' Christmas ' Quilts, 'Tis The Season For Warm Gifts From Our Ancestors

JPK Huson 1863

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#1
quilt bleeding heart 1850 cq.jpg

Mid 1800's " Bleeding Heart " quilt, from Mass. , Christmas colors painstakingly appliqued on cotton seems so purposeful. If it was not the intent, it's ours now. Still, could it have been what the original craftswoman had in mind?


quiltnew2 cq.jpg

This 1840's, " Cockscomb, Rose Tree and Pineapple " quilt is an appliqued, cotton quilt relying heavily on red and greed. Christmas?

Am not trying to draw attention away from @chellers Ladies Tea sticky- after the holidays, will request a merge, please? Just decorating Ladies Tea, with little time before the 25th. :angel:

Quilting experts may argue this point. There seems to be a plethora of quilts with a red and green themed quilts dating from the days when quilts were used. I mean piled, layer on layer in unheated bedrooms. You did not go tot he arduous work, making a quilt without awfully careful planning. You also would not have created one, or probably now, devoted to merely one day of the year.

quilt  cq.jpg

All red, less likely but striking- and who knows?

But- did some women use Christmas themes in their creations? Guessing yes. Browsing my mess in files, the red-green-white quilts fairly screamed " Christmas, you flaming ninny ". Quilting experts may disagree- sticking to this. Perhaps not but in a day when red fabric was expensive and difficult to dye- it was an odd choice.

quilt 1800s a cq.jpg

Sugar plums would dance harder, sleeping under this, no?

quilt applique.jpg

See what I mean? At no time is the red/green combo lovely- in nature and created for our most garish holiday. No one yell me- we love it so much no one cares.

quilt mass antique cq.jpg

Another out of New England, you just know stitching by a fire- and a big one.

quilt mid 1800s cq.jpg


quilt1a cq.jpg

Christmas cactus!

quilt2a cq.jpg

Sure looks like Mistletoe, red berries, bottom left- the others delightful in red and green

And-

quilt cq 1800s wreaths.jpg

Yes summer scenes, wreathes and Christmas colors? Merry Christmas, warm ancestors, and thank you for leaving us your celebrations.

There are a TON more, none post-war, any quilt here saw those awful years from some vantage point. And now their ours.
 

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NH Civil War Gal

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#3
Has anyone made reproductions of these? I don't quilt but LOVE the Christmas Cactus one. My in-laws bought us a beautiful Amish quilt about 25-years-ago and I think they paid close to 1000.00 for it because it is so intricate. It is white with gazillions of white stitching work in patterns all over it.
 
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#6
View attachment 170394
Mid 1800's " Bleeding Heart " quilt, from Mass. , Christmas colors painstakingly appliqued on cotton seems so purposeful. If it was not the intent, it's ours now. Still, could it have been what the original craftswoman had in mind?


View attachment 170399
This 1840's, " Cockscomb, Rose Tree and Pineapple " quilt is an appliqued, cotton quilt relying heavily on red and greed. Christmas?

Am not trying to draw attention away from @chellers Ladies Tea sticky- after the holidays, will request a merge, please? Just decorating Ladies Tea, with little time before the 25th. :angel:

Quilting experts may argue this point. There seems to be a plethora of quilts with a red and green themed quilts dating from the days when quilts were used. I mean piled, layer on layer in unheated bedrooms. You did not go tot he arduous work, making a quilt without awfully careful planning. You also would not have created one, or probably now, devoted to merely one day of the year.

View attachment 170391
All red, less likely but striking- and who knows?

But- did some women use Christmas themes in their creations? Guessing yes. Browsing my mess in files, the red-green-white quilts fairly screamed " Christmas, you flaming ninny ". Quilting experts may disagree- sticking to this. Perhaps not but in a day when red fabric was expensive and difficult to dye- it was an odd choice.

View attachment 170392
Sugar plums would dance harder, sleeping under this, no?

View attachment 170393
See what I mean? At no time is the red/green combo lovely- in nature and created for our most garish holiday. No one yell me- we love it so much no one cares.

View attachment 170395
Another out of New England, you just know stitching by a fire- and a big one.

View attachment 170396

View attachment 170397
Christmas cactus!

View attachment 170398
Sure looks like Mistletoe, red berries, bottom left- the others delightful in red and green

And-

View attachment 170404
Yes summer scenes, wreathes and Christmas colors? Merry Christmas, warm ancestors, and thank you for leaving us your celebrations.

