National Quilt Collection - Introduction
"Quilt": A cover or garment made by putting wool, cotton or other substance between two cloths and sewing them together. An American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, LL.D., New York 1828.
The National Quilt Collection incorporates quilts from various ethnic groups and social classes, for quilts are not the domain of a specific race or class, but can be a part of anyone’s heritage and treasured as such. Whether of rich or humble fabrics, large in size or small, expertly crafted or not, well-worn or pristine, quilts in the National Quilt Collection provide a textile narrative that contributes to America’s complex and diverse history. The variety and scope of the collection provides a rich resource for researchers, artists, quilt-makers and others.
Part of the Division of Home and Community Life textiles collection, the National Quilt Collection had its beginnings in the 1890s. Three quilts were included in a larger collection of 18th- and 19th-century household and costume items donated by John Brenton Copp of Stonington, Connecticut. From this early beginning, the collection has grown to more than 500 quilts and quilt-related items, mainly of American origin, with examples from many states, including Alaska and Hawaii. Most of the contributions have come to the Museum as gifts, and many of those are from the quilt-makers’ families. The collection illustrates needlework techniques, materials, fabric designs and processes, styles and patterns used for quilt-making in the past 250 years. The collection also documents the work of specific quilt-makers and commemorates events in American history.
Learn more about the quilt collection and step behind the scenes with a video tour.
"National Quilt Collection - Introduction" showing 1 items.
- Laura Clark pieced 11½-inch blocks in a variation of the Log Cabin pattern also referred to as Pineapple or Chestnut Burr. Each of the blocks has a black center and corners. The pointed edges are bound in black velvet. The blocks are pieced with paper templates that are still in place over muslin foundation blocks, with a very thin cotton filling between the paper and the top fabric. The fabrics used include plain, striped, ribbed, pattern-woven, checked, printed, and brocaded silks as well as velvet, taffeta, cotton and ribbon. Herringbone, buttonhole, chain feather, cross and French knot embroidery stitches embellish the surface. The table cover is lined with a warp-printed, woven striped silk.
- Laura A. Baldwin was born in Rutland, Vermont in February 1834 and moved with her family to Pennsylvania as a young child. In about 1860 she married Chester B. Clark. Chester was born in Torringford, Connecticut in 1827 and had also moved with his family to Pennsylvania. In 1867 Laura and Chester Clark settled in Earlville, Illinois where they lived the rest of their lives. Chester was listed as a merchant and capitalist in the censuses and died in 1901. Laura's grandson, Chester Wells Clark donated the table cover to the Museum in 1951.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Clark, Laura A. Baldwin
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center