About once a decade I am lucky enough to find an Alphabet quilt. This one is particularly special because it is featured in two of the early, most well known books about quilts and folk art. It is a full page illustration on page 136 of "America's Quilts and Coverlets" by Safford and Bishop (1972) and on page 272 of "The Flowering of American Folk Art" by Jean Lipman and Alice Winchester (1974).
The quilt has been professionally laundered and is in excellent condition.
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The elongated Evening Stars makes a wonderful abstracted pattern. The rectangles formed by the joining of the arms of the stars creates a white diamond surrounded by indigo triangles that can become another pattern throughout the quilt. There are many stars but at the same time it is rather light and airy. White squares are quilted with stylized flowers. Measurements are 68" x 80". Pennsylvania origin; circa 1880.
Rarely does one find a Drunkard's Path in crib size. This makes perfect sense as most 19th century mothers would have wanted to steer their children away from such a life path. Fortunately, in the 21st century we can see beyond that to the wonderful abstract design of the Drunkard's Path pattern. This example is particularly nice because of the indigo color and inner triangle border. It is in excellent condition. Measurements are 39" x 39 1/2". Pennsylvania origin; circa 1880.
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While the Barnraising Log Cabin is a very quilt traditional pattern, this example looks far more modern than one expects from the late 19th century when it was made. The magenta fabric has a thin black stripe that perfectly ties in with the solid black material. With close examination, one can see that the corners are actually log cabin blocks done entirely in black. The border is quilted with a cable pattern. Pennsylvania Mennonite origin; made circa 1880. Both front and back are wool. Measurem ...click for details
This comforter is made of cigar flannels from the early 20th century. The flannels were given as premiums wrapped around packages of cigarettes and small cigars. The largest flannel is the American flag in the center with slightly smaller flags of Mexico; Italy; Russia and Greece for the corner blocks. All of the other flannels are of Native American motifs. It is in excellent, unwashed condition.The border is a light blue cotton sateen. Measurements are 74" x 82". Pennsylvania origin; ...click for details
This Victorian doll quilt has so many different elements that it is difficult to characterize it. On the one hand, it has many features of a Crazy Quilt. The two fans in the corners, for instance, are often seen on Crazies. The multiple diamonds in squares in the center, though, give it a very different feel, as do the American flag; variable star and pinwheel. In all, it's a wonderful combination. It measures 18 1/2" x 19" including the lace border. The front is silk with a beauti ...click for details
This wonderful floral album quilt is a combination of traditional and original appliqued blocks. Many of the original ones are done with reverse applique and look very much like the scherenschnitte paper cutouts popular with Pennsylvania Germans. Each of the four corners has a variation of a wreath pattern giving cohesion to the composition. The swag and tassel border beautifully frames the light and graceful applique blocks. Unlike many album quilts, the components of this are equal in weight a ...click for details
This traditional Sawtooth pattern quilt is elevated to a different level by the use of three borders. Technically, the innermost is actually part of the Sawtooth blocks but visually it serves as part of the frame. The interior of the quilt is a brick or adobe color with the two outermost borders in red. It is in unwashed condition. It has a few light smudges that I do not feel warrant a wash but it certainly can be done if one chooses. Measurements are 65" x 78". Pennsylvania origin; c ...click for details
This bold barn raising log cabin quilt beautifully combines patterned wool fabrics to create added interest to the eye. The use of light fabrics in the center diamond draws your eye immediately to this focal point while the many additional prints lead you throughout the entire pattern. The four triangles of color within the red frame are particularly well placed. Upon close examination, one sees that the border is actually a herringbone pattern combining solid blacks with printed fabrics. Measur ...click for details
Classic Courthouse Steps Log Cabin quilt with a good use of lights and darks. Solid red and orange logs play well against the printed fabrics. Excellent condition. It is lightweight with no batting. Measurements are 78" square. Pennsylvania origin; circa 1880.