Quilt of the Month


December 2004

December 2004

Grapes Wreath
Inscribed in quilting: CHwF, Baltimore, MD, 1871
88" x 88"
IQSC 2004.016.0015
The Linda and Dr. John Carlson Four Block Quilt Collection
Four-Part Harmony: The Linda Carlson Four-Block Quilt Collection Exhibition

The Grapes Wreath quilt is a quintessential example of the red and green applique quilt style that exploded onto the American quiltmaking scene in the middle of the nineteenth century. What created this interest? Was it a by-product of German quiltmakers who drew upon their decorative arts heritage, or was there a more practical reason -- the greater availability of red and green fabrics? Or did quiltmakers simply respond to the satisfying, crisp vision created by the complementary colors?

This quilt, dated 1871, falls into the latter years of this trend, and includes details, like the stuffed berries, the swag border and the extravagant quilting, that are often found in earlier red and green appliqué quilts.