Sunburst Variation

By: Sandra Brothers
Spencerville, Indiana

This quilt was the orphan of a family collection. The maker of this quilt is unknown. The combination of the circles and swag was unusual to me. Researching the swag portion, I found a single blue swag dated 1710 to 1730. Most of the swags appear to date from the early 1800s to the 1880s. Variations of bows, bells, rosettes, or tassels tie the swags together. I found most of the samples of swags surrounded appliqué work. Predominant colors are red and green. This three-color combination appears to be less frequent.

I traced the swag, making templates and hand pieced and appliquéd them. The three concentric circles were of an uneven number of triangles. I first attempted to trace the pieces of the circles. The inner circle was fine, but the outer circles would not match up. Using Electric Quilt design software version 8, I was able to make a paper piece pattern of an even numbers of triangles. Admiration goes to the original maker for making nine circles lay flat. This challenge expanded my experience in pattern making and hand appliqué.