Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What Was She Thinking?

I came upon this old quilt (circa 1880 to 1890 from the Pennsylvania area) at a recent quilt show and it really tickled my funny bone. I love red and green applique so I was drawn right to it.
The quilting is lovely, double line striping.
A simple pretty border.
I do not mean it in a mean way at all, but really I wonder what happened?

I stood there and just had to smile. My first thought was maybe the quilter just got sick of the applique and cut that third block in half and said "this is it". My friend could imagine the quilter saying "that bed is only how big?" It became a game, another friend thought maybe the quilter's husband got into her fabrics and used her red fabric on a scarecrow and she did not have enough for the quilt.

Whatever happened, it is still a lovely quilt and my quilt buddies and I enjoyed it. So if you are working on a quilt that is not going quite right you never know, you may be working on a quilt that sometime in the future just may give quilters a giggle. Happy Stitching!


  1. I wonder if the half applique blocks were for the top of the bed under the pillows. Or maybe for a side of the bed against the wall. I guess we'll never know but it is fun to imagine. :)

  2. It is indeed intriguing. Why make a border if the quilt only needed to be a certain size? I wonder if something happened to one or two of the blocks prior to piecing them. It's a pity that mystery will never be solved.

  3. That's an interesting quilt. She could have made 12 different floral sprigs on point or made 6 half blocks with sashing. I think she just decided she had had enough of that quilt and cut the block in half and ended it all. I'm glad you took photos of it.

  4. She said to herself " I'm going blind stitching this by lamplight and that side will be behind the side of the bed up against the wall, no-one but me
    makes the bed anyway"...my Grandmother always said "a good soldier never looks behind" I wonder if that includes "the side of the bed against the wall"? I love quirky things like this in antique quilts. Thanks for posting the photos.

  5. oh my gosh I just love this quilt, I am with you I love red and green applique quilts. My guess is she made the quilt to fit the bed. just beautiful.
    wish the pictures were clickable to enlarge them would love to quilt up close!
    lucky you, and thank you for sharing it with us
    made my day!

  6. What a fantastic quilt, I adore everything about it.

  7. First thing I thought of was that maybe the smaller blocks are to be on the pillow edge. Being a history buff and visiting a lot of historic homes, I've learned that beds in the 1800s and earlier were often were a lot smaller than today. Remembering that, I wondered if the smaller block edge was the pillow tuck-under. Thoughts anyone? Did that pass through anyone else's mind?