Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Collecting Quilt Motifs..... Jack and Jill Quilts

Jack and Jill Crib Quilts

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after

It's hard to trace the exact date each childhood nursery rhyme came into existence as many of them were passed down word of mouth long before they ever reached print or to ascertain the exact meaning behind each rhyme without creating or perpetuating a myth. This much is true, sometime between 1760 and 1790 London publisher John Newberry and his employee Oliver Goldsmith gathered and created a collection of these childhood jewels in book form entitled Mother Goose's Melody: Sonnets for the Cradle - In Two Parts.

Nursery Rhyme quilts featuring a group of rhymes or narrowing the design field down to one particular rhyme are popular motifs with crib quilt collectors. It's no wonder we love them so, we cut our teeth on them nestled next to our mother, auntie, or grandmother listening to their comforting voices as they rocked us to sleep.

Each of us has a favorite nursery rhyme that speaks to us, mine is Jack and Jill. The Jack and Jill quilt motif must have been popular with quilt designers too because at the present time I have found 11 different crib quilts or summer spreads featuring this motif "standing alone" (not a part of a nursery rhyme sampler) and I know there are more out there.

Jack and Jill Summer Spread
Circa 1930s
Author's Collection

Wards Catalog of Stamped Needlework - "I Made it Myself"
Spring and Summer 1934 Catalog
Montgomery Ward and Co. Ad
Author Collection

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who collects Jack and Jill Quilts. Susan Wildemuth

Lynn Miller of Arizona sent me a scan of this Jack and Jill Quilt. Does anyone recognize the date for this quilt and the company that manufactured the quilt? If you do please e-mail me at

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