Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Several weeks ago, Ohio quilt dealer Mark French sent me a picture of a quilt he thought I might be interested in seeing, and he called it New York Beauty-ish. Mark sells a lot of quilts through eBay and wanted me to see the quilt before it was listed, because he thought it was something I would want to buy. He was right.

"Ish" is a suffix used to form adjectives from nouns. It can describe anything that has shared characteristics of other, more pure examples. If it's not exactly red, it can be reddish. "Ish" is also used as a stand-alone idiom, expressing mild or non-committed feelings between like and dislike.

In the case of this quilt, the "ish" refers to the desire to categorize the pattern despite the sense of not knowing exactly what it is. It's not a New York Beauty - it's New York Beauty-ish. What makes this quilt "ish" is mostly the sashing and the use of points around the curved seams of each of the four circles.  We might call it a Sunburst or Wheel design, but the exact pattern name is a little elusive.

The quilt is a four-block quilt with white background, cheddar orange, over-dyed green, and a brownish color that has faded from its original color. Ish, once again. The overall design with four-block configuration and hearts in the center of each circle, is reminiscent of a quilt with Pennsylvania "Dutch" or German origins. Each block is echo quilted, Hawaiian-ish. However, the quilt's true origins are unknown.

So, even though this quilt is a bit of a mystery - an "ish", so to speak - there's nothing "ish" about the way I feel about it. I just adore it.


  1. You are right - nothing ish about this quilt - quilty wonderfulness. Love the Spring colours!


  2. Very, very interesting! I love it too. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  3. I use the term "variation of..." often when looking at applique quilts but "-ish" works!

  4. It is an amazing quilt Bill! Too bad you wouldn't let me see it at length the other day! My you were such a tease!!

  5. LOL! I get in trouble if I goof around too much. If you come to my evening lecture at the Quilter's Affair, you'll be able to see a bunch of these quilts in person.

  6. Hi there
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