Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hearts and Gizzards

Allie Aller asked about this quilt pattern after she saw an antique wool version from about 1900.

I remembered this one in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. I'd written a catalog entry about it for their book American Quilts in the Modern Age. Theirs is also a tied, embroidered wool comforter from about 1900. It's from Jonathan Holstein's collection and when he published a picture in the 1970s he called it Gothic Windows, a rather elegant name for a pattern that was published as Hearts & Gizzards by the Ladies Art Company about 1890.
See the quilt at International Quilt Study Center:

Go Crazy by Allison Aller, 2012
Allie finished her version. She used buttons instead of white ties...
and finished the edge with giant rick-rack
The back has smaller rickrack. She said this binding took a little time...
Read more on her blog
 There is a lot of variation in how wide the center shape is (the Gizzards?) The pattern is #1503 in BlockBase and it can be pieced or appliqued.

  • Hearts & Gizzards - Ladies' Art Company #125 about 1890
  • Hearts - Needlecraft Supply about 1937
  • Pierrot's Pom-Pom - Carrie Hall 1935
  • Aunt Jerusha - Nancy Cabot ?
A vintage quilt, probably from the 1940s.
It's related to this appliqued version, an autograph quilt very popular in the mid-20th century.
#26.84 in my Encyclopedia of Applique
The hearts are a nice image for Valentine's Day. I don't know about the gizzards.
#1504 Steeplechase
For more about Gizzards see this post
where Julie from Tennessee wrote that this design is known as Chicken Gizzards around there.
And see Ami Simms's Hearts Gizzards and Kidneystones quilt here:
All these gizzards might have been more appropriate for Thanksgiving than for Valentine's Day.


  1. Love the wool quilt and the newer version! They made me smile!

  2. I sure am glad I asked about that pattern! This is a wealth of knowledge...thanks Barbara!

  3. Gorgeous quilt, the colors are stunning.

  4. How fascinating! This pattern, like so many others, has variety to it. Thank you so much for pulling all this together. I learned quite a bit today.

  5. Exquisite color. I've long wanted to work with this design, but I am a vegetarian, and the name was kind of difficult. I wonder if J. Holstein was a vegetarian too? Your invaluable Encyclopedia hss a fantastic alternative, from Nancy's (#1503), so I might try it as "Aunt Jerusha"!!!

  6. Oh we always called that giant rick-rack Kirk-rack, after the cheesy stripes of it on Kirk's sleeve back in the old Star Trek series. Seriously, they just used giant metallic gold rick-rack.