When a young woman became engaged to marry, she was expected to have 12 quilts. The thirteenth was her bridal quilt. She would make more quilts as her family grew. Crib quilts, though, celebrated the birth of specific children. These works of art, because of their size, rarity, individuality, and loving connotations make them highly desirable to collectors.
Price is not proportional to size. Because of their rarity, genuine Crib quilts compare in price to full-size quilts of similar quality. Many fewer Crib quilts were made, and fewer have survived because of hard use and many washings.
Some skepticism is needed to evaluate a Crib quilt's integrity. The prices these diminutive bedcovers fetch have generated many knockoff "Crib quilts." A full-size bedcover can be reduced to as many as four bogus crib- size quilts; a damaged quilt may yield one or two. Large-scale blocks may reveal a fake. A true miniature with proportionally small blocks is most desirable. Ideally, a Crib quilt has a border. In addition to providing visual interest, a border indicates that a quilt is not a rebound fragment. Not all genuine Crib quilts, though, were made with borders. For this reason, it is important to pay particular attention to the binding. It should be made from fabric that is consistent with the age of the quilt and appropriate to the rest of the piece.
This cotton quilt was made in Lehigh County, Penn. This is an original, complex combination of patterns. The color choices and the diagonal setting contribute to a sense of depth and movement.
The concept and design of this cotton quilt are better than the implementation. Although not finely made, this was without a doubt, always a Crib quilt. The size and placement of blocks as well as the presence of the border, indicate that this was not cut down from a larger quilt. (The same factors apply to the example above.)
Below are a couple of Crib Quilts for sale, currently in our collection.
This crib quilt from the 1930's is a miniaturized version of Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam. Each dress and shirt is a different fabric.
Pristine, unwashed condition. Nicely quilted. Backing fabric of sailboats is equally interesting to use as a wholecloth quilt.
Measures 45" x 54". Pennsylvania origin.
Click here to view Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam Crib Quilt: Circa 1930