Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Antique Quilts from the 2010 Chicago International Quilt Festival

I LOVE contemporary quilts, but I have a lot of love and respect for the antique quilts out there. Some of those quilts, if done in modern fabrics, would be considered “contemporary” or maybe even “art” quilts. Some patterns are traditional; others are very creative and artistic in nature. Chicago had a great variety of antique quilts this year. I took pictures of some of them.

“19th Century Folk Art” by Unknown Maker, c. 1800, 81” X 84 ½”. This quilt is hand pieced and appliquéd using a huge variety of natural dyed fabrics.
I took a closeup so you could get a better look at the pieces and colors. It was really something!
“Tree of Life Variation” by Unknown Quiltmaker, c. 1860, 74 ¾” X 73”. This quilt is hand pieced, appliquéd, and quilted. There is a lot of quilting on this quilt.
The “Princess Feather Variation with Star Medallion” by Unknown Quiltmaker was FABULOUS! It is a HUGE quilt (especially for its age—but the year it was made was not listed); it is 115” X 129”. That is even big by today’s standards. The quilt is hand pieced, appliquéd, and quilted. The quilt was hung from its left side rather than from the top. It was hard to get the entire quilt in one picture because of its size and the positioning of the light pole. I did the best I could.
Now, take a look at this close up. The quilting is spectacular. It is very organized and planned in the blocks of the quilt but very spontaneous in the border. If you look closely, you can make out a star/snowflake-looking quilting pattern towards the bottom left of the border. I didn't see another one like it on the quilt. You can also make out leaf shapes closer to the border top. It was just so interesting.
This is a close up of the center medallion of this same quilt. I wanted you to check out the quilting in the appliqué pieces themselves. Also, take a look at how skinny the medallion points are.
“Sunburst” by Unknown Quiltmaker, c. 1850, 77” X 80 ¾”. This quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted.
“Flower Garden Star” by Unknown Quiltmaker, c. 1900, 80” X 94 ¼”. The medallion portion of this quilt contains fabrics c. 1830-1880. This possibly indicates a multi-generational quilt. The piecing of this quilt is by hand, and it is not quilted. Just try to imagine piecing all those hexagons by hand!
“Birds and Grapes Applique” by Unknown Quiltmaker, 77” X 82”. This quilt is hand pieced, appliquéd, and quilted. I couldn’t get a full picture of this quilt because of the crowd, so I took a picture of a piece of it. I loved the birds the most anyway!
These are the last of my pictures from this year’s Chicago International Quilt Festival. I have enjoyed sharing them with you. I hope you enjoyed seeing these antique quilts. Seeing them sure makes me appreciate all the tools and gadgets we have to use these days. Please leave me a comment and let me know if you liked seeing these quilts.


K. Crane: Big Fat Art Cloth said...

I just love all of these traditional quilt patterns. Despite all of the new and interesting quilting going on, I always find myself drawn back to these traditional patterns. Whenever I walk into a home with a quilt I know I'm around a friend!

anglars said...

absolutely beautiful.. thank you for sharing

Jill said...

I love the pictures and patterns. We have a sewing community on Facebook where we share ideas and learn from each other. I'm a newbie in the quilting world. I shared your photo and linked it back to your blog to give you credit for it. If this is a problem, please let me know.

You may view it here:

Please feel free to join the group! It is brand new!