Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The New Moon


Those who visited the red and white quilt show last month in New York may have noticed this graphic quilt featuring a star and crescent moon.

From Donna Stickovich's collection

I've seen a few variations on the pattern. In my Encyclopedia of Applique it's numbered 60.77, Star & Crescent from the Wilkinson Sisters who had a cottage industry making quilts in Indiana in the early 20th century.

You don't see the block too often. Here's a tattered black and white version from an online auction. People occasionally ask about me the symbolism, but I have no way of knowing what the quiltmakers or the Wilkinson sisters were thinking.

The image is an old one. We see it now most often as an Arabic image and find it on many flags including some in the western world.

Above Algeria's, South Carolina's and Tunisia's flags with a crescent moon.

It's doubtful that the quilters all had a common published source for their patterns since there is so much variation in the shapes.
It may have been meant to represent a Masonic symbol. Below is a block from a mid-19th century quilt full of Masonic imagery.

And above a Shriner fez

See two examples of the moon and star block from the Quilt Index. One looks to be from the 1930s, 40s....
And one made in 1969
And here's a wonderful mid-20th-century quilt full of Masonic images.

Tonight the new moon appears. Take a peek outside after dark.

Landscape with Couple Walking
& Crescent Moon
Vincent VanGogh 1890


  1. Very lovely post! But my first thought was the Twilight series. Sorry I am not a Twihard. However, I am impressed with this quilt.

  2. I love the comparison of the couple and the moon in the VanGogh painting with the symbols found the quilts, including in the Reconciliation quilt at IQSC.