From Fairy Tales to Ballets, swans have provided ideas and inspiration for many artistic pieces.
Swans certainly inspired the creation of this unique quilt. Using fabrics from her feedsack scraps and her fine sewing skills the quilter produced a magnificent example of folk art.
Searching through my books and magazines for a pattern source I have been unable to find any patterns for appliqué swans. However, there are many patterns for embroidered swans. Swans were popular motifs for fancy work and examples can also be found on redwork quilts. The maker of the ‘Swans’ may have drawn her own design or found her pattern in a newspaper, magazine or embroidery booklet.
The maker had a good collection of feedsack fabrics. There are 21 different patterns used in the quilt and the yellow solid backing fabric may be a plain feedsack fabric. There are 25 blocks. The quilt is finished with three borders – two of feedsack prints (also used for swans) and the final border is plain homespun.
The swans and the lily pads are appliquéd with turned under edges and embroidered with stem stitch. Further details are embroidered. The embroidery and quilting is very well executed. The maker used a soft batting and the quilt displays traditional quilting designs. Cross-hatching was stitched across the blocks and a beautiful feather design was chosen for the border.
As a collector of old and vintage china swans this quilt is a favourite of mine. I hope you enjoy seeing it.
Wishing you all a wonderful year of stitching. Janette – The Plain Needlewoman