Monday, May 26, 2014


 Close-up of a beautiful star quilt.  I didn't find this one in the book.  I have no details about the quilt.  The tour is sensory overload - quickly snapping pictures while quilt treasures fly by.  The fabric colors are still so vibrant on this quilt.

I've updated yesterday's post with info on the current 'Workt by Hand' exhibit in Sacramento, CA.


The excerpts in this post are from The Smithsonian Treasury American Quilts by Doris M. Bowman.

The Copp Quilt from Stonington, Connecticut (pg 23 if you're following along) was one of the first three quilts collected by the museum in the late 19th century.  This is a framed center quilt with cut out corners.  From The Smithsonian Treasury American Quilts, 'Two dresses in the Copp family collection are made of fabrics that appear in the quilt.  One dress dates from about 1800, and the other from about 1815, the time when the quilt was probably made.'

Double Irish Chain (pg 25)
So amazing!  This quilt was started in 1825 and finished in 1830 by Jane Valentine in Cayuga Co. NY.  From the book, 'There are 348 white cruciform-shaped pieces, and 348 pieced blocks made of 10,092 squares, each 5/8 inch.'

Rising Sun Quilt, quiltmaker Betsy Totten (pg 28-29)  From the book, 'The Rising Sun pieced pattern in the center of Betsy's quilt is an eight-pointed star measuring 76 inches across, and containing 648 diamond-shaped pieces of printed cottons arranged concentrically by color.  Appliqued between the points of the star are elaborate vases of flowers and birds, combining floral glazed chintzes with some of the same fabrics used in the star.  A matching floral vine runs around the four sides of the quilt between a swag-and-bow border on the inside, and a chain along the outer edge.  The appliqued flower stems, vine, swags, bows, and chain are only 3/32 inch wide.'

Betsy Totten, born 1791 in Tottenville, Staten Island, NY, married twice but had no children.  The quilt was willed to her sister's granddaughter.  

Groom's Quilt pg 48  Presented to Benoni Pearce for his betrothal.                                From the book, 'This quilt was made for Benoni Pearce in 1850 when he was twenty-eight years old.  The eighty-one squares are signed by friends and members of his family...  Benoni was then a farmer living on his father's farm in Pawling, Duchess County, New York.  By 1860, census records show that Benoni was still farming with his father, but he had acquired a wife, Emma, and two childresn, seven-year-old Augusta and three-year-old Jesse.'
Printed Quilt Center (pg 27)
From the book, 'The central diagonal block of this handsome quilt, specially printed to be used as a quilt center or cushion cover, was one of many produced in the first half of the nineteenth century.  It dates from between 1815 and 1830, as do the rest of the printed fabrics in the quilt, which belonged to Mrs. William Alston.  She lived at Fairfield, her husband's plantation on the Waccamaw River, near Georgetown and Charleston, South Carolina.'
Sunburst Quilt (pg 52)  From the book, 'This quilt was made in the mid-nineteenth century, in Funkstown, Maryland, by Anna Sophie Shriver for her sister, Catherine Shriver Knode, wife of Frisbe Knode.  It is exquisitely worked, with a pieced sunburst pattern complemented by elaborate stuffed quilting.'

One drawer included a beautiful sampler from 1826 made by nine-year-old Mary Howard. 


Barb said...

beautiful antique quilts! love the star quilt too and the grooms quilt. thanks for sharing the inspiration

Karen said...

You certainly got an up close view of quilts I have seen in books and pictures on the internet.

moosecraft said...

The Copp quilt and the Rising Sun quilt... absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing these pics!

Janet said...

Wow Vicky - these are amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing them. I just love that rising sun - just gorgeous! And the quilting on the sunburst quilt - wow, wow, wow!

Janet said...

Oh, and I just ordered the book :0)

Dawn said...

What a fantastic trip you had. Thanks for sharing!

Sandy said...

Fyi, for those of you on the West Coast, this exhibit it just opened in Sacramento. It would have been off my radar if you hadn't posted about it Vicky, so thanks!

Meanwhile, can you tell us the name of the book you refer to, with photos of the quilts from the exhibit?

Thanks again,

Vicki said...

Thanks for the info, Sandy! I've added to yesterday's post. The quilts from this post are at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in DC - not on display, but on the 'behind the scenes' tour. The book is 'The Smithsonian Treasury American Quilts' by Doris M. Bowman - this info was in yesterday's post. I'll update today's post so there's no confusion.

Kyle said...

What a awesome opportunity. I remember the Rising Sun quilt and the Copp quilt when those fabrics were printed by RJR.

Chantal said...

So amazing. 5/8 of an inch!!! OMG! Do you think she was depressed? Thanks for sharing all these beautiful pictures and taking the time to write all the information for us. It was most interesting post.

Every Stitch said...

Wonderful to see these close up pictures - amazing life in those colours still! I have the book but the photos in it are not as vibrant as yours - thanks so much for posting.

cspoonquilt said...

Wow!! Thank you so much for taking the time to post your travel-log! I lucedk out and stumbled across a copy of the Smithsonian book at our guild Flea market a number of years ago and it has remained one of my favorite historical quilt books. It is great to see some of these quilts in digital color, the pictures are so much better than the book! Did you get to see the Martha Washington quilt top? I have always wanted to see that one up-close. And thank you for the tip about the behind the scenes tour! That is definetly going on my wish list!! cheers, Claire W.

Lori said...

Vicki, I have enjoyed the virtual trip! What amazing quilts you've seen.

Holly said...

Thank you for posting the most wonderful photos in your last several posts! They are so inspiring, that I'm off to my sewing machine!

Odry said...

beautiful antique quilts! love the Maryland quilt and Double Irish Chain quilt ;)