Quilt of the Month


January 2007

January 2007

Schoolhouse
Maker unknown
Possibly made in Wayne County, Indiana
Circa 1875-1895
82 x 82 Inches (210 x 210 Centimeters)
IQSC 1997.007.0109
Ardis and Robert James Collection of Antique and Contemporary Quilts

Pieced quilts depicting a simple architectural structure in a repeat pattern began appearing in the late nineteenth century. Women's needlecraft magazines offered variations on the basic design and gave them names such as Old Kentucky Home and House on the Hill to reflect a nostalgic view of the past. In 1929 Ruth Finley called the pattern Little Red Schoolhouse in her book Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them. The name appealed to quilters who continue to use it today.

Bright red calico created sixteen welcoming schoolhouses in this simple design. The quilter emphasized each schoolhouse by surrounding it in green geometric sashing using a pattern called Garden Maze. Rather than positioning the schools in one direction, the quilter chose to place eight upside down, making the quilt "readable" from either side of the bed.