In the early 1920's and 1930's Americans were fascinated with anything "oriental" or exotic.
The trend not only had an impact on our furniture and clothing tastes, but also our quilting designs.
In doing research on Circus Quilt, I found this original photo courtesy of Karey Bresenhan
47" X 61" Gilmer, Texas
Hand pieced and quilted by Myrtle Augusta Patterson for her son Clovis Calvin Patterson
From the collection of Karey Patterson Bresenhan
In my research, there has been a little confusion on the date this quilt was made. One source said 1910. Another listed C. 1920-1930
Circus Quilt quite possibly gained attention through publication in a 1920's woman's magazine, the main source women turned to for quilting patterns in their era.
If you would like to read more, I found a fascinating article Exotic Quilt Patterns and Names by curator Marin F. Hanson that provided a wealth of information, including some insights on Circus Quilt.
As a side note, Karey Bresenhan is the founder of the Houston International Quilt Festival and proud of her 5 generations of Texas quilters.
Circus Quilt was made by her grandmother.