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Fans Pieced Quilt, Amish

1920-1935
Origin: America, Indiana, LaGrange Co. (probably)
Somewhat irregular 88 1/2" x 74" (224.8 cm x 187.96 cm)
Wools, cotton-wool mixtures, cottons; silk embroidery threads (remnants)
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1980.609.1
Rectangular quilt constructed from multicolor solid wools, cottons, and wool-cotton mixtures in a pieced design featuring fans offset and staggered to create a diagonal pattern. Inner border of solid bright blue and outer border of rust-red. Quilted with dark brown and black cotton threads at 8 stitches per inch following fan shapes, and bordered with angled petals and undulating feather-leaf plumes. Solid red cotton backing is brought to the front to form half-inch binding.
Label:This quilt achieves great visual impact through eccentric patterns and contrasting bright and dark hues in which multicolor fans stagger diagonally against a two-color ground with undulating feather quilting in the areas between fans. Adding to the lively effect are remnants of pink thread stuck in the seams, indicating that the outlines of the fans were once embroidered. This combination of pieced fans with embroidered outlines occurs in other Indiana Amish quilts of the 1920s and 1930s.
It seems out of character for a conservative Amish quilt maker to create such a bold design outlined with bright pink needlework, a style that seems more suited to nineteenth-century silk show quilts. By the time this quilt was likely made, however, embroidered show quilts had gone out of fashion, and the Amish quilt maker probably felt comfortable embracing portions of the older style.
Provenance:Don & Faye Walters, Goshen, Indiana LaGrange County.
Mark(s):None found