Wednesday, June 8, 2016

More Detail On My Caswell Quilt

I showed the fruit basket block on my last post.  I had lots of comments on it.  I love how this block turned out from the ants to the layout of the flowers to the fruit.

Also I like it because the fruit basket from the original Caswell Carpet in the Metropolitan Museum has been used many times by designers who fell in love with this motif.  To me, this is one of the joys of quilting that motifs our great-grandmothers and beyond are appreciated by quilters today and given a new twist. Here is the original cropped from the carpet:

The photo is very fuzzy because it is cropped off a page in a book,  American Folk Art, by Jean Lipman.  You get the general idea though.  Here are three different adaptations by 3 different designers.  

Erica Wilson of needle work fame adapted the block as a needlepoint design.  I believe the canvas was printed with the design and maybe the yarns were sold with it.  You can see the similarities and the differences.  No matter the changes, the derivation is unarguable.

Another example is a folk art painting by T. Holland dated 1977, found in Pa., and is painted on pine wood.This is a charming adaption in yet another medium.  I found this listed for sale on ebay.
The final example you will have to look up for yourself.  You can google Caswell Carpet to find beautiful red quilt by the fabulous Barbara Korengold.  No further words needed.

Here are some details from the basket:

This block took about 2 months to complete.  I worked on it off and on as ideas came to me on how to arrange and design the fruit.  I took it apart more times that can be counted.  The pineapple is made of about 30 fingernail shaped pieces which were cut carefully to allow for the color variation. 

Here is the cause of the ant problem-an abandoned picnic! I hope your recognize the wine and baguette, grapes and apples, and wedges of cheese.  Since I collect blue and white china, that is what is in use at the picnic.  This photo is also a close up of the ants which are about 3/4 of an inch long and royal pain to make.  Their legs are embroidered.

And finally here is a view watching the ants progress to the sweet and juicy pears!

Here are the latest Stonefields blocks.  The bottom 2 are based on designs in Chuck Nohara's book mentioned in a previous post and the top one is one i thought up.  One advantage to making Stonefields is the opportunity to try different techniques.  I have been wanting to try out a "tile" design and now I have with the flower.

Happy quilting! 

Links to:
Needle and Thread Thursday
Can I get a Whoop


  1. Wow! This is an amazing piece of work....those ants and that pineapple! Bless you for having the patience to make such tiny pieces. It looks wonderful. Thank you for sharing this on Main Crush Monday!

  2. Your applique is amazing. Love those cute little ants as well as your interpretation of the original work.

  3. I was babysitting my little girl grandchildren tonight. The 4 year old sat down on the front steps to tell me about her day today. She went for her kindergarten visit where she will start school in September. Then she points out the ants on the step and walk way and informed me that she does not like ants. Well, I really like YOUR ants. How ingenious!!

    1. Thats a great story about your darling granddaughter. I guess she did not like my ants either. Have fun making your Dear Jane quilt.

  4. So glad you shared the steps you took in creating this stunning block. I kept looking at that pineapple wondering how it was composed - love how those ants march along - they definitely have a mission!

  5. Those ants are certainly at home in this beautiful applique!

  6. Your block is stunning, Pam. There's so much detail and there are so many pieces! Wow!
    --Nancy. (ndmessier @,

  7. Oh wow - your work is beautiful, and contains so many details. There's so much to look at in each piece. Well done.

  8. Those ants are the perfect finishing touch for your work of art. Love the strawberries too. Beautiful.

  9. Oh. My. Word.!!!! Pam, this is absolutely fantastic, from the individual pieces for the pineapple to the fantastic picnic scene and the whimsical ants. So pretty. And so nicely stitched up. I would have the same worries about doing the quilting and not being happy with my skill level there. In fact, I still haven't quilted my Dear Jane top (which I finished probably 3 years ago) for that reason! I've felt good enough for the task for maybe a year, but things like wedding quilts, graduation quilts, retirement quilts. . . keep bumping my Dear Jane out of the priority spot. Can't wait for our next daughter's wedding to be out of the way so I can start that. :)