Tuesday, May 24, 2016

String Lanterns & Melons

String quilts were rarely published so the variations
don't have "real names" or "book names". This pattern, most often seen
in southeastern Pennsylvania, is a mystery design.

It's far more organized than the usual string
quilt pieced of random or regular strings of fabric.

Rickrack Antique quilts calls their example Chinese Lanterns.

Here's one that looks more like a lantern than many.

A variation that's more crazy than organized strings.

From the Pat L. Nickols collection
at the Mingei Musueum. The curved shapes include a lot of conventionally
pieced blocks, nine patches, stars, etc.

A cousin to this example at the International
Quilt Study Center and Museum

A more distant cousin---no curves.

I've never seen these variations on the string quilt published---
at least before 1970

From Julie Silber's inventory

You could see the design growing out of a basic melon or orange
peel with string piecing added.

Here are two melon variations from silks and mixed fabrics
with embroidery.

But the extra curves....

The Quilt Index has 511 quilts titled string quilt, and not one of these.


  1. How very interesting. I don't recall seeing this pattern before, but somehow I knew it was a Chinese lantern. Do you think it was inspired by Asian influence at one of the world fairs?

  2. This opens a world of possibilities!

  3. These String quilts are fantastic! As Barbara pointed out, "a world of possibilities!" I especially like the way the quits in Julie S. and Rickrack Antiques finished the corners. With a kind of 4 patch, It solves the problem of all 45 degree angles coming together! And that quilt of Pat Nichols is a stunner, talk about thrift?!

  4. Creativity out of necessity makes so much beauty!