Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Antique Quilts

Help! Where did January go and when did February sneak in the door? This month I am posting more photos of old quilts; they remain my primary inspiration for new designs. If I see an old quilt that I really love, there is a good chance that I'll snap a picture of it, which will go into one of my files. Later, when I'm ready to start designing a new quilt, I look through my files and see what strikes my fancy. So here are some photos from my files -- I hope you they inspire YOU!

The quilt below (and the following close-up of a block in it) is a quirky looking Princess Feather quilt. Its chunky design is unusual -- along with the flying geese (or is it a squatty dogtooth?) border on only two sides of the quilt. Another unusual aspect of this quilt is that it was done in navy and off-white -- most princess feather quilts are done in red and green. I've been working on my own Princess Feather quilt, but it has tons of little "fingers" on each plume, so the perimeter of the quilt seems inifinite as I applique.

Below is another unusual antique quilt. Log cabin quilts are not unusual in and of themselves, but this one was done in the mid-thirties with fabric from that era. Have you ever seen an Aunt Grace log cabin? And what makes it equally unusual is the use of the black Thirties fabric.

I saw the quilt below at a Christmas tour of the homes in Sam Houston Park (in downtown Houston, along Buffalo Bayou). I liked the unusual block in it -- as well as the use of cheddar fabrics.

Another quilt in the Sam Houston Park display was the basket of roses quilt, below. I love red and green quilts -- and this shade of green, especially, is a favorite of mine. The basket design this quilter used must have been original; I've not seen other quilts with this pattern.

Again, here is another Sam Houston Park quilt. The Princess Feather design is a classic one, although each motif in the quilt below lacks the traditional "star" in the center of the princess feather design. Another unusual aspect of this quilt is the leafy border. Early Texas quilters were certainly original!

The quilt below, in the same park display, uses several traditional Coxcomb and Currants blocks. That's a favorite block of mine, and has inspired several of my designs. And, again, I LOVE the use of red and green fabrics. What is it about red and green that makes them such popular colors in quilts? Perhaps it's the sense of cheer that the colors often bring to mind.

This next photo is not a picture of a quilt, but a crocheted bedcover from the Sam Houston Park collection. I include it here just because it is another breathtaking example of how women in the mid- to late 1800s (and still today!) created incredibly complex and wonderful works of art that welcome people into their homes and their lives. Wouldn't you just love to have this on a guest bed in your home?
That's all for this month -- until March, happy sewing!
Sue Garman
(c)2010 Susan H. Garman


  1. Gorgeous quilts!! I'm not a huge fan of 30s fabrics...but that log cabin is just wonderful! I love it! and oh be still my & green applique quilts are my favorite.

  2. Sue they are a wonderful inspiration kinda reminds me of your Lilyberry quilt. I have that pattern and hope to start it in 2011 I fell in love with that one and ordered it from the guild that represented it that year. I hope that one day someone will post one of my quilts for inspiration of quilts gone by too.. with designers like you I have a chance..LOL

  3. Stunning quilts, thanks for sharing.

  4. The antiques you show here are so lovely! And, who can resist an "Aunt Grace" log cabin! Especially in the spring.