Monday, April 10, 2017

An Eye Candy Quilt

Last month, during the #IGquiltfest powered by Amy at Amy's Creative Side, one of the daily photo prompts was "quilt labels".  I have to admit, I'm haphazard about this on my own quilts so I shared the "label" on this charm quilt made by my great-grandmother.
The photo generated lots of "hearts" and comments so I thought perhaps some would enjoy a closer look at the quilt.
First, the "label".  She quilted her name "Lillie A. Fox" into these two triangles.
And her initials "L.A.F." into this one.
Fox was her maiden name and so I know that she made the quilt before she married on January 1, 1883.  I also have her "autograph" book where I found a verse penned to her by my great-grandfather several months before they wed. His verse seems to indicate that he knew what he wanted at that point even if she didn't.
I also know that the quilt was made after 1876 as there are two pieces of fabric from the American Centennial.  Isn't that cool??  The horizontal lines say "1776 1876" and the vertical lines say "centennial".
The triangles measure 5" on a side and there are 660 different prints -- no, I didn't count them.  She stitched that number into the quilt (plain diamond upper edge).   I believe she made the quilt for her parents -- their names are also stitched into the quilt (plain diamond in lower edge).  Lewis and Annis Fox were married in 1856 and would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 1881.
I've had the quilt appraised a couple times.  During the first appraisal, Darwin Bearley pointed out there were fabrics from the 1830's and 1840's and this diamond cluster is a good representation of that.
The tradition of charm quilts revolves around collecting as many prints as possible and not repeating one in a quilt top.  Lillie's autograph book indicates that she was a popular young woman and my aunt remembers her as a "bubbly" person so I'm sure it would have been easy for her to gather or trade pieces for the quilt from friends and relatives.  I like this diamond because it's a color we aren't apt to see in quilts from the late 1800's -- aqua! 
Of course there are lots of the double pinks represented in the diamonds.
Overall the quilt is in very good condition.  There are one or two shredded spots and a couple faded spots.   
  It is completely hand stitched -- even the backing (muslin) and the binding!
 Lillie's mother died in 1896 and so the quilt would have come back to her at that time.
Lillie passed in 1935 and the quilt would have gone to my grandmother.
My grandmother passed in 1970 and the quilt surfaced when my parents were closing up her home.
My grandmother never used the quilt -- in fact, I don't think any of us knew it existed. 
I have had the quilt since the mid-1970's as the only quiltmaker in the family.  I wished I had known her.  She was no doubt a strong and cheerful woman -- you can see it in her eyes.
My Dad had those same eyes! 
I love holding something Lillie stitched and looking at fabric from the scrap bags of her family and friends going back two generations!
What a treasure!
I hope you've enjoyed a closer look at this delightful scrap quilt!
Happy day!


  1. Thanks for sharing Mary! The quilt is beautiful! And no plastic templates for cutting out the diamonds!!! What a wonderful piece of family history.

  2. so nice to have an old quilt like this and to know the history behind it! love those diamonds

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  4. I really like that quilt,just lovely!

  5. Thanks for sharing the quilt and it's story - I'm sure Lillie would be pleased it has lasted so well and is still appreciated. Thank you for linking up to #scraptastictuesday!

  6. Mary, when I look at the photo of your great grandmother, I can see you in her face. Surely you can see the family resemblance. What a wonderful treasure you have from her.

  7. Such a treasure, Mary! I agree with Lin, I see you in her face and I see her in your quilting.

  8. This is a beauty! Lillie had sparkle, didn't she? Her personality comes through in her photo. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. I keep looking at these photos over and over. What a treasure you have. I'm sure it has already brought you hours of pleasure, just looking at the beautiful variety of fabrics. Thank you so much for showing it to us.