Museum quilts from the early 1800's for pattern inspiration
For pattern inspiration we thought you would enjoy the following quilts from the collections of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Tree of Life
In addition to the stylized tree of life and long-tailed birds featured in this quilt, the maker fashioned borders with fabric that depicts latticework gates and unusual vases and urns. Designs such as these were known as chinoiserie, from the French word ‘chinois,’ meaning Chinese. Images inspired by art & design from China, Japan & other Asian countries were freely re-interpreted through the addition of exaggerated, imaginary details. The style became popular during the mid-1700s.
Medallion with pieced border
Within the symmetrical wreath the name “Eliza Thompson” and the date“1809” are embroidered in red embroidery floss. Is Eliza the recipient or of the maker? An unusual pieced border, with two corners cut out to fit a four-poster bed, frames the center of the quilt. The white space between the borders is graced with exceptional quilting, including large flowers and undulating grapevines.
Multiple symmetrical borders of chintz fabric frame a slender woven basket holding tulips, lilacs, and passion flowers in the elegant Medallion quilt. The quiltmaker used a stuffed work technique to add dimension to her quilting. The stuffed work, created by inserting extra cotton batting through the quilt’s backing fabric into channels formed by the quilting stitches, includes a flowing grapevine draped with ripe grapes and curling tendrils, overflowing cornucopias and a plump feathered plume.