Quilt of the Month

April 2012

April 2012

Rolling Star
Circa 1890-1910
Maker unknown, probably made in Holton, KS
72” x 82”
IQSCM 2008.040.0187, Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Collection

Stars are one of the most common design motifs found in traditional American quilts. Here the eight-pointed star pattern is enhanced by the addition of squares and additional diamonds to form the dynamic Rolling Star pattern. The pattern is complemented by eight-pointed stars of a smaller version placed at the intersections of the sashing between the blocks. The use of the bright green and yellow printed fabric in combination with double pinks, a light blue known as cadet blue, and subdued shirting fabrics help to identify the quilt as from the turn of the century.

The American Quilt Study Group offers a biennial opportunity to its members " to replicate, either exactly, or as an interpretation, a quilt of a particular style or period. In this way, members can learn from the textile the history, techniques, and perhaps something of the person who made the original."

This biennial “Quilt Study” is a popular activity among the organization’s members. To take part in the 2010 study each participant selected a nineteenth-century star-patterned quilt as inspiration for her study quilt. A three-juror committee chose 25 quilts from the 39 entries for a two-year traveling exhibition. The International Quilt Study Center & Museum is displaying a grouping of these quilts from April 3rd through August 19th, 2012.

One of the AQSG "Quilt Study" quilts references this month's QOM pattern. Bonita J. Morley of Saratoga, California, describes how she chose the IQSCM quilt for her project: " My inspirational moment came when I first saw the picture of Rolling Star (published in Repiecing the Past, by Sara Rhodes Dillow, Martingale & Co., 1995.). I recognized that the colors and patterns played an important role in the making of this quilt. The initial color combination seemed unusual to me. Perhaps the maker of this quilt used fabric colors which altered the coloring of the original greens, pinks, blues, and brownish mustard. How could I learn by modifying the original quilt pattern?" Her reproduction is inset on the image of the original.