Saturday, December 12, 2015

Saturday at the Quilt Museum - Pine Tree Quilts

This week I thought it would be fun to take a look at the Pine Tree pattern. Being December and all. :-)

The pattern goes by a number of additional names, among them Tree of Life, Temperance Tree, Live Oak Tree and Forbidden Fruit Tree.

As I understand the progression, the original "Tree of Life" quilts from the late 1700's to early 1800's were made from printed Indian fabric - palampores - and were cut up and used rather like we use the broderie perse method today.

Through the 1800's, the pattern evolved into the current pieced Pine Tree form.

If you'd like, you can read more about it here:

So, here we go!

Pine Tree Quilt (aka Tree of Paradise)
West Virginia
79" x 90"

This first example is stellar. It was made in West Virginia around 1880 and is amazing! The colors used are red, yellow and green on a white ground. The cornerstones are little replicas of a portion of the tree, which is delightful. The border is a well executed accordion zig-zag. The quilting is even and well done. Truly a wonderful example of this pattern.

If you can, do take the time to see more pictures at the link below:

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Pine Tree - Tree of Life
73" x 73"

Isn't this a beautiful example of a Pine Tree in two colors?  So clean and crisp.  Hard to see, but the quilting in the open squares is in a feathered wreath pattern with gridwork in the middle.

Found on eBay

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Tree of Life Signature Quilt
New York
Willis P. Lingenfelter
Quilted by Mrs. Eugene Gould
70" x 85"

This is an amazing Pine Tree - as well as album - quilt.  It contains 435 names!  It was made for the Methodist Episcopal Sunday School in Clayton, New York.  You can see the indigo and stars in the photos below.

The geography is interesting to me on this one, as well.  The 435 names are said to have come from Clayton/Depauville.  I did a little looking and discovered that Depauville is a hamlet located in the southern region of the Town of Clayton, which is in Jefferson County, of the state of New York.  I love the word hamlet!  

After being put together by Willis Lingenfelter in 1891, it was then quilted in 1894 by Mrs. Eugene Gould.

It can be found here:

I like the depth the floral print gives these blocks.  And the 9-patch and rails borders are a nice frame for it.  The quilting is a nice crosshatch and it's is amazing condition!

It's worth the look to see more pictures here:

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Temperance Tree
Mary Ann Rogers
New London, Connecticut
79" x 91.5"

In my opinion, it's cool to have this pattern made in forest green. :-)  Very fitting, don't you think?

It was machine pieced in 1886, which piqued my interest.  I went looking to see what the sewing machine might have looked like and found these:

By the 1880's, sewing machines were not rare, but still something that wasn't in every home.  I think it's awesome to be able to learn a quilt's story like this!

I found the pictures here:

Though it was machine pieced, it was hand quilted and bears the inscription below: 

"To William and Rebecca, Please accept this Temperance Tree Quilt containing 2094 pieces pieced by me in my 77th year. your mother, Mrs. Mary Ann Rogers New London Conn. Jan. 1886"

I hope I'm still piecing like this in my 77th year!

See more here:

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Pine Tree
75" x 75"

I love this one!  The beauty of the colors, the impeccable piecing and the amazing quilting set it apart.

If you follow the link below, you can see more pictures and close-ups of it and read a bit about the possible history of the pattern.

Thanks for joining us for our tour of Pine Tree Quilts!

Happy Quilting!!

- I am not a quilt historian.  I simply enjoy finding interesting quilts and sharing them with you!

- The quilt images on this post were sourced from Pinterest, unless otherwise noted, and are linked to their origin whenever possible.


  1. The Pine Tree quilts this week are all masterpieces, each different but equally amazing. If I had to choose one, I believe the Temperance Quilt would be my favorite. A very unique setting, pleasing to the eye.

    1. Mary Ann, I like that setting, as well. I think it would be fun to integrate a more colorful tree - like the first one - into it.

  2. the 3rd quilt - signature was made for a Methodist Episcopalian church not a Meth Epis. The M.E. churches made the most signature quilts of any religion and especially for fundraising.

    1. Sandra, thank you for the correction. I've made the change in the text. My bad for not looking into the abbreviated terminology used on the original post.

      The fact that the denomination made the most signature quilts is very interesting.

      Thanks again.