This quilt was found in an old family trunk. I call it Ella's Quilt top because Ella Chapin, my grandmother, probably made it sometime around the turn of the century in Oneida, New York. The quilt top is made of silk and is too fragile to work with now. It shatters every time I take it out to look at it. During the late 1800s and early 1900s ladies were making Crazy Quilts from silk. I like to think that Ella wanted to participate in the silk fad, but she wanted her quilt to be more restrained. I keep the quilt top stored away and now I can share it with the world on the web.
Ella Chapin's Quilt Top

Close up of Ella's topSugar sack backing
Some of the silk strips look like men's ties and others appear to be dress fabric. The top is 58-inches by 65-inches. The blocks were hand-sewn on sugar sack foundations. I have read that silk quilts were sometimes left unbacked, but were bound around the edges. These light quilts were used to toss over a piano or sofa for decoration.
To learn more about antique quilts visit Quilt Heritage List home page.

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