National Quilt Collection
"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.
- In 1940 Eugene Teter donated to the Museum this patriotic quilt made by his great-grandmother in 1861 for his grandfather, a Union soldier from Indiana. Mary Rockhold Teter based her pieced and appliquéd quilt on a design published in the July 1861 issue of Peterson's Magazine , a popular women's periodical published in Philadelphia. She personalized it by quilting the name of her son, George Teter, and the names of Generals Scott and Taylor under whom he served. Also found in the quilting are "Abe "and "Ab Lyncoln," "Genral Lyon," the word "Cat" and the year "1861." There are thirty-four stars appliquéd in the center diamond and the same number appliquéd in the border. They represent the number of states in the Union from July 4, 1861 until July 4, 1863, the Civil War years.
- Mary Rockhold was born in Ohio in 1817 and married Thomas E. Teter in 1838. They moved to Indiana in 1846 and had seven children; four daughters died in infancy, three sons attained adulthood. Mary and Thomas were fortunate enough to celebrate their Golden Anniversary in 1888. Mary died in 1897 in Noblesville, Indiana. This "Stars and Stripes" patriotic quilt is a reminder of her devotion to family and country.
- "She was of a family of strong, patriotic Revolutionary stock, and inherited a willingness to do and to labor that the country might grow. Her grand-father was Capt. John Rockhold a native of Pennsylvania, who served in the War for Independence. Her father, Joseph Rockhold, moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio in 1800. He was a captain in the War of 1812. This trait of patriotism was one of the strongest in the character of Mrs. Teter. During the late war she showed her great love for the soldier boys in many ways, aiding in every way she could to encourage and help in the country's peril."
- (From the obituary of Mary Rockhold-Teter, 1897)
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- made for
- Teter, George
- Teter, Mary Rockhold
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- accession number
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center