Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vintage Crazy Quilt Pix - Day 3

Today I'll be showing you some interesting motifs and things on this Vintage Crazy Quilt . Let's start with the Centennial Ribbon.
As you can see, it's not in the best of shape. However, it's the metallic fringe at the bottom that fascinates me. It is actually a separate trim in and of itself, with the header part of it stitched on with a purple herringbone stitch. The fringes are coiled.

On Monday I showed you the 1888 patch. This is the other dated patch - 1885. Presumably the quilt was made between those dates.

Above is some more incredible stitching and applique. This daisy motif is one of my very favorites.
This shot shows several motifs. The maker was apparently very fond of applique, as we've seen previously with the horse, leaves, palette and other items. In this picture we can see a hare and a crescent moon. We can also see an embroidered cat in the upper left and stitched flowers. And, of course, many more lovely seam treatments.

More symbols and traditional motifs. The initials in the friendship rings are F, L, T. There are other circles and other initials on different parts of the quilt; we'll see those as we go along. Then we have the traditional Masonic symbol of the square and compass. Perhaps the family had Masonic affiliations. The bug is very finely stitched. Usually bugs, in symbolic language, meant death or disease. Tomorrow we will see the spider and its web - probably THE most traditional crazy quilt motif. It's symbolism is generally interpreted as good luck and defense against disease (per the AQS appraiser of this quilt). So, the seamstress ran the gamut of symbols (and we haven't even talked about the meanings of the flowers!!).

More pictures to come tomorrow!!


  1. Well, one can surely appreciate the lovely pearl cotton threads our fore-stitchers had to work with. The closest thing today that will give that look is YLI's Pearl Crown Royal thread on a spool and our local source just closed her store, sadly. I'd like to ask you if you can tell what stitch was used for the dates. I've my nose to the screen, but can't really tell and I really love the look of it.

  2. LouAnne - After examining both the dates, it's clear that BOTH dates are double strands of perle cotton (silk?) couched down. The 1888 appears to be a 5 wt and the 1885 is fine - probably a 12. For the "1" in 1888, it appears she came up with a single strand for the serif part, then took the thread down, couched it and brought it back up to look double. I think it's the same with the rest - one strand working the number twice. I think that dating our work would be an interesting thing to do on special pieces.....

  3. im a cross stitcher myself but your quilt squares are stunningly rendered. quilting is something i would love to learn. my compliments -Femi


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