Sunday, December 31, 2017

Antique Cheddar Basket Quilt Makeover - 31 days of antique quilt treasures

So happy to share my creation! Make Mine Cheddar, a reproduction of an antique basket quilt in my collection. Made for the American Quilt Study Group's 2016 Basket Quilt Study

Make Mine Cheddar
Sandra Starley
 original pattern inspired by antique basket quilt
31" x 31"
 Here's the repro top with the antique original

A detail of one of the baskets in the antique quilt

And here is the antique original. 1890 Mennonite Basket from Southeastern Pennsylvania in my collection. Part of my Baskets & Blooms trunk show.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Antique Horse Quilts - 31 Days of Antique Quilt Treasures

Love this folky Christmasy quilt with a lot of unusual horse appliques. It is not common to find horse appliques  on antique quilts. Birds and flowers and wreaths are usual but not horses.
Thanks Sharon W.! It is from New York state. It is actually a signature/name inscribed quilt but most are too faded to read.

Here's a horse and rider from a crazy quilt dated 1885.

Most of the horses seen on antique quilts are found on novelty/conversation prints. Equine motifs were very popular in the 1880s and 1890s.

 Here's another. Both are on tumbling block star quilts from Lancaster Co. PA

I do have another appliqued horse on a quilt with a few funky appliques and cheater cloth prints too. Dated 1887.

You just never know what you'll find on a quilt ... joining the horse above is an appliqued pig along with a strange doll/person, an anchor, etc.  The red mariner's compass next to the horse is a cheater print, the sunflowery one is pieced.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Antique Bird Chintz and Pillar Prints - Month of Antique Quilt Treasures

This is my all-time favorite bird fabric; an early print c.1825 with an interesting history. This piece of English pillar print was once part of the Union Carbide collection (you young ones may need to google that name to learn of their infamy). **Pillar print refers to fabrics which depict vertical architectural columns or pillars; think Greek temples or Southern mansion porches.

All images shown are part of the Starley Antique Quilt Collection and featured in lectures and classes. See tabs under banner photo for more information

This beautiful monochrome pillar with baskets print was printed c. 1830 in a number of colorways, both monochrome (one color) and polychrome (several colors). In fact, there were at least 15 versions of this design printed at that time.

Here's another pillar print that was used for a bed curtain ensemble (think canopy bed curtains), about 1810. The edge is finished/bound with a woven twill tape. And the fabric still has a shiny glaze.

Grape leaf pillar print -whole cloth quilt c. 1820.

To see more examples of the monochrome basket print - stop by fellow quilt historian Barbara Brackman's blog. You can see more than a dozen examples in her post on the ridiculously popular pillar print.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Antique Bird Quilt- Civil War Survivor- 31 days of antique quilt treasures

Sending Holiday Cheer with this bird and basket block from my 1850 Virginia Crib Quilt. The quilt was clearly made for a beloved child. Amazing this quilt survived the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

My miniature reproduction, Virginia is for Lovers, size 16 x 16 alongside the antique original.  It is hand appliqued (the little baskets are only 1.5" tall) and hand quilted.

This is an utterly charming album crib quilt from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, purchased from a VA auction.  It has 12 blocks (9" blocks), each featuring a different design including hearts, wreaths, potted flowers, tulips, a bird on branch, and cut-out chintz flowers, eight blocks with stitched name or initials in the teeniest cross stitch.
Provenance: Descended in the Smith family of Waynesboro, Augusta Co., VA.

I'm thinking of reproducing it in a smaller scale and trying to decide on close fabrics or crazy wild?

I haven't seen any other album quilts with so many heart motifs.  I find the block with the bird (photo 1) in the tree getting shot with an arrow a bit strange yet kind of cute.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Antique Bird Crib Quilt - Month of Antique Quilt Treasures

Delightful antique crib quilt featuring a charming little bird perched on a flower stem. **Quilt history lesson time: curious about the circular dots/holes on his body and eye? Those are commonly seen on turkey red prints from 1840- 60s and usually on design motifs with some black. You'll note the bit of black in the remainder of the circular design on the bird and more clearly on the flower in photo 2. The damage is caused by bleaching the red so that a pattern would show up or due to caustic chemicals related to the design (either the dye or mordant). Mordant is the chemical that makes the dye bond with the fabric.

The flower he's on - there's his beak peeking at the lower left. And note the damage and the black showing on the motifs that haven't disappeared so far.

And here is the full crib quilt with the center bird/flower medallion surrounded by 4 flowers and then a great border of staghorn fern feathers or some such creature.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Antique Eagle Quilt - Month of Antique Quilt Treasures

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Just a simple sharing of this fabulous 4 eagle quilt in  the Starley Antique Quilt Collection. Part of Birds and Blooms Lecture/ Trunk show (see the tab under banner photo for more details).

This quilt is from Southeastern Pennsylvania which is the main area the 4 block eagles are found. The other area is Ohio and that is due to westward migration. C. 1860 and a bit early for this setting.
It is the only antique eagle with tulip wreaths and vases. Formerly in the McCarl Collection.
The darker green used for the tulip stems, leaves, and vases was likely a synthetic dye and it has had a weird reaction (hazy stain around that fabric).

