Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's not the luck of the Irish . . .

. . .  it's the luck of a quilter!





Got to Charleston and looked online at the current exhibits at the museum (which, incidentally is the oldest museum in the United States, I'm told. It opened in 1773!) and saw that they were showing some of their extensive quilt collection!

They call their exhibit "Quintessential Quilts" and being a lover of big words as well as of scrappy fabrics, I was definitely interested!

So I walked to the museum and feasted my eyes on some lovelies -- some from the mid eighteenth century! (Of course, the kids think that's when I grew up, but that is a story for another day.)

They showed examples of whitework from the 1700's, with portions of the piece stuffed with cording, for more "umph" and wow-power; they also showed beautiful applique pieces and english paper pieced hexagon masterpieces, too.

I snagged these photos from their Flickr stream:

This Star of Bethlehem quilt was pieced in approximately 1850. You can see it up close and personal here. What intrigued me about this one was the applique work in the areas around the star. Those are flower sprays that appear to have been carefully cut out of fabric panels and placed just where the quilter wanted them to be.

This Tree of Life quilt is from the 1840's, and the quilter fussy cut a giraffe from another piece of fabric to place under her tree!  You may be able to see him here .  (If you zoom in, you can see him to the left of the tree roots.)

I hope these linkies work for you, because this one is so unusual. The pattern is native to South Carolina, and it's a combination of applique and reverse applique!

This is the last one I wanted to show you; it was made in about 1842:

It's called Stars and Diamonds, and reminded me of the hexies we are seeing all over blogland! They exhibited another paper pieced one that was made of the tiniest hexies I think I've seen . . . they were only about 3/8 across!

I sure hope that if you happen to visit Charleston, you have the opportunity to check out the museum and enjoy these quilts! We have an old and proud crafting and sewing heritage!

Oh, and don't forget to visit my friend, SewCalGal, and enter to win some fabulous prizes! 

Your purchase of a raffle ticket is actually a donation to one of four charitable organizations, so you will be doing good, and maybe win something wonderful! Check out her post to see the prizes!

We here at the Lilypad hope that you'll select the Greenville Humane Society for your purchase/donation to go to . . . they do some awesome work in finding pups and kitties forever homes!



  1. Ha ha. The Star of Bethlehem is a great example of fussy cutting from a FAR earlier time. At first I thought you were saying it was Broderie Perse (a form of applique) - but then I clicked for a close up of the picture. It just goes to show that most of the techniques we use in quilting are either very old or based on a very old method. Thanks for sharing these wonderful quilts with us.

  2. That tree is simply fabulous, thanks for showing

  3. What a neat exhibit! Love that hexi one. Maxing what they could do without the tools we have today

  4. I love seeing the color in such old pieces - even without the dyes and fabric processes we have today, they achieved really bold designs!

  5. Those are gorgeous! All that tiny hand work and may have been done by lamp light!

  6. I have never been to Charleston, but it's on my "bucket list." I love to visit museums with old quilts- it always amazes me how intricate the old quilts are and that they were all hand sewn- I would hate having to put together such intricate quilts without the help of my machine...

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