Sunday, February 26, 2017

Crown of Thorns with Appliqued Sashing

Debby Cooney sent a photo of a recent acquisition---
Combination of pieced fans, appliqued sashing and
lovely quilting. I thought "Tennessee" and she confirmed it.

The pattern is closely related to one we call New York Beauty. In the South the traditional name is Rocky Mountain or Crown of Thorns.

Detail of an all pieced version of the Rocky Mountain from a Jeffrey Evans auction.
This quilt with its chintz border looks to be from the 1840s, the decade the all-pieced
design seems to appear.

Interesting symmetry of the applique vines in Debby's.
Debby has a show on applique at the Virginia Quilt Museum opening this month.

Rosie Mayhew made this reproduction around 2000 from a pattern I drew
for our Sunflower Pattern Co-operative.

Do notice on this page of examples how much variety there is in the sashing applique.
Aside from being classified generally as spiky or curvy there are no two sashes exactly alike.

Auction, attributed to East Tennessee.

It's a Southern pattern, probably dating from the mid 19th-century.

Elmira Duncan Pearce family, Tennessee Project and the Quilt Index

Kibert Family, Tennessee Project

Minnie West Bergman, Kentucky Project.

 M.E. Plonck from the North Carolina quilt project

Most of the examples with the appliqued sashing
look to date from the last quarter of the 19th century.
The fabrics tend to be the solid-color cottons produced in Southern mills,
with the typical fugitive greens from the 1880-1920 era.

Spectacular example sold at Case Antiques in Knoxville, Tennessee

Bill Volckening's collection.
He has two gorgeous examples.

He has one curved and one spiky.

The red in this one from French Antiques has an orange cast,
making me think it might be mid-20th century, but it is hard
to judge from a photo. It just doesn't have the blueness of Turkey red.

Here's the latest vintage example I've seen---from Stella Rubin's shop.
Definitely 20th century in color and minimalism.

One thing I noticed in sorting through these photos is that not one of the quilters
used a print. See more about solid color fabrics in the South at my post here:

We've sold all the older pattern packets but now we have digitized them so you can buy the pattern with some updates at our Sunflower Pattern Co-op Etsy shop.

Either as an Instant Download for $7:

Or we will print them out and mail the 8 pages to you for $12.

The update includes a curvy applique sashing with pomegranates,
much like the antiques above.

See more about the name New York Beauty in these posts:


  1. What a fabulous collection of inspirational quilts!

  2. That is such a great quilt with so many amazing variations!!

  3. Yes, I'd make one if I could piece those points.

  4. I find it interesting that this quilt pattern was called "Rocky Mountains" when it is most commonly made in Tennessee. I would think Smokey Mountains or Appalachian Mountains would be a better title. I realize the points on the pattern look more rocky than smokey and perhaps the name came from being rocky rather than being from the western United States. It was just a thought. The title "Crown of Thorns" makes more sense.

  5. There's a Rocky Mount Tennessee. Plus in the 1840s the Rocky Mountains were much under discussion as people migrated West.

  6. Barbara, you could make those points if you used paper piecing, not English paper pieceing but sewing pieces together on a paper image of the pattern. That method is great for any series of points, straight or curved. That's what any same person would do to make one of these quilts today! I was so happy to see the examples with the vines in the sashing, which I hadn't known of before.