Sunday, October 16, 2011

Five Popular Blocks for Martha's Quilt

EQ sketch of Martha's quilt

Although the Penn's Treaty Quilt attributed to Martha Washington was made at least ten years before the War of 1812, its general medallion design alternating pieced and unpieced borders around a piece of toile  would remain fashionable until the 1840s.

This similar Virginia quilt is dated to the 1840s.
Collection: Virginia Quilt Museum.

Medallion from an online auction a few years ago
 also  features flying geese with stars
 in the corners, the same border Martha used.

The five blocks that appear in Martha's pieced borders---basic patchwork of squares and triangles---are among the oldest designs we find in American quilts.  These classics remain popular.

Measurements (All are Finished Measurements so add seams)

See the measurements for the unpieced strips and center in the last post. Notice the unpieced strips have contrasting squares (cornerstones) in the corners.
Below is information for the alternate pieced borders.
Border B:

You will need 12 Square in a Square blocks finishing to 3".
Pieced Border = 3". Three pieced square in a square blocks in the center of each side. The rest may be strips or scrappy squares finishing to 3". The 4 borders measure 30" without the cornerstones. Border makes quilt 36".
Border D: 

You will need 4 star blocks finishing to 4" for the cornerstones in the borders.

For the strips you need flying geese rectangles (D) finishing to 2" x 4". You'll need 10 of these rectangles per side, 40 in all. The picture above shows two of the rectangles.
4" Border makes quilt 48".

Border F:
You will need 4 cornerstone stars finishing to 6"

And  32 square in a square blocks finishing to 6". 

Martha added extra pieced rectangles to adjust for this border's length. For these piece 8 flying geese rectangles 3" x 6" (Martha seems to have chopped hers off to fit.) Border makes quilt 64 1/2".
Border G:

This border is mostly unpieced strips finishing to 2-3/4". Each of four strips finish to 64 1/2" without the cornerstones. But she has pieced some rectangles into the corners of her strips here. Maybe, piece each 64 1/2"strip with corner rectangles of  5" brown strips finishing out the ends of 54 1/2" strips. Border makes quilt 70".


Border H:

You will need 28 pinwheel blocks finishing to 10".

And 4 four-patch blocks finishing to 10"  for cornerstones.
Border makes quilt 90".

Click here to see a medallion believed to be from North Carolina, date estimated to be 1820-1840  from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum collection (#2004.048.0007).

Here is another medallion from about the same time that may be American or English in the collection of the Winterthur Museum. It features a toile center like Martha's and is thought to be from the same period.

Click here for a Virginia medallion made by Rebecca Ellen Davenport Blackwell from the collection of the Museum of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
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Jan said...

Thanks for posting more info about the Martha medallion, and for the links. The North Carolina medallion is especially wonderful, I think, with it's ribbon borders and simple piecing.

Donna K from N.TX aka Quilting Bear Gal said...

This information is fascinating. I appreciate learning more about the design.

Anonymous said...

Both images of Penn's Treaty are taken from Benjamin West's image of "Penn's Treaty with the Indians When He Founded the Province of Pennsylvania in North America," 1771-2
Marianne B. Woods