This medallion quilt is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Not much
is known about it, but we can make some guesses.
The border and center square are a roller-printed pillar print. These were popular in the 1820s and '30s, so that gives us an early cutoff for date. Medallion style gives us a range of up to 1860 or so.
The triangles as a field of patchwork are a clue to location as well as date.
Detail of the center of a Dutch quilt
from the collection of An Moonan.
It's not just half-square triangles in a field around a center feature that's the location clue. Triangles shaded in pinwheel fashion are quite common in early quilts from the Netherlands to England to North America. It's the way the triangles are arranged and shaded, a rather subtle clue to a quilt from the east central United States, most likely Virginia or Maryland.
Rather than a pinwheel effect the triangles face one direction and have a distinct light/dark shading.
Jane Weakley Leche's medallion with a chintz center framed by a field of dark and light triangles is in the collection of the Virginia Quilt Museum. She lived in Baltimore, Maryland, where her husband was in the dry goods business.
The Virginia Quilt Museum reproduced the
fabrics in the Leche quilt several years ago.
Mary Tayloe Lloyd Key's quilt in the collection of
the DAR Museum.
The curators at the DAR have counted 3,876 triangles.
Mary was the widow of Francis Scott Key. Quite
a bit is known about her. She lived in Washington City and Maryland.
When you see a medallion in this distinctive style you can
guess it was not made in Maine or Georgia.
Here's one sold by Rocky Mountain Quilts.
Probably Maryland, Virginia....
Here's one with everything: cut out chintz, stuffed work, triangles and
a pillar print border.
Kelter Malce Antiques advertised it in The Clarion in 1989
and attributed it to Pennsylvania.
When you come across a quilt like this in Massachusetts as
the Massachusetts Quilt Project did, you would have to guess
it wasn't made in Boston.
For several reasons.
The cut-out-chintz applique is
also a clue to an origin south of Massachusetts.
See the file here:
Note the triangles in one border are set like the block
we might call Birds in the Air.
Similar to this arrangement in a quilt begun in
the 1830s in the Brooke family of Brooke Grove, Maryland.
Bobbi Finley's interpretation of the medallion at the Art Institute.