Applique is the name given to the decorative technique of sewing fabric shapes to a background fabric of a different color. The applique pattern can be a standard favorite, but many times is the original design created by the quilt maker.
This fabulous early American quilt is referred to as a "Summer Quilt", which was created to use during the summer months as a decorative bed covering. They were sometimes two pieces of cloth bound together; however this is only one layer, not to be confused with an unfinished quilt top. It consists of 20 individual unbleached muslin squares (4 wide by 5 long) fastened together by one inch strips of cotton material with one inch squares in the corners. The outside edges have been carefully turned over and sewn making a finished cover. The individual squares are decorated with hand-cut oak leaves surrounding a circle containing a figural acorn. The cotton fabric materials used are a rich red and green with the small square pieces a medium tan color. Inside one circle instead of an acorn are the creators initials "M A H" and the date "1899". The applique stitching and binding is delicately and expertly executed. The quilt measures 72" X 96" and will completely cover a double bed with a nice side and end drop. It would also cover a queen size bed. It is in excellent condition considering the age. There are some age related stains from storage and one small hole in one of the connecting strips (see photo). It could be mended like a sock or left as is. If you collect early one-of-a-kind quilts, this is a must have.
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