Monday, March 13, 2017

Pi: Southern Style

Four block quilt, probably Southern US, 1875-1920

Tomorrow 3-14 is the day to celebrate π. Pi is a mathematical constant: the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Around and across.

Full-size medallion quilt from the Arizona Quilt Project & the Quilt Index

The number is 3.1415 etc. so we're celebrating circumference and diameter with some circular quilt patterns.

Not just any circular quilt patterns. A certain style of Southern quilt.

Ann Jeanette Parker, Liberty County, Georgia
North Carolina Project & the Quilt Index

I'm including quilts I know to have been made in the South and those I am guessing were made there based on style characteristics.

One style characteristic is the use of solid color fabrics
 (sometimes rather thin fabrics)

Sold at Skinner Auctions
Sometimes solid colors that fade

The solid colors were particularly favored for backgrounds, sashing and border
in this style.
Birmingham Museum of Art 80-2009-01
Another characteristic is a reliance on chrome orange in the palette.

Cover of Ladies' Circle Patchwork Quilt magazine in the 1980s

And then there is sashing. The blocks are usually set on the square,
rather than diagonally.

Made by Etta Cox in Tampa, Florida
North Carolina Project & the Quilt Index

The family name is the Banana Quilt, made by Willie Mann
in North Carolina in 1907 they thought.

They are often sashed with a rather wide sash.

Often the sash is a triple strip.

And sometimes there are 9-patch checkerboards in the cornerstones.

The patterns are often complex while the fabric quality is second-rate.

Eliza West Hall, Alabama.
Eliza set her blocks on the diagonal but we
know it's a Southern quilt.

This auction quilt was found in Maine, but I don't think it originated there.

Here's the back.
Looks Southern to me.

Margaret Ann Hall, mid 20th c
The style continued into the 20th century, as in
this one from the Tennessee project. It's sometimes
hard to date them if they are all solid fabrics.

Willie Crabtree of Tennessee made this one about 1960.
She knew how to sash it.

Don't forget to have a piece of pie tomorrow.
I'm thinking Southern Pecan


  1. I am saying "yum" to the quilts and the pecan pie!!! I love quilt patterns with circles!

  2. Those are some circles! What beauties, New York and otherwise.

  3. Those are some gorgeous quilts! I got an education in Southern quilts too.

  4. I agree that the one found in Maine looks "southern". We have a lot of "transplants" at auctions here, especially in the summer.

  5. fabric quality... was that due to that was what was made locally in the south?

  6. QuiltGranma---yes those post Civil War solid fabrics were often low thread count and the new dyes were not reliable.

  7. WoW! Those quilts are simply WOW and it is such a shame that the fabric quality was poor. But look at what they did with what they had. Thanks for the pecan pie!

  8. Wow! These quilts are stunning!