Monday, July 9, 2018

Melon: Fruit Salad

Quilt that looks to be late 19th century, possibly early 20th, dated
due to the solid color fabrics with the greens fading to tans

And probably Southern due to the use of solid colors and the pattern.

It has a number in my Encyclopedia of Applique. It's a variation on 13.31 and 13.32,
Watermelon or Melon Patch

The earliest published reference I found was in Marguerite Ickis's 1959 The Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting in which she showed this black and white photo of a Kentucky quilt. She also showed a drawing of a similar design (It's drawn too skinny).

Richland County, South Carolina from Social Fabric

The South Carolina documentation project found this quilt called Watermelon. My drawing of it is too skinny too. A watermelon is a plump fruit.
I haven't many photographs of the design, skinny or plump.

Here are a few from online auctions.

Design characteristics include a central flower and four identical arms on the diagonal. The outside edge of that fruit is scalloped. Watermelons do not have scalloped edges---but they are red and green.

The pattern is similar to a far more popular design called Tobacco Leaf and sometimes Pineapple

Tobacco Leaf by Betty Meek McKenzie from the
 Louisiana Project & the Quilt Index

That pattern is more complex with leaves that make the pattern look more like a pineapple (pineapples do have scalloped edges) and four arcs outlining the design.

The whole thing is an exercise in scallops, possibly cut free hand.

If you remove the leaves and the arcs you have the block in question.

And speaking of scallops here is a watermelon with extra scallops anywhere she could fit them.

Inclined to cut scallops? Print this out at 8" for a drawing of
a quarter of a design that would fit in a block of about 14".

A variation.

This one's beautifully quilted but again the fabrics make one think
late-19th century. 

I thought the block would be on the diagonal like the others.
But you can see faint seam lines and it seems to have been constructed like the block below.

I cannot say.

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