In January I had the opportunity to go to St. George, Utah for a quilt retreat (Quilt St. George.) But my best friend and cousin (isn’t it great that it’s the same person) and I didn’t go for the classes. Instead we made this trip to view 2 wonderful antique quilt trunk shows by Sandra Starley. Sandra’s website, Textile Time Travels has more information on the quilts I am going to share with you and her collection is absolutely amazing both in variety and condition.
These are just a few of the quilts Sandra shared with the group but they are among my favorites:
I love hexagon quilts. This one, done in an Around the World pattern could almost be a “charm” quilt (no fabric is used twice) except for the piece of fabric that Sandra is holding next to the quilt. This fabric is printed in a “printed patchwork” design or more commonly known as cheatercloth and was used to make several of the hexagons. The quilt was made c. 1885.
This Blazing Star or Star of Bethlehem has my vote. I love several things about it: the blue background really makes a statement, the surrounding stars (which also means that we can call this a Lone Star quilt) and the great skill this quilt maker had. I have seen several quilt tops of this design that can’t be finished because they don’t lay flat and cannot be “quilted out”. Probably late 19th century.
These Flying Eagles are perfect. The twisted wings show the bird in flight as opposed to many other Eagle quilts, shown with straight out-stretched wings as seen here. Applique Eagle quilts have been popular since the early 19th century. The red saw-tooth border adds to the appeal of this great quilt by defining the central motif.
One more, okay?
This one is my favorite because, well what do you think…
This is amazing! Every motif was appliqued on to this background. The circles are perfect and the proportions are exact. Made in c.1860, she could have made this pattern up or perhaps saw it on a piece of china. She didn’t use straight-edge acrylic rulers, rotary cutters or design walls. She just cut out each element and stitched it in place.
I think the amount of work that went into making a quilt in the early days of quilting is what draws me to antique and vintage quilts. They tell a story of a woman that had very little free time but used her talents and imagination to create a thing of beauty.
I had permission from Sandra to take these photos. If you want to see and learn more about them, visit her website and ask her permission to use her photos.