Friday, February 5, 2021

modern ideas in an old quilt


detail of mid-19th century quilt from Baltimore

We love seeing signs of modernism in old quilts. This mid-19th century quilt came from an eBay seller in Baltimore some time around 2006. 

Its large, concentric square and bullseye medallion design is incredibly modern, which is why we included the quilt in our second book, "Modern Roots, Today's Quilts from Yesterday's Inspiration" (C&T/Stash, 2016). The patchwork design is a big part of the picture, but there's much more to this quilt.

The quilting is simply exquisite. It could've been featured in the following book, which was full of free-motion quilting designs inspired by very old quilts. But it wasn't. We wanted a completely different group of quilts, so regrettably we didn't showcase the quilting of this masterpiece.

Beautiful, double-row quilting in botanical designs is balanced by striking grid quilting in the red. The dense echo quilting in the center medallion makes us weak in the knees.

Today's machine quilters work with similar methods, filling areas with varied types of quilting for contrast and visual interest. This remarkably modern old quilt has such incredible details, we thought it was worth another look. Thank you for visiting our blog. We hope you enjoyed the photos.


  1. The quilting can make or break a quilt. I love the designs in the spaces!!

  2. Fabulous Thank you for sharing. I think this proves the point that "old" is "new" again--and "new" is "old" again in the quilting world

  3. Someone has truly poured their love into this quilt. Just stunning!

  4. Bill, I'm so intrigued by this quilt. The deconstructed crossed laurel center is fascinating. Do you have any provenance?

    1. All I know is it came from an eBay seller in Baltimore. I got it around 2006 for about $420.