American Antique Folk Art & Unique Quilts
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About American Antique Folk Art & Unique Quilts
The American folk art style is present in textiles as well as in home furnishings. Antique folk art quilts are wonderfully graphic, naïve pieces of totally original textile art. Sometimes these antique quilts were created by adapting a known pattern in order to free it from its more rigid structure.

Appliqued or pieced folk art quilts have unusual configurations of piecing and/or unusual choices of colors and fabrics. A folk art quilt might be embellished with embroidered drawings or paintings, depicting the life of the quilter, such as children’s handprints, houses, farms, or local plants and animals.

An antique folk art quilt was usually made from cotton or wool, but very rarely a silk folk art piece will emerge. In these rare cases, a woman might have worked for an affluent family and been given silk scraps for her own use.

True folk art quilts were made to be used, not displayed. Fortunately, many have survived because they were washed infrequently or not at all, and especially not washed in a machine. We are indeed fortunate that the washing machine was not commercially available until the 1950’s, or many of our treasured antique quilts would have been ruined by pragmatic women just trying to do their housework!
 
Q8945 Wool Folk Art Applique Quilt
Please view the detail photos (click image above) for more accurate colors.
Q8945 Wool Folk Art Applique Quilt
1900-1920
64 x 77 (162.6 x 195.6 cm)
OH
Was $4,600 Now $4,200

This is a fabulous early 20th century folk art creation using men's lightweight wools for the blocks and original appliques. A unique piece showcasing animal silhouettes embellished with wool embroidery. Both domestic and wild animals (the most domestic being the little human!) include horses, deer, pigs, chickens, a lamb, bears, an elephant, a cow, a camel, a duck, and more. One of our favorites is the snowman.

Columns of different sized wool blocks surround a center larger block featuring a bear among other small appliqued creatures. Remaining blocks each feature one applique. Wool embroidery stitching accents the figures and covers every seam. A warm palette of browns, grays, blacks, blues and mustard in mostly solid hued wools with some fun windowpane and soft hued plaids used to great effect.

The backing is pieced lightweight wool suiting in various patterns and the quilt is top tied in wool yarn - see detail image. The pillowcase edge makes for a nice, clean finish. This unique and wonderful folk art piece is in perfect condition. Ask to see it on approval in the privacy of your home.

Q8514 Folk Art Prince's Feather Variation
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Q8514 Folk Art Prince's Feather Variation
c.1940
92 x 92 (233.7 x 233.7 cm)
Lidditz, PA
Was $1,900 Now $1,600

What a vibrant quilt! In unused condition, the true red, dark green, and yellow cottons of this unique quilt really pop against the bright white background. This 20th century folk art quilter adapted the 19th century Prince's Feather pattern and four block format, and added her own version of rose buds. The four Prince's Feather motifs measure 34 x 34 inches each. Nine vibrant stars in red, green and yellow float on the white ground and visually connect the feather designs to create a cohesive, exciting whole.

A combination of piecing and hand appliqué was used for the quilt top, and the entire piece was hand quilted in one inch crosshatching, with the exception of echo quilting in the Prince's feathers and outlining in the central yellow stars. What a graphic statement from this original adaptation of an early pattern.

The same white cotton was used both on the front and the back and a ¼ inch binding was turned from the back to the front. This fabulous folk art quilt would be equally wonderful as wall art or used on a bed. Professionally hand washed by Betsey it can be shipped to you on approval for private viewing.

Q8962 Airplanes & Eagles Quilt
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Q8962 Airplanes & Eagles Quilt
c.1935
66 x 72 (167.6 x 182.9 cm)
PA
SOLD

A great piece of American folk art! This wonderful hand pieced, quilted and appliqued quilt was inspired by Charles Lindbergh's monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis, and the 1933 Chicago World's Fair entitled The Century of Progress. Flying in straight formation thirteen solid blue planes measure 12½ inches long and are separated by twelve eagles hand quilted and embroidered using blue thread.

Each plane has an appliqued propeller and the craft is hand quilted with scallops in the nose, double circles on the wings and straight line quilting through the body and tail of the plane. The fully detailed eagles are quilted and embroidered in blue in the joining blocks and cross hatch quilting fills the 1⅝ blue and 2 inch white borders. Faint pencil lines used for the quilting pattern can still be seen in areas of this unused quilt.

The backing is the same solid blue cotton used on the front of the quilt and the hand applied ⅜ inch binding is a slightly lighter solid blue cotton. Part of the Western PA Quilt Documentation Project with a documentation label hand stitched onto the back. This quilt has been professionally hand washed by Betsey and is ready to ship to you on approval for private viewing in your home. A true collector's piece!

