02 February, 2012

More Tumbling Star Fabrics . . .

I am thrilled to learn that many of you are interested in antique quilts and the fabrics they contain.  Thank you for your encouraging comments and emails as I explore this new-to-me venue for sharing. 

The quilt we have been studying here is one of my late 19th century Tumbling Star quilts.  We have been focusing on the study of fabrics that are contained in this quilt.
Tumbling Star Quilt, c. 1890

Additional information can be found in earlier posts on January 14 and January 18, 2012.

If one question about this quilt comes up more than any other it is whether or not this quilt is a charm quilt.  Given the number of fabrics that appear in many of these quilts it is a good question.  Let's take a closer look! 

By definition a charm quilt does not contain more than one piece of the same fabric.  I suppose there is some discretion regarding any borders and/or backing though I generally do not take them into consideration.  Charm quilts are most often pieced in a single patch design such as a simple geographic shape including square, triangle, hexagon or diamond.  There is a slightly less strict definition that allows the same fabric to be used if varying motifs are used.  I leave the choice of which rule to follow up to individual choice.

Is this quilt a charm quilt?  If, by the purest definition it only takes one duplication to keep a quilt from being a charm quilt then the answer is a resounding 'No.'  Careful examination reveals that there are a few varied pieces of the same fabrics scattered throughout the quilt.   Each of the duplicates seem to have been cut to feature different motifs.  By the more liberal definition of a charm quilt we could say this one qualifies.  It would be nice to know what the quilt maker was thinking as she hand pieced all of her diamonds together.

We have already taken a close look at one of the most obviously duplicated fabric pieces.  Remember the patchwork print (a.k.a. cheater cloth) discussed in my post on 18 January 2012?  Above is a larger piece of the original fabric.   

Can you find the dog in the uncut piece?  How about the cat?

Can you identify the prints that surround each of them? 

Please note that the coloration appears to be different only because each photo was taken with different lighting.

The calendar print also appears to be a patchwork print. If you look at the bottom of the diamond you will see a pink, brown and white geometric design with what appears to be a brown ground floral print beside it. 

I currently do not have an uncut piece of the original fabric to know what other types of prints surround this calendar.  However, thanks to information shared with me at a recent quilt study meeting I have a source that may have what I am looking for.

It remains my hope that finding an uncut piece of the patchwork print that contains the calendar will help me discover a little more about why the calendar was significant enough to be included in the printed fabric.

Included in the quilt are a number of other pieces that have similar coloring to the calendar piece.  They too are obviously varied pieces of patchwork prints. Which of these, if any, the calendar may have come from I am not sure.
This one appears to have a floral design featured.  I am not certain what the remainder of the prints surrounding the featured motif may be. Though a bit less defined than other patchwork prints, the lines and varied backgrounds make it clear this is another piece of a patchwork print.

Here are three additional pieces with similar coloration.  These three are clearly related to each other.  Can you find the same patterns that serve as clues that these pieces are all from the same piece of patchwork print?

As we have seen here, large pieces of original fabrics are invaluable to quilt researchers. They give us an opportunity to see what the original fabrics in antique quilts actually looked like before they were cut into smaller pieces.

Imagine if the diamond shapes in this quilt were small enough to be cut from only a single print found in these patchwork prints. We would assume they were varied pieces of fabric when in fact they are not.  Caution is the key when determining whether or not a quilt is actually a charm quilt.

Another day we will look at more fabrics included in this Tumbling Star quilt.  Eventually we will compare this quilt to other Tumbling Star quilts to learn what we can about whether or not they are related.

Tot de volgende keer, fijne dag!

No comments: