23

Pioneer Quilts

September is my favorite month – I can’t believe we’re already at the end!  It’s been a gorgeous one, so I won’t complain. I’ve got a sick boy this week and as a result I’m feeling a little thrown out my rhythm. I have nothing new to share today so I thought I would post some pictures I took last month as we wrapped up our summer. 

These pictures come from a place called This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. (It’s called that because it’s at the mouth of the canyon where Brigham Young first saw the Salt Lake valley in 1847 and said “this is the place” where they would stay and build a city.) 
The village consists of mostly-original structures relocated to recreate an early pioneer western settlement -think Mormon-pioneer version of Old Sturbridge Village or Williamsburg. I’ve shared pictures from here before. 

This time I had a little bit of time to run in the Utah Quilt Guild museum and catch a glimpse of their display of pioneer-era quilts. Quilts from this era are among my favorites- especially because of their resourceful, scrappy coolness.

This is an irish-chain pattern made from squares about 3/8 of an inch big. Some wear and tear, but still incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quilt with smaller pieces.

Tiny hexagons and tiny flying geese.
 This signature quilt was made about 1885 in Illinois and Tennessee and has the signatures of Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison. Who knew they were quilters??

This Star of David quilt made in the 1880’s was my favorite. I loved the colors and the pattern  It would be fun to make this same pattern in a more contemporary color scheme too.

Log cabin made by Ellen Dougherty in 1870 in Illinois. Look at the pieced borders on this one. I’ve never seen something like it.
Another beauty: Rose of Sharon probably made in the 1850’s in amazingly good condition.
And there you go. 
And now, a moment of silence for the end of September. ๐Ÿ™

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    September 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Looks like a cool place to visit, and I was grinning when I got the the 100+ year old text print quilt ;o)

  • Reply
    Lori Holt
    September 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I love this post Amy. I have taken pictures of these same quilts along with others as I have visited the park many times!<br />I&#39;m like you…I love the heritage of our pioneers and I am always proud and amazed when I see all of the beautiful things that they were able to make with very little recourses….I have always admired thier ingenuity:)<br />I agree…the Star of David would be

    • Reply
      amy smart
      October 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Those pioneers were amazing. Makes our &#39;stashes&#39; seem a bit rediculous compared to what they worked with. And I think you should draft that Star of David pattern for us Lori. ๐Ÿ™‚ (In all your spare time…)

  • Reply
    Cutie and Company Quilts
    September 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing these UH.MA.ZING. quilts! I am constantly inspired by the quilters who have come before. Our craft has deep, deep roots. xo ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    trish
    September 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing Amy. The heart and souls of those individuals are so inspiring. You are so fortunate to be able to experience so much quilting treasures. I could spend hours in a place like that.<br />I hope your son feels better real soon. Love ya. Trish

  • Reply
    bethanndodd
    September 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing these photos. The quilts pictured are truly amazing. I love that rose of Sharon quilt (we have a rose of Sharon tree in our front yard that is blooming beautifully right now). Hope you little guy feels better soon!<br />Smiles-Beth

  • Reply
    miss jamee
    September 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    thank you for sharing! i dont get out much.

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing the Pioneer quilts. I wish I had one of the 2,381 piece Ocean wave quilts my 3rd Great Grandmother made. I read she made 8 of them.

  • Reply
    Emily {Creative Chicks}
    September 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Wow, a lot of those quilts could pass for &quot;new&quot; quilts with their colors/designs.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    September 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    October is my favorite month, so hooray for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really love when you feature these old quilts. The one that struck me most is in the middle of the first pic. The really graphic one with tons of red and a splash of mustard and green.

  • Reply
    madebymum
    September 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    What wonderful photos Amy and such an interesting place.

  • Reply
    Michele
    September 30, 2012 at 4:56 am

    Wow. Those antique quilts just blow me away. I can imagine seeing them im person was even better. Thanks for sharing those gorgeous photos.

  • Reply
    petra
    September 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Wow – this are so wonderful quilts! The irish chain is amazing. The Stars of David too… Thanks for sharing this pics with us.<br />I wish you a wonderful week!

  • Reply
    Missy Shay
    September 30, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I enjoyed seeing the old quilts!

  • Reply
    Sharon
    October 1, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Those quilts are amazing. I didn&#39;t know that exhibit was there, I will have to go see it

  • Reply
    Happy Me
    October 1, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Thank you for sharing your photos! Those quilts are amazing!!