There are a TON more, none post-war, any quilt here saw those awful years from some vantage point. And now their ours.
Wonder why the hearts are green instead of red. Obviously bleeding heart is pink and quilter used artistic license, Funny how they turned this spring plant into Christmas colors...must be something behind the tradition? Mixed season one looks to me like different birds eating berries from blue to red ...reindeer and does and a peacock in the center? Sorry if it's a stupid question/interpretation- I'm not a quilter...it is truly an amazing art of the women of their day and today...wish the seamstresses were here to tell their exact stories!
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#7
Wonder why the hearts are green instead of red. Obviously bleeding heart is pink and quilter used artistic license, Funny how they turned this spring plant into Christmas colors...must be something behind the tradition? Mixed season one looks to me like different birds eating berries from blue to red ...reindeer and does and a peacock in the center? Sorry if it's a stupid question/interpretation- I'm not a quilter...it is truly an amazing art of the women of their day and today...wish the seamstresses were here to tell their exact stories!

Yes, don't you wish you could ask them? Guessing some might be colors they had on hand. I'm a little convinced, given the sheer labor in a quilt they planned them with painstaking care, you know? I cannot say I ' quilt '. Was lucky enough to be born while the older women were around who did- the legendary ' bees'. Our church, when we were kids hauled out two frames. The ladies flocked. Kinda feel like we witnessed History, a little. They allowed we kids to pull up chairs, taught us stitches and made us take them out if they were not right.

Heck, that would have been 1965-ish, through 71 or so? Ladies there would have been born around 1900, 1920, a lot before- and their mothers and grandmothers taught them. It was pretty cultural- PA Dutch, not Amish. PA tourism has thrown the 2 into one pot but it's different. Tell a PA Dutch Lutheran church lady from the era she was Amish ( a religious sect ), she'd be very unhappy.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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#8
Has anyone made reproductions of these? I don't quilt but LOVE the Christmas Cactus one. My in-laws bought us a beautiful Amish quilt about 25-years-ago and I think they paid close to 1000.00 for it because it is so intricate. It is white with gazillions of white stitching work in patterns all over it.

Oh goodness you were given a future heirloom, no? Those stitches are crazy tough to do- it's mind boggling thinking of the hours spent creating those patterns. Each stitch, up, snug it, then down, snug it, through 3 layers taut in a frame. Crazy hard. The Amish have made it famous, and we owe them for keeping it alive, mostly, so well- I mean as a tradition.

There's a great question? I'm unsure if the cactus was replicated- there are quilters out there who replicate the old patterns, love browsing their sites. Haven't bumped into the cactus but boy, who knows what those tireless women will find to keep for the next generation?
 
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#9
Thanks for posting these beautiful quilts! The designs appear to be Scandinavian, and considering the time involved, would likely have been for a special occasion like a wedding.

Here in the South, quilts were made in the winter, and for the purpose of warmth. Very simple designs, precious scraps of cloth laid out in star patterns, and such things. My mother, in an act of love for my coming high school graduation, made one with appliques of flowers, pink morning glories. A work of art, and lovely to behold. I gave it to my daughter, or I would post a photo.
 

AnnaLee

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#10
Pretty quilts. I grew up with my southern mother and aunts making beautiful quilts. Some of them were not so beautiful but were functional. Every house had quilts made by themselves or their family and some are still around. Thanks for the beautiful posting JPK Huson 1863.
 

18thVirginia

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#11
Very pretty. When I lived on the East Coast and went to look at quilts, I realized that the ones from my family were all brightly colored on white backgrounds, even though they weren't appliquéd, while many of the local ones were multicolored in muted colors. EXCEPT for the appliquéd album quilts, which I loved then and now.

Thanks for collecting them, JPK.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#13
Beautiful quilts, JPK! Thank you!

OH, so welcome! It was such a delight browsing our ancestors' work there was just no virtue in pretending it was a chore, creating this thread.

I'm an artist- but could no more focus inside one media than fly. Get distracted/bored and I don't know how anyone else functions but you have to be really flexible anyway or there's no income. These craftswomen? Some kind of laser focus and a staggering ability to follow through and a terrific eye? I'd run screaming into the streets.
 
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#15
From auction sites. When you're looking for them, the Christmas theme jumps out at you.

1850

View attachment 214892

A later crib quilt

View attachment 214895 View attachment 214894
Hi, JPK. This is what I assume is the beginnings of a family quilt that was never completed. The green material is the same as used in the ‘Confederate Star’, aka Red River quilt, that I posted a few times and since it came from the same wardrobe drawer I think it can also be dated to the war years.

MrsP has used it several times as a table runner at Christmas, this year she decorated the top of an old painted wood box with it.

F0A9FB26-BF58-48EF-AE57-371CA5B03195.jpeg

It’s approx. 7 ft. long and apparently was to be one panel of a 7’ X 7’ quilt. Here it is stretched out on the floor.

7F1FE9EF-6C7E-4A9D-B694-EA121B86C7AD.jpeg


The reverse shows the incredibly tiny stitching of the applied pieces with ball point pen for scale.

9975DE27-7C5C-463C-8846-19E43257BA75.jpeg
 



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