Thursday, January 4, 2018

"Why Wedges?"

The wedge-shaped patch was popularized in the Victorian period,
coinciding with the rise of the American garment industry.
"Why Wedges?" is the question Christina Cameli asks at the beginning of her new book, "Wedge Quilt Workshop" (2017 C&T/Stash Books). After impulsively buying a wedge ruler at the local quilt shop, Christina was drawn to the wonderful wedge shape and made her first wedge quilt. When she was writing her new book, she asked me about antique and vintage quilts with wedges.

MacMillan Family Quilt (detail), c. 1865, Kentucky
Although wedge shaped patches do turn up in earlier quilts, such as the 1860s MacMillan Family Quilt from Monroe County, Kentucky, the wedge-shaped patch was popularized in the Victorian period, coinciding with the rise of the American garment industry. When wedge-shaped cutaway scraps were available, quiltmakers used them. Around this time, fan motifs made of wedges appeared in crazy quilts, and in quilts with repeating fan blocks.

Fans, wools, unknown maker, Maine, c. 1900
Wedges appeared in block designs as well as improvisational patchwork. One of my favorite examples is a blue and white quilt top, formerly part of my collection and now in the collection of Marjorie Childress in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


I'm a fan of fans...and wedges. Here are a few more favorites from my collection. All of them were made between the 1920s and 1970s.
c. 1920
c. 1920
c. 1920
c. 1940
c. 1950
c. 1960
c. 1960
c. 1960
c. 1960
c. 1970
c. 1970
c. 1970


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing....stunning collection!

    ReplyDelete