirtcottage said...

Oh MY! I really really like this quilt! What a delight to see, I haven't seen one like this before. What an honor to own such a treasure!!

gail said...

I would love to find a pattern for the topsy turvy mammy doll

RuthieB said...

My cousin and I are each the eldest daughters of twin brothers. Their Grandmother made them each a dust cover quilt ( just the top). We each inherited one of the “covers”. My mother’s mother quilted mine for me. It is something I treasure since it was made with love by women from both sides of my family

Unknown said...

I was researching "Mammy Quilts" and discovered this one. I have one, twin size with just the black mammy faces. 1920's probably. I've never seen another one like it. I've been trying to donate it to a museum, but no one is interested. Carol

Anonymous said...

This type of doll is disparaging and racially insensitive. How can people think that it's ok to still profit off such stereotypical items like this!

Anonymous said...

Google has it and others like it.

Anonymous said...

If you look at Topsy Turvey dolls, they are black on one side but white on the other. It's part of history and beautiful. If we do away with things like this lots of little girls will have some of their happy days taken away.

Anonymous said...

The complete book of quilting by Gianna Valli Berti has a very similar pattern. The turban & feet are a little different. I did the quilt & it turned out really cute

Anonymous said...

Call the Nebraska University. They have a museum International quilt museum