Monday, May 27, 2019

Atlanta History Museum 2: Fruit Basket Chintz Quilts

Merikay and I are interested in quilts featuring
printed furniture panels, so we asked to see several
in the Atlanta History Museum.

This one is well worn but it gave us much to talk about.
The unknown quiltmakers used parts from four different panels in economical fashion

The center is a common design in American chintz quilts
from about 1825 to 1850, picturing a basket of fruit.

We have a blog indexing the panels. See a post on the fruit panel here:

You  immediately notice the fruit panel in the center but we were glad to have a chance to look at minor details. This shape is cut from the border of another panel. It is amazing how the maker of
this quilt used the smallest scraps---the leftovers that were called cabbage in the past.

It was great to see so many construction details.

We'd do those loopy stems with bias strips
but the quiltmaker made them out of curved border scraps.

This one's cut from a floral chintz

The quilting shown on the back. The thread is unbleached and
changes from dark to medium to light.

The shapes around the center are cut from the corners of the
square panels. It seems the centers were trimmed but nobody
would waste all that good chintz. Somebody saved 38 corners
to frame the fruit design - the leftovers from 10 panels.

Quilt attributed to Philoclea Edgeworth Casey Eve (1819-1889)
of Richmond County, Georgia

Here's a second quilt in their collection with the fruit panel in the center
and some panel corners used to frame it.

Panels usually included a central floral arrangement framed by
a wreath and four corners to fill out the square. This one has been

Four smaller baskets frame the center basket.

Eighteen corners

And then some florals cut out of a repeat chintz, which.
 features four botanicals, a rose, a shamrock, a thistle
and an oak, symbols of the United Kingdom,
England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The thistle shows how the floral was cut, turned under and stitched down.
Every chintz applique quilt we saw on our trip was stitched with
a simple applique stitch, a tiny stitch that anchored the floral.
We didn't see any fancy stitches like buttonhole or cross stitch.

We just didn't see this kind of an edge to the applique, a fancy
stitch covering a raw edge.


  1. Thanks for all these details! This woman had access to a LOT of panels.

  2. Thank you for this posting. It was fascinating and lovely to see all the details. Patt

  3. This is a very interesting post. I imagine the woman who did this piece to either be rich or a professional. It refers to a furniture panel. I am not familiar with this term. Would be interested in your elaborating.

  4. Does the museum have their quilt collection on Quilt Index?