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Tree of Life Quilt

December 12, 2012

1870-80s Tree of Life

The only quilting-related activity I’ve been doing recently is looking at pictures of other people’s quilts, like this Tree of Life from somewhere around the 1870s or 1880s, which I snapped at a local quilt show back in 2008 and came across again today when poking around Flickr. There’s so much to like here. The bold zig zag setting makes it interesting from a distance, while the variety of fabrics used for the small triangles in the trees invites closer study. The trees are scrappy, but not entirely random. A row of green triangles at the top of each tree makes a frame for the other colors used—a controlled palette dominated by pink, brown, and golden yellow. There are matched pairs of triangles that march down the center of each tree—gold at the top, then pink, then red or brown—another touch of structure in the scrappy chaos of the trees.

1870-80s Tree of Life-detail

I’m glad this quilt survived so long, and that I was able to see it. I’ve no idea if any of the quilts I’ve made will last a hundred years, but it’s fun to speculate what people in the 2100s might think about them. Maybe I should get to making more to up the odds that some will make it through to become a part of someone’s antique quilt collection.


On this date in 2011: Expensive Urine
2010: Cocooning
2009: Technological Difficulties
2008: Shoulda Been a Banker
2007: WDW 3: Back in Epcot
2006: Caught in the Act
2005: Winter Count—April
2002 through 2004: No entry.

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