Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Workt Exhibit - Part 3 Fabric

I love textiles.  When I see an exhibit I like to take several closeup pictures of the fabrics.

When viewing this quilt from a distance it reads more of a red and green quilt.

On closer examination, the rich blue printed stripe contrasts with each column of flying geese.

Flying Geese Quilt
104" x 114"
Inked on back:
"Samuel B. Cleaver Febr. 19, 1847"

Finger to show scale

Border printed floral stripe - kind of a pillar look.
Note the narrow light binding.

With the glaze still on the fabric the hand quilting stitches show.

This border is on the
Elizabeth Welsh Medallion Quilt
circa 1830
110" x 109"

This stripe print is the border on the Hexagon Quilt:
circa 1830
Sweden (rare)
85 x 75

Printed binding

Note the interesting pattern used in the hand quilting of the border.

This printed stripe also still retains its original glaze.
The right side is the outer edge of the quilt - no binding, folded sewn edge treatment.

The floral portion of the stripe was cut in the middle of the pattern.  Symmetrically used around all four sides of the quilt.

Star of Bethlehem Border
circa 1830
95" x 95"

Isn't interesting to see the print "out" of the quilt?

The stripe in this photo looks like the maker kept the direction of the stripe the same - not true.  Just happened in this block.

A mix of light blue prints were mixed to contrast with the vivid green and red prints.

Delectable Mountains
circa 1850
97" 83"

The maker of this quilt used two similar prints to set these Maltese Cross blocks.  One for sashing and a second for the border.

Note the straight line hand quilting.

Outer border is maybe 3.5" wide.
Applied natural colored binding matches the light solid in the blocks.

Maltese Cross
circa 1870
80" x 67"

Another stripe was effectively used on this Eagle's wings.

While the wings have the stripe running horizontally, the head and legs; using the same stripe, run vertically.  The body is pieced primarily vertically - the tail feathers are a mixed placement of the same fabric.

Elizabeth Welsh Medallion Quilt
circa 1830   Virginia
110" x 109"

The mix of prints in this quilt serve as a lesson - mix prints.  Mix scale, design and color.

This blue stripe was carefully placed to create a secondary pattern in the center of the quilt.

Medallion Quilt
circa 1830
104" x 104"

Another section of the same quilt - mixing stripes, floral in multiple scales.

Medallion Quilt
circa 1830
104" x 104"

More mixed prints.

The center stripe has had conservation work done.

I think it is so important quilts in less than perfect condition are valued and exhibited!

Medallion Quilt
circa 1830
104" x 104"

One more picture of the fabrics in the medallion quilt.

Pictorial Quilt 1795  Linen   103" x 91"
I almost called this post stripes - but wanted to include this cow.

I love applique and I think this could possibly be the best cow ever!

I'm going to dedicate some time to stripes in my quilts next year!  How about you?


Order the Workt by Hand book HERE
See the Brooklyn Museum Collection HERE
More on stripes:  The Devil's Cloth A History of Stripes Michel Pastoureau
   Translated by Jody Gladding
   ISBN: 0-7434-5326-3


  1. Dawn, fabulous prints in this quilts. These ladies certainly did have a good eye with limited resources. Yes the cow is fab.
    After seeing these stripes I need to enhance my stash !!!!!

  2. Oh, I love stripes, too! I have a lot in my stash and use them often. The antique hexagon quilt I'm kind of reproducing uses a stripe in the appliqued border. I've bought at least 3 different strips to audition and I'm still not sure which one I'm going to use! A big decision since it will be the predominant fabric in the quilt. So love reading your insights into fabric and quilts!

  3. I love seeing the fabrics and quilting up close on these vintage beauties.
    That cow is great!! : )

  4. I share your love of textiles!! It is great to see the stripes close up in photos. Thanks for pointing out the quilting, as I was mesmerized with the colors in the fabrics. I love going to quilt shows with you!!

  5. Great post! That is a wonderful cow - udder and all :0) What gorgeous striped fabrics! I would never think to cut down the middle of the flowers like that but it is a pretty cool border edge.

  6. Just wonderful! It is all about the fabrics isn't it? Would be wonderful to have some of those large stripe fabrics - and such inspiration on how to use them.

  7. Wow - what amazing quilts! I just love looking at the different fabrics and recognizing a lot of them that have been reproduced. I absolutely love stripes - they add so much interest. And speaking of interesting...nice cow!

  8. Stripes seem to come and go in popularity. It's great to study how they were used in these quilt. Thanks for your observations!

  9. Fabulous fabrics. Wish we could order a bit of each! Just dreaming. I like the pen work on the cow as well as the fabric. I need to use that technique on a quilt I have.

  10. LOVE that cow~!!
    so many beautiful fabrics within these quilts and i enjoyed seeing the bit of preservation work too.

    i've seen some very clever use of stripes within quilts but i can't say that i use them much . . . i may have to reconsider and see what i can do with them as well.

    thank you for sharing.

  11. What wonderful fabric! The eagle is amazing and I love the quilting right over the top of it.

  12. Your pictures are fantastic! Thanks for showing them the way you did. I like seeing the actual quilting. Quick question, do you happen to know if they are keeping the same exhibit together when it moved on to the DC location?

  13. Dear Dawn. Thank you for sharing those wonderful Photos. Such close up Photos are great. Seeing the old fabrics is a gift for a quilter.


Thanks for your comments!