Show quilts were not meant to be functional bedcovers. These quilts were usually never slept under; they demonstrated the maker's good taste and knowledge of popular decorating trends.
"Appliqued and Embroidered Pictorial Bedcover"--Probably New York State, 1825-1845. It is made of wool, silk, cotton, and beads with silk and cotton embroidery. It is not quilted; wool is used for the body. (I apologize for the quality of this picture. I really wasn't feeling well that day and was a bit shaky.)
These closeups are a little better. I really liked this bedcover.
The "Star of Bethlehem Quilt" was made between 1880 and 1900. It is made of silk. The ownership of this quilt has been traced to the family of Jeremiah Sullivan Black. He was the Attorney General of the United States from 1857-1860 under President James Buchanan and an advisor to President Andrew Johnson.
The "Crazy Quilt Era" is generally dated from 1876, the year of the Philadelphia Centennial Expo, to the beginning of the 20th century. 1884 was the peak for "Crazies" according to contemporary periodicals."Map Quilt"--Possibly came from Virginia (1886). Map quilts are very unusual as is the right-angle piecing and Y-shaped pattern.
"Crazy Quilt" was made by Rachel Blair Greene (1846-1909). It is made of silk and has painted and silk embroidered motifs. Some makers of "Crazies" would purchase pre-embroidered appliques.
You can see some of the embroidery and the painted blocks. I don't think I have ever seen painted blocks on a crazy quilt. These paintings were very detailed. You can see that better if you click in the picture to get a closer look.
The "Dunn Album Quilt" was made by the Sewing Society of the Fulton St. United Methodist Episcopal Church in Elizabethport, New Jersey, in 1852. The church block (third row from the top toward the middle of the quilt) is believed to be the only existing visual reference of the original 1852 building of the Fulton St. congregation, as it was rebuild in 1859.
It is hard to see the signatures on the quilt, but I can attest to the fact that they are there!
There are more quilts to come. Check back soon. Oh, I just got back from the International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati. I'll have picture from that as soon as I get them edited.