Saturday, July 25, 2015

Three-Flowered Sunflower Quilt

This six patch quilt with over-sized blocks was collected in New England.

This antique quilt once had green stems and leaves but was made with a cloth that did not stand the test of time. The greens have faded to tan colors. The green dye was "fugitive," as we say in the quilt history world. In its day, the quilt would have looked outstanding. Now, the unknowing would simply wonder why the quilter chose "tan" for this pattern.

This week I learned more about the origins of the pattern. In Blockbase and in her Encyclopedia of Pieced Patterns, Barbara Brackman lists the design as #773.5 or "Three-Flowered Sunflower," originally published by Ladies Art Company as pattern #74.

As was a common practice, the design was modified slightly (see Brackman #773.6), and was re-published as "Triple Sunflower" by three sources:  Clara Stone, Household Journal, and Carrie Hall. More recently, Kaye England published a similar pattern known as "Callie Lu's Sunflower". See

The size of the quilt probably indicates that it was for a cot or lap throw. It's always fun to learn more about antique quilts. I suspect that this quilt was made mid-19th century before published patterns for the design were available to the public. That is just a hunch. Thanks to Tim Latimer for looking up the Brackman numbers, and to Barbara Burnham who told me about the availability of Kaye England's pattern. I have ordered it and shall be eager to see it. Since I love this design, I may just make a quilt reproduction.

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