Studying symbols on textiles is fascinating. Thanks to the Internet, it is easier to find the meaning behind symbols but one still must do due dilegence to make sure you have an accurate understranding of the symbols of another culture.
I bought the quilt below from a woman on the streets of Chengdu in May 1996, the provincial capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. Chengdu is one of the 10 largest cites in China.
The quilt was laying on the sidewalk. I have no idea why, but I had not taken my camera with me on this particular walk after supper so I did not get a photo of the quilt in its "original (to me) location." I was very upset with myself afterwards. The photos you see below were all taken in my home.
I was told the various creatures seen on the quilt are meant to ward off evil and/or bring good luck. I still have not found definitive answers for each symbol. You can see an example that Marin Hanson, Curator of Exhibitions at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, bought for the IQSC collection in May 2013 here.
To see more textile photos taken during my 1996 trip to China, click here.