New England Album

New England Album

My study project, an album summer coverlet, was chosen from the New England Quilt Museum collection. The original quilt has twenty blocks from which I chose four baskets to draft and make, including the border.

The basket designs from the circa 1850 quilt original were cleverly created. The maker used a variety of shapes including diamonds, clamshells and bars. The cornucopia was made from straight pieces of fabric. The woven basket was made from straight pieces in a rail fence block to create a woven effect. The red basket has clamshell cutouts and sits on an elaborate appliqué base. The blocks are bordered by a traveling vine, enriched with fruit and flowers. A variety of embroidery stitches enhance many of the flowers. Each corner has a unique bird perched on a branch also embellished with elaborate embroidery. Double circles intersect around each block uniting the blocks and creating a strong visual impact. They add a wonderful contrast to the floral vines and square blocks.

I reproduced my quilt as true to the original as possible. I used 100% cotton fabric, thread and batting. All appliqué, piecing of baskets, embroidery and quilting were done by hand. The blocks were assembled by machine and the binding was machine applied on one side. I chose to do outline quilting around the appliqué. I enjoyed the process of drafting and reproducing this quilt, gaining appreciation and inspiration from the original maker’s abilities.

I wish to thank the New England Quilt Museum for supporting the AQSG Quilt Study Project and for giving consent to use this outstanding quilt.