Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Star Plus Cut-Out Chintz Applique = Masterpiece Quilts

Katherine Whiting Hozen, Brighton, Maine

This quilt, perhaps from about 1830-1840, was once in the collection of Margaret Cavigga. It seems to represent a transition between styles, combining the bright graphics that became popular in the 1840s with the softer chintz compositions lingering from the 1820s and '30s. 

I've been posting about Rising Suns, Mathematical Stars and other large-scale star quilts lately. The fashion for stars covering the quilt top seems to have developed in these combination cut-out-chintz/pieced stars. 

Collection of Tucson Museum of Art

The earlier versions look to be 1820s and '30s with  fashionable gamebird chintzes
arranged in the open spaces.

Seen at a show in Paducah a few years ago.

Classic example with gamebird and palmtree print from Just Folk antiques

Seen at Quilt Festival a few years ago

The stars were an effective way to feature the imported bird chintzes and these circular and oval panels (perhaps meant for chair seats.)
Collection of the Charleston Museum
Recently on display in Charleston

Bouquet and flower baskets also complement the bold stars...

Collection of New England Quilt Museum

...Some with more grace than others.

From the McCarl Collection sold at auction last year

Amelia Jane Foster Cobb Bird
Maryland Historical Society

Silk Quilt from the Collection of  Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dated 1853
"John Torrance Made by his Wife Marieta"

From the Binney Collection

Instead of plain white: an Indienne style print with a little added floral.

Collection of the Brooklyn Museum
Recently on display at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington DC

I didn't find enough date-inscribed examples to draw any conclusions, but observation indicates the star + Cut-out Chintz style would tend to be 1840-50 or earlier. After that date quiltmakers would be inclined to do conventional applique, constructing their own flowers instead of transferring them from chintz.


  1. I really love the combination of the star with the fabrics, nice way to make a beautiful quilt.


  2. Love these kind of quilts especially the one with red and white in the center. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.