Historic American Quilts



20th Century Quilts

Patterns for quilts were popular in the late 19th century but reached their peak in the early 20th century. Original and old stand-by designs, patterns and actual kits with fabric were all available from various publication sources. Locating and identifying these sources has become a challenge for the quilt historian.

Other fads were the use of feed sack fabrics for making quilts and clothing. Makers of feed sacks cooperated by using fabrics with attractive patterns. During the depression, these were a welcome source of material.

Also, in 1933, the World's Fair made a big impact on the quilting world as a huge contest was included in the event. This sparked an added interest in quilt making, perhaps not heretofore so prevalent.

In the early third of the 20th Century the Amish were migrating westward, bringing their custom of regulated but beautiful quilts. This custom reach its height during this era, followed by the Amish making quilts in the "English" style.




686 Amish Trip Around the World, ca 1920, 78x82, found in Kalona, Iowa, initials "JME" in embroidery on back binding. All aspects of the quilt are included to show the degree of fading in the 12-inch rayon crepe border. This is common in mauve rayon crepe Amish quilts.We don't think it detracts from the quilt, but you may. The colors in the aquares are those wonderful Amish jewel-like combinations, and the execution is expert as well. The backing is tan plain weave cotton The quilting is in diamonds in the squares and in double fern fronds on the border in 9st/in. It is beautiful. $1250





681 Broken Star, probably after 1925, 64x80, found in San Francisco or New York, Whoa! This is a very attractive star quilt with all the star points meeting correctly, The bluish-green color , the pink and the yellow at the tips has faded somewhat but the other colors are good and strong. The quilt was machine pieced. There is an inner blue border surrounded by a white 5-inch border on two sides and white 12-inch border on the others. The outer border is composed of blue triangles giving the border a scalloped look. There is s knife edge. The hand quilting is about 5-6 st/in in wreaths in the white squares and in sinuous ferns in white borders and around the main star.The condition is very good, with a slightly heavy batting, and a few little ink stains. This is a great buy for $400.



649 Stuffed Petal Applique, probably after 1940, 85x108, Peoria, Stark County, Illinois. This beautiful extra large quilt is almost all hand pieced; some of the border lengths are machine stitched. The subtle colors are aquamarine (faded in some areas), light pink and buff. Both sides are sateen, and the backing is buff-colored. The binding is added separately. The block pattern is one of a wreath of stuffed leaves, buds and petals. The background is a square grid on point. There are five borders. Alternate blocks are buff with quilted wreaths. The quilting at 9 st/in is on either side of the seams in the pink and buff grids, giving it some puffiness. The outer two borders are quilted in double diagonal lines. There is a dime-sized brown spot on the top. This unusual quilt is in excellent condition. Don't discount this quilt because it looks like it was sold commercially. Many department stores had excellent quilt makers who sewed hand made quilts for them, and their names were equated with high quality, giving these women professional status. We are lucky to have one of these still intact today from the Cottage Industry. $895



611 Mayday, 20th Century, 82x92, Queen sized. Sixteen plaques of vase and pink and yellow flowers are surrounded by circular chains of ovals. Each of three sides has a vase and sinuous vine border. The fabrics are solids. The backing is white, and the quilt is bound in the same Nile green as the leaves and the stems. The quilting is very regular at 6-7 st/inch in 3/4-inch grids and in arcs and parallel lines in the plaques. There is slight discoloration on one border; the rest is immaculate. This would go very well in today's ever-popular all white rooms. Just the right touch of color. $850




590 Rose Applique Blocks with Sinuous Border, 20th century, 78x94. This is from a Paragon Kit #01106, Title Rose, No date, but Paragon is still selling kits. Solid dark reds and dark greens with black on a pristine white background give this quilt an impressive beauty, a bit different from the other floral appliques. There is a white backing and a knife edge. At least two different hands applied the stitches, so it is likely there were two makers. The quilting is 7-8st/in in contours, curves, chains, sinuous ferns,, and concentric curves following the vine and buds on the border. This is in excellent condition. $650.







574 "Bowknot"Applique, Progress kit quilt #1345, 20th century, 70x88, Pastels on bright white with shades of delphinium blue in the ribbons, The bias binding is light blue, and the backing is white.The quilting is about 6st/in in coils beneath the scalloped border, arches, grids, contours and more in the main body. There are one or two very tiny spots on the top, barely visible. There is slight fading in a lavender fabric, but the quilt is in excellent condition, all fabrics quite firm. This is a great hanger or guest bedroom bed cover. $700



576 California Rose Applique, 1920-30, probably a kit, 96x94, King Size. The applique stitching in this is incredible. It is so fine you can barely see it. The quilting is about 8st/in in very regular grids, with curves on the two curved corners, and sinuous ferns on the border. This is for the person who likes perfection in execution. The binding is pink bias, and the backing is white. There are very minor small spots on the top, otherwise excellent condition. $775



551 Postage Stamp or Stepping Stones to Grandmother's Garden, 1930-50, 70x86. Beautiful and varied floral vintage fabrics are outlined by yellow and mint green blocks. The backing is white and the separate binding is another floral. The quilt is of medium thickness. The quilting is about 7st/in in contours only. Probably unused and very pretty. $450




418 Tulip Swag Applique, circa 1930, 78x90, Galesburg, Illinois, made by WJ Achepohl. The tulips are styled after those in a kit designed by Home Needlecraft, called Yankee Garden, #7020, in Herrschner's catalogue, 1938-39. These unusual tulips are in three shades of blue and swing across the bright white background of this beautiful quilt. Presumably the triangles on the bottoms of the stems are meant to be pots. The quilting at 8 st/in is contoured around the tulips and fills the white areas with roses, leaves, and diamonds as in the third photo. The binding is blue, backing white. There are some very faint storage stains his quilt is in excellent condition and it would look so percectly sophisticated against or near a blue wall. $800



732 Grandmother's Flower Garden, 100x84, Queen size, ca 1930.White centers and aqua paths identify this GFG. On each side there is an unusual border of both colors, and on the bottom and top the form is wedge shaped, a bit unusual. The fabrics are pobably feed sacks but it can't be known for sure without the whole piece to tell. These pieces are a bit fragile and some are torn.Whoever made this quilt, however, put a lot of time and thought into it and quilted on either side of the hand-pieced seams at The back is pure white and the binding is an added aqua strip. This was bought at a bargain and is passed on to you at $125.


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