Antique Album Quilt Top

Inspired by the quilt tops from Ann Champion’s cupboard, I decided to collect some antique fabric to make doll quilts. A few weeks ago, I found this top and one other offered together on ebay with a “buy it now” option for $9.95! I was pretty excited because, even though the photos were terrible (the quilt tops were folded), I could see the fabrics looked wonderful.

This pattern is often called Album or Friendship, and the oldest date I’ve found for it is 1896, but it could be older.  The quilter turned her blocks on point and added the fancy striped sashing, which was an interesting idea except that she wasn’t too particular about cutting the strips (or she just didn’t have enough fabric to be fussy cutting these pieces).


Overall, the quilt has a really nice look. I love the brown fabrics, and sometimes the quilter even had big enough pieces in her scrap bag to make a whole block with no extra seams.


This block doesn’t have extra seams, either, but it’s a totally different pattern — Washington Sidewalk. This was probably just a mistake — I believe the “humility block” is a myth.


Often she had to piece the individual pieces,


or substitute a different fabric, or both.


Right in the center of the quilt is my favorite fabric which appears to be a commemorative print made for the Centennial — isn’t it great?



The quilt top does not lie flat, so for this and many other reasons I am going to take it apart.  Fortunately it is hand pieced, which makes the deconstruction easier.  I really like the album pattern, though, so I think that’s going to be the pattern for my first quilt with antique fabric, although it probably won’t be a doll quilt since some of these prints are a bit too large for that.

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