Scherenschnitte Appliqué

February, 2016

Scherenschnitte Appliqué

Maker unknown

Circa 1880-1900
Probably made in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania
Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Collection, 2008.040.0125

Made by an unknown Mennonite maker—possibly by one of the Fullem sisters—circa 1880-1900, probably in Meyersdale Pennsylvania, this original pattern was hand-appliqued and hand-quilted. It uses the “Scherenschnitte” technique. German for “scissor cuts,” the maker creates symmetry within the design by folding and cutting the fabric — or paper — similar to how we make snowflakes. It is a technique often seen in Hawai'ian and Pennsylvania German quilts.

From American Quilts: The Democratic Art by Robert Shaw:

“Unlike their Amish neighbors, who avoided pictorial imagery of any kind and only made pieced geometric abstractions, Mennonites made both appliquéd and embroidered quilts with floral motifs.”

This quilt is on display in “Favorites from the Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Collection” here at the International Quilt Museum.

We previously featured a Scherenschnitte quilt made by the Lehman family in December 2014 and “Beauty of Hilo Bay” in December 2013. Click here and here to compare the three quilts.