"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there."
- Jalal ad-Din Rumi
Friday, August 27, 2010
star quilts and quilt stars
Star quilts are some of my favourite quilts. I own a few and have made a few. Today, I pulled out these three quilt tops from the cupboard to share - they are all roughly similar in age (I think) but very different in composition:
Circa 1910 machine sewn quilt top composed of various indigo and cadet blue prints, striped shirtings, a burgundy print and a cheddar solid.
Brackman has classified this pattern as 266(a, b, c); variously named Oriental Splendour, The Smoothing Iron, Florida, New Hampshire, Star Rays or Diamond String. I first fell for this pattern over a circa 1900's quilt in "The American Quilt Story" by Seward and Jenkins (1991) where they name it Rayed Star (page 178).
By modern times, the Shield of David hexagram has become a widely recognised symbol to represent the Jewish people. However the origins of the six point star date back much earlier to medieval times. I theorise that this particular pattern, however, may be related to the apparition of Halleys Comet in April 1910.
Interestingly this Rayed Star is constructed from equilateral triangles, with the stars emerging only when the triangles are assembled.
The symbolism of stars and in particular eight-pointed stars appear in cultures around the globe. It can be found on national flags and in religious iconography and carries various meaning associated with each culture that utilises it.
This circa 1890 quilt top is made with 2 different red/black prints, a chrome orange and an overdyed green. It is totally hand pieced, even the long border seams. I can't find a Brackman category which fits exactly - the centre piece is a circle not an octagon as in Brackman's 3953 (LeMoyne Star).
Circa 1880 Blazing Star (minus it's points) or perhaps 4006 Sunburst. Hand pieced, then appliqued by machine onto a plain muslin background.
The naive folky applique baskets and flowers are done by hand, but sadly the green is fugitive and now appears tan. I wonder too about the dun brown baskets whether they were once a home dyed red? Bordered on three sides with full pieced diamonds and on the forth side with half diamonds. Fabrics are solids in cheddar, green, indigo, pale yellow and red plus a double pink print.
There a quite a few more stars in my cupboard. More will follow soon!
And look who was supervising when I had the quilt tops out to photograph... what a ruckus they were making. (For our non-Aussie readers they are a pair of Kookaburras!)
Quilting and antique quilts, travel, family, gardens, hiking, scuba diving, skiing and champagne are the many guiding stars fighting for attention in my life. I love hand piecing, hand applique, English Paper Piecing and hand quilting. I collect antique quilts and much of my work is based around reproducing or interpreting old quilts. Thanks for visiting. I love reading your messages and do my best to reply to everyone.