Stella Rubin has been buying and selling antiques, specializing in American antique quilts, since 1976.
She has sold to most of the major museums in the United States, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Smithsonian Institution; Colonial Williamsburg; The DAR; the International Quilt Study Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Below is a sampling of the quilts from our collection that you can find in museums.
"This quilt is one of four known quilts and several quilted pillowcovers made by the Schleifer/Kichlein women in the 1830s. It demonstrates their unique family style of alternating red and white pieced blocks with embroidered blocks. In this case, red and white blocks in the "Reel" or "Orange Peel" pattern alternate with blocks of white embroidered cotton. The central block of the quilt is embroidered with a fashionably dressed couple and a small boy, and an inscription that reads "Euphemia Kichlein 1832." The quilt was completed in 1832 Euphemia Kichlein, likely with the help of her mother Christina Schleifer Kichlein as Euphemia was only 14 years old."
"The techniques and designs of Hawaiian quilts such as this one are unique to makers of native Hawaiian heritage. Quilts started being made by Hawaiian women in the 19th century after Christian missionaries brought mainland American quilts to the islands with them, and used them as models to teach the Hawaiian women how to sew. Up until then, Hawaiian women had their own bedcover making tradition. They would pound the inner bark of the wauke plant until it was thin and supple, making it into sheets of kapa, which were then decorated with painted patterns."
"Crazy quilts, a fad in the last decades of the nineteenth century, were most commonly pieced from irregularly shaped bits of velvet and silk. This exuberant quilt is far more unusual, since its unknown maker chose to craft it from brightly patterned cottons. The cottons create an album of fashionable, though inexpensive, fabrics of the 1880s, including Egyptian Revival and Japanesque designs, children’s handkerchiefs, and pieces of “cheater” cloth—fabric that was printed to imitate patchwork. One of the handkerchiefs, printed with playing cards, is inscribed “ORIENTAL PRINT WORKS, APPONAUG, RI.” It is possible that this mill produced many of the fabrics found in the quilt."
Amish maker American
"The Amish community in Arthur, Illinois, has been stable and prosperous since its beginnings in 1865, when Amish people from communities farther east moved west to Illinois in search of open land to farm. This piece reflects the influence of the quilting traditions of the Pennsylvania Amish since it is pieced of richly colored wools of the type they favor. But because the religious strictures of the Arthur community are somewhat more relaxed than those in Pennsylvania, Arthur quiltmakers are allowed a greater degree of creativity in their designs. The Arthur Amish are especially known for a group of rather eccentric quilts from the early twentieth century based on crazy patterns, as seen in this example."
"This Split Bars quilt is an example of the type of centrally focused pattern most favored by the Lancaster County Amish, and it is clear how it may have "grown" out of simpler early patterns like the Center Square and Bars (1973.124). The jewel-like colors of the blue-gray, magenta, green, and red wool fabric make this quilt a particularly appealing example of the pattern. As is usual for this type of quilt, the central striped panel is diamond quilted, and the borders around it are embellished with fancier quilting. There is a ﬂoral vine in the narrow red border, and the wide border is quilted with a feather vine and additional shorter runs of feather quilting that terminate in tulips."
We are pleased to have sold two quilts made by Harriet and Uriah Carpenter (aka Grandma Carpenter) to The International Quilt Museum. One of the quilts is a map of the United States and the other is a map of Pennsylvania.
These two quilts were drawn out by Harriet's husband Uriah and executed by Harriet. They were made as teaching tools for their grandchildren. They are illustrated in "Quilting Traditions" by Patricia T. Herr who described Grandma Carpenter as "the most innovative Lancaster County quilt maker yet known".
These quilts will join two others in the IQM collection where they have Carpenter's Rainbow Quilt as well as her Stars and Comets. The quilts were made at the turn of the 20th century.
This is a rectangular pieced quilt consisting of sixteen blocks in the Mariner's Compass pattern. The pieced compass points are in blue, brown, and pink printed cottons. Some of the printed cottons have fancy machine grounds and others are "rainbow browns." The quilt has a six-to-eight-inch border of printed cotton and rounded corners. It is quilted in 6-7 running stitches per inch in diagonal lines, feathers (large plumes), diamonds, and stipple. The border fabric is brought to the back and folded under to form an edge finish. It is backed in three panels (widths: 34", 34", 17 1/2") of plain white cotton.
This is a rectangular pieced and appliqued quilt consisting of four large pieced eight-pointed stars or sunbursts in blue, brown, and pink printed cottons. Each sunburst contains 288 individually cut and precisely pieced diamonds. The diamonds measure 1 1/4" x 3 1/8". A center square medallion is filled with an appliquéd wreath of tulip-like flowers, leaves, and vine in red and green cottons. Appliquéd tulip-like flower sprigs, carnation flower sprigs, and bud and leaf sprigs in red and green cottons fill the areas void of the pieced stars. There is an inner and outer sawtooth border in red and green printed cottons.
A label stitched to the quilt in the lower left corner reads: "Sunburst quilt / Made one hundred and / fifty years ago by / Mrs. Mary MacPherson / Property of / Jane V. MacPherson / 1st prize 50c C. M. C." "Jane Virginia MacPherson" is inked in the lower left corner.
The quilt has a five-inch linen fringe, which is applied to the top, on all four sides. It is quilted in 8-11 running stitches per inch in outline, tulips, daisies, leaves, grapevines, and diagonal lines patterns. The top fabric is taken to the back and folded under to create an edge finish. It is backed in three panels of plain white cotton, each about 32" wide.
Rectangular quilt pieced from 72 blocks embroidered in outline stitches using red cotton on white grounds, separated by solid red sashing about one inch wide to create grid. The blocks are about 7 1/2" square, with motifs that include sunbonnet girls doing tasks for the day of the week; nursery rhymes; animals, flowers; "A Temperence Drink" showing a horse drinking from a trough; and the initials L and LWF. Quilted to white cotton backing through thin batting using 7 to 8 running stiches per inch in diagonal lines spaced about 1 1/2" apart. Edges turned in toward each other to form edge finish.
This is a rectangular appliqued quilt consisting of a large center flower and vine medallion containing the appliqued inscription "Lucy Ann Wright / 1850." Inked below the maker's name and date are the inscriptions: "presented to / S. D. H. Winans / 1879" and "Helen G. Germond / 1933." Surrounding the medallion is a large border of appliqued undulating floral and leaf vines sprouting from four vases - each vase centered on each of the four sides of the quilt. The appliques are in red, pink, blue, and green printed cottons on a white cotton ground of three seamed panels. The quilt is backed in three seamed panels of white cotton. It is quilted in parallel and outline patterns, 11-12 stitches per inch. The quilt is edged with a knife edge and trimmed with a 1/4" printed red textile, which is the same cotton used in the appliqued maker's inscription.
Wholecloth quilt in indigo-resist printed design of pomegranates and peacocks. This design, found on several American quilts and surviving textile fragments, required four blocks to create the entire design. It is printed on plainweave cotton. Six pieces compose the top of the quilt. Piecing, and some printing errors, result in the design's discontinuous arrangement on the quilt top. There is a 1.25 inch indigo printed cotton border with a simple vine design around all four sides of the quilt. The filling is a thin layer of cotton. It is quilted with white cotton thread, 6-9 stitches per inch, in a grid pattern on point (diagonally oriented), except there is an inner border 10" wide with a geometric pattern, and an 11" outer border with overlapping arches filled in alternately grid and arch patterns. The unbleached plainweave cotton backing is in four panels measuring 25", 25", 25.25", and 10" wide.