Monday, December 10, 2007

Cracker Quilt

Christmas is approaching, of course, and I am reminded of the present my daughter, Amy, gave me last year. It was originally intended as a birthday present, but August came and went, and the present still lay unfinished on her work table. She did complete it by December, though.

Amy came upstairs the other day (to give me advice on my leaking toilet -- "I've fixed lots of toilets," she informed me....but this one has proven to be a challenge for us both!). We both stopped to look at the cracker quilt on my bed.

" I love the quilt," I told Amy. "Thank you so much for taking the time to make it for me."

In case you haven't read our journal entry about island quilts, this design is Ocracoke's most popular quilt, and to my knowledge is virtually unheard of anywhere else after the colonial era.

Here is a photo of us at Christmas last year. (I guess she still had a few stitches to complete). Thanks again, Amy!

Our latest Newsletter is about the old Howard cemetery on British Cemetery Road. You can read the stories here.


  1. Anonymous7:30 PM

    hi Having made a few quilts in my day when you say it is most popular do you men the pattern or the color scheme???

  2. Actually, both. The pattern includes four rectangles arranged to make a square. One of the two inside stripes is always red, either solid or a print. This square is combined with four triangles to make a larger square. These corner triangles are always the same fabric, often pale pink, blue or yellow, but they can be any color. Adjacent squares are turned at an angle to create a zig zag pattern.

    For many years it was thought that this was an original Ocracoke pattern, but it was discovered to be from colonial times. During the documentation of quilts in North Carolina in the 1970's the cracker pattern was found only on Ocracoke Island. It was popular with the ladies here during the thirties and forties, and has become very popular again. There are a number of cracker quilts in family collections on the island.

    I hope my description helps. The photo should shed more light on the design.

  3. Anonymous7:08 AM

    Hi back again thanks for explanation --now What's up with "Cracker" ?? now from the parts I'm from it's Florida that I thought laid claim to cracker -- Florida cracker-- you have heard that one perhaps story goes yada yada could hear the crack of the whips driving the herds of Cattle left behind by the Spanish soooo this use of Cracker on the island --was it the beached ships cracking up on the shore???

  4. I have no idea why it's call a "cracker" quilt. Frankly, I never thought about it. It was just a cracker quilt. That's what I'd always heard it called, and I never thought anything more about it. If I find out I'll post it in the journal.