The delightful Miss Sandy from Quill Cottage is hosting an “I remember Laura” Blog~A~Thon. If any of you are Laura Ingalls Wilder fans, this month-long event is not to be missed. Over the entire month of June, there will be an art swap consisting of four different projects. Each Monday will introduce a week-long feature of a special “Little House” memory. Today’s feature is Antique Quilts.
Kaleidoscope, Nine Patch, and Log Cabin
Patterns were invented by everyday quilt makers and spread via friends, family and quilting bees. Quilt pattern books can be found as early as 1835, but became more common in the 1850’s. Catalogs such as Sears and Wards offered patterns for a dime when the cloth was purchased from their company.
Pioneer women had more of a challenge obtaining fabric for quiltmaking. When preparing to move westward, the women packed necessary linens to last two to three years. Friends and family members were all too aware that they might never see one another again. Quilts were often given to those migrating west to serve as a reminder for those left behind. The quilt and quilt topper below were made by my great~great grandmother for my great~grandmother who herself moved westward.
The Album Quilt
A favorite type of antique quilt is the album quilt which originated in Baltimore, Maryland. The album quilt contains pictorial images representing either the quilter or the intended recipient’s life. The quilt below was made to celebrate the 21st birthday of David Crowl between 1845~1848 by David’s female relatives.
Victorian Crazy Quilt
Another favorite is the Victorian Crazy Quilt. This quilt’s popularity occurred between 1876 ~1910. It originated from the asymmetrical oriental art that was featured and adored at the Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia in 1876. The crazy quilt was actually meticulously planned out using the finest silks, satins, velvets, and brocades. Additions of embroidery and other stitching styles added to the intricate designs. Those of fewer means created crazy quilts using cotton calico’s, wool and any fabric they could get their hands on.
Today, prized quilts are still being created. Quilts such as Hawaiian, Tivaevae, and Ralli, as well as quilts made by the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama and the Amish, are highly sought after by collectors.