Comb Quilt

Amy FriendUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Image courtesy of the West Newbury Cultural Council

I am working on a project that is going to take me a number of weeks of full time work to complete. I was commissioned to make a quilt for the West Newbury Cultural Council to celebrate the town’s bicentennial. The requirement was that the quilt celebrate an aspect of the town’s history but I was free to express this history working in my typical style. The comb industry thrived in West Newbury from 1759 through 1904. The combs were typically made of tortoise shell or cow horn. There were many shops in town and the historical society is fortunate to own a collection of early combs. I visited the historical society and took photos of the combs and settled on four versions that I felt could translate into paper pieced patterns. I am in the process of piecing the comb blocks now and, thanks to all those little tines, they are going to take a while! I thought I would share the four versions here so that you know what’s keeping me from this space. I will be back with finished pictures of the quilt.

This is the first comb pattern. The top of the comb is extended and rounded; the largest comb that I am making.

This comb has the fewest tines, making it my favorite to piece (ha, ha!). It has a scallop like shape. I always enjoy creating curves with straight line piecing.

Comb 3 and 4 are very similar.

They both have many, fine tines. One has a taller profile than the other.

I will be posting my progress on instagram! This is a special project combining my love of local history and modern quilting. While in graduate school, I focused on American material culture which includes utilitarian items like combs and quilts both. This project is a great challenge and I am excited to see it come together.