Family Heritage – Antique Quilts

When my husband’s Great Aunt Flossie passed away, we became the lucky recipients of a beautiful antique Lone Star quilt, a stunning Mariner’s Compass/Pineapple quilt top, and 9 mariner’s compass blocks. Great Aunt Flossie Barber is the sister of Dean’s maternal Grandmother, Jessie Dean Mason. My original idea was to finish the quilts myself, which I have now had for over 20 years. However, I am now more focused on completing my own art quilts. So what to do about these quilt treasures???

Well, while I was at Asilomar, I was talking to Shari and Nancy, who work for Cotton Patch, and mentioned these old quilts of mine. It turns out that Nancy does repair work on old quilts, and Shari coordinates the quilting of old quilts with Amish women back East. Light bulbs went off in my head. I am excited to say that the quilts are now on their way to becoming completed. My plan is to give them to our grandchildren with their histories well defined. I have several letters documenting their origins, and I will document their later history.

Lone Star circa 1850 - reducedThe Lone Star quilt was given to Grandma Jessie when she got married in 1911 and sat in a cherry chest of drawers for many years. This piece of amazing needlework was made in the 1850’s and came from Grandma Jessie’s and Great Aunt Flossie’s mother’s family, the Perry’s. The actual quilter is unknown, but Flossie thought it was made by one person, as the stitches and fabric are all the same. It is possible that it was made by Ardie Carrie Perry prior to her marriage in 1884 in French Creek, New York.

The quilt is in pristine condition with beautiful quilting on it, except for the darker red fabric diamonds. This red fabric has blue flowers in it and some lines, but it has totally disintegrated. After I was given the quilt, I found a reproduction print of a red fabric with blue flowers and cream (muslim) colored lines in it. I also gave it a soaking in some tea to make it look a little older. I found a metal template that fits these diamonds perfectly. Nancy will take out the old damaged diamonds, replace each one with the new fabric and a thin cotton batting, and then re-quilt each diamond.

Compass and Pineapples circa 1850 - reducedThe second quilt top is made up of Mariner’s Compass blocks in the center and appliquéd Pineapple blocks on the borders. It is designed for a 4-poster bed and has the corners cut away. It is totally hand pieced and hand-appliquéd with the tiniest stitches I have ever seen. This quilt top had a note on it that said it was made by Lucinda Carrier Perry in 1851 in Otego, Otsego County, New York. I drew up how I want it to be quilted. Shari has an Amish woman who will do the quilting, so there will be only one type of stitching on the quilt. I will do the finishing by adding the binding to the edges.


  1. Denise: So glad that you are finally getting these antique quilts finished. You showed me these quilts several years ago and they are not only history for your family but are beautiful. Can’t wait to see how they turn out.


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