Friday, October 23, 2020

Colonial Rose: A Really Good Idea

An early 20th-century quilt

From Cindy's Antiques

It's not easy to come up with anything new in American applique design
but here is a pattern you do not see in the 19th century.

What makes this different from traditional, older roses
is the shape of the central flower....

...based on heart shapes rather than a single simple floral.

But more than that the floral has a distinctive border.

Swags with a deep loop in the corners.

From the Wyoming project & the Quilt Index

Common names are Rose of Sharon and Ohio Rose.

Colonial Rose is the name
given to it by the woman who designed the basic pattern.

Ladder back chairs and crazy quilts....

(No colonial needleworker ever made one but you know
how important the colonial image was in the early 20th century.)
Martha Washington, etc.

The pattern was probably invented by women at the St. Louis
Fancywork Company who worked to combine colonial and modern---
a historical mishmash---but this design really appealed to quiltmakers.

One often sees the design in cotton sateen (a satin weave with
extra yarns floating on the top to reflect light.) I wonder if the sateen versions
were not sold as kits.

Mountain Mist has a variation they call Ohio Rose with a different border.

Not nearly so dramatic though.

From Cindy's Antiques, the Mountain Mist Ohio Rose

There were many variations of block and border

Helen F. Spencer Museum of Art at the
University of Kansas

Carrie Hall called this version with longer stems Topeka Rose.

From my Encyclopedia of Applique

You may be able to identify the pattern source by the border details.

The St. Louis Fancywork Company had two good ideas, the
block and the border. Their pattern seems to date to the 1910 decade.

When this third idea, pastel colors for applique, was also innovative.

Celia Pardue Hyde knew a good idea when she saw it and
entered her cotton sateen Louisiana Rose in the 1933 Sears quilt contest
at the World's Fair where she won a prize.


  1. I love all of these applique quilts, especially the last one. Thank you!

  2. Great post. I enjoyed seeing the different quilts and the information guided me to look at the quilts and see the changes and transitions.

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