Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Puss in the Corner Antique Quilt Top

Last week I shared an antique quilt top gifted to me by a friend. I have another early 1900s quilt top in my collection, purchased many years ago at the Royal Oak Flea Market.

The block pattern is Puss in the Corner. The blocks are set side by side with a wide sashing in a mourning print, popular around 1890 to 1925, and cinnamon pink squares at the corners. Double or cinnamon pink was common between 1860 and 1920.
The block pattern is very simple, consisting of a center square, four rectangles, and four corner squares.

What made this quilt stand out for me was the sashing fabric, a busy black, white, and gray print of circles and filigree shape. Seen close up, the border print keeps the eye moving across the quilt. From a distance, it almost looks gray.

Mourning prints, also called Shaker Gray, Lenox Gray, and Silver Gray, were popular until 1925. In her book Making History, Barbara Brackman quotes a Montgomery Ward catalog as calling them appropriate for 'elderly ladies.'

The fabrics in this top are typical of the late 1900s and early 20th c. Mourning prints, navy and cadet blue prints, shirtings, woven checks, and double pinks make up the majority of the fabrics, with some browns and wines.

In the photo below is a white on navy floral print, a blue check, and a mourning print.

In the center of the quilt is a yellow calico print, a splash of brightness used in only two blocks. Perhaps it represents a glint of hope.

Turkey red was a colorfast dye that was highly popular through the 1920s when it was replaced by newer dyes. In the photo below are two turkey red prints, a cadet blue polka dot fabric, and a black and white mourning print in a floral stripe.

Below is a block with several cadet blue fabrics, typical of 1880s to 1910. Also, a navy blue with a print in small dots forming a background image for a floating floral shape. The center square is an interesting mourning print in bubble shapes.

 There are also woven checks and a few brown prints.

There are not as many fabrics in claret or wine on this quilt, which was typical of quilts 1880-1910. Below, upper right, is an example.
 The top was hand sewn with with thread.

These fabrics are in quite good condition and the top was not washed.

Free online patterns for Puss in the Corner can be found at

A downloadable pattern for $6 is available at

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