Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Font size: +

Chintz Quilts Regional Design Style?

As I was researching multiple antique Chintz fabrics, I was surprised to see two Chintz quilts that looked alike but were not in the Center Medallion style with lots of negative space. The Center Medallion Style is frequently credited to Charleston/Baltimore Area with Ascah Goodwin Wilkins et al receiving a lot of design credit.  It got me wondering if there was another design style for Chintz Quilts located in Philadelphia, PA and New Jersey.

The Ladies of the Third Presbyterian Church created the two quilts that started my thought process. Both used the chintz fabric to create blocks of a consistent size and included a presentation block. Sarah Lawson Flickwir also made hers in Philly in the same style and time frame of 1840-46.

The Ladies of the Second Presbyterian Church agreed with the ladies at Third Presbyterian that chintz fabric made perfect blocks for quilts including a presentation square, but they added some pieced blocks or frames. Jane Gordon & Co. of Philadelphia agrees with the Second Presbyterian style using chintz blocks for the wedding quilt of a dry goods store owner, George Shortread Lang. Recent research by William and Charlene Stephens revealed that the fabric came from the store and the signers of the blocks are the female employees of the Lang Dry Goods Store.

During this same period Baltimore started making the Album Quilts using the Red and Green color scheme with touches of blue to create applique blocks for presentation quilts. Research has shown the BAQs may have been made by professionals sold as blocks or basted pieces to be completed. Just as the BAQs were made by professionals, the chintz quilts of Philadelphia also show signs of this process. I have located more than 15 quilts from the area that fit the style. More research needs to be done on this topic too!