  • Reply
    Isisjem
    October 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing. What a great place to visit. Those quilts are amazing!

  • Reply
    Thimbleanna
    October 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Ah, September, how we loved thee. So sad it&#39;s gone already. Should we start to panic yet? Those quilts are gorgeous. Especially that Irish Chain. And we should do that Star of David as a block a … well, week for you. Month for me. You&#39;ll have yours done early next year and I&#39;ll have mine done…when I&#39;m dead! ;-D

  • Reply
    mjb
    October 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Beautiful quilts:) Thanks so much for this blog post!

  • Reply
    Nanette Merrill
    October 2, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Without a doubt the irish chain is my favorite. I just love patchwork.

  • Reply
    Amy Rea
    October 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I love that log cabin quilt. I can&#39;t stop looking at it! <br /><br />

  • Reply
    Antique Pioneer Quilts - Diary of a Quilter - a quilt blog
    September 22, 2015 at 11:30 am

    […] A late 19th Century wool penny rug. In the background on the left you can see the infamous “Squirrel Pelt Quilt”. (Yes, it’s really made of squirrel pelts. Eww. I’m sure necessity was the mother of invention and if you were living on the frontier and just needed something to keep you warm at night, you used whatever was available… but I’m glad I don’t have to sleep with that one.) You can see pictures of past visits to this quilt museum here. […]

  • Reply
    murp
    March 27, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    These quilts are beautiful! It’s amazing they’ve lasted so long.

  • Leave a Reply

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    36

    Pioneer Quilts

    You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a sucker for old quilts. I pretty much love everything about them – the fabrics, the designs, the artistry, and the work that went into them.  I think it’s that scrappy,  ‘make it do’ aspect that I love the most.  Creating something beautiful from the limited resources that were available is what inspires me most.
    Anyway, I photographed a few that I came across over the summer months and realized that I’d never shared them and decided why not do so today. These first two photos were from the Beehive House in downtown Salt Lake City.

    The other quilts come from This Is The Place State Park – kind of a Sturbridge Village type of place, recreating the early settlement of Salt Lake City. My kids love going there and we try to get there at least once each summer.

    I like going because the Utah State Quilt Guild has a museum there with lots of antique quilts.  I didn’t get to look at everything this time, but I got to snap pictures of a few. (I was the lone adult with 6 kids in tow and stopping to look at old quilts was not high on their priority list.)
    I think I would love a red bench like this in my kitchen too.

    Also a train ride was involved. Something for everyone = successful outing.

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    36 Comments

  • Reply
    **nicke...
    November 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    amy, they are all so pretty and i love those bed frames. quilts make everything look prettier!

  • Reply
    Archie the wonder dog
    November 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    What gorgeous quilts – I love the dormitory, the quilts make it look so cosy! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts
    November 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I love the shots of the beds in a row! I have a fondness for old quilts too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Crafty Newbie
    November 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    How fun! Love the red bench, too!

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    November 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Looks like a lovely place to visit :o)

  • Reply
    Heather Kuhn Roelker
    November 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Looks like an awesome place to visit. The quilts are wonderful, too. I saw a quilt this past weekend at a similar type of state park in Arkansas. It was made of remnants of civil war uniforms. Very cool.

  • Reply
    Thimbleanna
    November 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Ohmygosh — how on earth did those pioneer babies survive? Those bars on that crib aren&#39;t up to code LOL! I LOVE antique quilts too — thanks for sharing some pretty ones!

  • Reply
    liz
    November 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Great photos of pretty nice old quilts. If you only had a few hours in Salt Lake City to see quilts, is this where you&#39;d go?

  • Reply
    notes of sincerity
    November 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Oh Amy. I am so drawn to these type of quilts and for the very same reason as you. I cant help wondering the story behind the creation. Was the plaid from a husband&#39;s work shirt? And maybe the calico from momma&#39;s apron? :0)<br />Thank you for sharing these beautiful quilts with us. :0)

  • Reply
    DeeRoo
    November 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    What is it about iron beds that make everything look better?:)<br /><br />Yes….sometimes I think I am too overwhelmed by all the modern in fabrics now and forget the loviness in the simplicity of the past. But I think a lot of that is coming back with our love os solids and a lot more handquilting. I wish I were more patient!:)

  • Reply
    sunny
    November 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I would love for my bedroom to look like that first picture! And the one with the dormitory style setup is too cute. Who wouldn&#39;t want all those quilts.

  • Reply
    Tiara
    November 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Beautiful quilts!

