Saturday, May 2, 2015

1862 Crib Quilt: D'OH!

Quilt dated 1862
32-1/4" x 38-1/4" 

I have been rattling on about this scrappy triangle quilt dated 1862, my main point being if it is indeed dated 1862 it's the earliest dated example of the charm-style (or extreme scrappy quilt) that I've got in my photographic files.

But then I was looking in my closet
And found this!

46" x 58"

An undated crib quilt that is quite similar. Very, very similar except for being on the diagonal. I know this quilt well. I've owned it for 25 years or more.

Ocean Waves reproduction by Barbara Brackman

I made a copy when I first started working for Moda using reproduction prints I'd done.

Here the colors are a little bluer. The copy is on the left.

How old is the original?

I've always estimated it as 1870 or before.

The back is a beautiful linen bird toile that I have guessed is much older than the rest of the quilt. Terry Thompson and I did a copy for our first Moda line Floral Trails. The plate-print toile is about 1800-1830, maybe.

I bought the original quilt in Los Angeles. It has a white-ground chintz border with some dark-ground chintzes along the edges---Again, I've always guess that fabric was older than the prints in the rest of the quilt. I've looked at this quilt extensively and found no fabrics that look to be post Civil War, so I estimated it as 1840-1860.

What makes me so mad at myself is that I had never noticed the similarity to the 1862 flag quilt until this week.

I adjusted the detail so the blocks are the same size, the same orientation and the same adjusted color. They are identical---so close it's weird, actually. Both quilts are before 1870.

As Paula said in the comments last week:
"I was struck by the limited range of dye colors, such as madder and Prussian blue, in contrast with your later examples with wider variety and brighter colors typical of the later period. I also collect antique quilts and it bears a striking resemblance to my apparently earlier ones...."
I have changed my mind about the quilt. The field of triangles could very well be 1862, the same date as the flags. 

Like Paula most of us have a good eye and a good memory for color. She went on to say,
"To me the colors tell the story of an earlier date, with perhaps the border and flags as a later addition."

Marianne had the same reaction:
"To me, the stripes and flags just scream added at a later date."

Here I've adjusted the photos to show the difference in sizes. The flag quilt is smaller, has many more pieces and the triangles are smaller. The triangles in mine finish to 3-1/2" squares.

There is something visually unsettling about the 1862 quilt---it does scream later, but I have no argumentative leg to stand on now. (Metaphors are flying about.)

The jury is back with a revised verdict. That 1862 quilt is probably all 1862.
And the triangles may be earlier....

Have I wasted your time and mine? No. We had a good discussion. We learned things. I remembered that I had this fabulous quilt. And I have spent a lot of time looking at Centennial quilts and charm quilts, gathering information which will keep us entertained in future posts.

I'm going to spend some time looking at my triangle quilt. Is it way earlier than I guessed 20 years ago. I'm somewhat smarter than I used to be---if more forgetful.

Two earlier posts on the date arguments:


Suzanne A said...

What else is in your closet? That would be a great blog theme too. Can we see, can we see?

Vicki W said...

This series of posts havebeen really interesting to me. I really appreciate all of the details of your analysis process. I get a free lesson every time I visit.

WoolenSails said...

Love seeing the comparison and hearing your thoughts, keeps us thinking and learning how to do own deducing when looking at quilts.


sophie said...

I've loved reading your thoughts about that quilt as you "rattled on," and about everything else. Please never hesitate to continue to think out loud on this blog. It's truly fascinating stuff.

Chantal said...

These posts about this flag quilt and its mystery date made me realize all the research and pondering that comes with the task. It's almost mind boggling. It is most interesting and don't think for a minute you have wasted our time. It was most educational and I LOVED it. Do you have more ? :)

regan said...

We love the ramblings! We learn so much! I know I've spent hours and hours following links you've given....what a joy! As a matter of fact, hubby and I are stopping at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond tomorrow, on our way back to Maine from FL, so I can see in person the Shelton Eight-pointed Star Quilt you linked to a couple years back. I'm still in the process of reproducing it.....can't wait to see the real thing! Thanks so much for all the info you generously give're a gem!

Featheronawire Sally Bramald said...

I see in the 1862 quilt, a T shaped quilt to accomodate bed posts. I am sure there is a better descrption than this. I have UFOs of my own started over 20-3o years ago. I wonder if/when I or someone else ever finishes them, future historians will be similarly perplexed?

Françoise said...

What's that saying? Live and learn? At least you found it now.

Lori said...

Sometimes we have to talk things out, then it all comes together! How fun to have figured that out.

Marianne said...

I agree with the others, these "ramblings" have been wonderful. Very interesting and informative and enjoyed greatly.

Rosa said...

How many quilts do you have?what do you do with your quilts?

Kim said...

Love these quilts! I have to say your Floral Trails line was my most favorite ever. I still hoard a few pieces! Ramble on! I love it

Barbara Brackman said...

How many quilts do I have? That would require an inventory system. I have two closets in my new house. One is all quilts and the other has a big shelf for the smaller ones.

I probably have 30 old quilts and 30 old tops. How do I take care of them?

This is NOT a museum, although I hope several will someday go to a museum. Most of them are "study pieces"

I keep them in the dark, away from wood and plastic bags, but stacked up way too high.

Wendy Caton Reed said...

No time is ever wasted when studying (or making) quilts. Thanks for all the pondering posts.