Bridal Chest Quilt
Pieced Nine-Patch blocks alternate with half-square triangles to create the effect of extended diagonal stripes.Full description »
Pieced Nine-Patch blocks alternate with half-square triangles to create the effect of extended diagonal stripes. The Nine-Patch blocks (3 in square) are pieced from over a hundred printed cottons (glazed and plain). The border (10½ in wide) is English copperplate chintz. The entire quilt is quilted in overlapping wineglass pattern. Backed with brown glazed cotton and filled with wool wadding.
Made by a bride of English descent living in Chester County, Pennsylvania, this quilt is constructed from 3,556 pieces of decorated cotton, printed in the early nineteenth century. One-inch fabric squares are arranged in Nine-Patch blocks that flow in diagonal bands across the quilt. The space in between is packed with triangles, each filling half a square. Given the precision of the piecing, the fabric squares were almost certainly stitched over papers before being sewn together. Remarkably, some of the tiny squares are made from smaller scraps. Nothing has been wasted.
The scrap nature of the quilt has been somewhat tempered by the bride’s use of only two different fabrics in each Nine-Patch. The chintz border has been carefully cut so that one section of repeated pattern fills the width of the border, with minimal waste. The neatly stitched quilting covers the surface in wineglass pattern. The brown thread used for the quilting blends into the various fabrics, so that the quilted decoration does not detract from the patchwork design.
From 1827 (circa) to 1837 (circa)