Thursday, April 30, 2020

Late to the Applique Party

Quilt in traditional rose design called Democrat Rose or Rose of Sharon.
Made by Mary Odom, Bernice, Louisiana

The pattern is a classic going back to the 1840s. How old is the quilt? Dating these late appliques is difficult because they are so classic, but Mary's strip border with the nine-patch corners is a clue to a late-19th/early-20th century date. Her solid green cotton fading to tan is probably our best clue that it's not 1850s.

Looking at dated appliques between 1901 and 1920 may help us to see what was happening in the first two years of the 20th century.

1901, C Enhert?
This pink, green & yellow quilt has alternate applique blocks.

Turkey red embroidered signatures are typical of the time.
Inking rare.

It's surprising to see some classic design repeated in the new century.

1902, International Quilt Museum
Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Collection
1902 Eliza Wright
Hampshire County, West Virginia
West Virginia Project and the Quilt Index

1903, Cindy Rennel's inventory

Minimal shapes for florals

Appliqued of green calico. Embroidered with a red?
thread that faded.

1903 in the quilting
Minnesota project
What color was this once?

1903 Cowan's Auction.
Turkey red was still reliable---if you could find a reliably advertised Turkey red.
Fabric mills might lie.

1903, Harriet A. Jamerson Rowson, Lewis County, New York

1904, Mary Eliza Sikes, Iowa International Quilt Museum
Linda Giesler Carlson and Dr. John V. Carlson Collection

1904 Lida Butterworth Crowell, Geneva, Ohio 
Michigan project

No information on this one but bluebirds were a popular theme
at the time---unusual to see them in a quilt.

1907, online auction

1902 Frances Risser Newgard
Made in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, recorded in the Iowa Project

1908, Fourth Corner Antiques

1908 Mark French's ebay shop

Julie Silber's inventory

Grayed green might tell us it was late
but that stuffed-work quilting!

(Quilters in Sevier County, Tennessee carried on the stuffed work
traditions late---but this late?)

Minimalism in a Turkey Tracks

1912 album sampler from Ohio's Miami Valley

1916, Hattie Bell, Ohio, Arizona Project
This one is so traditional it would seem earlier. With no green
to fade and give us a dating clue we might guess 1880.


1917, Dora Branch Schrader
West Virginia project

"1917, E.M. Ma"
Found in Minnesota, from the Minnesota project

This wreath may have been related to the Red Cross
fundraising during World War I. See the corner images.

"1918, S.E.A"

Retro quilting.

1919, Mary Williams
Michigan Project


  1. Isn't it possible that some of these quilts were made, much as we might do today, in appreciation of very old, tattered antique qulits of sentimental or family value? I"m sure we're not the first generation(s) to love antique things.

    :) Linda

  2. What a wonderful collection of applique quilts!