Sunday, July 28, 2013

Red and Green Quilt

Recently I had the chance to do some antique quilt shopping in Massachusetts. I did not want to purchase this quilt and it is all my husband’s fault that it now resides in Arizona.  I had found a couple of quilts I wanted and was purchasing them, when DH came back holding this quilt, which we had looked at, and I had rejected.  I saw it only as an unfinished project, which I have way more than I will ever finish in two life times. But here he comes up the aisle with this quilt and insist that we buy it.  He liked the red and green and the price.  As a quilt maker, as well as an antique quilt collector, I knew it would be a real challenge to put a binding on the quilt, and besides it had this kind of weird extra piece.  I wasn’t real sure what the maker had intended. Now that I have had a chance to look at the quilt, I am still not real happy that we bought the quilt. But we did figure out what the extra piece was for.

Actually it was, at one time, a part of the original design of the quilt. But someone, at sometime, cut it off the quilt. The piece fits perfectly. It is very hard to date a quilt with solid colors, but the original construction dates it earlier than I would have thought.  Second quarter of the 19th century, I think. It looks like it would fit a twin bed perfectly with just the right drop around four posters. What do you think?

 15.5 inch x 15.5 inch block without any sashing. A very pretty, well done design, all hand pieced.
I could not find this in BB Encyclopedia, I admit I don't know how to use it with much success.  
My eye/brain has a hard time recognizing a pattern from a black and white drawing.

 Very thin cotton batting.

 Back of quilt, can you see the colored thread? Very nice 8 stitches to the inch quilting.

See the holes on the edge of the backing? Looks like it was quilted in a frame.

Would you try to put a binding on the quilt or leave as is? What would I do with the extra piece?  
It cannot be reattached.


  1. I would bind it in a nice muslin. I would use the extra piece to make a nice pillow sham. good luck and have fun! I enjoy your history and your blog very very much

  2. Are you saying 1825-1850? What do you mean by "original construction? I think later ...just curious about what clues you are using. (you sure blame Ralph a lot!:) I think we once talked about him having his OWN collection.

  3. Pattern is sort of Caesar's Crown??

    1. Yes I am saying right at c. 1850. Because it was a T quilt, done for a four poster bed. No machine work anywhere. Colored thread. And I think the design was very popular in the 1850. I think unfinished for many, many years. When someone found it four poster beds were no longer in vogue. That is why the bottom section was cut off from the quilt.

  4. Hello Lynn,
    LJ has a great idea since the sham and quilt would result in the same degree of aging/fading. If that's not a concern,
    why not treat the cut off portion as a pillow cover? Before pillow shams, a decorative (pieced, appliqued or embroidered)
    panel would be laid atop the bedding's pillow for show and be removed at bedtime. Or, attach the extra portion to a cotton
    pillow case and use it to store the folded quilt when not in use.
    Though I now attach a separate binding to my quilts, my mother and her friends (all born in the early 1920's) would bring the back (lining) to the front OR they would tuck in both front and back in order to whipstitch the edges together. Would either treatment fit in with the timeline of your DH's quilt.
    Love the crib quilt, especially the aqua!

    Delia in RB

  5. Hi Lynn, I have never finished a quilt top or repaired an item in my collection. I just try to take good care of it as is. But if you were to finish and bind the quilt, I would want to see the two blocks reunited with the whole. After all, it's for a collection not for common use. By the way, what did you decide?
    Maureen Craig

  6. Hi Lynn, I love this quilt! And as for the piece that was removed, I strongly feel it should not be used as a separate piece such as a pillow top, instead, the piece should be attached to the quilt as it originally was meant to be, not finished seprate, as this would leave room for the quilt top and the detached piece to one day end up miles apart from each other :(