Calimanco patchwork quilt detail.
Pieced wool quilts were made in glazed and unglazed wools, worsteds, woolens, and linsey-woolseys (more about them in the next post.) The patterns in these quilts from about 1800 tend towards simple geometry.
Here are some pictures and links. Many of these sturdy quilts survive.
The basic patchwork is probably a check pattern
---alternating plain blocks.
See a similar quilt (#1997-007-0376) in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum by clicking here:
And another in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art:
That alternating plain square offers a good spot for embroidery as in this early quilt now in the collection of the Winterthur Museum:
Similar to one from Maine dated 1818 in the collection of the Maine Historical Society
And to another Maine quilt attributed to the Dyer Family, sold at auction recently.
Plain blocks with sashing---a fragment from an online auction
See this quilt at the Quilt Index from the Iowa project
And then there are actual patchwork blocks
A four-patch from Laura Fisher's store
See another four-patch at Old Sturbridge Village
Nine-patches from an online auction (is that sun fading in the corner?)
See this nine patch from Rhode Island at the Quilt Index:
Stars--a fantastic example from the Museum of American Folk Art collection.
Greta VanDenBerg-Nestle made a reproduction of this quilt, spinning and weaving her own worsted and woolen yarns for the American Quilt Study Group's Star study. Click here:
Detail of a star in the collection of the State Historical Society of Iowa from the Quilt Index:
Sharon Pinka was inspired to make her star study quilt by a Maine pieced example. She asked Wendy Reed about the Maine wool quilts. Wendy wrote:
“We have seen many of this type in our Maine Quilt Heritage project. We have found all of them to be wool, some are different weights of wool and when we can see the battings we have found them all to be wool as well.... The earliest “dated” wool quilt we have found is dated 1790 and the latest (of this type) that is dated is 1829. I’m sure the range is larger than this, but these are actual dated examples.”
See Sharon's reproduction quilt here: http://www.americanquiltstudygroup.org/qs_star_study15.asp
A similar star block quilt in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art:
And this one that WillyWonky recently added to his collection: Rhode Island
A red and green unglazed wool star from Old Sturbridge Village:
Triangles in calimanco from the collection of the American Folk Art Museum:
And then there are medallions:
A simple medallion in the collection of the Old Slater's Mill Museum in the Quilt Index.
A medallion in an amazing color of fuschia in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum (1997.007.0601), attributed to New York:
Snapped at the Vermont Quilt Festival
Some of these early quilts are so complicated it's hard to believe they are really before 1830
Like this one from the Bidwell House Museum collection but it's not in their online catalog.
Then there's always Anna Tuels's quilt dated 1785 with its pink calimanco border to remind us
that early quilts aren't necessarily simple.