Q8881 Folk Art Applique Quilt
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Q8881 Folk Art Applique Quilt
c.1895
74 x 74 (188 x 1885 cm)
Was $2,100 Now $1,900

What a whimsical and very graphic Folk Art quilt! Appliqued circles in burgundy, rose and light blue cotton are carefully hand sewn onto a dark navy cotton twill ground. Herringbone embellishment stitching surrounds each circle and seam on the 16 x 16 ½" inch blocks. The circles form a large X pattern overall. A 3 ½" inch border in the same solid navy cotton surrounds the interior pattern.

Hand quilting includes 2 inch cross hatch stitching in the blocks and 2 ¾" inch diagonal cross hatch stitching for the border. The backing on this great piece of folk art is a scrumptious, large scale floral cotton in the same palette as the front of the quilt. See detail image. The applied 3/8 inch binding is black cotton.

In perfect condition this quilt appears unused. Professionally hand washed by Betsey it would be terrific folk art for your wall or a comfy, soft bed covering. A unique design and skillfully made. Please ask to see this quilt on approval in the privacy of your home.

Q8905 Whimsical Applique & Embroidered 'Pinwheel' Quilt
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Q8905 Whimsical Applique & Embroidered 'Pinwheel' Quilt
c.1928
63 x 80 (160 x 203.2 cm)
PA
$3,600

What a wonderful original folk art adaptation of a traditional theme - the pinwheel, or wreath, motif. This artist chose wonderful 1920's cottons in a myriad of colors and patterns to create her twirling pinwheel wreaths. She appliqued her pinwheels onto an off white cotton ground using multi colored cotton flosses for her couching embroidery stitch creating a lovely decorative element on her appliques. This graceful line stitch became popular during the Middle Ages and Renaissance and through the ages has remained the most popular embroidery stitch for creating scrolling and twirling lines in an embroidered design.

In this piece of textile art the maker has alternated the appliqued pinwheels with couch embroidered pinwheel wreaths using mult colored variegated cotton flosses. Both appliqued and stitched pinwheels measure 14 1/2" in diameter and are outline quilted by hand. Other hand quilting includes echo circle stitching using off white thread in the off white ground.

The applied 3/4" wide off white binding has been treadle sewing machine topstitched. The lovely backing is a c.1928 soft blue, pink and white paisley. This unique and whimsical quilt in excellent condition has been professionally washed by Betsey and is ready to be shipped to you on approval for private viewing in the privacy of your home.
Q8908 Folk Art Four Point Touching Stars
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Q8908 Folk Art Four Point Touching Stars
c.1928
69 x 69 (175.3 x 175.3 cm)
PA
$2,800

A stunning early 20th century folk art quilt in all solid cotton sateens. Rose, olive green, yellow, russet and grayish white team up to form a wonderfully graphic and skillfully executed quilt. Hand stitched blocks are 11 inches square and when joined together form a four pointed star. A lovely curved edge follows the contours of the stars with a 3/8" hand applied binding in the same olive green cotton used on the front.

The cotton backing fabric is a lovely and soft, large scale floral pattern in muted shades of green, rose, ivory and grayish white - see detail image. Hand quilting is done in light thread using outline stitching throughout.

A unique pattern executed in beautiful solid hues and completed entirely by hand. Professionally hand washed by Betsey and in excellent condition. Ask to see this original early 20th century folk art quilt on approval in the privacy of your home.
Q8740 Mummers Crazy Quilt
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Q8740 Mummers Crazy Quilt
c.1890
91 x 92 (231.1 x 233.7 cm)
Philadelphia, PA
$4,200

Some of the earliest mummers date back to early Egypt, pagan Rome and Greece, England, Germany, and France. Historically, Mummery has influenced customs and perpetuated many interesting traditions. The use of masks and different costumes were carried over from the Greek celebrations of King Momus, the Italian-feast of saturnalia, and the British Mummery Play. All of these cultures passed along their traditions from generation to generation, and eventually these traditions were brought to America by immigrants. The tradition of Philadelphia Mummery started in the late 17th century as a continuation of the Old World customs of ushering in the New Year. Mummery in America is as unique to Philadelphia as Mardi Gras is to New Orleans.

The symbols of the Philadelphia Mummers include musical instruments, moons, hearts, diamonds, stars, weaponry, as well as silhouetted faces. Many of these symbols have been incorporated into this circa 1890 folk art Mummer's quilt. Beautifully pieced wool and wool challis fabrics in solids, plaids and floral prints comprise this large, very decorative piece of Philadelphia history. The symbols themselves are cut from solid felted wool and the fine wool embroidery used throughout is both precise and exuberant in color and style.

