Monday, January 23, 2017

Original Wool Quilts

I've been very busy with school and work lately, but haven't given up on textile projects (in fact, I've made a lot of progress on the knit undersleeves I hope to be wearing next winter).  One project I would like to do before the summer reenacting season is another period quilt. Sleeping on the ground, as I often do, wool layers are indispensable for staying warm through the night--even in summer.  To that end, here are some original wool quilts from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum:

The two designs I'm most interested in are this mildly complex ninepatch (c.1865), and this
touching stars quilt (c. 1850-1870).  There's also a nine patch/Irish chain (c. 1820-40) that's simply elegant and would be easy to piece by machine.

"Touching Stars" wool quilt, c. 1850-1870,IQSCM object 1997.007.0422
"Touching Stars" wool quilt, c. 1850-1870
From the Ardis and Robert James Collection,
IQSCM object 1997.007.0422

Of the three, I'm inclined to try the stars.  It fits my reenacting year range nicely (1855-1865) and uses three different fabrics.  The diamond pieces give me a chance to try some trickier piecing (not all straight edges and right angles), while still admitting use of a machine.  Depending on how the fabric shakes out, I make omit the border or play with the design by incorporating additional fabrics.

As I already have a hexagon patchwork in progress (and it'll likely stay that way for sometime, considering the amount of hand sewing, and the fact that I acquire fabric for it by finishing other projects), I won't be doing my wool quilt in hexes.  There are, however, a number of lovely options: diamond hexagons (c.1855), Flower Garden (hexagon) (1850s), a hexagon mosaic (1860s), and hexagon star mosaic (1860s).

The beauty of these whole cloth quilts (and another one) is in their elaborate quilting.  I would love to make one, when I'm feeling on competent about my hand quilting.  Squares make a simple pieced quilt (Civil War Quilts also features an original wool quilt made up of different size squares, in that case cut from military uniforms.)

There are also two fancy wool quilts in the IQSCM online collection: an 1855 album-style "Crimean Quilt" and one only (aptly) titled "original", with diamond mosaic and applique (c. 1850-70).

Log cabin quilts made in wool also seem to be quilt popular after 1860, particularly after 1865. While this would be a great use for all the small pieces of fabric* left over when cutting out garments, the events I need blankets for are largely pre-1860, and wholely pre-1865. Still, here are two log cabins c. 1860-1880, and five log cabin variations from 1865 to the 1880s.

*The Tudor Tailor calls these left-over pieces of new fabric "cabbage", and I'm in love with the term.  "Scraps" is less elegant, and also allows for reused cloth.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting!