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.


  1. Beautiful fabrics! When Barbara first posted about pillar prints I scoured my stash and didn't find a one. That surprised me.

    1. Maybe you have too many English quilts? The pillar prints weren't as popular there. Also, sometimes you have to know what you are looking for, as bed curtains, etc. were cut up into small pieces for pieced quilts.


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