My holy grail? Nearly!

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, 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!

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  1. How excited you must be – it is a stunning quilt with as of yet undiscovered history – know you will be researching for more! Something caught my eye in one of the red fabrics – it is identical to a turkey red fabric in my recently acquired Star of Bethlehem. I also felt that zeroed in on the mid 1800's. Plus I just did a lttle presentation for our quilt history study group on chrome oranges and yellows. Those bright spots of lemony yellow in the turkey red fall into that era also.

  2. Wow, what a find – I can see why you are so excited, it is beautiful and amazng to see the signatures so intact! Good luck with tracing its history.

  3. It is wonderful!! What an exciting purchase. I love those Turkey red prints – the one with the half filled in suns and the one with the blue – just marvelous! The names just make it so much more interesting :0) What a lovely applique motif and I love the cable quilting in the border as well. Thanks for sharing!!

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