Sunday, September 3, 2017

Another Ubiquitous Basket Chintz

Quilt advertised in The Clarion in 1989,
Estimated date 1830-1850

If one were going to make a cut-out chintz floral quilt sometime between 1825 and 1850, one could design her own container to hold the flowers.

A woven basket perhaps

But not everybody is a skilled artist.

From the collection of the New York Historical Society

Online Auction

Thus, many seamstresses used a shortcut, a basket cut from chintz
just like the flowers and the birds.

Like this one in a chintz quilt from the Montgomery County
Historical Society, courtesy of Martha Spark.
See more about the basket print at a recent post:

One might add more flowers to the printed container or use it as it came from the mill.

Sold by Woodard & Greenstein

This particular urn-like basket was also
popular for the purpose.

Quilt from the collection of the International
Quilt Study Center & Museum. Detail above.

It's in the borders of these star medallions.

Collection of the New England Quilt Museum

Elizabeth Dahle, Baltimore, from the Maryland project.

Above & below from a Vermont auction house:

Feathered Star of Bethlehem painted during
the WPA in the late 1930s. The print is in the north/south

Sold at a Crocker Farms auction in 2012.

Collection of the Smithsonian's NMAH

There were several colorways of the footed basket print. It's easily recognizable with a tulip on the right and a lily-like flower on the left. Some quilters trimmed the feathery loop below the basket.

Overall view of the  the Smithsonian's.

The Collection at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum includes at least three quilts
that use the fabric.

The paler colorway appliqued to a tan background.
IQSCM  # 1997.007.0633

Below in the top corners: two small pieces.

Anne Loviche Black, North Carolina.
NC Project & the Quilt Index

A blue ground print.

From the Holmes family of Rockbridge, Virginia
Documented in the Virginia Project.
Collection of Kathie Ratcliffe and Eleanor Bennett

Crib quilt
Collection of the Fashion Institute of Technology

The Winterthur Museum shows a piece of
the yardage. Here I've doubled it to show the design repeat.
Winterthur curators date the fabric as 1825-1835 and printed in England.

The quilts tend to be 1830-1850

Just the vase and flowers above a sunflower block in a sampler
dated 1849.

From the star at the New England Quilt Museum.

I'm sure if I looked further I'd find many more examples of the footed basket.
I am surprised to find how many quilters used the same print---this wicker urn and the basket and pillar print shown a few weeks ago. Does that indicate how few appropriate chintzes were available to the many quilters? Or was it a fad --- a must-have fabric for the fashionable.

Now where did Kathie Ratcliffe find this repro basket for
her great miniquilt in the style of Elizabeth Dahle?
I know where she found the border. I designed that small stripe several years ago.
The basket-like urn would be easy enough to print yourself, especially if
you are working at Kathie's scale. (She writes that she did print it, based on
the print in the Holmes quilt above, which she and her sister have inherited.)

Star of Bethlehem, 11.5" x 11.5"
Kathie Radcliffe
To see more about the quilts in the IQSCM collection go to their search page and enter the object numbers.


  1. Do you happen to know where and how often the fabric was printed. Would it have been a short duration in a certain high-income area, made only for the affluent? Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures.

  2. These projects are stunning, hard to choose only one favorite.Thanks for sharing.

  3. Broderie Perse has always been my favorite quilt style. Thanks for showing these very beautiful quilts. The Crocker Farm one is priceless!
    I think there was a fad for this style, especially in wealthier port towns. I have often wished that these type of fabrics would be reproduced today. Some have been...sort of...but the baskets and border prints are not like the old ones....sigh.

  4. I wish I knew where and for whom the fabrics were printed. Figuring that out is one reason I post the pictures.