Ohio Red and White Medallion, 1800-1820

My adventures with the Delectable Mountains quilt, currently on my longarm frame, were inspired by a photo found at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. During the same expedition in which I found that, I found another quilt from the early 1800s that is a bit more my style.

The IQSCM has a confusing policy sheet for sharing their photos. Though the quilt is 200 years old and therefore is not protected by copyright laws, and the design, regardless, is not protected, the quilt is owned by the museum, and the photo was taken by someone. They have the rights to the photo; I do not. And since I don’t understand their policy, I will share a link to the photo, rather than the photo itself. You can find the inspiration quilt and more information about it here.

As it says in the title to this post, this quilt was made in the early 1800s, possibly in Ohio. It is made from two fabrics that currently appear to be a brown print and a creamy white, likely an unbleached muslin. The brown may have been a different color when it was made. The quilt size is 79″ x 81″.

I’m using this quilt as inspiration for a red and white quilt of my own. It is not a reproduction; I won’t use similar fabrics and it will be somewhat smaller. Some of the appliqué elements will be different than on the original. This EQ7 image approximates the whole design. I wasn’t able to draw either the center or the outside corner blocks as on the original quilt, but they will be more similar to the original than you see below.


All the construction will be pretty simple, with the exception of the center block. The very center is a variation of a LeMoyne star, with extra points set on top of a base. The straight red lines in the center may be most easily made with appliqué, too. So even some things that begin as pieced, or appear as pieced, will be appliquéd.

At this point I have the hourglass border blocks made. (I love making hourglass blocks.) Once I get some progress made quilting the Delectable Mountains, I’ll come back to tackle the center block.

When finished, I hope to exhibit this quilt in my local guild’s show in early June.


39 thoughts on “Ohio Red and White Medallion, 1800-1820

  1. Paula Hedges

    Understandable why you were drawn to this antique quilt. It is a beautiful quilt and would be so awesome if someone knew the story behind it being created. Enjoy the process of making the design your own, keeping the essence of the original. Perhaps someday yours will be in a museum to inspire others!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      It is a print, not solid, but the “pattern” is small. The ombre red and small motif let it read more interesting (to me) than a flat, solid. But the patterning does not interfere with the intention of strong contrast. Thanks.

  2. snarkyquilter

    Red and white quilts are so wonderfully striking, fabric bleeding issues aside. What intensity of red are you using? orangey? cranberry? fire engine? cherry red? Might be interesting to use different values of red.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      This red is a little darker than “I chopped my finger off and bled all over” red. For this particular quilt, I’m only using one red fabric. I’m thinking of another that would be multi-red, and that would potentially use up a lot of my very red scraps. 🙂

  3. katechiconi

    I like the extra detail in the corners and the central star, with those interesting ‘cup hook’ shapes in the corners of the inspiration star block.
    I wonder if the brownish fabric of the antique quilt was originally red; synthetic stable red dyes were not introduced till the mid 1800s and the fabric may have been originally dyed with natural dyes which deteriorated and changed colour.

  4. Nann

    Very interesting border design, both in the original and your version. (Did you see the red/white medallion quilt in a recent issue of Fons & Porter?)


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