Monday, June 13, 2016

Tessellations: Hexagons 3--- Medallions

A hexagon medallion, perhaps from about 1950
One piece---a hexagon, shaded in concentric hexagonal rings.

Here's a variation of BlockBase #160 I hadn't indexed before.
I guess it's #160z

It's one of those vernacular designs that grows out of the geometry of hexagons.

An early version dated 1808 by Rebekah Morrison from
the collection of Natalie Norris,

and a tied wool version from the early 20th century.

Early 20th century

It was a popular idea with charm quilt stitchers
between 1870 and 1910. The example above
from Lynn at Vintage and Antique Quilts.

From Sandra Starley's Collection

As the fashion moved on quilters seem to have
forgotten about "no two pieces alike" and just
worked on rings of color.

1950's or '60's?

Susan McCord's late-19th-century version in the Henry Ford Museum,
photo from the Quilt Index.

It's a tempting idea. You start in the center with 
a conventional rosette and the rings just keep getting larger.

British quilt from Kerry Taylor Auction

But you have to remember that quilts have square
corners and hexagons don't.

You could  get a little bit fancy in the corners.

From the Koval collection

From French Antiques
Or a lot fancy.

Above and below, silk hexies from the last
half of the 19th century.
Copake Auctions.

But no matter what your plan pretty soon you have a lapful.

Some people go to Plan B.

Above a silk version of tiny hexagons.

Same solution to the problem in a mid-20th-century
cotton quilt from Stella Rubin at First Dibs.

From the collection of Iowa's Living History Farms

She tried to corral everything with
borders here

with some success.

This quilter was a little more skillful at framing.

From a British online auction.
She gave up early.

It looks like someone started the center about 1900
and then finished it up with random corners
twenty or thirty years later.

Plan C
Mid-20th Century

Plan D
Mid-19th century


  1. How nice to have another blog from you!

  2. 160b, Farm and Home, ca. 1890, is Variegated Hexagons, Farm and Home, February 15, 1889.

  3. How many hundreds do you wish me to contribute? :)

  4. When I had my quilt shop in Kechi, KS, 1978-1982, I had a customer from the Salina, KS, area that as she quilted any hexagon quilt, and found a hexagon that wasn't cut with the grain, she'd remove that piece, turn it, and return it to its intended position so she could quilt it properly. Don't remember her name but I'll never forget the lady because she always wore a cotton housedress reminiscent of days gone by with cowboy boots on her feet.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing these. I let my hexagon group know about this, too. There are examples there that are eye-boggling and some I'd love to own. Having taken more than 20 years to make a piece that's now about 3 x 4, I doubt I'll be reproducing any of these, but I love seeing them.

  6. Wilene---I'll mark it in my copy as 1889. Thanks.

  7. The patience these quilt took to make is astounding. They worked hard and yet found the time to make intricate designs.
    Thanks for posting the patterns.
    Smilies, JulieinTN