Michigan Quilt Project
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Bars with Diamond Sashing
Maker unknown
New England
ca 1845
95 1/2" x 103"
Wool top, no filling, cotton back
Photo by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

The top of this quilt was made in the mid-nineteenth century with fabric from paisley wool shawls and was finished with a 1940s sateen back, many years later. Paisley shawls were in fashion for over a hundred years, from the late 1700s to the 1870s. They were woven in many parts of the world, including Kashmir, Persia, India, Russia, the United States, and Europe. Manufacturing techniques developed in Paisley, Scotland, made them easy to produce and they became so popular that the name "paisley" has become a generic term for the design. Paisley shawls peaked in popularity from 1840 to 1870, a period when hoop skirts were also popular; the large shawls were warm and draped gracefully over skirts. The vertical design of this quilt was also popular during this time period. Visible whip stitching indicates that this quilt was paper pieced.

By Beth Donaldson, excerpted from American Quilts from Michigan State University Museum


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