If you are ever near the Philadelphia area - make a beeline for the Chester County Historical Society!!
They have amazing antique treasures, particularly quilts. Last summer I was blessed to visit CCHS with my fellow certified quilt appraisers from PAAQT aka the Professional Association of Appraisers Quilted Textiles. We visited as part of our continuing education training.
Among the amazing quilts we saw at CCHS was the famed Oxford Seminary Quilt from the 1840s. Enjoy a few photos. Let me know if you'd like to see more of this one and some others?
After yesterday's post on neon prints, I thought I'd continue with another fabric terminology tutorial: Pillar Prints. Pillar prints are fabrics prominently depicting architectural columns or pillars (think Greek ruins or old Southern mansions).
This is my favorite - part of my Birds and Blooms trunk show or antique quilt study class. 1820s from England. Pillars with birds are the best!
Here's another -pillar print with baskets. This print was produced in at least 15 different colorways/versions. A ridiculously popular print. Backing fabric for a double 9 patch in my collection. ** Another fabric/color term is monochrome (aka one color) and this is the monochrome version. A multicolored would be a poly-chrome.
Neon prints were produced mainly at the end of the 1800s and the name is because they are brights set against darks like neon lights. Here are a few examples.
The bright green and pink backing on my Rocky Road to Kansas is a great example of a neon print or neon fabric
And that blue print below the cherubs is a good one too. By the way it was printed by Hamilton Printworks of Lowell, Massachusetts in 1881. And this is from the Tumbling Block Star with the 1881 calendar print.
This faux patchwork star print or cheater cloth is rather neony, as well.
Cupid has been popular for a long time and been the subject of fabric designers for centuries too. See yesterday's post for a 200 year old cupid fabric This little cupid is from an 1880s hexagon medallion in the Starley Quilt Collection (available to visit your guild, shop, show)
In honor of St. Valentine's Day, I went on a search for cupids in my antique quilt collection. Here is the best cupid fabric ever ... The Cupid-Seller or Love Merchant, a toile de Jouy, from Jouy France, Oberkampf fabric company, from 1817. Look at the amazing detail. For more cheeky little cupids... tune in tomorrow
Most of my collection is multi-fabric or scrappy but I do have a few fancy 2 fabric quilts. But most of those are red/green appliques. This beauty is a quilted tour de force. The milk chocolate floral is beautiful and the neutral is actually a blue/white ribbony stripe which adds a lot of interest. The applique design is delicate and the swag border is the perfect finish.
Starley Quilt Collection
But my favorite things about the quilt -- the backing is an early cheater cloth (preprinted patchwork). It looks like pieced tumbling blocks but is actually a printed design.
I have a couple antique Tumbling Block Star Quilts with a solid fabric center star - shown top center in this picture. They are from Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania and date circa 1885. My friend Greta alerted me to them when she found one in the New England Quilt Museum that was a twin to one in her collection. We've seen found about 20 of them in different collections - all with a central star of solid fabrics and the rest of the stars done in prints.
This quilt has a piece of this calendar cheater print from 1881. Isn't that a cool print? So great to find an unused piece with the original true color.
The piece in the quilt is quite a bit worse for the wear but is definitely the same calendar fabric.
The quilt also features several diamonds from this cat/dog cheater print.
Detail of Virginia crib quilt, circa 1850, a true Civil War survivor. Since this bird is on a crib quilts with lots of hearts and flowers, I believe he is being shot with cupid's arrow rather than one from a hunter.
I have recreated the antique quilt twice, one in a traditional miniature version and another in a modern makeover for the Riley Blake fabric challenge. You can see the bird made modern below, bottom, right.
And here is one of the antique Valentine Hearts and Flowers - and the mod version is above, top, right. Look at that beautiful hand quilting - double rodding (double lines).