Friday, December 9, 2011

On the first day of Christmas.... true love gave to me... 
a vintage one patch quilt

1900-1910 Tumbler Quilt from Central New York

A one patch quilt design is when one basic shape or template is used for the entire quilt top.  There are no holes or gaps on the quilt surface.  Other one patch quilt designs originate from template shapes of triangles, diamonds, hexagons, squares.   Today a plethera of new designs are formulated on computer models to ease graphic designers for rendering shapes.  *whew*

I like to think of Escher growing up (after all he was born in 1898) and having slept as a child under a beautiful one patch quilt.  While my speculation is purely conjecture, think of it as "the artist having their finger on the pulse of society" (which is what a favorite art history teacher said in EVERY lecture). 

Often with one patch quilts, the quilter would use a different fabric for each template creating a new category of quilts called "Charm Quilts."  The tumbler quilt above is not a charm quilt, but there are some wonderful fabrics to study in indigo, red, double pink, manganese-bronze style, cretonne, plaid, mourning prints and some great neon black prints. 

 My favorite is a conversation print of a dog lapping up water from a bowl.  Just a charming little surprise, especially for those fond of their pets.

Accuracy in cutting templates was a must.  How easy it was to have the design starting to wander or even pucker.  While it looks easy, it takes practice and patience.  A good all over quilting design can easily mask some of those "pucker" problems.  Uh oh....starting to creep up on the right.

 The one patch diamond shape above with the color placement has 19 different regional names according to the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman (which is now out of print!).  I have always referred to them as Building Blocks or Baby Blocks. 

Some more one patch quilt pieces pulled from vintage scrap bag with sheets from An Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman when loose-leaf double sided sheets were copied, printed and compiled for a three ring binder in the 1980's.

 More treasures to follow ...


  1. I love this so much -- especially because the quilter did such a great job with contrast in the set (unlike my early tumbler quilt). I wish I could see this up close -- the variety of prints is amazing.

  2. Martha, I'll get some more pictures of different prints and put them up for you. By the way, Barbara directed me to your blog and I am just catching up on some of your postings.