Connecting the Past and Present: The Mariner’s Compass Quilts Legacy
The Mariner’s Compass quilt pattern has been known and loved among dedicated quilters, only the best of whom could manage the intricacies of stitching the precise points of the compass or star, as it was variously known. While most early quilts were simple, the Mariner’s Compass quilt was complex, and often was reserved for special occasions.
While other patterns may suggest a star pattern, the Mariner’s Compass name specifically refers to quilts in which the star radiates from a circular center. The roots of this pattern are hard to trace. Barbara Brackman writes of the many names used for this pattern, including The Explosion, the Merry Go Round, the Rolling Pinwheel, the Slashed Star–even Chips and Whetstones. Each name suggests what quilters saw as they stitched their quilt tops!
Quilt pattern books began to use the Mariner’s Compass name, widely accepted today, around the 1960s; its first published use was in 1929. Various historians, knowing the pattern’s popularity in the American northeast, have suggested that seafaring folk saw the compass rose on nautical maps and reproduced it on their blankets. The Pennsylvania Germans picked it up, adding brighter colors and patterns.
Amish Handmade Quilt Trivia
The term handmade is commonly used to define crafts created by an artisan instead of a manufacturing facility. Each handmade quilt is distinct due to the fact that it is not mass-produced. Not all the stitching in a hand-made quilt is done by hand. Just as the woodcrafter uses mechanical tools to produce his workmanship, our seamstresses make use of different devices to craft these quilts. The seamstress cuts her items with a rotating blade knife and sew them with each other on the stitching machine. The quilter functions with just thread, needle, as well as thimble to quilt hundreds of little stitches throughout the quilt. Handmade is a gift: it is the gift of time and ability to produce a product distinctively for you.