tree of life

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Unknown Quilt Maker
Collected in California
76 x 87 inches

Circa 1940


Here's a One-of-a-Kind !

This wonderful oddity came to us with no history attached, 
so we will make our best guess as to what we have here....

We can establish the approximate date by the fabrics and images used:

  • the printed cottons are very typical Depression era style
  • the black outline embroidery was common on quilts of this time
  • the Scottie dog is a dead giveaway ~ FDR's pet, Fala, captured the hearts of many Americans!
The central design, a Tree of Life, was available commercially ~ 
a colored (crayoned) design, which this woman outlined in black embroidery. 
The image of the branch-y, folk-y tree was borrowed from 
very early textiles (often crewel), popular in the earliest years of the 1800s.

This very inventive, thrifty, and playful quilt maker, working around 1940

used what she had, and employed what she knew.

She combined the commercial Tree with "floating" appliqued images
primitive and freely cut Butterflies, Scotties and Ninepatches ~ 
and filled those in with whimsical hand embroidery.

She used what she had, apparently! 
She used part of a mattress pad, filled the quilt with a blanket, 
did both hand and machine quilting, and added a fringe.

It is as if she was channeling styles and techniques of quilt makers of the previous 150 years!

Excellent, Sturdy Condition.

A Unique Mid 20th Century Treasure!

Price: $285