Friday, January 13, 2012

PA Tumbling Block Stars

Center of my antique tumbling block star quilt c. 1890 from the Kreider family of Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania.  It is unusual not only for its maker's careful color placement to make stars and cubes and match opposing  star points but most importantly for its center star of solid fabrics.  It is part of a small group of less than a dozen tumbling block star quilts found in Lancaster Co. each with a distinctive center block (and only the center block) composed of solid fabric as shown above.  This interesting niche group of tumbling block star quilts was discovered by my friend Greta Van Den Berg and luckily I was with her when she made the discovery.  I've since acquired two of my own both found by Donna Vitale of GBbest.

Here is another star showing the careful matching of opposing star points - indigo print to indigo print, madder paisley to madder paisley.  Also note the floral quilting in the diamonds.

And here is one of the delightful novelty prints:  a circus dog jumping through a hoop.

Click on this picture to enlarge or increase your font size to really see the wonderful novelty prints in this block. On the left is a butterfly print and on the right there is a delightful horse and rider (and a few with unknown motifs).  Also see the 2 different but very closely matched green prints.

And finally, here is a photo of my 1st tumbling block star, more photos of it to come


  1. Oh what a fantastic quilt! I love it so much. Goodness, I don't think there is anything at all in this quilt that I don't love. What a beautiful blend of fabrics and quilting. I love quilts like these where the more you look at them, the more you see in shapes and designs.

    Thank you for sharing this beauty with us!

  2. lovely! I'm working on a tumbling block star quilt myself, so I'm thrilled to see yours. My star points are made from solid strings with the connecting diamonds in black.

  3. beautiful just fun looking at all the wonderful fabrics.
    is that cheddar in the last one solid or a print?
    thanks for sharing

  4. Thank you Sue, Brenda and Kathie, glad you are enjoying it. Kathie, the cheddar in the center is solid that is what makes it special and the cheddar near the bottom is a print.

  5. Love that Patern...always one of my favorites. And the fabrics are a treasure! and the quilting in the diamonds is a very fun bonus. Im inspired to take out a few tumbling block quilt tops from the vintage/antique pile and get to work!

  6. What a lovely quilt!!! That conversation print is precious!!

  7. So interesting to see some of the unique features of the vintage quilts you have.
    I am always fascinated by the conversation prints. Such random subjects in the prints.
    Thanks for showing the flower quilting. Don't think I've seen that kind of thing in a pattern like this.

  8. Oh, I am so happy to see these quilts! I've been working, off and on, in a series of 60 degree diamonds. They are so versatile. Thank you for sharing your great star quilts!

  9. Fascinating. Interesting color placement and quilting motifs.
    Nice you have them in your collection for study!
    Lucky us your sharing ;-)

  10. Question? I notice that your quilt has solid fabrics for the star surrounded by prints. Is you other one this way too?

    My quilts have solid fabrics that make up the star surrounded by solid diamonds.

  11. Both of these are just gorgeous! I have a 30s tumbling blocks in just three fabrics-red, yellow and a red print that emphasizes the star but its nothing like these.
    Thanks for the info on these Lancaster tumbling blocks quilts.


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