Saturday, May 15, 2010

What's new? Antique Pillow case and quilts inspired by it


A few weeks ago I treated myself to a day trip a big antique show in Kutztown PA (I wrote a post on the topic previously).  One of my finds was this bright Pennsylvania German pieced pillowcase, dating to ca. 1870.  It measures 21"x16".  The yellow and green squares in the nine-patch are 2.25" (They're huge!)  Patchwork pillowcases were made almost exclusively by the German immigrants who came to southeastern Pennsylvania.  You don't see patchwork pillowcases from New England or other parts of the US.  The Germans did not bring a quilting tradition with them when they arrived in the 18th and 19th centuries.  They were weavers who adopted quilting from their English neighbors in the Philadelphia area.  And, as you can see, they loved bright colors!

I have made a couple small quilt tops to play around with this design and color combination.  Of course I had to make some changes.  I used a finished size of 1 inch for the nine-patch squares (maybe still a little large, what do you think?) and did a couple different border treatments.





My ultimate plan now is to make a four block quilt using the color combination of the quilt on the left.  So it will be like putting four of those together with red for the sashing between the blocks.  I am going to make the pink and red borders a little narrower, so the yellow corner square is the same size as the squares in the 9 patch.  Will it be 1" or 3/4 " finished?  Hmmm, don't know yet. 

11 comments:

  1. the colors look like those calicos we used in the 70s - looking fwd to seeing your finished piece

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  2. Hey, I like 'em. It's gonna look great!

    Liri

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  3. The two finishes look great, just when I think I can pick a favourite I change my mind.

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  4. You've done it again --- just great! ---"Love"

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  5. Oh, you are lucky to be able to go to Kutztown when you want to and find such wonderful early Pennsy German textiles like that. Your versions of it are wonderful!

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  6. I think your interpretations are the perfect size. Thank you for the bit of history.

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  7. You always find such neat stuff;) You are going to have to open your own museum sooner or later with all these goodies;)
    Happy Quilting!!

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  8. They both look terrific! I am partial to one on the left. I always think pink and red look good together:)

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  9. I am continually amazed at all the color combinations you find from the past! These are wonderful... Mary

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  10. Great pillowcase. I like what you did with the small ones... I like the pink and red combo too. Look forward to seeing your final design.

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