The Wilkinson Sisters Revisited

The Wilkinson Sisters Revisited

I chose the Ligonier Public Library quilt for my inspiration because it was the first quilt made by the ‘Wilkinson Sisters’ that I remember seeing. It was brought into an Indiana Quilt Registry Project discovery day to be photographed and documented. That was twenty-five years ago in 1987. Since then I have seen and worked on many more ‘Wilkinsons’, but that first one stuck in my mind because it was so elegant.

For my study quilt, I used Prussian blue cotton sateen for the “A” side which was a favorite fabric of the Wilkinson Sisters. I used a blush color for the “B” side which was also authentic to the first quarter of the 20th Century. The Wilkinson Sisters often used wool batting; however, I used cotton batting so that it wouldn’t shift if it had to hang a while. The thread is a blue Coats and Clark to match the “A” side which is also what the Wilkinson Sisters used.

What I learned in this study of trying to replicate a ‘Wilkinson Sisters’ quilt is that they and their quilters were master crafters. Scallops are hard to do! The binding on their scallops was smooth on the inside edge and pleated on the outside which is a technique I have yet to master. Hand-drawn feathered frames are tricky. Crisp cross-hatching is mind-boggling!