Monday, December 25, 2017

Antique Whig Rose/ Rose of Sharon Crib Quilt - 31 Days of Antique Quilt Treasures

I adore this charming bird with teeeeeny tail feathers
 He and several of his friends are decorating a wonderful antique crib quilt featuring one large Whig Rose block. I would call this block a Whig Rose because of the 4 leaf spikes (rooster combs) around the center floral which you don't see on a Rose of Sharon.
Be it Rose of Sharon, Whig Rose, Democrat Rose, Ohio Rose, California Rose, English Rose, or Flower of Paradise, early quilters were inspired by the Bible, romance, politics, and nature, to create this most popular group of appliqué patterns.
I've researched and written about the history of the pattern and if you'd like to learn more about this quilt pattern, please visit
This quilt is part of my Birds and Blooms trunk show available for your next quilt show, guild meeting, or special event.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Antique Remake Rose of Sharon Quilt - Daily Antique Quilt Treasures

(Topic for this week is Antique Bird Quilts). This is Quilted Joy a reproduction of a joyful antique Rose of Sharon quilt in my collection (see below).  Made for the American Quilt Study Group's Civil War Quilt Study and is part of the traveling exhibit. Right now it is on display at the Stillwater Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Hand applique and hand quilting.
This quilt is available as a hand applique class/workshop and the antique quilt is the star of my antique quilt trunk show: Birds and Blooms showcasing amazing mid 1800s antique applique quilts.
Quilted Joy, 2014, Sandra Starley, 31 x 31

Close-ups of the repro (above) and the antique (below). I reduced the block size and number and scaled down some details (3 leaves on Rose stems instead of 5) but tried to faithfully recreate the folk art charm and exuberance.

This is probably the happiest quilt I own or have ever seen!  This has to be what JOY looks like when it is quilted. This unknown quilter really upped the ante and filled every inch with applique and quilting.  Can you tell I love this quilt?  If you look closely, you will see that it is a 9 block, Rose of Sharon quilt with filler bird and grape vine applique and fancy floral borders.  **Note, this is an antique quilt from 1855** 
To learn more about the history of the Rose of Sharon pattern, please see my article

The border is over the top with all the different flowers -irises, tulips, etc. I really like how the 3 stemmed flower groups have been stitched to make them into a basket. And the two different birds are delightful and the red birds seem to be enjoying the blue berries. They do look delicious. There are a lot of embroidered details (stitching on appliques, etc.)--so much to take in. Enjoy-I sure am.
If you have seen a similar quilt, please let me know as I haven't found anything close and neither has the dealer.

**I'm so happy to be sharing these treasures with you and participating for the 3rd year in the 31 Day Blog Challenge. Click on the photo to go to the main page and connect with others sharing their quilts (old and new) and other creative work. Thanks Cheryl Sleboda for hosting this again and inspiring us to share. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Antique birds & baskets quilt - month of antique quilt treasures

A Christmasy bird popping by to say hello!
c. 1860 basket quilt purchased from Julie Silber. Beautiful piecing, applique and quilting and such attention to detail - look at that tiny piping next to a fine binding below the bird.

From New York State, probably made by member of Howe family. The quilting is 11- 12 stitches per inch - very small.

Love the birds, flower buds or fruit and the hearts in the corners - so charming. This beautiful quilt is part of my antique quilt trunk show: Birds and Blooms

Friday, December 22, 2017

Antique Bethlehem Star -Month of Antique Quilt Treasures

Early Antique Bethlehem Star or Mathematical Star with appliques - Starley Quilt Collection, Antique Stars trunk show. Very unusual applique details.

This is a large quilt and that is a good clue to an early (old quilt)- the earlier/older, the bigger.

Beautiful fabrics in lovely muted, almost pastel tones.

Be sure to click on the photos to really appreciate the amazing fabrics.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Antique Conversational Star Quilt - Month of Antique Quilt Treasures

The block pattern is "Ship's Wheel"
The quilt is circa 1890**, these steel engraving novelty prints are mostly from the 1880s.
**The top is c. 1890 but was minimally quilted a few years ago with a polyester batting. I've since unquilted it and removed the poofy poly but left the backing to protect the seams.

This quilt is a tour de force of fussy cutting! And has more novelty or conversational prints than I've seen on any other quilt. Please be sure to click on the individual photos to see the details and all the amazing novelty or conversation prints.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Antique Quilt Trapunto Stars -A month of Treasures

Carpenter Star variation with AMAZING trapunto quilt from the 1840s. Part of the Starley Antique Collection - Antique Stars trunk show.

It has a variety of quilting designs including this unusual 5 pointed "Texas" star set in a trapunto wreath.

and these wonderful pineapples in the borders

And the full quilt. By the way, the dense stuffed quilting makes for quite a heavy quilt.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Antique Tumbling Block Star - Month of Quilt Treasures

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 about 20  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 several of my own.

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 the special center block with all solid fabrics -only star in the quilt with all solids.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Dolly Madison Star -Antique Quilt Stars -Month of Antique Quilt Treasures

Antique Dolly Madison Star Quilt. Starley Collection. The block is Brackman #2241: Dolly Madison's Star (Finley 1929) or President's Block (Nancy Cabot, 1930's) or Santa Fe (Hearth and Home 1885 -1930's). Named for the popular First Lady Dolly (Dolley) Madison, wife of President James Madison. This block is very uncommon.  Please contact me if you have one a vintage or antique version from the 1940s or earlier, I'd love to see other examples

Interesting to study it and wonder why all 5 of the blue center, red point blocks are the same BUT  there are 5 different arrangements in the 11 blue point blocks --- look closely.  See close-ups of 3 of them above.

From the Quilt Index: a pattern clipping from the newspaper in 1934.

I also like the fearless use of the burgundy border with the tomato red (very large scale polka dot) in the blocks.  A rather clash-y combo it is and yet quite fabulous!

If you'd like to make one, I found a pattern on the blog about designer Nancy Cabot

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