A 4 ½" double border in two shades of tan wool challis frames the inner design and has intricate embellishment along the entire border seam on four sides. The backing is a brown, red and yellow small scale plaid cotton with a 5/8" applied brown wool challis binding. In excellent condition this quilt is a rare find. Our quilts are always sent on approval.
Q6468 Funky Log Cabin Courthouse Steps
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Q6468 Funky Log Cabin Courthouse Steps
c.1850
72 x 80 (182.9 x 203.2 cm)
Found in PA, made in New England
Was $2,950 Now $2,200

A wonderful piece of abstract art in excellent condition, this log cabin quilt arranged in the classic Courthouse Steps pattern has a personality all its own. Made from wool and silk challis, this hand made antique quilt’s striking colors make it unusual, its surprising bits of plaid, striped and floral fabric just add to its uniqueness. Each 11 x 11 ½ inch block is made up of 1 – 1 ¼ inch width logs with varying hues used for the chimneys – including fuschia! Foundation pieced and hand quilted along each seam.

The ½ inch binding on two sides is an applied burgundy wool challis, and the wholecloth c.1860 cotton backing is a brown, burgundy and ecru small scale squares and dots pattern which folds over to the front on opposite sides to form the other two bindings. There are a few “original” moth holes - ask Betsey for more details on this one.

Q7043 Cotton Flannel Abstract Quilt
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Q7043 Cotton Flannel Abstract Quilt
c.1885
80 x 80 (203.2 x 203.2 cm)
DE
$1,300

Such a phenomenal, early, unused quilt, full of abstract shapes in a wide palette of hues. Sixteen large blocks were constructed from a wide variety of cotton and flannels in calico, plaids, and stripes in an abstract formation. The 5 inch deep brown plaid border frames the quilt perfectly, and has been turned over to the back to create a ¾ inch binding. This early quilt is as comfortable in an antique setting as it would be hanging as the central focus in a contemporary, abstract inspired home.

The backing is a soft gray flannel, divided by a bar of gray plaid down the center. The quilt is reverse tied with gray Pearl cotton twist, and ready to hang as wall art with two black cotton sleeves already applied. However, it is so warm and inviting, you might not be able to resist using it on your antique or ultra modern bed. This quilt has been professionally hand washed by Betsey and can be shipped to you for viewing on approval in the privacy of your home.
Q8299 Folk Art Center Medallion Crazy Quilt
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Q8299 Folk Art Center Medallion Crazy Quilt
c.1920
84 x 88
Pennsylvania
$1,550

This incredible unused cotton center medallion crazy quilt is full of wonderful fabrics in shades of blue, orange, yellow, black, and burgundy. Made to be a summer coverlet it contains no batting and was foundation pieced onto an ecru cotton backing with a combination of hand piecing and hand appliqué.

This quilt contains a feast of shapes large and small, angular and curvaceous most of which are not repeated more than once. Very lyrical in feel, the one anchor point in this unique folk art piece is the center medallion. This sunburst medallion has been formed from spokes of solid red and orange and backlit with softer shades in green and pink calico. It radiates out toward a very energetic and ever changing ‘sky’. The 3/8 inch separately applied binding is a black and grey leafy calico.

Professionally hand washed by Betsey this unused quilt would be fabulous on bed or wall and can be sent to you on approval for viewing in the privacy of your home.
CON PD6 African American Cobweb/Pinwheel Adaptation
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CON PD6 Abstract Cobweb/Pinwheel
c.1950
75 x 75
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
$3,600

A totally unique quilt, the creator of this piece took conventional patterns and turned them into a piece of abstract art with incredible movement. The logs have been pieced into abstract pinwheels from a cotton conversation print featuring hats and umbrellas on a black background. Bright pops of yellow, pink, blue, and a multicolored stripe have been placed in the arrangement to give the overall feeling of a cobweb pattern. Various bright feedsack prints have been pieced together to form the backing, and finished with a 1 ¼ inch separately applied yellow calico feedsack binding. In used but excellent condition, and tied with black cording. Subtle and sophisticated, with a visual jazz impact! Professionally hand washed by Betsey and ready to send to you on approval.

Q8760 Folk Art Wool Challis Crazy Quilt
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Q8760 Folk Art Wool Challis Crazy Quilt
Dated 1893
68 x 68 (172.7 x 172.7 cm)
Wykoff, NJ
SOLD

A fabulous wool folk art crazy quilt with a myriad of interesting and unique symbols, floral embroideries and other embellishments that brings to mind thoughts of joy and a zest for living. Mostly solid wool challis fabrics combine in a gorgeous palette of reds, blues, russet, olives, browns, orange, purple, black and ecru to form the ground of this wonderful folk art piece. The artist used this as a canvas onto which she embroidered large scale whimsical and traditional designs using a variety of stitch patterns and colors of wool yarns in bright, warm hues.

