A one-patch quilt is defined as a quilt that uses patches all of one shape and size, except perhaps for the edges or borders. When the shapes used are squares, the result can be uninteresting if care is not taken to form an overall pattern, of color, tone or other elements. This late 19th century PA one-patch uses a number of elements to heighten the interest.
First, and most obviously, the squares are set on point. They are then arranged by color and tone to form a center medallion with concentric borders, surrounded by a pattern of rays of lighter color at the centers and corners. While rich browns and reds serve for the majority of the pieces, the lighter, brighter colors focus the eye on the center. For additional interest, many of the squares are fussy-cut from chintz or cheater cloth prints.
With one exception, these fussy-cut squares are also concentrated toward the center of the quilt. But the single exception is a notable one – in the upper left corner of the quilt (as shown in the first picture) is a single square cut from cheater cloth featuring Dickens’ character Mr. Pickwick!
This fabric has apparently been reproduced at some time in the 20th century, as I found a listing for it as an Everglaze Vat Colors fabric on Etsy, which has apparently since sold out. The antique fabric, however, has richer tones, and retains no glaze, so I’m unsure if it ever had one.
There’s a great variety of late 19th century brown prints, including paisleys, chocolate browns, tans and madders.
And to go with all the browns and paisleys on the quilt top, the back is done in a brown floral and paisley stripe.