1825 - 1850 Mary McCormick's Embroidered Quilt

According to family tradition, Mary Anderson McCormick made a quilt for each of her seven daughters. This all-white exquisite quilt, made for her youngest daughter, Ella, was inspired by floral designs found on embroidered silk shawls from China.
Mary worked her elaborate design in a variety of embroidery stitches. She achieved a three-dimensional effect by using thick cotton thread and working the satin stitches layer upon layer.
Mary Anderson was born in Virginia on September 12, 1793. In 1809 she married John McCormick (1788-1868) of Augusta, Kentucky. John was a tailor and the couple had eight children. Shortly after her marriage Mary suffered a crippling injury to one hand, and the only practical thing Mary could do thereafter was hold a needle. She clearly made triumphant use of her remaining hand in creating this beautiful quilt and others. Mary died in Kentucky in 1864.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
McCormick, Mary Anderson
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 78 in x 84 in; 197 cm x 213 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Emily S. Dunbar
Additional Media

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