Tuesday, March 10, 2020

1894 ---Continuing Patchwork Trends

I've been sorting my files of quilts dated in the 1890s.
There is no need to look at each year as the trends noted in 1891 continued.
Here are the quilts inscribed 1894.

See this post:

Album made for Benjamin Mead Wright
Kent, Connecticut

Red and white quilts remained popular. 
A little over 20% of the cotton patchwork quilts that year are red & white (8 of 34).

The Steady Gleaners, Ontario, Canada

With Turkey red
outline embroidery continuing fashionable.

Silk embroidered fancywork---crazy quilts and other patterns---were a big fad.

Bethel Ladies' Aid Society
New Jersey Project & the Quilt Index

Memorial fundraiser by the Women's Relief Corps, 
Antrim County, Michigan
Michigan Project & the Quilt Index

And fund-raising signature quilts embroidered...

and inked.

Depauville, New York

Quilters had access to increasingly diverse
patterns as the commercial network developed.

Patterns through the mail must have been quite novel.
Tree of Paradise
From the Ladies Art Company catalog which was
in print in 1894.

One could also find ideas in periodicals.

1890 article in Wide Awake Magazine

Missouri Puzzle was published in the Vickery & Hill
periodicals, perhaps read in the Oklahoma Territory.

Neck Tie from the Ladies' Art Company

Memory Blocks, Ladies' Art

The Ladies' Art Company catalog became quite important to the look of quilts. Wilene Smith makes the point that more elusive periodicals of the 1890s printed the patterns first and they may have been the source for some of these blocks. The pattern catalog of miniature blocks, however, was widely distributed and in print for decades after 1890 and it was probably the source for many of these designs.

1894 Union City, Tennessee

The pattern is Bear's Paw from the Ladies Art Company
done in the solids one sees in the Southern upcountry.
Was the brown once blue?

All solids, dated 1894, Barry County, Missouri
Did a red white and blue quilt fade?

One difference between the quilts of 1891 and those of 1894
is an increase in printed cottons.

Our sample is small but it looks like a quilter working
in 1894 had access to more cotton prints than she might have three years earlier.

Whether she was buying her fabric in Pennsylvania

Or elsewhere

Anna H. Burmeister, Milwaukee Wisconsin
International Quilt Museum

Rutland, Vermont

Floral cretonne as the border.

Solids were the thing to use in applique.

Names: Sarah Krause, Meiley
Wisconsin Project & the Quilt Index

1894 "BM MD"
Minnesota Project & the Quilt Index

Turkey reds and the increasingly unreliable greens

Marie L Rucksdaechel Seward County, Nebraska
Nebraska Project & the Quilt Index

Martha White Corry, Fort Worth Texas
Quilted later

Album samplers with a variety of signed blocks were not
as popular as they had been. This one uses solids and 
cretonnes/chintz-scale florals.

It looks like New York style to me, where they continued this
fashion for quite a while.

It's the hearts & the horse that are so New York.

This one dated '94 is definitely from New York

Made for Joseph Bruno at the North River Hotel.

Another sampler with regional style:
The ELI quilt from the International Quilt Museum

"Presented by your Scholars
Sunnyside Ohio

The style here in solid colors (fading greens) with a distinctive eagle and an irregular make-do set has been traced to Ohio's Miami River Valley by Sue Cummings.

And one other trend:

Alphabet quilts

It looks like 1896 was a good year to be making quilts, whether
you were finding your patterns in print or from the neighbors
and your fabrics in your scrapbag or through the mail.

Log cabin signature quilt, Maine

Here are the rest of the 34 cotton patchwork quilts dated 1894:

From Merry Silber's collection of blue and white quilts.

DeWitt Church fundraiser from the Michigan Project

Boise City, Utah fundraiser found in Iowa

For the Reverend & Mrs. Simmons
Flora Methodist Church, Flora Indiana
The pattern is known as Children of Israel but not published until the 1930s,
which makes me wonder about the date.

Mary A. Miller Garman

Simple patchwork

Grandmother Hurff

And last "Grany Bear" 

Who seems to have invented this pattern

Is this the repeat?

Or this block?


  1. Thanks for the quilt show today. Another interesting read on how quilters over a century ago found their patterns and made extraordinary quilts.

  2. So many beauties on there. Lovely to see Grany Bear's design too.

  3. What a wonderful array of pattern styles! (My father-in-law was born in 1894 so the year stood out for me.)

  4. It's so interesting to have a genealogy lesson with the pattern. I love these kinds of beautiful design. Thank you for all your research.