Saturday, March 21, 2020
Quilts Usually Enter My Collection Wrapped in Mystery
It's solving the mystery that is so entertaining and exciting.
Unfortunately, I haven't solved this one's mystery yet.
The bare facts:
Unknown Quilt Maker(s)
"Rebecca Hendricks Davis Age 9"
Cayuga, New York
68 x 81 inches
Here is what the seller had to say:
I have never quite resolved my questions about this charming scrap quilt. Maybe you can "put together the pieces."
The traditional design is called "Maltese Cross" or "Album Patch." This quilt pattern was commonly used for "signature" or "friendship quilts" ~ the center white cross often hosted people's names, usually applied in embroidery or ink.
Here's the mystery: Only one block has a name:
A corner block has a piece of paper stitched diagonally across the center. Written on that paper in pencil: "Rebecca Hendricks Davis Age 9"
The cloth on the other half of that cross also has pencil inscriptions. One square says "Cayuga NY 1848" and the opposite square says "Quilted 1898."
It appears that the quilt top was MADE (pieced together) in 1848. The fabulous array of printed cottons supports that date.
Then it seems that the quilt is telling us that 50 years later, in 1898, someone(s) finished and lightly hand quilted this beautiful piece. The printed back and the binding fabrics are consistent with 1898.
Now, what about the nine year old girl, Little Rebecca? Was the quilt made BY her? FOR her? As a memorial for her?
Well, whatever the story, this is a wonderful quilt with such gorgeous mid-19th century prints. The prints are lively ~ and the various, whimsical borders and grids.