What do I like most in an antique quilt? Turkey red fabric, applique, great quilting, half square triangles, fleur-de-lis, excellent craftsmanship? Yes, yes, and yes some more. But most of all, I like a quilt that gives me a glimpse into the interpersonal relationships among individuals who shared sentiments of family and friendship. Today, I got one! The picture is not fantastic but I just couldn’t wait until I had daylight and an opportunity to “stage the shot” to share this new friend.
I’ve already started looking up the names on the quilt – there are names for both men and women – and so far had the best luck with the surname Shindel. There is no date I can find on the quilt. But, thanks to Google and Ancestry.com, I believe this quilt comes from Lebanon, Pennsylvania and is true to the c. 1850 date given to it by the seller. I am anxiously waiting for any more information that might come from the original owner. It was a family quilt and I hope I can find out which family. It might give me a clue as to the quilt’s purpose (other than to please the heck out of me).
There is a total of 25 names inked onto the center circles of the fleur-de-lis motifs. Happily, all are still dark and clear even if not very easy to decipher the handwriting. There are only four different Turkey reds used (at least I think – I only gave it one fairly quick look) and the border almost perfectly alternates two of those fabrics used in the applique motifs. Not absolutely perfectly – they get out of order a little.
I particularly like the double line quilting ON the applique. It’s not echo quilting in the background but a perfectly stitched line along the edge of the fleur-de-lis and then again about 1/8″ inside the outer line. It looks great on the back of the quilt. The rest of the block is quilted in a fairly ordinary grid.
This is a photo of the full quilt taken by the seller. I think you can see why I like it so much!