Central to the quilt’s design is a black challis block containing the date of creation and maker’s age residing next to eyeglasses, a crescent moon with face, and amorphous shapes with opulent embroidery both large and colorful. The backing of this quilt is its own cotton patchwork quilt top, in this case used as a fabulous backing done in reds, blue and cream in mid and large scale calicoes and solids. Reverse tied with black wool yarn this quilt also has a pillowcase edging. Black wool yarn is used as a decorative running stitch embellishment, making the perfect finish for the outside edges.

A certain naivité and joie de vivre combine to make this quilt a great choice as a focal point in any room. Folk art whimsy at its best, this is a wonderful and unique quilt that can be sent to you to review in your home on approval before purchase.
Q8792 Folk Art Wool Crazy Quilt
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Q8792 Folk Art Wool Crazy Quilt
c.1890
66 x 76 (167.6 x 193 cm)
Gouverneur, NY
$1,950

A fabulous wool folk art crazy quilt with a myriad of interesting and unique symbols and embellishments straight out of this quilter's imagination. Various solid and patterned worsted wools, challis and wool suiting fabrics combine in a muted palette of olives, browns, wine, black and ecru to form the subtle background. The artist used this as a canvas onto which she embroidered both whimsical and traditional designs using solid and variegated wool yarns in bright, warm hues. Appliques of crocheted wool and bright wool challis in amorphous shapes and geometrics add even more charm.

Central to the quilt's design is a block of uniform bricks around which the other fantastical shapes and elements flow. The backing of this quilt is a tan and ecru plaid and is the foundation onto which each piece is stitched. The 3/8" binding is an applied olive green wool challis.

Wonderful warmth and movement make this quilt a great choice to use as the focal point in any room. Folk art sophistication and whimsy at its best, this is a wonderful and unique quilt that can be sent to you on approval.
Q8761 Amish Wool Stumpwork Starflowers with Triple Border
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Q8761 Amish Wool Stumpwork Starflowers with Triple Border
1900-1915
65 x 70
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
SOLD

A fabulous opportunity to acquire a great piece of Amish folk art! In excellent condition, this quilt was constructed from approximately 6 x 6 inch blocks of wool. Bright, thickly tufted stumpwork starflowers are 4 1/2 inches across and made from assorted multicolored and variegated yarns. The quilt is surrounded by a triple border of red and black fine wools, and all seams have been herringbone embellished with variegated and solid yarns in a variety of colors.

This beautiful quilt has been hand quilted rather than tied, with herringbone stitching in the triple border, and large cross hatch stitching around the stumpwork starflowers. The binding is formed by the outermost red wool border fabric folding over to the back side and being hand stitched down. The backing is a lovely blue clover weave over olive brown wool.

A beautiful and very graphic piece of Amish folk art for your wall. Remember, all of our quilts are sent on approval.
Q8715 Folk Art Flower and Basket
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Q8715 Folk Art Flower and Basket
c.1850
74 x 82 (188 x 208.3 cm)
Pennsylvania
$4,000

All hand pieced, appliqued and quilted, this quilt is a unique and skillfully made piece of textile folk art. Comprised entirely of solid hues of cotton in Turkey red, over dyed green, and mustard on a white ground.

Pieced baskets comprised of green and mustard triangles are 3 ½" high and 7 ¼" wide and hold funky appliqued flower stems with buds of red and green. Precise appliqué stitches are so small they are hard to detect. Framing the quilt are six one inch borders in alternating colors of green, mustard, red and white. The combination of precise piecing with the completely original folk art design gives this quilt a whimsical yet sophisticated feel.

Wonderful triple line quilting in ¼" parallel lines is skillfully stitched by hand throughout. The backing is a fine white cotton and the separately applied hand stitched ¼" binding is in Turkey red. The excellent condition and stunning graphics of this mid 19th century folk art quilt make it equally wonderful art for either bed or wall. Professionally hand washed by Betsey this quilt is ready to be sent to you on approval. Please ask Betsey for more details.
Q8406 Unique Folk Art Prince's Feather
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Q8406 Unique Folk Art Prince's Feather
c.1850
82 x 84 (208.3 x 213.4 cm)
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
SOLD

What a fabulously festive summer weight quilt in madder dyed red, cheddar, and confederate blue! Four blocks of Prince's Feather applique reminds Betsey of a court jester's hat, and the border swags a circus tent. Confederate blue maple leaves have been scattered across the body of the quilt, and groups of four leaves anchor each corner. All hand appliqued and double line quilted with tiny stitches, with binding applied by treadle sewing machine. This would have been a subtle method of announcing wealth in the days before the sewing machine was readily available to the general public. Professionally hand washed by Betsey.

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