In the early 1840s, chintz appliqué quilts changed from a center medallion format to a block style. In the Delaware Bay area, the albums were constructed in a simple grid of single chintz motifs, often without borders. The blocks were typically inscribed with names, dates and emotive or religious phrases.
Southern Album quilts, found particularly in Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina, feature individual chintz motifs that were often separated by long strips of fabric, called sashing. The sashing fabric was carefully cut along the lines of a stripe or between floral designs, which preserved the motif and added an additional design element to the quilt’s overall appearance. Wide outer borders of chintz yardage are also common in these quilts.
In the 1840s and 1850s, the use of chintz fabrics in quilts began to decline. Hybrid albums containing chintz appliqué and appliqué constructed of inexpensive cotton calico fabrics illustrate the transition between the two different styles.
Click images below to view larger and read more information about some of the quilts included in the exhibit.