  • Reply
    Ginette
    November 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing!! The scrappier the better, I always say! I absolutely love the photos from the Beehive House! Beautiful rooms!! I really like that red bench too!

  • Reply
    Kim @ SimplyChicatHome
    November 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    This is so cool! I love anything antique! When we lived in NC we went to so many cool historical places, now that I am a quilter, I wish I had paid better attention to their bedding! I can not imagine hand stitching all that ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Tales from the Ranch
    November 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I love old quilts also. After my grandmother passed away we found tucked in the back of a closet a hand pieced quilt front that her grandmother had started but never finished. My mother took it and had a friend of the family finish it by hand. It is now displayed with pride in my mother&#39;s home waiting a time to be passed on to me. The old quilts seem to tell a story of their own and I think

  • Reply
    lifeinredshoes
    November 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I have 29 blocks that my grandmother and her mother and great aunties made after my grandfather died. She was 29 and a widow with 3 small children.<br />Any suggestions as to who or where to ask for help in putting it together?

  • Reply
    Judy
    November 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    They are lovely. I too love old quilts. Just imagining the past quilters. I love simple patterns. Thank you for the pictures.

  • Reply
    Patty
    November 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I really love these quilts, very homey and cuddly! Thanks for sharing.<br />Patty/Az

  • Reply
    Jan
    November 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    I love to see old quilts, too, whether they are showstoppers, or utility quilts like the ones on the row of beds. Thanks for sharing your pics!

  • Reply
    larebe
    November 15, 2011 at 7:42 am

    que bonitas todas………ยกยกยกยกยกยกยกยก

  • Reply
    MellieWo
    November 15, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Thanks for sharing! What lovely pictures.

  • Reply
    Amy Gibson
    November 15, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Oh, you know I&#39;m a sucker for vintage quilts too! These are lovely, and the simple pioneer decor really makes them the highlight of the room. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    em's scrapbag
    November 15, 2011 at 9:35 am

    This is the place has so many wonderful quilts. You did a great job with your pictures.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    November 15, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Old quilts are what attracted me to quilting in the very beginning. I love modern designs but the old, traditional quilts will always be my favorites. Thanks for sharing your great pictures!<br /><br />Jennifer ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    LM
    November 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I find inspiration in old quilts too. I like the one with the different color sashing (green &amp; pink) in the two directions–I may do that!

  • Reply
    Stefanie
    November 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Great post.<br />Old quilts entice because we want to know their stories, and the wear on the fabrics sometimes makes me wonder too about the people that used them.

  • Reply
    Claire Jain
    November 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Great photos! I&#39;m a sucker for old quilts, too. Vintage or modern, you can&#39;t go wrong!

  • Reply
    Michele
    November 15, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    You mean the kids didn&#39;t want to admire the fine workmanship in the quilts? I just don&#39;t understand! LOL. Thankfully hte hubby and my kids would have been all wrapped up in the train while I got to drool over the quilts.

  • Reply
    Angela (Cottage Magpie)
    November 16, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Love, love, love all the twin beds lined up with a different quilt on each one. SO charming. And of course I can&#39;t get enough of the vintage applique. Sigh!<br /><br />We tried to look at the quilts at the county fair this year and you&#39;d think I had asked them to walk on hot coals or something. Yeesh!<br /><br />~Angela~

  • Reply
    Lynne (Lily's Quilts)
    November 16, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Those old quilts practically make me want to cry and are how and why I got into quilting in the first place. Beautiful beautiful photos, very inspiring post.

  • Reply
    Kristen
    November 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I love antique/vintage quilts- history in your hands. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Dawn
    November 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    They are all special, but I really love the first applique one – w/matching pillow covers – devine combo.<br />So glad you shared!

  • Reply
    Leila
    November 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    What a fun trip.

  • Reply
    Mary
    November 22, 2011 at 1:14 am

    I took that train ride last Thursday, it was fun. The Quilt Museum was closed ๐Ÿ™ I only got to see the Brigham Young Experimental Farm Home inside. The LDS Church Museum across from Temple Square had a great Quilt Exhibit too!

  • Reply
    Nanette Merrill
    November 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    LOVE the vintage quilts. Beautiful.

  • Reply
    Happier Than A Bird Quilts
    October 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I came across you post on pinterest and new I recognized the buildings. =)<br />I used to work up and Mormon Handicraft when it was at This is the Place, and the quilt museum is awesome! It&#39;s been a few years since I&#39;ve been, I guess I better make time when they open back up next summer.

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