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Quilts A to Z

  Quilts A to Z

Quilts I to L

In-the-Ditch Quilting: A type of outline quilting done alongside a seam or an appliqué edge.

Invisible Stitch: A stitch generally done by hand on appliqué and binding, which is not visible on the fabric. The needle slides 1/8 to 1/4" through the folded edge of fabric and then takes two or three threads of the base fabric. Thus, the thread disappears in the folded edge, and the stitch appears invisible.


Irish Chain

Maker unknown, possibly made in northeastern Ohio
Circa 1880 -1900
International Quilt Study Center, Ardis and Robert James Collection,
1997.007.0012

Did the Irish Chain quilt originate in Ireland? Perhaps. Quilt historian Barbara Brackman gives 1814 as the earliest known date of an Irish Chain quilt. However, researchers have discovered an earlier quilt from about 1805 with a similar pattern, which was brought to America from Ireland. Another theory claims that the pattern may have emerged from weaving patterns.

Wherever this pattern originated, it has endured as one of America's most popular. According to Brackman's book, Clues in the Calico, "Most Irish Chain quilts are made of two blocks, one pieced in a check pattern; the other plain with squares appliquéd to the corners. With 25 checks in the pieced square, it is a Double Irish Chain; with 49, a Triple Irish Chain."


Irish Chain, Triple

Maker unknown, possibly made in Western Pennsylvania
Dated 1939
104" x 83"
International Quilt Study Center, Ardis and Robert James Collection,
1997.007.0447


Jack in the Pulpit

Maker unknown, probably made in Indiana
Circa 1890 -1910
91" x 74"
International Quilt Study Center, Ardis and Robert James Collection,
1997.007.0295

Many quilters and quilt designers have been influenced by religion and stories from the Bible. Pattern names that are distinctly religious in origin include the Christian Cross, Tree of Paradise or Tree of Temptation, King David's Crown, Job's Tears, Joseph's Coat, and Jack in the Pulpit, as seen here.


Joseph's Coat

Alternate pattern name: Rainbow Bars
Maker unknown, possibly made in Pennsylvania
Circa 1890
84" x 72"
International Quilt Study Center, Jonathan Holstein Collection, 2003.003.0154
Purchase made possible through James Foundation Acquisition Fund, partial gift of Jonathan Holstein

Many quilters and quilt designers have been influenced by religion and stories from the Bible. Pattern names that are distinctly religious in origin include the Christian Cross, Tree of Paradise or Tree of Temptation, King David's Crown, Job's Tears, and Joseph's Coat, to name a few.


Kansas Trouble

Maker unknown
Circa 1880 -1900
71" x 69"
International Quilt Study Center, Ardis and Robert James Collection,
1997.007.0291

Kit: A product containing the instructions and pre-cut pieces for constructing a quilt top. Quilt kits grew in popularity in the 1920s and 1940s as an "easy" way to construct quilts that were popular as home furnishings during the time. Although the popularity of kits peaked in the first half of the twentieth century, they are widely available today.

Ladies Art Company: Founded in the 1880s and headquartered in Saint Louis, the Ladies Art Company specialized in patterns for women's handiwork. It published catalogs of quilt patterns, which could be purchased relatively cheaply, from the 1890s into the twentieth century. The company is considered one of the driving forces behind the standardization of quilt pattern names simply because it published so many patterns that were so widely distributed. Their 1928 catalog alone featured more than five hundred patterns.

Lap Quilting: Working on a quilt while holding it in ones lap. It is also a method
whereby the quilt is finished one block at a time and then assembled into a larger whole.

Layout: The arrangement of blocks and other design elements into a quilt.


Log Cabin, Light & Dark variation

Maker Unknown
Date Unknown
85" x 74"
Nebraska State Historical Society, Source: Mrs. Clair R. Dyas,
7995-33

The Log Cabin pattern is distinctive as the blocks begin with a center shape around which strips are sewn with varying values of light and dark. Folkloric explanations of the design indicate that the center shape represents the hearth of the home, with the light and dark sides representing shady or sunny sides of the house. Although this seems like a quintessential American pattern, early nineteenth-century examples of this style of quilt have been found in England, and this pattern style has been found all over the world in all sorts of media from much earlier times. The value contrast, the points at which the darks and lights meet, are important design elements in log cabin quilts as they provide the overall pattern one sees.


Lone Star/Morning Star

Alternate names: Star of the East, Star of Bethlehem, Rising Sun, Morning Star
Lula Red Cloud, South Dakota
2001
85" x 76.5"
Nebraska State Historical Society, Source: Lula Red Cloud
11894-1

The design on this quilt is known by many names. Usually when a star, made of diamond-shaped pieces and arranged so that the color seems to be radiating out from the center, is large and found as the centerpiece of the quilt it is known as a Lone Star, Star of the East, Star of Bethlehem, Rising Sun, or Morning Star. If similar, smaller, versions of this star are repeated on a quilt it may be known as a Blazing Star, and if the points of these stars are touching it may be called Touching Stars.

Lula Red Cloud made this quilt to cover the bust of her great-great grandfather, Chief Red Cloud, before it was unveiled and inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 2001. Lula called this quilt "Red Cloud's Contemporary Robe" and incorporated colors and symbols rich with significance. The red was chosen to represent Red Cloud, the burgundy for the Lakota Nation, the purple for his spirit, the blue for the sky, and the green for Mother Earth. She wrote that "Red Cloud came from beyond the blue heaven and while he walked this earth he was just a common man-represented by the reddish-brown or rusty color." The quilting designs found throughout the quilt mimic designs from Red Cloud's clothing and possessions.

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Last updated 23 May 2007  

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